Time has a funny way of meaning many things to many people, and for those people, no 5 minutes are ever alike. I suppose it could all boil down to perceptions or expectations, but who enters a 2-minute window in an everyday life thinking “Right, the next 5 minutes are going to go this way, and have that outcome”?
If you’re reading up on reviews about survey sites, chances are you’re not the CEO on the cover of Forbes magazine this month, and that’s all right, too. If we were all CEO’s, none of us would have the time to be rocket scientists.
I guess there are very few average people out there who know the value of a 5-minute window, unless your life or career depends on it. Parents, and especially single parents, know the value of a 5-minute window in emergencies. If you’ve lost a loved one (who hasn’t by now?), then you’ll also know the value of those last 5 minutes you had.
What if you were given 5 minutes to change your life? Could you do it? How would you do it?
Well, taking surveys are not going to be the 5-minute change we all dream of, but your first 5 minutes spent on trying to change your life could make a lasting difference in 5 months or 5 years. And much like changing your life, surveys need to be actioned if they are going to make a difference.
Do you remember our InboxDollars review [insert hyperlink]? You may recall from that review that I said that surveys are like winning the lotto — you’ve got to be in it to win it. But, don’t be blinded by all the over-the-top rah-rahs you may see or read about survey sites and rewards or income. Making meaningful money or earning decent rewards or Amazon gift cards or codes takes hard, dedicated work. Surveys are not passive income. They take time and commitment to complete.
So, if you have some time, grab a coffee and spend 5 minutes with me going over Survey Club, its benefits, pros and cons, and possible rewards. You may find out that this could be the best 5 minutes you’ve invested in this whole week.
What is Survey Club?
Survey Club is a legitimate company that was formed in 2005 and are based in Denver, Colorado, in the United States. Claiming 16 million worldwide members across 6 continents, Survey Club is regarded as one of the longest-running survey sites, with a consistent and reliable service offered to its members.
Survey Club connects companies to consumers who already use those brands, for the purposes of gaining their opinion or feedback about products or services. The market research gained from this insight helps brands make relevant and precise marketing decisions, which in turn impacts sales and bottom line spend.
It needs to be said that market research in itself is not an exact science, which is why so many opinions are needed. The research garnered also does not guarantee a product or service will successfully sell, but the data and statistics gathered from customer feedback certainly reduce the questions about design elements, usability, spend trends and that “wow” factor that customer service is always looking for.
Survey Club combines the best surveys, market research, clinical trials, and available studies out there, to give you access to multiple ways to earn points, which you can then redeem for Amazon gift cards or codes. And looking at it from a wider angle, Survey Club is simply the middleman that connects you to the people paying for your opinion.
How do you use Survey Club?
Other reviewers will tell you that making money from a survey site is a fun and easy way to make money, and perhaps it is. Or they’ll say that online surveys are a popular way to generate a passive income. Again, don’t be fooled by the industry jargon doing the rounds.
For me, surveys are time-consuming and require focus and attention to complete. Sure, you can click-click-click your way through, but if you’re there and completing a survey, you may as well complete it properly. It takes just as much effort, no matter how you complete it, so why not contribute responsibly to the data out there?
Also, remember that not everyone qualifies for every survey, so if you’re lucky enough to be notified of one that you could qualify for, the better your reputation when completing it, and the more relevant your answers, the more likely you are to be invited to do another. More surveys mean more rewards, which is why you’ve signed up, right?
Some tips from the sign-up process
Signing up was relatively easy, requiring only a few details about my household expenditure and family members, my name and email address. Once registration is confirmed with the research panels, you can expect to start receiving paid survey invitations in your email. Here are a few things to remember:
- BE HONEST. We are very serious about your honesty at Survey Club. Providing thoughtful and accurate responses is the most important thing you can do to boost your earnings. If we detect you are being dishonest or providing inaccurate information your Survey Club account will be terminated.
- On average, each panel that you register for will send you 1 to 4 emails each week with your paid survey opportunities.
- Research projects are filled on a rolling basis. Take the survey as soon are you are invited to – if you wait a while to complete the survey the project may have already been completed.
- Each survey will have a short pre-screener to make sure you match the criteria for the study. Keep your profiles complete and up-to-date to improve your chances for qualifying for the surveys that are emailed to you.
- When you qualify and complete a survey, your cash reward will be deposited into your account so you can get paid. You will be able to redeem your cash rewards for Amazon Gift Cards.
- You will receive emails for a variety of research projects from online surveys to phone interviews to in-person focus groups in your local area. Each email will clearly outline the type of research study you are being invited to participate in and how much you can earn if you qualify and complete the study.
- From time to time we may contact you via phone with additional paid research opportunities.
- We will only send you legitimate paid research opportunities from companies we trust.
What information does Survey Club collect?
Well, to be fair, Survey Club collected a lot less than either ProductReportCard [insert link to review] or Nielsen’s Computer and Mobile Panel apps [insert link to review] did. And what was even better for me at the time was that the entire sign-up process took less than those 5 minutes I needed to begin with.
As mentioned elsewhere in this Survey Club review, each activity is worth differing values. Different locations also have different surveys or target specific demographics. For example, if I entered information stating that my son is 7 years old, and a fast food company is looking for feedback on what boys aged 10-15 prefer eating at their outlets, I would not qualify for that survey. I may, however, qualify for a survey from a toy manufacturer targeting children aged 12 or younger.
