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A paid or incentivized survey is a type of statistical survey where the participants/members are rewarded through an incentive program, generally entry into a sweepstakes program or a small cash reward, for completing one or more surveys.
A paid survey is used to collect quantitative information about the participants' personal and economic habits set against their particular demographic. There are dozens of market research companies recruiting panel members worldwide to complete surveys online.
Legitimate surveys are usually unpaid (as with a Gallup poll) or incentivized. Surveys where the respondent must pay or purchase products to join a panel are generally scams, as are sites that disappear before paying the participants. Legitimate surveys do not need credit card information from respondents.
When a research company needs respondents from a demographic they cannot reach they can easily reach out to a worldwide or specialty panel. By offering a cash incentive to respondents in return for feedback these companies are able to quickly fill quotas and collect the information being sought by the client.
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