Vindale Research sits among the oldest paid survey websites on the web. With this review of the site, I’m going to join the site myself and find out if there is any sort of Vindale Research scam in the works. If you are looking for a paid online survey site, you should definitely consider adding this one to your probable list.
Overall, the site does carry many surveys that pay decently apart from hosting a wide range of surveys that beat other sites like Swagbucks and MySurvey’s offerings. However, the site is not without its shortcomings.
I felt a thorough investigation of Vindale was necessary since most reviews of this survey panel on the web emitted mixed signals. Some were very good while some others were equally bad.
So, like I do with my other reviews of paid survey sites, I wanted to see the company’s history and some background on it before I join the site and take a closer look.
Vindale is owned by a company named SayForExample, Inc. out of New York. The same company also own two other similar sites 20In20.com and Survey4Profit.com.
I started by looking at the company’s profile on BBB, but unfortunately I couldn’t find much beside the fact that it’s not a BBB accredited business, which is no sign of a company being a scam. There are lots of legit companies that haven’t joined the Better Business Bureau. The page also mentions that SayForExample is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) Entity and has Nathanael Ehrich as its current President.
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.
Once that was taken care of, I signed-up to get a first-hand experience before doing a Vindale Research review.
I’ll admit something straight-off, reading through the site’s policies, terms and stuff like that was a boring affair. However, it was also quite informative. I found that VR is free to sign-up and doesn’t ask for even a single penny from its members. Usually, this feature alone of a survey site is enough for me to sign-up with it.
That said, I must also add that this is one company that doesn’t take the beaten path when it comes to online surveys and market research. Their advertised rate of payouts is a staggering $5-$75.
Now this is much higher than what the competition like InboxDollars or Global Test Market has to offer. The site also states that members will need to evaluate products/services for them.
Is there a Catch?
The catch, if it can be called that, lies in the “evaluation surveys” (more about that later). Here the company signs-up members for a number of product trials and then later on passes a part of its own commissions to these members. This is followed by the dispatching of some stock surveys, which gives off the impression that you’re giving out useful feedback.
Although this tactic is entirely legal, there’s no denying about its deceptiveness as it doesn’t conform to accepted market research methods. Similarly, the payouts advertised by the company are also smartly inflated.
For instance, as a member you might be offered a 10-day trial run at an internet dating site. Say you are charged $30 by the dating site for the given trial period and at the end of it, Vindale Research remunerates you $45. Now although you end up being paid only $15, the company says it paid you $45.
That said, the most important thing you require to be successful at these paid trial offers is discipline and organization. Usually, whenever such offers come around, they allot you a specific amount of time to try a particular product or service offered by a company.
Also, you are not charged anything for a product during the said trial period although you might need to pay shipping charges if the product needs to be shipped to you.
That’s why you must keep a tab on when your trial period concludes because if you don’t return the product/cancel the account by then, it’s likely that you’ll be charged the full amount for that product. Many people in this way end up losing money as they fail to take cognizance of this fact.
The thing that I like the most about this method of earning is that whenever I need to purchase something new, I see whether that particular product or service is listed on Vindale’s offers dashboard.
If it’s present, I simply choose their channels for shopping. Apart from getting the product of my choice, I also end up saving some bucks in this manner. And the best part is I can even cancel a product or service if I don’t find it to my liking.
Earning Money with Vindale’s Surveys
As is the case with any online paid survey site, your earning potential with here depends a lot on the type of surveys you participate in.
Simply put, surveys that need a higher commitment of time from members or certain areas of expertise (like medical surveys) tend to pay higher than surveys that are short and can be taken by anyone.
Vindale’s surveys can be classified as below:
- Evaluations – $5 – $75
Basically a products/services trial offer, evaluations need you to give your honest opinions after the trial period expires. Apart from compensating you for the product’s/service’s cost, you are also paid for the time you put in. Generally, surveys like these pay the highest.
- Surveys – $1 – $5
The traditional surveys carried by the site are totally FREE and can be completed without any credit cards. All you need to do is fill-out questionnaires.
