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If you dabble in survey sites to make a little extra money, chances are you’ve already heard of Prolific.
Prolific Academic is probably one of, if not the best survey site around (in my, and many others opinion.)
Prolific Academic is comprised of Academic research studies produced by universities and is far more reliable in respect of payment and not being screened out of surveys.
Payment is fair and will often reflect an hourly wage (pro rata’d to the time estimated to complete the survey).
Head to Prolific and sign up as a participant, you will then need to verify your email and phone number.
It can take Prolific a few days to verify your account before you’ll have access to studies and it helps if you complete your profile questionnaire as fully as possible to increase your study eligibility.
Once your account is verified, available studies will show on your homepage when you log in, along with information regarding the subject of the study, the estimated time taken to complete and the payment. You can now start to make money with Prolific Academic!
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When a study you’d like to take part in becomes available, click ‘reserve my place’ and then ‘start now’. You will often be asked for your Prolific ID – this is your own unique number which allows you to be paid for the study you’ve completed. It helps to copy this number to your clipboard before going to the survey.
The good thing about Prolific is that you won’t be screened out of surveys mid way through (which is one of my biggest annoyances with other survey sites) because if you aren’t eligible for a study, it won’t be offered to you in the first place.
Once you have completed a study, the researcher has to verify it before the money clears your account. This will show in your pending balance and can happen quickly or take a few days. Either way you will receive an email once it’s been processed and payment has been made. If the researcher doesn’t verify your study within 21 days, Prolific automatically will.
You need to reach the £5 payment threshold before you can cash out – however, if you cash out at this point you will incur fees. To minimise fees, wait until your balance reaches £20.
You can cash out using Circle or Paypal – you won’t incur any fees if you cash out at £20 with Circle, though you will incur Paypal’s standard 3.4% + 20p
How long will it take before you can cash out? Well it obviously depends on the number of studies you complete etc, however many people are often cashing out multiple times a month or even each week – whereas with many other survey sites it can often take months to reach the payment threshold.
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Another way you can make money with Prolific Academic is through their referral scheme. You can refer a friend using your own unique referral code (if you click through and sign up using a link in this blogpost, you will use my referral code – thank you in advance!)
When your friend cashes out, you will get 10% of their first cash out. e.g if they cash out £20, you will receive £2.
Update February 2019: “We’re turning off our participant referral scheme on March 14th. Existing participant referrals will be honoured until May 12th. For more details, please refer to our blog post.”
I only signed up to Prolific about 2 weeks ago, and my account was verified 10 days ago. In that time I’ve completed 10 studies and my balance is currently £21.61 with £0.70 pending approval.
Update February 2019: Since joining, I have now earned £125.21 and Prolific remains my favourite and most recommended Survey Site, you can see which other sites I use here – SURVEY SITES – THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST PAYING SITES AND APPS
I generally complete surveys on my mobile (not all are compatible with mobiles and some have to be done on a desktop/laptop) and I tend to do them when I am giving baby her morning or night time bottle. I don’t complete every study that’s available, and only log in and check my account at these times.
You are not always notified by email when a study is available, so it makes sense to log in periodically and see what’s available. If I checked my account more often, I’d probably be able to earn more but for utilising time where I’d otherwise be scrolling social media or doing nothing at all, it’s quite nice to actually earn something!
I’m not going to cash out my balance until the end of the month, at which point I’ll write up my side income report for August. But going forward I may cash out on a weekly basis (or more regularly anyway presuming my balance is over £20)
I may not be far into my relationship with Prolific but I’m yet to hear a bad word about them and my experience so far has only been positive, so for that reason I would definitely recommend them.
I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about making extra money, saving money, getting my life organised and being a new mum. Join me!