Today’s review is of CashCrate, one of the more popular online survey panels, which compensate members for taking surveys and completing various offers. The company has been in business for the last seven years.
Despite that, we still hear a lot about people questioning how legitimate this company is. While scam versus legit debate is what all online survey panels have to be subjected to, I guess the regularity of this concern pops up is because of the popularity of CashCrate in recent times.
I became a member of CC about 6 years ago. On this ground, I think I am qualified enough to see that the company is no scam, after observing the interactions between the company and me over the last 6 years as a member, from the perspective of an active survey participant.
It duly pays out on surveys completed, even though I think its payout is on the lower scale of the industry standard. Typically, a survey completed would fetch you around $1-$5.
We will get to that later, but first, let’s find out about the company behind the site.
The website was established in 2006 in Las Vegas, and today it continues to operate out from there.
The website states that its membership is in excess of 2 million internationally, which is just about fair when you look at the company’s position in the popularity chart drawn up by an independent rating company.
Better Business Bureau’s Rating
My review also took me to the Better Business Bureau to see how the company fares over at this business-rating agency.
It scores an A rating there, while nothing to shout about, but it is not bad overall.
Over at BBB, I couldn’t help but notice that it listed five issues relating to some products/services, which are all marked with closed status. So, there have been issues regarding the offerings of the company, but apparently the company made the effort to tackle and resolve them all.
While this is gratifying, it does not say much about the legitimacy of the business. Still, it is a good indication of a company that treasures its reputation, and thus implies its reliability in the business.
Review of CashCrate’s System
The principal mechanic of the business falls into the realm of almost all research companies.
In a sense, companies and manufacturers need feedback about the offerings, or soon to be offered products, from the public. And market research companies like CC give us, the consumers, a platform to express what we feel or think about them.
In doing so, the site fills the gap between manufacturers/companies and consumers.
But it is crucial to point out that CashCrate is not the direct intermediary between businesses and companies. Rather, it often works in collaboration with other market research firms to help them organize online surveys.
Taking away the market research factor, you can begin to see that CashCrate is like some sort of online loyalty site, not unlike Swagbucks for example.
Over here, it offers multiple moneymaking opportunities, including but not limited to shopping, playing games and of course the ubiquitous survey participants.
CC has a competitive strength that is not enjoyed by most of the competitions, i.e. its long stay in the industry, specifically its seven years existence in the market. This certainly manifests its stability as an ongoing business concern.
Moreover, this factor also excludes the possibility of it being linked to any kind of scam, as no scammers would stay in the business this long in order to con people of money.
The website also has a reputation among netizens because of its innovative ways of presenting compensation to members. Basically, members are free to choose from a number of mediums to claim their earnings, e.g. cash, gift cards, reward points, or even entries to sweepstake like draws.
Membership & Completing Offers
The company has designed the whole user experience with simplicity in mind.
This has made my job to illustrate the whole process easy, from the point of registration, right through to participation and redemption.
Before you can take part in any activity, you need to sign up with the website first.
Currently, there is a promotion going on where the site would reward new members with a one-dollar sign-up bonus. So, if you have yet to become a member, now may be a good time.
While you are doing the registration, the system would need to extract some information about yourself, your income, your family members, and some additional details. The logic behind this process is to help the website establish your profile, so as to allow them to make better matches between surveys and members.
There is no getting away from this process as you will encounter such questions regardless of which survey panel you go to, be it on Isay by Ipsos, InboxDollars, or any other site.
After you are satisfied with all your responses to the questions presented, you are ready to hit on the “Join Now” link. What happens next is that you will be sent an e-mail for a confirmation.
Once you get that part out of the way, you can now begin to take on surveys.
Go on to the site with your newly created user ID and password. Once you get through, you will get to see all the jobs on offer to you.
I want to take this opportunity to put things in perspective.
There is no chance to turn into a millionaire by simply taking on these surveys. But the offers here come with decent payout in exchange a few minutes of your time, so it is still a worthwhile endeavor in the meantime.
