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January 28, 2009 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Is BigSpot (as seen on TV) a major scam, a minor scam, or a good way for a bored person to make a few pennies skewing demographic research. Or other? Are there any reputable or recommendable companies of this nature? I don't want to make a living, I just want to choose your mayonnaise.
posted by Area Control to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have taken surveys and gotten paid ($5/survey) from Pinecone Research and earned points from Harris Poll, that offered pretty decent rewards. I cashed my points in for a couple of DVDs. I just logged into my Harris Poll rewards account, dormant for 2 years, and it looks like my accrued points (enough for another DVD or two) expired and were taken away after a year of inactivity.

Don't ever pay anyone even a dime and don't give out any info other than your name and address, and maybe, maybe your phone number. Pinecone would mail me a check about a week after each survey for 5 bucks, my friend got a lot of free products to sample from them (unreleased soda flavors, cleaning products, etc) along a bonus of 10 dollars or so per product and the original 5 bucks, but I could never manage to give answers that landed me in the product testing group. When I started with Pinecone you had to find one of their ads online and click it, then start the sign up process, there was no way to just sign up from their site, which I thought was sketchy, but the never got more than my name and PO box, and always sent a check. Harris was much more straight forward, just went to the site and started.

I can't vouch for either company now as it's been years since I took a survey for either.
posted by Science! at 3:53 PM on January 28, 2009


Oh, and some surveys would take five minutes if you weren't the target they were after (but you'd still get points/paid) and some would stretch for an hour or more for the same reward or a little extra.
posted by Science! at 3:55 PM on January 28, 2009


Seconding Harris Poll. They're also now offering gift cards in fairly significant denominations ($15 to BN, amazon, etc. for the equivalent of completing maybe 10 surveys).

The nice thing about it is I can do the surveys when I'd just be messing around on the internet anyway.
posted by charmcityblues at 4:11 PM on January 28, 2009


I'm a member of Pinecone, so I can speak for that site. It is true that you can only join by knowing where to look for a specific banner ad and clicking on it. It seems sketchy, but it's apparently legit. There are some websites that track these things and they alert others to when the banner ads show up. I don't know the websites, though - my friend told me when and where to sign up. This may have changed recently - I think they are now affiliated with Nielsen.

Pinecone no longer pays five dollars - they are down to three. The surveys are getting longer and longer. Apparently they want to get their money's worth out of me! The last one I completed took 45 minutes to finish.
posted by bristolcat at 4:49 PM on January 28, 2009


If you're in a big city, Craigslist has quite a few in-person focus group listings in "volunteers", "gigs" and "etc". If you fit the demographic profile they're looking for, it couldn't be easier! It pays a lot better than online studies, too. My most recent gig netted $125 for a two-hour panel on how I get my news online. Worth a look!
posted by aquafortis at 4:55 PM on January 28, 2009


Yup, HarrisPoll is still just as good as ever. Been with it for ~3 years now. Cool thing is, if you don't fit the demographics they're looking for, I'm pretty sure you still get credit fot trying to take the survey.
posted by Night_owl at 11:42 PM on January 28, 2009


If you want to join Pinecone without searching for the banner ad, got to this site.
It explains all.
posted by Drasher at 7:10 AM on January 29, 2009


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