Paid Surveys

Vindale Research

03/06/2010 - 17 comments

In the average person’s quest to find legitimate paid survey opportunities, there really are more scams out there than actual paying companies.  And unfortunately, one bad experience will often cause people to think that ALL paid survey companies are a scam. But there are legit companies out there, you just have to know where to look and how to spot them.

Today, I happened across Vindale Research.  I had seen them around before but today I finally decided to signup and see what they are all about.  What follows is not a full blown review of Vindale Research, but it serves as my initial impressions upon signup and hopefully helps you make an educated decision before signing up for yourself.

Immediately after registering for Vindale I was met with a screen of “offers” that I could choose to participate in.  This is warning sign #1 when it comes to determining the validity of a paid survey company.  Any company that provides a list of third party offers is not a traditional market research company.

From here, I probably need to define what I mean by a “traditional” market research company.  Legitimate market research companies maintain a database of panelists (you and me) and they are hired by brands and manufacturers to administer surveys to get consumer opinions about products and product development to help them improve existing products and decide how best to market new ones. Most of these companies reward their panelist in some way, shape or form for simply taking an online survey and giving their honest opinions.  The rewards range from sweepstakes entries to cold hard cash.

Vindale Research says the following about their membership:
*Review products and take simple online surveys
*Make a difference by sharing your opinion
*Earn great rewards
*Keep the products you review

One of the main things that Vindale Research seems to offer are “evaluations” of products and services, and they do warn you that there may be “acquisitions fees” that will be refunded to you at the completion of the “evaluation”.  Traditional market research companies will NEVER EVER ask you to buy something, provide a credit card number or sign up for a free trial. 

After signing up, I was immediately offered a “tutorial” evaluation that pays $5.00.  All I have to do is sign up for a “free trial” to receive my credit report for free and enter my credit card number in the process.  Vindale will then administer a very brief survey about my experience.

I need to stop here and say this again.

Loudly.

TRADITIONAL MARKET RESEARCH COMPANIES WILL NEVER EVER ASK YOU TO SPEND MONEY, PROVIDE A CREDIT CARD NUMBER, OR SIGN UP FOR A FREE TRIAL.

Now maybe after reading all this you don’t care that Vindale isn’t a traditional market research company, you just want the $5.  And hopefully, for those who DO sign up, they actually pay out as promised.  They should be, for every $5 credit report they pay out on, they are likely earning $16.  That credit report company they ask you to “evaluate” pays $21 for every lead they get.  So Vindale gets paid $21 when you participate, gives you $5 and pockets $16.  Brilliant.  Totally brilliant.  I have no problem with anyone making money as an affiliate marketer.  I do it.  I often make money off click-throughs and purchases made when someone clicks on a link on my site.

But, from the very inception of my blog, I was determined to help people make smart decisions when it came to joining programs online to earn money, especially ones that aren’t exactly quite what they seem.  Based upon my experience with free paid survey companies, in my opinion Vindale Research pays you for completing offers, and they tack a survey onto the end of it for good measure.  They are not a paid survey company in the traditional sense.  There are plenty of similar companies out there, although some of them don’t pull any punches and tell you up front that you get paid for completing offers.

If you are comfortable with this, and do sign up, or are a member already, I’d love to hear your feedback.  However, if you are not interested in completing offers, and are looking for legitimate traditional market research companies, you can check out my free paid survey sites page.

Note: I cannot provide a testimonial regarding Vindale and receiving payments.  I only have $2 in my account and their payment threshold is $50.

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17 Comments

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  • Reply KATHERINE 08/31/2010 at 10:21 am

    VINDALE RESEARCH IS A SCRAM I MY EYES I’M A WIDOW AND DISABLED I JOIN THEM DID THE TRIAL THING FOR THE CREDIT SURVEY I NEVER GOT THE POINTS FOR THAT SURVEY I JOINED DIFFERENT BOOK CLUBS AND DVD CLUBS AND I SUPPOSE TO HAVE 98 OR A LITTLE OVER 100 ON MY SURVEYS BUT NOT ALL OF THEM PASSED I FILLED OUT THE FORM FOR MY 50.00 AND STILL HAVEN’T RECIEVED IT HAS BEEN ALMOST A MONTH NOW BE WARE OF VINDALE RESEARCH THERE A SCAM

  • Reply Happi Shopr 03/29/2010 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks for letting us know more about Vindale Research. I’ll pass on them.

