Toluna is a large global market research company that has been around for nearly 20 years and employs over 800 people. They are one of the largest and most established of the market research companies, with offices around the world. For you, they offer the opportunity to get paid for taking surveys. These surveys range from very small, fast studies to longer, higher paid opportunities. Because of their size, Toluna is able to offer more consistent and higher volume surveys than many of their competitors. As part of my review of the best sites to take surveys for money, I spent some time researching and using Toluna surveys and have put together this review.
What is a Toluna Panel?
The Toluna Panel community is the Texas-based subsidiary of Toluna. This is the part of their business that focuses on consumer research and offers paid survey opportunities for people like you and me.
How do Toluna Surveys work?
Toluna gets paid by companies to put together a panel of consumers (people like you and me) and ask them questions. These can include general attitudes, purchase behavior, feedback on specific products (including those that haven’t launched yet) and more. They will gather a large number of survey respondents to answer questions, then will provide that information back to their client (companies/brands) so they can make marketing and product decisions. As a reward for your time taking the survey, they will pay you in the form of points, which you can redeem later.
The Toluna App
Toluna actually has one of the better mobile applications out of the survey companies that I have reviewed. It is very fast and responsive and allows you to take quick surveys, update your profile and earn money. I personally used the iPhone app to take Toluna surveys, but they also have an Android version available for download.
How does Toluna Pay?
When you log into your account, select a survey and complete that survey, Toluna will credit you with points. As you accumulate points, you are able to redeem them for cash rewards, monthly cash sweepstakes or gift cards. When you decide to cash in your points, you are credited almost immediately in the form of a gift card or Paypal payment. Paypal payments require a minimum of 90,000 points (equivalent to $30.00). You can also receive a check in the mail when you reach the 75,000 point mark ($25.00).
How much money can you make with Toluna surveys?
The earning potential with Toluna is really only limited by the number of surveys available and your ability to qualify for the surveys. Toluna survey rewards range anywhere from 90 points to 10,000 points per study. This is equivalent to $.03 to just over $3.00 per survey. You should temper your expectations accordingly, as this is not a way that you are going to get rich quickly. However, if you consistently take the surveys that are available to you, you can earn some extra side cash over time.
When you have taken surveys through Toluna for a while and reach the point where you are ready to cash in your Toluna Rewards, there are a lot of options available. My preferred option is to cash in my points through Paypal, but many people like gift cards. Toluna offers gift cards to restaurants, retailers, websites and more. Some of the most popular options for Toluna Rewards include Starbucks, Walmart, Hulu, Redbox, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon and Lowe’s.
How does Toluna test products for brands?
One of the cool features that makes taking surveys with the Toluna Panel fun is the ability to test products. Companies will pay Toluna to get feedback from you on products that are either in-market, launching soon, or even some products that are still at the idea stage. You will see things like packaging, price point, tag lines and product descriptions. You are then able to provide your feedback on what you like and dislike about the products. In some cases, you may be selected to actually try the product in your home if you volunteer and provide your information. In addition to making money for taking surveys, this can be a fun way to check out products before they come to market.
Toluna Tips and Tricks
- Complete your profile to qualify for more surveys
- Cash out quickly when you qualify so you don’t lose your points
- Completing the smaller questionnaires is a faster way to earn points, even though they are in small amounts
- Use the mobile app to take surveys when you are killing time on your phone
- Use the Toluna community to learn more helpful hints from seasoned Toluna veterans
- For more helpful hints, check out this article on survey tips and tricks
After using the Toluna Panel and Toluna App for a couple of months and researching other reviews, I have identified a few pros and cons of Toluna.
Pros of Toluna
- Toluna is free to join and easy to get started
- When you sign up, you will automatically receive a 500 point new member bonus in your account
- There are always a large number of surveys available
- Toluna offers payment through Paypal, check, or gift cards
- You will receive email notifications when surveys are available for you so you don’t miss opportunities
- As a member, you are automatically entered into monthly cash giveaways/sweepstakes
- They have a wealth of information (both their own and from other users) about how to get more out of Toluna surveys and make more money taking surveys
- You receive points for every survey that you take, regardless of how large or small it is
- There are interesting companies that partner with Toluna, so a lot of the surveys are actually fun to take
Cons of Toluna
- The surveys pay between 90 and 10,000 points, so you are typically making between a few cents and a dollar per survey
- The minimum cash out amount through Paypal is $30 and check is $20, so you will have to take between 20 and 50 surveys to get your money out of it
- Many of the surveys require certain criteria to qualify, so you may start taking a survey and not be able to get paid if you don’t qualify. Disqualifications typically happen pretty early in the questionnaire though, so you won’t waste a ton of time on this.
- A common complaint about Toluna is that if you don’t use your points in a certain time period (one year), you will lose those points.
- The typical Toluna survey is around 25 minutes to complete, so you will spend over 12 hours in most cases to reach the minimum cash out amount. When you do the math, this equates to roughly $2.00 per hour for taking surveys.
- While some people find the email and mobile notifications helpful when surveys are available, they can start to fill up your inbox and are sent pretty frequently.
- Many people have had trouble with the Toluna customer service support.
Overall, Toluna is another option to consider if you are interested in taking surveys for money. They offer many of the same features that you will find with other paid survey sites like iPoll, Swagbucks or Pinecone Research. However, they do take longer to make money than some of these options. With the style, length and payouts for surveys, Toluna is probably not the best option to make money, but it can be one of many that you can consider or use for a little side hustle.
Have you used Toluna surveys? Feel free to add tips, tricks, or comments below.