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.
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.