  • Reply Kris 03/24/2010 at 7:26 am

    Thanks for the “review” and information. I have heard brief things about Vindale, but never checked them out. Now I know I don’t need too, it’d be a giant waste of time. And with 3 kiddos, who has free time to waste.

  • Reply Heather McD 03/23/2010 at 10:03 am

    Thanks for this post. I have never heard of them. I used to do surveyspot when they paid money but now that do points instead and I don’t like it.

  • Reply Cat 03/07/2010 at 11:49 pm

    Glad to hear your honest thoughts on this. I use to do a lot of survey sites and ran into so many scammy ones and some that I gave up on after awhile and this sounds like one I can through in the ignore list.

  • Reply Amanda 03/07/2010 at 8:57 pm

    Enjoy your blog! You should report your survey company reviews to survey Police.com, they have been my go-to site for checking out companies

    • Reply KATHERINE 08/31/2010 at 10:07 am

      WHAT IS SURVEY POLICE AND HOW DO THEY WORK I JOINED VINDALE RESEARCH I STILL HAVE NOT GOT MY CHECK I HAVE I BELIEVE IT WAS 98.00 ON THE ACCOUNT LAST TIME I CHECKED I JOINED ALOT OF CLUBS AND SOME I DIDN’T EVEN RECIEVE THE ITEMS I PAID FOR I WAS NOT REDEEMED THE MONEY BY VINDALE JUST POSTED ON THE SURVEY AS NOT COMPLETE I FILLED OUT THE FORM FOR MY $50.00 BUT HAVE NOT RESEAVED IT YET I’M ON DISABLITY AND I’M ALSO A STUDENT SO MONEY IS TIGHT I’M ON A FIXED INCOME SO THAT IS PROBLEY WHY I WAS SO NAIVE I THOUGHT THAT WAS A WAY TO MAKE EXTRA MONEY TO MAKE ENDS MEET.

  • Reply Brie H 03/07/2010 at 11:20 am

    Thanksf for the post – I’ve never heard of them

  • Reply Pam 03/07/2010 at 9:27 am

    Never heard of Vindale but about 4 years ago I signed up with scads of survey companies – yes, including the big guys on your survey page.

    I spent hours a day doing those things and did make money – between them all about 150. that year in money, coupons and retail materials.

    To me at least it is just not worth the time.

    • Reply Kim 03/07/2010 at 9:51 am

      Pam,

      That is the one thing about these types of things that is tough to convey to people…when I was doing paid surveys in my spare time I was making probably 4 or 5 times what you did in a year. I was happy paying for a pizza each month on our allotted “pizza night” and having a few hundred dollars saved up for Christmas, but depending upon demographics, some people just don’t do as well.

      As a mom with young children, I get scads more opportunities and qualify for more than say, my mom does.

      It certainly is not a living, and for some, not worth it at all.

      • Reply Pam 03/07/2010 at 10:25 am

        That’s very true; they do love Moms with kids! :-D

      • Reply Lorie Shewbridge 03/19/2010 at 10:17 am

        That’s where I have a problem. I am a disabled 44 year old woman who’s kids are grown up and out of the house. NOBODY cares what I have to say! :-)

        • Reply KATHERINE 08/31/2010 at 10:14 am

          I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN I’M DISABLED AND A WIDOW LOST MY HUSBAND IN 2003 MY KIDS ARE OUT OF THE HOUSE I GO TO COLLEGE BUT I HAVE KNOW FRIENDS I DON’T GET VISITORS MY NEPHEW GOT ME A PUPPY TO KEEP ME COMPANY SO THE MONEY I SPENT ON THOSE SURVEYS JUST WENT TO WASTE THE LORD JESUS SAYS THERE IS A PURPOSE FOR EVERYTHING HANG IN THERE I’M SURE YOUR NOT FORGOTTEN

  • Reply Lorri Jeanne 03/07/2010 at 1:23 am

    I agree with both of you. I signed up and started receiving the ‘offers’ and quickly deleted my account. It was a big waste of time.

    • Reply Kim 03/07/2010 at 8:39 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Vindale….it’s annoying to me to have it advertised as a survey company, because it’s really not. I just hope they pay the people who DO do the offers.

  • Reply Brittany 03/06/2010 at 10:20 pm

    I signed up for Vindale Research a long time ago and your view of them is spot on. My inbox was spammed with “Take this survey for X amount of dollars” and when I went to do it I had to pay for this or that to earn something. I’ve since dropped them! Perfect post though!

    • Reply Kim 03/07/2010 at 8:32 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience Brittany, it helps validate my opinions.