Clinical trials tend to pay a whole lot more, but unless you registered information stating that you’re a Type 1 diabetic, you would not qualify for a clinical trial relying on this kind of information.
Focus groups are always a better and more accurate way to conduct market research, mostly because they offer more reliable information, tend to gather more honest feedback, and target the correct demographic. In some instances, follow-up surveys will also allow the company that requested the focus group sessions to gain even more insight into their product or service.
As a Survey Club member, you may be invited to participate in one or more type of focus group. Here are a few examples of what focus groups are listed:
- Two-way focus group – one focus group watches another focus group and discusses the observed interactions and conclusion
- Dual moderator focus group – one moderator ensures the session progresses smoothly, while another ensures that all the topics are covered
- Client participant focus groups – one or more client representatives participate in the discussion, either covertly or overtly
- Mini focus groups – groups are composed of four or five members rather than 6 to 12
Market research panels are another great way to make money online. As a Survey Club member, you could be invited to join custom, brand- or other criteria-specific panels or national, non-specific panels.
As a middleman, Survey Club gives you access to other survey panels and sites, but be warned: granting access to those panels and sites allows them to also send you mails and invites, whether Survey Club redeems your points or not. It would be best to set up a generic email address that can collect and store all of that anticipated mail so that your mailbox does not become a mess.
How much can you make on Survey Club?
As Survey Club is based in the US, members from the US can expect more survey opportunities than international members, which seems quite logical. It stands to reason that international companies do not expect a US-based firm to have members in its own country, or that there are better locally-based options to choose from. The more panels you join, the likelier your chances of being invited to additional surveys and other market research activities.
And as with any other site, you get out what you put in – relatively speaking. If you don’t put in the effort to complete the surveys honestly and on time, you won’t qualify for many earnings. There aren’t always a huge pool of surveys to pick and choose from, so be sure to get right on them when you see one in your mailbox.
Most surveys are worth $1 or less, depending on the time to completion. Some surveys still offer you 10 cents for trying to complete them, but this is not always the case, and you may end up feeling as if you don’t qualify for just about any survey you try to take. There is an option to refer a friend, and that will earn you $1 per friend – up to a maximum of 5 friends. So, no great earnings there, either.
What rewards does Survey Club offer?
Points are accumulated until you reach the minimum cashout threshold of $25. Different surveys are worth different rewards, as determined by the companies paying for your opinion.
According to the FAQ, rewards offered include cash, gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, cash sweepstakes, prize drawings, and charitable contributions, but bear in mind that the filter does not show that many options available when searching for available studies or surveys.
How does Survey Club pay its members?
Some reviews claim that you can cash out your points with Amazon, PayPal, or a check, but the sign-up process clearly states that “You will be able to redeem your cash rewards for Amazon Gift Cards”.
Be that as it may, the minimum amount you can cash out is $25. If they’re sending roughly 1-4 surveys per week per panel, that’s 12 surveys for the least amount of recommended panels. If you only qualify for 3 of those, that’s about $3 per week. Maybe. And that breaks down to about $25 every 2 or so months. Remember that these stats are just a guesstimate, based on the supposition that you would qualify for at least one in every four surveys sent to you per panel, if your information and demographics match the search criteria.
What the members say about Survey Club
Similar to the review below, the biggest complaints I read were about points expiring (an absolute no-no in my opinion!) and that not enough qualifying surveys were received to generate enough points before they expire – so just another loop. As rewards expire 365 days after they are issued, it makes one wonder why it’s not possible to earn $25 in a full year?
From a logical point of view (again), it also stands to reason that international members may run the risk of not earning enough points as they would very likely not qualify for quite a few surveys, focus groups or clinical trials. Also bear in mind that if you are not completely honest and forthright with your demographical information, you may in any case not qualify for anything.
Is Survey Club a legitimate site?
Taking surveys is and always will be a legitimate way to earn a few extra bucks. With access to so much information, most people who take surveys as a way to make money in their spare time do so after careful research and planning. Making money online is, however, not always that easy.
All the information I could find indicated to me that, yes. Survey Club is a legitimate site to earn money from online surveys and other market research activities. Do I feel it’s a legitimate site for me, personally? No.
Pros and cons of using Survey Club
- Not enough internationally qualifying surveys or other activities
- Rewards expire before they can accumulate to minimum cashout amount
- Too many affiliate emails bouncing through because Survey Club is a middleman
- The FAQ does not address or answer nearly enough initial questions I had
- Too much time spent for not enough rewards or money
- Low expectations vs expected activities
- Reasonable payout amount of $25
- Quick and easy sign-up process
- Very helpful support team
I’m in two minds whether this is worth it or not, and it all comes back to where you are based. If your location is US-based, then I am quite sure that Survey Club would seem an ideal way to make extra money and earn rewards or Amazon gift cards and codes.
As an international reviewer, I must admit that it is not lucrative enough for the amount of time I would use trying to make extra money. Whilst I appreciate the 5-minute sign-up process, I feel I’m better off browsing the net for local focus groups or clinical trials that need my opinion, and that the same amount of time and effort would be spent in both instances, simply with better results locally.