Where cashout is concerned, you need to chalk up at least $20.00 in your account. You can then put in your cash out request.
Note that all requests will be processed and a check will only be made available by the 20th of the following month. That is to say, you hand in your request of $200 cashout in June, and that corresponding check is only ready by mid-July.
To keep the site interesting and appealing, the company came out with the idea of “CashCrate Payment Wall“.
This is the section where members can upload images of checks received. At the point of writing (June 4 – 2014), the company claims that a total payout of $3,910,841.32 has been made to date, since 2006.
The PayPal Payment Issue
To those who question why PayPal is not included as an option above. I like to point your attention to a statement made on its blog on June 26, 2012.
It said that PayPal would now become an option, but this is only applicable for Silver+ members, with precondition these members have at least cashed one check.
To qualify Silver Status, there are two options:
- Introduce 50 Active Members through their referral program.
- Accumulate an earning of at least $500 through offers, surveys, watching videos, performing paid searches with the CashCrate Toolbar, Cash Back from Shopping Purchases, Checking In, Contest Winnings, etc.
CashCrate Tips for Making More Money
I would not advocate cheating your way through, but smart users have found some short cuts to earn rewards in a more efficient manner, I would like to share these with you:
Stay Focus: Multi-tasking is an over rated virtue. You may be impressed with people boasting about doing stuff on the sidelines like YouTube, Twitter or even music as they tackle their surveys, but these would distract you on the tasks (the one that really pays you) at hand.
The simple deduction is that the more focus you are, the better chance you will make more dollars with every hour spent.
Always cancel the trials at the end of the trial period: My first advice is that you do your shopping and free trial offers only if you are already thinking of checking a certain product out nevertheless.
If this advice is not well heeded (the lure to make some money is always real), my next advice is to cancel the use of the product/service before the expiry period ends, or be prepared to have a charge made to your credit card.
Go for better-paying surveys whenever possible: You can choose to take on whatever survey that comes your way, whenever time allows, but that means you have no control over how you can maximize your earning. Instead, be selective and choose surveys with a more handsome payout.
The choice should be obvious; you can take the survey that pays pathetically or one that comes with more generous payout, given that time to commit is about the same.
So, apply discrimination diligently, we all owe it to ourselves to make sure that we could achieve maximum compensation with the same unit of labor (or time) input.
Only hard work pays: We reviewers, and also the research companies, are often guilty of paining a picture that suggests survey participation would offer the opportunity for easy money.
There is nothing easy about it! You need to commit time and labor to attend to every survey, and the payout amount goes in direct proportion to these hours/work you are ready to commit.
Your day job would continue as your day job: Be realistic, the amount you can earn from any survey panel would not qualify itself as a primary income source.
No running away from offers: To be honest, there is this aspect of CashCrate that I am not too particularly fond of, i.e. they sending out multiple offers to your email. But I have to accept that this is just their business practice (where users can’t opt-out).
So, short of canceling your account with CC, the next best option I can think of is to group all your interactions with CC into another email account. So, even if you can’t stop them flooding your inbox with useless offers, you can do a mass clean up on that designated account, and also to avoid these disturbing offers get in the way of your handling primary email account.
If you are still troubled by these offers, you can try your luck on the ‘Contact Us’ page.
Refer friends: CashCrate’s referral program seems to be more gratifying that the other systems out there, in terms of rewards.
You would want to take advantage of that fact as you contemplate which friend and/or family members to send to which survey panels.
Should You Sign Up?
All in all, if you are counting on a survey panel to derive some decent income, then CashCrate may not be the best option. There are plenty of paid panels that pay significantly more.
But if you are always thrilled with the multitude of earning options, CashCrate certainly fulfills your fancy.
As a final confirmation, I would like to reiterate this is a completely legit site while acknowledging there are some downsides to its practice (though never breach my tolerance threshold).