By Erin Huffstetler | 04/30/2015 | 5 Comments
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This week I got paid $32 to watch TV. Pretty sweet deal, right? So, how did I land such a deal? By looking at my junk mail before I chucked it.
A couple months ago, I was sorting through the mail, when I saw an envelope from Nielsen. They’re a company that I have a lot of respect for (they own Pinecone Research and Homescan, and they’re responsible for the TV ratings), so I opened it. And I was surprised to find $2 in the envelope. So glad I didn’t just toss it!
I read the letter that accompanied the money, and learned that our household had been chosen to participate in a one-week TV survey. It said they’d call us in a few days to give us more details.
So, when we saw Nielsen on the caller ID later in the week, we answered the phone, and they offered to pay us another $5, if we’d keep a TV diary for a week detailing what our family watched. That sounded easy enough, so we agreed to do it, and they said they’d mail us a diary.
It came as promised, with another $5 in the envelope, and we spent about 20 minutes filling it out, before mailing it back. Not a bad way to make $7.
I figured that was the end of that, until I received another Nielsen envelope in the mail. This one had another $2 in it, and another letter, saying they’d be calling us about participating in their TV ratings research.
So, when the call came, I happily answered it, and this time they offered us $30 to keep a one-week TV diary. You better believe I said yes to that one! We don’t have cable or satellite, so getting paid $32 to watch TV really is getting paid $32 to watch TV.
We just finished our diary today, and it’s sitting in the mailbox waiting to go back. Now, I’m hoping we’ll get another envelope from them. I do like that easy money.
Want to Get Paid to Watch TV?
I did a bit of digging this morning to see if I could figure out how we got this opportunity. We’ve participated in their Homescan program and some of their surveys before, so I thought it might have been because we were on their mailing list. Turns out that’s not it at all. Their website says it’s just luck of the draw. Check it out:
We cannot ask every home to participate, so we carefully select a sample of homes in your community to represent the entire TV audience. To be statistically accurate, it is essential that our samples be randomly selected. Every household in the U.S. has a chance of being selected, no matter where it is located.
So, it looks like you’ll just have to keep an eye out for a Nielsen envelope, if you want in. At least now you know not to toss it. I can’t help but wonder how many of their cash-filled envelopes have been ruled junk mail and tossed in the trash.
Have you uncovered anything good in your junk mail? I’d love to hear about it.