Recently, I noticed a growing interest among survey takers about the rumors of Panda research scam, and many people want to know if they can trust this site. And rightly so, there has been lots of complaints against it recently.
The idea behind this Panda Research review is to get a realistic view of what this site is about. As usual, I will not leave a stone unturned in trying to find out whether this site is a legit survey panel or a hoax.
A & A Marketing, Inc is the company behind Panda Research. This Buffalo Grove, IL. based company also owns and operates InboxPays.com and MindsPay.com, 2 of the lesser known survey sites.
The site has been online since 2005.
The first place I got started was the Better Business Bureau. Interestingly they never profile the site, let alone a rating.
I soon found out that its profile is incorporated into the parent company. Again I checked for A & A Marketing and discovered that the company is not a BBB accredited business. Rating wise, the company scored a modest A-, with the best being A+, the worst F.
While looking at the site, I noticed something funny (that shows how unprofessional these guys are). If you look at their copyright text in the footer section, it shows 2005-2009. This is 2013 Panda, get a grip! I know, this alone doesn’t suggest the site is a scam, but usually legit sites pay close attention to details and their over all image. Furthermore, legit companies have a dedicated team web developers that constantly update the site.
EarningStation is a new rewards program that pays you for doing things you already do online. You can cash out after every $10 you make.
The site also claims it has paid $1,958,221 to members till date, but as it’s the case with such claims, I couldn’t find any evidence. And to be honest, from reading so many reviews left by past and current members who complain about not getting paid, I doubt this number is even remotely accurate.
I have tried to find more information since then. But to my frustration, there seems to be very little said about this site.
Is This Site a Scam?
At the state, Panda Research projects itself is just like another online survey panel, and it claims that participants can derive extra income through its surveys.
But before I let on what I personally think about this survey site, let’s have this thing clear: Panda Research is not your ordinary paid survey site like Survey Spot or I-say; rather it should be classified as an “offer site” or what is also known as a “GPT” OR “Get Paid To” site. I will further elaborate on this…
The company pays participants for their willingness to sign up for various offers (satellite TV, free trial offers, etc…). But the funny thing is that the site proudly proclaims itself being a paid survey site when it actually is not.
You may say how so?…
Well, there is no argument about participants actually did get paid, but the bulk of the income can come from anything other than completing online surveys.
Granted, this is just my personal take on this particular site. But I say this with some serious authority — the fact that I have been an active member on Panda Research for years.
I hold no grudges against them and I am happy to receive prompt and fair payment as I invested time and effort on the offers.
The idea is that anybody should exercise their own discretion in deciding to join a particular site or not: the thing that I want to impress on you is how the site operates, and how it is different from typical survey sites which I have reviewed quite a fair bit here at Survey Satrap.
It does not cost any money for anybody to sign up, and the site would not demand any fee for its members to access any survey. But the product trials operate differently as I have mentioned earlier.
So if completing surveys are all you bother to do, then there is no worry about credit card information or free trials (as free trials tend to have their downsides). Just go ahead and become a member, and get yourself busy filling out survey forms as they emerge.
But I have to say that chances are you will not get as many high-paying surveys from this company (there are many survey sites that offer good money surveys at much more regular frequency).
The going rate for each completed offer can go up to $75, so that makes Panda Research one of the most generous players in the big survey panels market.
Of course, this money is good but it is also just as rare. Personally, I did not have too many to count on, which is frustrating considering the fact that I have been a member since 2008.
Regardless, the company is actually a good pay master for mid range offers as well. The rewards are comparatively better than the average market rate.
Sometimes, it could also outdo top-tier the survey sites in term of lucrative pavement. But always remember that when such better paying offers come around, there would be expectation that participants will have to put in a small fee as condition to the trials or the company will require your credit card info (this will always pose a risk as participants will get charged inadvertently if they forgot to cancel the trial).
I don’t find this a problem at all, and I kind of like it for the money on offer. I have always been the organized type and I monitor all trials diligently as soon as I sign up.
There is no chance for things to get out of hand where I get slapped with a $49.50 fee every month accidentally. The $49.50 is just an arbitrary number of course, but that is the risk on your credit card if you don’t cancel the trial offers before they expire.
The moment you accumulate up to $50, the system will activate the “Get Paid” button, which appears on the Account Status tab. If you click on it, the support team will get in touch for account verification purposes. This is just part of their processes to help put a lid on fraudulent activities.
If the system does not find fault with your account, your request will be taken up for further processing and the cash out would be credited to your PayPal account, which happens on the 1st or 15th of every month.
Do take note that if the phone verification takes place, there will be a mandatory 30 days wait period before your payment request is processed.
For me, I like the fact that Panda Research pays through PayPal rather than the usual check. I find the PayPal registration to be extremely easy and there are friendly features to guide you through assuming you do run into a problem.
For those who are still worried about the security element of PayPal, put your fears aside! I have been on PayPal for many years and I’m very happy to see that all my financial transactions are all above board.
Of course, it also helps that this is a free service (in most cases) and you can actually request a debit card from them free of charge. Best of all, transfer between PayPal and your bank is also free.
Panda Research Company Reviews
There has been a mixed bag of reactions about this online survey panel.
- On one end, members are fairly convinced that the site actually has many well-paying offers available.
- But there are also people don’t quite like the idea that this particular site seems to focus too much on such offers, obviously at the expense of real paid surveys.
- Hard-core survey panelists must certainly feel annoyed with the status quo. I never find a problem with this practice so long there is a decent amount of money to be made from these offers.
- I read one account of a member saying he had made over $190 in his few years as a member, but his “Get Paid” button was never even activated.There are many complaints against the site on offers not being credited properly. And it seems like contacting the customer service only gets them a generic “we will look into it” response with no real solution.
- I am less receptive to the fact that the site actually sets $50 as the payout threshold, which is higher than the overall market rate. They will not approve all your funds at one go even there are sufficient evidences that you had made several hundreds from your work. They insist on approving a portion of that amount at one time.
- The other thing that hurts their reputation is that there are increasingly more people complaining about they never got paid from Panda. This is even after chalking up the prerequisite $50.
At the end of the day, I think the site is using a very deceptive tactic by claiming its a real survey panel, when it clearly is not.
As you can see from this review, this is not really the site to go to if your intention is to look for making some decent money through “real” online surveys. Instead you should look for surveys backed by real marketing research companies, as there are bound to be more survey invitations.
But if you are adventurous and don’t mind the exact nature how you derive your income, then Joining Panda Research could be the right move for you. But be warn, while it’s not a scam in its true sense, it’s not a real survey panel either!
If you have to only sign up for one paid survey site to make money with, I recommend Ipsos-iSay. Ipsos is the most fun and well-paying panel. Give it a try to see how you like it. It is free anyway!