Yesterday a friend asked me if taking surveys online was a good way to make money. You can make money, yes... but depending on what your goals are, it might not be enough. In this Vindale Research Review I'll discuss how it works, what you can expect, and of course... what most people are wondering; Are online survey's a scam?
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate of Vindale Research. This review has been researched with information and testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any conclusions drawn by myself are only opinions.
What is Vindale Research?
Vindale Research is a marketing research company that rewards members for taking paid surveys, and sharing their opinions about consumer products, services and brands. But... is it all a scam?
Online surveys are becoming a popular method to make extra money online but not all of these companies are good ones.
Vindale, based in New York, is one of the older survey companies and according to the Better Business Bureau website they opened in October of 2005. Their parent name is SayForExample, Inc.
How Does It Work?
The way Vindale’s market research platform is supposed to work, is for members to simply get paid for answering survey questions. In practice however, the process is not so simple..
The main challenge (and where most complaints originate) is a question of eligibility. For example, if you were to complete a survey on video games, but the nature of your answers suggest that you don’t play video games very often (or at all), you may end up with a message saying you don’t qualify (after you've answered their questions).
Of course, if you don’t qualify, you don’t get paid.
This is a big deal, because you can spend hours doing surveys, or answering "screening" questions and getting nothing in return for your time. It's important to only do survey's on topics you have experience in, and feel your contribution is relevant to a survey's research goals.
Some of the topics that Vindale advertises are,
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To be fair, Vindale is a market research company and they are responsible for providing accurate and relevant information to their clients. The process of screening people, although a common frustration, is unfortunately a necessary step in the paid survey industry.
How Much Does Vindale Pay?
According to their website, survey payouts range from $0.25 to $50, which is on the high side for an online survey company.
Of course, they’re going to advertise that payout, but the $50 surveys will likely be rare, and highly specialized with few people being eligible. For example, surveys that are specific to medical professionals such as doctors will have higher payouts.
The common topics that appeal to a wider audience will usually pay in the sub-$5 range, which is understandable. Information is a commodity like any other and is subject to the laws of supply and demand. If there are lots of ways to get the information (a lot of people available to provide it), it's not as valuable.
Other Ways to Make Money With Vindale
Vindale also has a referral program, which pays $5 for every person who signs-up based on your recommendation. This works by providing your family, friends or online followers a link that is unique to you.
You can also get paid to read emails and interacting with advertisements. Payouts here are in the $0.10 range however, so this strategy isn’t one you’d want to use for your retirement, or a quit your job plan.
One of the more unique methods of earning money is by sending in a photo or video with your Vindale payment. This will get you an easy $5. Well, it's easy once you've reached the minimum payout amount (more on that below), and actually get paid. Five bucks is five bucks, but there are more lucrative ways to make money online.
If there’s a catch here, this is it. Vindale Research has a minimum $50 payout policy. That means you cannot receive any money you have accumulated from Vindale until you reach the minimum $50 threshold.
You can see where this can lead to problems, and I’ll get more into that when I talk about Vindale complaints below.
Is Vindale A Scam?
Before I answer that question, it’s important to talk about what a scam is. According to Wikipedia, a scam can also be referred to as a confidence trick. As the name implies, a confidence trick is “an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their confidence, used in the classical sense of trust.”
By that definition, it could be argued that even TV commercials using cute puppies, celebrities and sex to sell stuff, are scams, or confidence tricks since the implied benefits of the product don’t live up to reality.
I think that's an unfair definition of a scam. What we're referring to in this review is a flat-out scam, where a company, individual or organization takes your time and/or money through deception and gives you nothing in return.
By that definition, no… I do not think Vindale is not a scam. They are a legitimate company who have been around for a long time, and while you can find complaints against them and accusations of being scam, I would not call them one.
I can certainly understand why people would be frustrated though, and the word scam is thrown around quite easily. (according to a friend, the cable company is a scam)
Vindale Research Complaints
Most of the complaints center around the fact that you end up spending significant time (hours by some accounts) answering screening questions and/or filling out partial and complete surveys only to find out that you’re not eligible.
Or, in many instances, upon completion you get a notice that the survey has expired or that the information is no longer needed.
One might assume that Vindale is still taking the information the you provide and selling it to their clients, even though they are not paying you for it. There’s no proof of that, but it’s not a good feeling wondering if you’ve been tricked into giving your time and opinion for nothing in return.
Combine that with the minimum $50 payout and it’s easy to see why the web is full of frustrated people who have given many hours to Vindale Research. In the end you could end up spending months of your time and effort, and still not accumulate the required $50 in your Vindale account.
Is Vindale (and doing online surveys) For You?
Aside from everything else, the most important question is whether or not this method of making money online is for you.
You can certainly make some money with Vindale Research. It won't be a lot of money, but for those who search surveys daily and provide thorough (and accurate) details about themselves to maximize chances of eligibility, Vindale might be a great way to make some extra dough.
But if answering questions is tedious for you, it’s probably not the best path. You’ll be answering quite a few before you see any actual money.
And, if you’re hoping to earn a full-time (or even a part-time income for that matter) online, then taking online surveys will not be the most efficient use of your time.
I don’t know your financial situation, but I do know your time is extremely valuable. There are better ways to spend it if you want to make money online and learn valuable skills in the process.
What I Liked
- The Referral Program. If you choose to use Vindale and are happy with their service, it’s nice to know you can earn money by recommending it to others.
- Despite the $50 minimum, the pay out is real money, rather than points or coupons to be used for specialty items.
- Their site is well laid out and easy to navigate.
What I Don’t Like
- The $50 minimum payout. From the many comments I’ve gone through online, it’s a fair assumption that many (if not most) people have given considerable time to Vindale and have never received any money for it… giving up or losing interest long before meeting the payment threshold.
- While it’s an understandable necessity, I don’t like the eligibility issue that inherent in market research. Of course, you can’t expect companies to pay people to just answer screener questions (members would just try to qualify for everything). At the same time, it’s unfortunate that so much time is wasted in the process.
- The relatively low payout vs. time invested.
- Many surveys are links to other sites that require you to sign up and create accounts making you wonder if they’re not just a backdoor method of traffic generation.
Having spent decades working at a job trading time for dollars, rather than building something that creates a passive income, I’m not a fan of this method to make money online. That’s just my opinion.
You may feel different, and doing paid surveys online may be the perfect fit for your work schedule and lifestyle. It’s low risk, and with a some effort has the potential to give you some extra money.
If you’d like to learn of other ways you can make money online, including a passive income that can eventually replace your job, I recommend starting an online business. The time invested is comparable but the potential benefits are far greater.
You can check out my top recommend programs here.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope this Vindale Research Review was helpful for you.
Also, please leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you used Vindale Research before?
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