These days, a lot of people are looking to supplement their income with various side hustles. One of the easiest ways to do this from home is with survey websites like Swagbucks or Survey Junkie. While they are legit and easy to use, the problem is that their payouts from an hourly rate standpoint aren’t that high, probably in $10-20/hr territory if you’re lucky. Today I’m going to introduce you to an alternative method of making some extra cash. One that pays much better and that you can still do from the comfort of your home. I’m going to break down everything you need to know to get started and whether or not it is worth your time.
Table of Contents
What is Respondent?
Respondent got its start in 2016 and is a market research company that helps connects companies or groups looking to perform market research with high-quality participants of a certain demographic. In Respondent’s own words
Is Respondent Legit?
Before we look at the specifics of Respondent, let’s just clear the air.
With any online opportunity to make money, there are a lot of questions about the trustworthiness of it. This one is no different.
If you’re worried about having your information stolen or wasting your time on a site that isn’t going to pay you, don’t worry. Respondent is a completely legit way to earn money.
They have worked with many big brands to connect them with targeted participants for market research. This article is going to help you decide if Respondent is worth your time to pursue.
What Do I Need to Sign Up With Respondent?
When you first visit the Respondent homepage, you may be a little confused. That is because their homepage is primarily targeting researchers that are interested in working with Respondent to find study participants. If you’re interested in being a participant, you can get started by clicking either the “Start for Free” button or “For Respondents” in the navigation bar.
Then select the option to be a respondent.
Facebook or LinkedIn
In order to sign up for Respondent, you will need to connect a Facebook or LinkedIn profile. They require this in order to verify your identity as well as verify employment and demographic details.
Researchers review this information before inviting potential respondents to participate in research studies, to ensure they are getting their target audience.
Respondent ensures that they will not post anything on your behalf to your social profiles nor contact any of your connections.
Additionally, you will need to provide a phone number and go through a phone number verification process. This allows Respondent to notify you through text messages of any studies that you have been accepted into, as well as remind you of your upcoming scheduled sessions.
Lastly, in order to be paid for study participation, the only form of payment they work with is Paypal. So you will need to have an active Paypal account in order to accept your payment.
How Does Respondent Work?
Find a Research Study
After you get signed up with Respondent and complete your profile, you will get matched with research studies by their algorithm. You can also manually browse all the projects that they have available as well. I actually recommend the manual method just to make sure you don’t miss out on any studies that you may be a good candidate for.
There are two types of studies: Remote and In-person. They are just as they sound.
Remote studies allow you to participate from the comfort of your home or office, while in-person studies require you to physically go to a location to participate. The majority (90%+) of studies I’ve seen on Respondent are remote studies.
While you are browsing for research studies to participate in, you will be able to see how much time a study will take and what the compensation is for it.
Complete Study Survey
When you identify a research study that you think you are interested in or may be a good match for, you will be asked to complete a survey. This survey is created by the company or organization that is interested in getting participants for their study, not by Respondent.
Therefore, each survey has different questions and vary in length. On the short end, there may be 5 survey questions, while on the long end there may be 20 survey questions. I would estimate that the average is between 10-15 questions.
Here is an example of a short 3-question survey that I completed.
Majority of the survey questions are simply multiple choice questions, although once in a while a question will require a typed-out response. But all in all, the surveys don’t take much time to complete.
After completing a survey, you will be given a Qualification Percentage. This identifies how suitable your answers match the target demographic that the company doing the research study is looking for.
To my knowledge, you likely need to be 100% qualified in order to be accepted to the study, but this is entirely dependent on the researcher.
However, even if you qualify 100%, it does not necessarily guarantee you will be chosen for the study either. While this is a big bummer, it’s understandable because companies can only accept a limited number of study participants.
Schedule Study Session
If you are chosen to participate in a study, you will get notified through email and text message. With most studies, you will then need to go into your Respondent dashboard and schedule a time to participate in the study.
You can also reschedule a study if you need to, usually up to 4 hours before your scheduled study time. However, there may not be any available sessions remaining if the study is popular.
You may also cancel a scheduled session if you cannot make it.
Also, one thing to note is that most studies that require scheduling a session will likely be during working hours during the weekday, as this is when the researchers are “at work” also.
While Respondent does not have a written policy regarding missing your scheduled study, they’ve told me that missing studies may affect the way studies are suggested to you. And if you miss enough scheduled studies, they are in their right to remove you from the platform.
Likewise, if you have scheduled a session and the researcher does not show up for whatever reason, they are still obligated to pay you.
Participate in Study Session
Since most studies are remote, researchers will often perform the session through a webcam or voice over IP (VoIP) application. This may require you to install some extension in your browser in order to participate. I’ve been asked to use programs such as GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Validately. It really just depends on the researcher.
When the time comes to participate in your study, usually it is just a one-on-one interaction with a researcher (although others may be in the room with the researcher) and you simply give your honest thoughts and opinions on the study subject.
A lot of times the researcher doesn’t work directly for the company interested in the study. They are simply a contract company doing the legwork of gathering the information, so you don’t need to worry about hurting their feelings if you have negative opinions towards something!
