The survey panel Vindale Research is among the oldest of the online survey sites. But, because of the so many paid survey scams out there, some people believe that Vindale is a scam and not a legitimate company.
I have done many reviews of other survey sites, but not this one. So, just like I always do, I wanted to sign up with Vindale to have a personal experience and see for myself if Vindale is safe.
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Now, I should mention that I was a panel member at Vindale about 6-7 years ago when I had first started my online money making journey. And to be honest, I was always paid on time and I never saw anything that would lead me to believe it was a scam.
However, that was a long time ago and things can change. So, I decided to sign up again (since I had forgotten my old login info), to find out if my previous findings still hold true. Assuming you’re interested in trying survey panels for yourself, continue reading to find out if this is one you’ll want to consider.
The first thing I do with any survey site is to look at whether or not they charge a fee for registration. If they do, I will turn around and never look back. I also try to dig in and find out about the history of the company behind the given survey site. Most of the times, a company’s record tells you all you need to know.
I wanted to take a look at the way their site was set up as well as look into their history to determine if Vindale Research appeared to be a legitimate site. My initial findings looked promising enough for me to continue.
As is my custom, I checked to see if they require users to have a paid membership in order to get access to their surveys. It’s been my experience that sites that require members to pay are always scams and should be avoided. These types of sites can be tricky however, hiding the membership fees in the fine print.
The next thing was take a look at the sites terms and policies. While the process of combing these legal documents was tedious it was very informative. The sites terms and policies guarantee an experience that is completely free, never requiring any payment. Armed with this knowledge I felt it safe to proceed to the next phase and sign up.
One of the great things I noticed right off the bat was that Vindale rewards its members with cash rather than points. The point system is a concept that is extremely prevalent throughout the survey community and though it’s easy to exchange your points for cash it’s an extra step one has to do and can lead to confusion about how much you’re actually getting for each survey.
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I for one prefer to exchange my points for cash that is deposited directly to my PayPal account or sent to me by check.
However, the most difficult part about a points system is doing the conversion from points to dollars before committing to taking a survey. Obviously, to get the most out of each survey, you want to go for the best ones you’ll qualify for. With Vindale, figuring out which surveys have the greatest rewards is plain and simple since they tell before hand hoe much exactly each survey pays.
As with most survey sites, the amount you can expect to earn from each survey will depend greatly upon the type of survey being done. Those surveys that are quickly completed or that don’t require special knowledge (like medical surveys) will pay less than those that do or that will take a while to finish.
Vindale’s surveys fall into these categories:
- Online surveys – Typical compensation – $1.00
We are of course all familiar with the basic surveys common to all survey sites. Vindale Research makes a point of reminding its members that you never have to pay in order to get access to paid surveys. Each survey will earn you from $1 to $5 and there’s always a daily survey worth $1.50 if nothing else.
- Videos – Typical compensation – Up to $0.03 per video
If you are like most other people, you probably watch lots of commercials on a daily basis on TV. Well, you get to do that with Vindale as well, but here you get paid and these are little fun surveys where you watch the video and answer a few questions.
- Reward mail – Typical compensation – $0.10
This is where they send you emails that earn you cash if you click the link in the email. However, these are not actual paid surveys. These are basically ads from advertisers. But you are not actually required to purchase anything. You get paid just for clicking the link in the email.
- Deals – Typical compensation – Between 1% and 10% cash back
This is something new at Vindale. I don’t remember this when I first joined them a few years ago. Basically, they have a cash back sopping section where you can earn cash back by shopping online through Vindale. This is great for situations where you are going to buy something any way, so by going through their site, you get a little cash back. But don’t just shop there for the cash back, because obviously you gain much less than what you spend.
- Cash contests – Typical compensation – Contest prizes range from $0.50 to $100.00
Contests is something most paid survey sites do to reward their panelists. Vindale has daily cash contests where you can earn cash for participating in fun opinion polls, essay contests, video contests, and more!
- Evaluations – Typical compensation – Up to $100.00
This is where things gets interesting. Evaluation surveys are arguably the most rewarding type of survey to be a part of at Vindale Research and can pay $75 or more depending on what they have you try. To get started with an evaluation you’ll first have to be invited based on prerequisites that they realize you meet based off your personal information.
To verify that you qualify for the evaluation you’ll be asked to do a quick 5-10 minute questionnaire (or as its known in the industry a Preliminary Survey). Most survey companies use this “pre qualifying questioners” to help them select individual survey takers who actually qualify for the given survey. Assuming you still qualify the company running the evaluation will send a product to be tested to you or you may have to purchase it yourself, though you’ll be quickly compensated.
More often than not the questions asked about the product are fairly specific. They’ll ask a long list of question, some of which may seem a little odd in order to get as much information as they can. When done you submit the form and are paid.
The survey sites offering evaluations are typically better since evaluations are better paying surveys. And to be honest, its’ fun to get to test a product that you have used before but this time you get paid to use it, or a product that hasn’t even hit the market, but you are one of the few people who gets to use it. Plus, its a cool feeling to know that your opinion about the product can actually mean the difference between whether the product hits the store shelves or is pulled back and never gets developed.
Should you join?
Through my personal experience I have come to the conclusion that Vindale Research is a legitimate survey site and could be beneficial as a small part of your survey portfolio.
Still, before coming to this conclusion I thought it wise to see what others had to say about the site.
While the reviews I found were a bit of a mixed bag, there were those with both positive and negative things to say about the site. The most prominent positive thing noted among them was the constant availability of the daily $1.50 survey at Vindale Research. These are quickly completed and pay well for the time required.
There were, however 2 common complaints:
- The first one was about the initial payout mark being set at $50, much higher than comparable survey sites.
- In addition many people find that the sites continued pushing of paid offers (like finding out your credit score) are just intolerable, though as the site guarantees these are optional.
While I personally don’t mind this stuff as long as you are not required to actually buy or pay for stuff like that to be able to remain a panelist, but some people don’t like having products and services shoved in their face constantly.
So, that being said, some may find that this isn’t the survey site for them, but if you are like me and don’t mind that, Vindale Research is a great survey panel to join.