Survey Downline Review: Legit or a Clever Multi-Level Marketing Scam?

Today I will be doing a review of a site called Survey Downline. There are lots of skepticism about this panel. Some people think it is a legit and trustworthy site, yet others think its nothing more than a multi-level marketing scam, cleverly disguised as a legit paid survey panel.

Let’s find out what this site really is all about.

Some Background

SurveyDownline is owned and run by Precision Sample, LLC. It was founded in 2009, with the stated mission to connect companies and organizations with their current and prospective customers in order to improve their products, services and offerings. The objective is to help their customers achieve this quickly, easily, and cheaply.

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The company takes on an innovative approach to its activities. They consist of market research and classic multilevel marketing concepts. Through this approach, members are presented with two possible ways to make money.

The first model pays members in the range from $.10 to $20 for their efforts to complete individual surveys. Members are invited to participate in upcoming surveys through e-mail.

As in any decent market research company, this paid survey site also assesses every applicant based on their qualifying merits, as well as the order of these applications falling in.

The second model is based on multilevel marketing business format. Members are able to bring friends and family members into SD as new recruits. When they start to get active with the survey work, a new earning structure would emerge.

You will make 35% on surveys completed by you, 10% on surveys by friends you recruited, and a further 5% on surveys by friends of your friends.

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!

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Precision-Sample-LLCMy review of Survey Downline

Memberships are restricted to only residents from the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. The registration is free.

More than just the usual market research and public opinion surveys, there is also a product evaluation program. This typically requires additional registration for a product or service. Sometimes an initial purchase is necessary.

I like their upfront approach to this product evaluation survey. The site makes it entirely clear that it is a pure “Evaluation” exercise, and if you look into their FAQ page, you will find a description that says “please disregard these surveys if they are not of interest”.

This places the company at a higher moral ground as there has never been any attempt to mislead members. You just can’t say the same thing about some other survey panels, like Panda Research, that consistently positioned themselves as sites that do nothing more than real paid surveys.

Registration is easy. Just go to and fill in some basic personal information on the registration form (located at the top right corner of the home page).

You will need to have a valid e-mail account as well. Once your account is established, you will be required to furnish the personal profile survey.

Make efforts to be as diligent as possible when filling up this member profile, to ensure that you get more and suitably qualified survey invitations coming your way.

The average number of invitations one can get every week is about 4-5 cents surveys. Every month, you can also expect one invitation on focus group as well. The surveys pay $1-$20 and for the focus groups, the compensation averages around $100.

I was once ever invited to a focus group that offered $150 (the highest reward so far). Unfortunately, I was not able to take advantage of this fantastic offer from Survey Downline due to qualification mismatch.

There is a good reason why focus group pays more, as it just calls for a little bit more of your time and effort if you compare this to average surveys.

While SD expects more interactive participation for such focus groups, it does not mean that focus group is tricky or tough. That said, I have not yet qualified for any focus group up to this point of writing.

Survey Downline ReviewReward System

Rewards here are hard cash based in US Dollar denomination. If you have been a regular reader of my reviews, you would have found out that I am a money man, over and above everything else. I have long argued that cash should be central to every reward system across every survey panels.

The minimum cash out is $20, but if you opt for other payment options, this threshold is set to a lower limit.

I accumulated $20 in the first two months after my enrollment at Survey Downline. It said that it needed about four to six weeks to verify the surveys and for the reward is to be credited into my account.

Once the rewards were in, I duly requested for my cash out. I had to wait another 2 weeks for these to be credited into my PayPal account, can’t help it as the panel allocates just 2 days a month for the purpose of processing payments – at 1st and the 16th. This survey panel does not issue check payments.

If I have chosen Magazine Subscriptions or Facebook credits, either of these could have happened instantly via email.

Rewards available by country:


  • Magazine Subscriptions – $10 minimum redemption.
  • 150 Facebook Credits – $15 minimum redemption.
  • PayPal Cash Payment – $20 minimum redemption.

Canada, UK & Australia:

  • 150 Facebook Credits – $15 minimum redemption.
  • PayPal Cash Payment – $20 minimum redemption.

Is Survey Downline safe?

I really think Survey Downline is pretty decent, but it is never going to be my favorite survey panel as there seems to be too little paid survey invitation to my liking. To compensate, smart members resort to the referral program and try to milk as much of it as possible.

One other way is to get involved in their “product evaluation” surveys. The caveat is that you must have at least some intention to buy this stuff. So at least you get some saving from your shopping. But this is not the exact idea I have to make some decent money; naturally I wouldn’t recommend this approach. My thinking is that instead of earning, you effectively are spending money on stuff here, which defeats the original objective.

Bottom-line is, if you are into real market research surveys, then Survey Downline may not be for you. As safe and as legitimate as SD is, it does not offer enough of that good old fashion way to make adequate money.

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