one site I found which seems to be fairly reliable is volition.com . They have listings for the online surveys, as well as focus groups and mystery shopping sites.
I enjoy focus groups, and living in Chicago there are a number of companies. Where else can you be paid 50-100 for an hour of your time?
I’ve made a bit of cash from the online surveys, but most sites now seem to enter you into a drawing now, or they pay you in redeemable points.
I did a 6 month project where I would receive mail, log the date I received them, and send them back. I think I made about $ 200 in amazon.com credits for that one.
Also, mystery shopping can be lucrative, but is extremely labor intensive. The key seems to be being very organized, and accomplishing multiple shops in a day. Also, with most of the mystery shops it takes about 45 days to get paid. There was an article about a woman who made 50k a year as a mystery shopper, but that was probably before her reimbursements for purchases. I’ve shopped a number of 5 star restaurants here, and I know of people who have mystery shopped cruise lines, but you need a lot of experience beofre you can be considered for that.
That’s my .02, but I like the volition site as being fairly well organized, and they seem to keep track of which are legit and which are scams.