When you take paid surveys really often, you start to get invited to participate in product testing surveys. With many of these, an item is sent to you by Fedex or UPS and you open it up, test it out, check out the packaging and instructions and such, and then take a survey. Afterwards, you typicaly get to keep the item (although a couple of times I had to send the “super secret” item back.) This has resulted in me getting quite a bit of free stuff from surveys, plus getting paid to take the survey on top of that.
Last summer I took an online survey about the packaging and rebranding of an imported Vodka. I was very interested in the survey and gave long detailed answers to all of the questions. A little while later, I was contacted about doing a product testing. (hint: if you give detailed, thoughtful answers on surveys, you are likely to be asked to do higher-paying follow-up surveys and product testings.)
Because of laws about shipping alcohol, the bottle was delivered to my house by a local alcohol distributor. I had to sign for it and show my ID and such. I then tested a small amount of the large bottle, both straight and with mixers and reported on how I thought it tasted (it is quite tasty), how I liked the bottle, etc. For taking the survey I was paid $25 in adition to getting to keep the bottle of vodka.
But that wasn’t all. A few weeks later I got an email that I had another delivery coming from the same distributor. I figured I was being asked to try another product and scheduled the delivery. When this box was delivered, I found inside 4 more of the large vodka bottles nicely packed in tissue paper. With them was a hand-written note thanking me for my time and effort giving such thoughful ideas and opinions, and explaining that these bottles were just a gift. A very classy move by the manufacturer, in my opinion.
While this wasn’t the biggest, best, or most expensive item I have ever received free for taking a survey, this was the only time I ever received a seperate, unannounced gift after taking the survey, and the only time I’ve ever received a hand-written note. Survey companies, the bar has been set high here… can you top that?
By the way, if you haven’t started doing paid surveys and product testing yet, you might want to check out my list of the top paid survey sites.