- Vindale Videos – Up to $0.25
You can earn money as well as exclusive discounts by watching videos online. These online videos are usually short and although they don’t pay more than 10 cents, they are much more enjoyable and quicker to get over with than your average online surveys!
- Reward Mail – Up to $0.10
Here you are paid money to open as well as interact with advertisements in your email.
- Deals – FREE
You are entitled to receive coupons and exclusive discounts based on your location.
- Referrals – $5
You are paid to refer more people to Vindale with each referral earning you $5.
- Submit a Payment Photo – $5
You can earn $5 by sending in your photo with your payment.
- Cash Contests – Up to $15
The site tends to carry cash contests every day of the week. Make sure to check those out.
Another noteworthy point about Vindale is that the company prefers to pay its members in cash rather than use some rewards points system.
This is in stark contrast to the rest of the online survey industry as most such sites have taken to paying via reward points. And while the rewards points system is good enough and simple, not everyone tends to like them.
For instance, I usually prefer to have my rewards points exchanged for either a direct check payment or a transfer to my PayPal account.
The other thing I absolutely hate doing is converting reward points into dollars like I would need to do in another country! Thankfully, Vindale doesn’t give any cause for concern here as it tells you exactly the amount of money you are going to earn, i.e. in simple dollar and cents terms!
Vindale Reviews from Other Around the Web
My direct experience with Vindale was enough to make me trust the site’s legitimacy and its worthiness as a good addition to the survey portfolio of all people.
However, before the site received Survey Satrap’s own nod of approval, I decided to search around for other people’s views and thoughts about the company.
I ended up reading both good as well as bad views about the website. As for the good part, the site seems to have a lot of fans for its “daily studies” that are not only blazingly fast but also pay well ($1.50). And importantly, as can be gauged by the name, these earning opportunities are available every day without fail.
However, what really made people unhappy was that Vindale required people to earn $50 before allowing them to redeem their rewards (this is comparatively higher than other sites).
Others didn’t like that the company pitched them with certain offers like the credit score, which requires a credit card but the member is free to decide whether to join in or not.
Another major area that attracted a lot of confusion and complaints was Vindale’s terms of agreement and cancellation policies. Members cried foul that overlooking even minor clauses harmed them as they had to pay for an expensive monthly service they didn’t want in the first place.
So before you sign-up for any product/service trial run, make sure to find out about the trial run’s tenure and other conditions.
Below is a summary of what people thought of Vindale Research:
- It is among the few sites that pays cash.
- It offers payment via PayPal, which means anyone residing in the United States, UK, or anywhere else can use it.
- It offers payment for friend referrals.
- It carries a referral link that can be posted anywhere by you instead of filling-up an email ID.
- It’s a very well laid out site.
- It features an unusual earning opportunity whereby members can earn money just for opening emails and clicking on pictures within it.
- It carries links to various paid online survey sites.
- The site also hosts a daily consumer study that can be completed by you any number of times with payment coming every time you complete it.
- It owns a blog apart from Twitter and Facebook pages that routinely carry information about different offers, surveys and free samples.
- A personal inbox that you can use for emails also exists on this site.
- The site’s account view gives an extremely detailed view about all your payments (both done and pending ones).
- The site often sends emails talking about survey invitations but actually contain referral links to other survey companies.
- All the coupons offered can be used in the US only.
- The site’s cash out limit is insanely high at $50.
- The so-called tutorial is in reality a referral that directs you towards joining the Love Film website.
Scam or a Safe Site Worth Joining?
To be honest, beside their misleading trial offers being labeled as true market research studies, I didn’t find anything that would make me believe it’s a scam.
Yes, its certainly misleading and dishonest the way they advertiser themselves as a true survey site, but I am here to separate scams from paying sites, and as long as a website does pay its members on time and every time, it’s on my good list.
So, based on my observation and reading other reviews of the site, I do think you should sign up for Vindale Research (which is free by the way) if you like high paying surveys and trial offers.
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!