Throughout this Zoompanel review I’ll teach you the secrets to using this rapidly expanding survey site and provide for you a summary recommendation to help you decide whether or not joining is the right move for you.
About The Company
Zoom Panel is an online survey panel community operated by SurveyMonkey which is an online surveys service provider for many big and small brands such as McDonalds, General Mills, KFC, Procter and Gamble and Microsoft.
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As it happens, Zoompanel is quite similar to many of the other online survey panels such as iSay, Swagbucks, and Toluna.
If you’re unfamiliar with how survey sites work they essentially function as intermediaries for consumers with opinions about products and firms who need those opinions to help them better appeal to their target markets. To compensate consumers for their time and opinions these sites will offer cash or other rewards.
While some panels are more unique, Zoompanel isn’t all that different from other sites providing the same service. It conducts a wide variety of market research studies including online surveys, product testing, mobile surveys, virtual shopping, and virtual magazine reviews.
The site was originally owned and operated by MarketTools, Inc. But in December of 2011 ZoomPanel was bought by SurveyMonkey, an online surveys service provider for many big and small brands such as McDonalds, General Mills, KFC, Procter and Gamble and Microsoft.
In order to expand their services, the company acquired ZP along with Zoomerang (an online survey application), and TrueSample (a data quality assurance technology) from their parent company MarketTools, Inc.
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As for the site’s profile on the BBB, SurveyMonkey which has been a BBB Accredited Business since 12/01/2004 has an A+ rating. They have a total of 29 complaints in the last 3 years, all of which are now closed, showing the company’s commitment to their customers and panelists.
So, as for its legitimacy, ZoomPanel has everything going for it. Just the mere fact of its parent company being SurveyMonkey is enough for me to say with complete certainty that this is a legit and reputable marketing research firm.
What I found after joining
Membership is obviously free and there are no fees involved. Initially, upon navigating to their site I found myself confronted with a large form for the purpose of signing up.
As that was my intention that’s exactly what I did and I proceeded to fill out the requested information all of which was of a general nature; name, address, password, and the like.
I couldn’t help but be pleased by the fact that I was awarded with 50 reward points immediately for signing up and confirming my email. It reminded me of offers from similar survey panels.
In a few moments I was sent a confirmation email, followed the included link and was ready to go.
I was immediately invited to do a survey upon signing up which earned me 25 points. I ended up with 3 to 5 (sometimes up to 10 -15) invitations every other day or so in the days that followed. Based on reports from other members this is generally the case.
The site’s information made mention of unique types of surveys that are available through them including product package testing and virtual shopping opportunities.
These additional options came as a welcome respite from the typical checkbox surveys most members have seen too much of already.
Included among these offers are also product testing opportunities also known as User Surveys, which are my favorite types of surveys. I actually did receive an invitation to a product testing survey testing a new shampoo. I had to use it for 2 weeks, then I had to fill out a survey (you can do it either online or you can fill out the questioner – sent along with the sample products and mail it back to them).
It was an interesting experience to say the least. I was pretty excited that I was one of the few people who even knew about this product, plus I got $75 for my participation and a bottle of (very good smelling I might add) shampoo.
Zoompoints and Rewards
As is the case with many survey panels, Zoompanel rewards its members with its own version of rewards points known as Zoompoints rather than cash. Of course I always prefer that a site offers cash which can be redeemed and spent on whatever I’d like.
According to their site’s information a member can expect each survey to net them anywhere from 25 to 150 points, with those taking more time to complete being worth more and vice versa.
You can also earn 100 points for each friend referred.
The also offer prizes through their monthly Sweepstakes with the grand Prizes worth $500 and (5) First Prizes worth $100 and (10) Second Prizes worth $50.
There are 2 ways to enter their sweepstakes:
- You can either enter when you are invited to take a survey.
- You can send in a 3″ x 5″ card with your complete name and address to the company’s official address.
Despite my misgivings I found that their rewards selection actually included items that I wanted, which is to say it was rather broad in what it offered.
It should be mentioned that you’ll be required to have at least 1,000 Zoompoints before you’ll be able to get any of the rewards from their store and I’d personally recommend saving up your points to at least 5,000 as the prizes you can get with this many are the ones that are actually worth getting.
One nice gesture on the part of Zoompanel is that they actually pay the shipping costs on most of their rewards items for you.
Alternatively if you’d rather see your points help someone besides yourself, there’s always the option to donate some or all of them to an available charity.
I unfortunately have to give this site a grade no better than a C+. Though the amount of survey invitations received is higher than the average on most survey sites, I find myself disappointed with the level of compensation offered for completing each survey.
These opinions are ones shared with many who have tried the panel themselves. Here is quick run down of what other members have to say about the site:
- Lots of survey invitations. Anywhere from 3 to 15 surveys a week! That means points can add up quickly making it easier and faster for you to get paid.
- They offer product testing once in a while. Product testing is great since you get to try new products for free while at the same time you get paid for reporting back your experience.
- You have the chance to test new and exciting products if chosen for product testing studies.
- Many members report being disqualified from a survey after having gone half way through the survey. While you may receive 5 or so points as a consolation it’s still time wasted that could be spent more profitably on other survey panels.
- Some ISP’s and email programs do block their surveys. To avoid the issue you must add [email protected] to your address book or accepted mailing white list.
- They don’t pay cash.
- Hard to browse their redemption catalog since it loads a small number of prizes at a time. Considering that there are thousands of prizes to choose from, it would be nice if they would introduce some feature to make it easier to browse and find the prize you really want.
- The rewards offered for surveys are not much compared to what other survey panels such as iSay offer.
- Your account will be deleted and points lost after only 3 months of inactivity. That is something very frustrating for me and for most people as I do not understand the reasoning behind it.
As you can tell from this review, Zoompanel has a lot going for it. However, despite having made $75 for the product testing study and despite the few positive things the site has going for itself, I have to say that you’d be better served with a survey panel that offered cash and more of it for your time.
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