Is Vindale Research a scam? In a word, “No”. I joined them in 2010 and have successfully cashed out my earnings twice there. Therefore, I conclude that they are not a scam. This certainly doesn’t mean that they are perfect.
Here are some of the things that I like about Vindale Research:
• They are free to join with no membership fees.
• They credit your account with cash. You don’t have to convert points to cash dollar amounts in order to figure out what you earn per action.
• It is super easy to make money there.
• They have a referral program, so that members can make more money.
• Members receive credit for some of their activities immediately after they are completed but sometimes it can take a few days to receive the credit. It takes much longer to get credit or reimbursement after completing product evaluations.
You certainly don’t need to spend any money to make money with Vindale Research. Members can earn money for free in the following ways:
• Complete studies (what I consider market research surveys through a third party company)
• Watch Videos: they pay around $.02 (most lack variety)
• Reward Mail: Earn a few pennies by reading e-mails. They don’t send them often. Also make sure that Vindale Research is added to your contact list so that the e-mails don’t go to your spam folder.
• Photos: Take a picture of yourself holding your payment check or a sign stating that they paid you and upload it to their site and they pay $5 for that.
• Print and redeem coupons through the Daily Deals section
• Refer others to join Vindale Research. At the time of this blog post, you can earn up to $5 per referral.
There are a few things which I don’t particularly care for with Vindale Research. One, being that they sometimes do not pay according to their own schedule. Two, the panelist support is not very good. Sometimes their support is not very responsive to questions that you have about late payments, survey crediting, etc. On more than one occasion I didn’t receive the proper credit for some surveys that I completed from start to finish. So, I e-mailed their support. The response that I received was not helpful at all. It appeared to be ambiguous, automated or script-like, with no solid explanation as to why I had not been paid.
The panel support basically tells you that if the third-party administrator of the survey doesn’t accept the panelist’s survey results, then the panelist won’t be paid. This tells me that Vindale Research is probably not a market research company in the traditional sense, but rather a third-party between the panelist and legitimate market research companies. They also help other companies to generate leads.
They list offers or product evaluations as “market research surveys”, which I find to be somewhat misleading. The way that some of these trial offers and product evaluations work is that a member can participate in the evaluation or trial offer through links advertised on the website. After a certain amount of time has lapsed (trial offer period), the member is reimbursed for upfront payments. Some members complain that they aren’t reimbursed after signing up for trial offers or completing product evaluations.
They have had numerous complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Then again, this in and of itself doesn’t make them a scam. Vindale Research is owned by a company called Say For Example, Inc. which was established in 2005.
It is hard for anyone not intimately involved to know what has happened in each particular case filed with the BBB. In fairness to Vindale Research, they state in their terms of service that they will not pay for fraudulent transactions or situations where the member does not complete actions (for example, cancels an offer before a specified amount of time).
The payout minimum is really high at $50. I am a member of some market research companies that have payout minimums as low as $10. There are only two pay periods per month. They pay in batches of $50. So, if you accumulate $55 in your account, you can redeem up to $50 and $5 will remain in your account. They pay members through PayPal or check. According to their FAQ’s it’s supposed to take a few business days after redeeming to receive payments, but that hasn’t been my experience.
The studies through third-party market research companies pay is usually very low and in fixed amounts.
Signing up for offers and doing product evaluations on Vindale Research. Here’s my take:
1. I am not a huge fan spending money in order to earn money on these types of sites. There are other websites like Swagbucks, CashCrate and SendEarnings that will pay their members to sign-up for free offers. Most of these offers don’t require members to provide personal information beyond name, physical address and/or valid e-mail addresses. Understand that the companies that make offers or trials on these types of websites are marketing their products or services. The main goal is to get more customers or prospective customers. I don’t see anything wrong with this. However, be vary wary and cautious of any marketer or offer requesting banking information, credit card numbers, date-of-birth or social security numbers.
2. In the remote chance, that I were to sign up for a trial offer or product evaluations that required upfront pay:
a) I’d make sure that I were signing up for any offer or service that is useful and truly interests me.
b) I’d make damned sure that I were signing up for an offer with a reputable company and that I understood all of the terms that go along with that offer. Do your due diligence with scam review and government websites and read consumer product and service reviews prior to making any purchases. You can find out more about the terms by reading up on it at their third-party website. This will reduce the chances of providing personal information to a spammer or scammer.
My overall conclusion is that they aren’t a scam but not really a great place to make money on the internet. Don’t expect to make a living off of this site. Any money earned there is merely pocket change. Join Vindale Research at your own discretion.