The following is our Respondent review for 2021 outlining my experience with it, and whether or not it’s worth your time trying it.
A rundown of survey sites and Respondent
Survey sites where you can earn a little bit of side income for taking some surveys have been around for a long time. We’ve seen a lot of them come and go, and in our experience, most are a total waste of time, and will have you earning far below the minimum wage in the US. It’s only a tiny minority that are ever worth signing up to, and even those will only ever allow you to earn a little bit of beer money — you will never make a full-time income with these sites. With that said, of the very limited survey sites that could be worth your time, we believe Respondent is the best. We did extensive research on Respondent, tried out a number of surveys, and found that it is possible to make some beer money on it (just don’t expect to make job-replacement income off it: you won’t).
In doing our research for this review, we found that Respondent is much bigger than we initially thought, having paid out over $2 million to its survey participants (far more than the vast majority of survey sites) and has many fortune 500 companies as its clients who use it to conduct valuable market research. eBay and Allstate, for example, are just a couple of the giants that trust Respondent to get valuable data. So Respondent is legit.
Getting started on Respondent
First, you’ll just sign up with your email:
Then, before being eligible for surveys, you need to verify your phone number, email, upload a photo and verify your work email:
Then once you’re verified and your profile is complete, you can browse and apply for surveys, which look like this (click for the full image):
I am not sure if this is an issue unique to me, but I found the Respondent.io interface quite buggy. It was difficult to verify my phone number as I kept getting this message, for example:
I also kept getting this when trying to browse surveys:
These constant errors and other bugs in the interface were pretty frustrating, especially when combined with the difficulties in actually getting approved for surveys and being able to complete them.
Now for the important thing…
Can you actually make decent money on Respondent?
Well, yes – but you just have to manage your expectations. Of the surveys we found on Respondent, most were paying around $100 and required many hours of work. There were some for several hundred dollars – the highest one we saw was for $400 – but these were rare, and required a major time commitment. Most surveys on Respondent are not necessarily just super-easy multiple choice questions, either – they are often telephone interviews, or in some cases, they actually require you to meet with someone in person. So there is a certain amount of effort you have to put in.
The main challenge with Respondent, though, is not that the surveys take some real time and work. Rather, it’s that it’s really not easy to qualify and get selected for surveys. During my time playing around with the site, I literally applied to dozens of surveys I felt I was more than qualified for, yet was not selected. Applying for a survey takes several minutes, and I was only successful about 10% of the time, so that’s a significant amount of time wasted applying and failing. Once you get accepted to a survey, the hourly rate is pretty good, but you do have to factor in all the other time spend (registering, applying, researching and so on).
So to recap the negatives, it’s these two things:
- Respondent surveys require your full attention and often involve having to talk on the phone or meet in person, and are not always just super-simple multiple-choice questions that you can breeze through quickly
- You will have a high failure rate when applying to surveys, and if you’re a heavy user of the site and earn reasonable money from it, you will waste hours applying to surveys you just won’t get — that’s a reality
So Respondent is not a walk in the park. But with that said, if you put in the time, you’ll make some money from it, and probably significantly more than other survey sites like Qmee for example (have a gander at our piece on the best survey sites for alternatives to Respondent) that only pay a couple of dollars per survey. With Respondent, there is a reasonable potential to make up to minimum wage in the US sometimes if you’re smart about using it, and if you’re the type of person to qualify for the higher-paying surveys.
The bottom line
If you’re interested in earning a little side income doing surveys, we reckon Respondent is the best site there is, and we feel reasonably comfortable recommending it. Respondent gets 3 stars from us (2 stars taken off for the bugs I encountered, and the difficulty in qualifying for surveys). We hope you found this review of Respondent useful, and we’ll update this post in future if our opinion changes or we find a better survey site. For now, though, even though it’s very far from perfect, Respondent is our #1 pick.
Have you used Respondent or have any thoughts about our Respondent review above? Please comment below! We will publish anything reasonable.
Sign up to Respondent
If you found this information helpful, you can sign up to Respondent here. If you sign up through that link we may receive some compensation from Respondent. This costs you nothing extra and everything will remain the same for you. Otherwise, you can go directly to Respondent.com. It’s up to you whether you sign up through our link or not (obviously it’s very much appreciated if you do).
Here are the user submissions we’ve received on Respondent:
I have tested hundreds of survey sites and Respondent is without a doubt one of the sites that give the highest rewards.
BUT it does also take quite a lot of effort to participate and the biggest disadvantage is that it is extremely difficult to find a research project you actually qualify for. The projects are very specific so you have to be lucky to be able to earn.
But if you can find a research project that is a match for you, it definitely can give some nice extra earnings. So if you are patient enough to check regularly for new projects and wait for the right opportunity, it can be worth checking out.
While I have used Respondent in the past, there have been scant few opportunities (or at least opportunities I qualify for) in the past year or two. The surveys I was chosen and paid for were not online, but on-site visitation which was cool. But again, it has been a long time since I have been selected.
--Steve Silberberg, Fitpacking