Most study organizers are very good about the time commitment they set out initially, so when the time is up they will end the session promptly.
After the study ends, the study organizer will need to confirm your attendance in Respondent’s system. For me, this has generally occurred within 24 hours of the study and I have not had any issues with a researcher not marking me down as having attended. You will receive an email notifying you that the researcher has marked your attendance.
Once your attendance has been confirmed, Respondent will pay out the compensation for the study to your Paypal account, usually within 7-10 days from study completion. The nice thing is you do not need to accrue any minimum payout amount in order to be paid out. Each completed study will be paid out individually.
Who Can Participate in Respondent?
Anyone 18 or older can join Respondent. The target demographic for a lot of their studies include industry professionals, parents as well as students.
They have project studies available to US residents as well as International.
There is a wide range of studies available. Below are some examples of some of the more interesting ones I’ve come across.
How Much Money Can You Make With Respondent?
It’s the question that everyone wants to know the answer to know.
According to Respondent’s own website, they state that they have paid out over $2.3 million (as of 2019) to Respondents. They also market that their average hourly pay for participating in studies is $140/hr. Is that true or hyped up?
As of this writing, I have been part of Respondent for a little under 2 months and have participated in 7 studies.
Out of those 7 studies, the highest paying study was $150 for 1 hour of time, or $150/hr. The lowest paying was a survey-style online study that paid $5 for 5 minutes of time (their estimate), or $60/hr.
Overall, my current average hourly rate with Respondent has been earning $95/hr.
Based on my observations browsing their studies, I would say that 90% of their studies pay AT LEAST $60/hr. There is no limit to the higher end, but in general, higher paying studies are looking for more specific demographics and thus the qualifications are harder to satisfy. Take a look at the study below that pays a whopping $150 for 15 minutes of your time, or a rate of $600/hr!
One last thing I haven’t mentioned yet regarding pay is that Respondent takes a 5% fee from your study earnings (or at least $1, whichever is greater). This is just one way that Respondent makes money.
With that being said, I’ve learned that even though the $5 for 5-minute survey studies are easy to complete, since Respondent is taking $1 for themselves, they’re basically taking 20% of my earnings! So I may have to reconsider whether I continue taking those short survey studies.
Respondent Referral Program
Respondent also has a referral program that allows you to make some extra money. There are actually two types of referrals you can make.
General Referral – $20
The first referral option is a general referral for introducing someone new to Respondent. As soon as someone you refer successfully completes a paid research study and earns at least $75 (over multiple studies is ok) in incentive payments, you can receive $20 applied to your Paypal account.
If you have found this article useful and are thinking about signing up for Respondent, please consider signing up through my referral link here.
Project Specific Referral – $50
The project specific referral is when you refer someone new to Respondent to a specific study that you have come across. After you have gone through a study survey, you will be given a referral link SPECIFIC TO THAT STUDY. You DO NOT need to have 100% qualified or accepted into the study in order to refer someone else to the study.
However, the requirements for receiving this referral is more involved than the general referral. It involves the following requirements:
- Not already have an account on the Respondent platform
- Use your unique referral link to sign up
- Complete the screening questions for the project you referred them to, in the same web session as they signed up
- Participate in the project you referred them to, and be paid their incentive by the researcher conducting the project
- Participate in a project that has an incentive of $100 or higher.
You may refer multiple people to the same project, but you will only receive up to five $50 referral bonus per project.
As you can see, it’s a bit harder to meet all these requirements. However, if you know people that might be a good fit for a particular study, it’s a great way to make some extra money.
Pros and Cons of Respondent
I hope by now you’ve gained a better understanding of how Respondent works and the opportunity it provides. To summarize the pros and cons of Respondent:
- Great pay, usually at least $60/hr
- Easy to sign-up and get started
- Quick payouts after study completion
- No minimum payout requirements
- Able to participate remotely
- Generous referral program
- Variety of studies to participate in
- New studies added daily
- Available to participate internationally
- Will not qualify for every study
- Unlikely to replace a full-time income
- Requires Facebook or LinkedIn profile
- Cannot participate at any time; requires a scheduled time block (most studies)
- Requires interacting with another person (most studies)
Mr. Centsible’s Final Take on Respondent
So after all is said and done, do I think Respondent is worth your time?
I’m not sure I can answer that for you because everyone values their time differently.
I know for me personally, I will continue to use Respondent to earn some extra money to offset some of my blogging expenses. In 2 months, I have earned nearly $500 from Respondent for only about 5 hours of my time.
Now, this doesn’t take into account the time trying to qualify for research studies, and this may be one of the most frustrating aspects of Respondent. If I had to take a guess, I would say my study acceptance rate is about 10% out of all the surveys I’ve completed.
That’s not a great number, but the surveys don’t really take that much time. Also, even though new studies are added every day, I do not think it is necessary to check every day. Studies will usually be open for at least a week until they are filled. So my recommendation is to just check for available Respondent studies in your dashboard once or twice a week.
Will you give Respondent a chance? Let me know down in the comments if you have any questions I can help answer with regards to Respondent. If you would like to sign up for Respondent to give it a try, please consider using my referral link here.