Vindale Research has been operating for more than a decade, making it truly a veteran of online paid survey websites.
Paid survey sites always work in generally the same way. A person signs up for the site and completes some basic information. Afterward, they are contacted to participate in various surveys and questionnaires that companies use to conduct market research. The participant is paid various amounts of money, depending on the length and complexity of the survey and questions. Individual surveys typically pay very little and the participant has to complete a number of them before their total rewards begin to add up.
Some sites offer points instead of money, and the points can generally be redeemed for gift cards and other compensation. Usually, there is a threshold the participant has to earn before they are able to redeem their points or cash out their rewards. Some sites start at $25, some as high as $150.
Online survey sites all generally have the same pros and cons:
- Easy to do the work
- Can be done anywhere, at any time
- Some survey content may be intrinsically interesting or appealing to the participant (for example, a particular person may love giving their political opinions or evaluating beauty products)
- Pay is very low
- Takes a long time to earn enough to redeem rewards
- Unreliable as a source of income, in the sense that there may not be enough surveys or content available for someone’s immediate financial need
While there are some variations in tasks, surveys, and reward structures, most paid survey websites and apps work in basically this same way and have these same features. Among the many sites of this type, Vindale Research offers specific advantages over others. Some of the unique benefits of Vindale are:
- Vindale has been in business for a long time. Unlike some similar sites, Vindale has been around for years. This means that not only do they have a track record of customer service and support; it also means that they have a reputation and established clientele in the market research industry. This is good for participants, since it means that there is likely to be more survey content available and more consistent supply of surveys.
- Vindale’s rewards are in dollars. Unlike some sites where participants accumulate points, Vindale attaches a dollar value to each survey so participants can better judge whether a survey is worth their time or not.
- Diversity of opportunities to earn rewards. Vindale surveys can be completed on a desktop or mobile device, but participants can also earn rewards in other ways. There are rewards available for watching videos, reading affiliate emails, referring other new users, and various cash contests and incentives on their social media channels. Individual rewards are small, but all these other programs allow participants multiple ways for their cash to add up. It makes it easy to participate in Vindale every day if you want to earn more money.
- Get paid for a selfie. Vindale Research also offers a $5 reward for taking a selfie with proof of payment from Vindale. These selfies help to demonstrate that, despite the number of complaints, many people do enjoy doing surveys with Vindale and do get compensated. These selfies are also, of course, great positive content for social media channels.
Most of the downsides of Vindale are situational. If you begin to research the company online, you will see a lot of complaints, which is natural for this kind of business. Vindale Research does seem to make a strong effort to reach out and resolve complaints, whether they appear on the Better Business Bureau website, or Yelp, or social media. Typical complaints and downsides are:
- Location dependent. Vindale only does business in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia.
- Problems when there is more than one user at an address. Many complaints seem to arise when more than one person at an address is earning money through Vindale. This is an especially common situation because their referral program encourages people to get their friends, family members, roommates, and neighbors to sign up. However, it often seems to cause issues with accounts being frozen and requiring extensive, time-consuming documentation to correct.
- Excessive email volume and frequency. While Vindale itself has a robust anti-spam and privacy protection policy, they do send frequent emails with surveys and notices. Signing up for their Reward Mail program also generates a lot of emails, and some people find the total amount of email overwhelming. Some reviewers complain that this email is spam, or that their use of Vindale got them onto spam lists.
These kinds of claims are difficult to verify or refute because of the quantity of Vindale emails and Vindale-affiliated emails. It’s certainly possible that, due to the Vindale Reward Mail program, normal spam-filtering techniques may become confused. A person might be opening and reading emails and clicking embedded links they would otherwise disregard, with unintended consequences.
- Users can opt out of Vindale’s Reward Mail program, which will reduce email traffic and help with spam filtering, but then they lose one of the opportunities to generate money through Vindale. As is often the case, it is probably best to use a separate email address or dedicated filter to manage the email traffic while you determine what is best for you.
For a person who needs additional income to survive, online surveys are probably not the best option. There are more lucrative ways to invest your time, once you do the math. However, for a person who wants to pick up a little extra money here or there while they ride the bus, take a coffee break, or wait in line at the post office, online surveys are a great option.
And Vindale Research is a reputable, reliable survey site that pays real dollars by check or by PayPal. Since there is no cost to sign up, there’s no harm in checking it out and seeing if it’s a good solution for you.
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