[Reviews]Pinecone Research > Reviews > Bite sized surveys

Pinecone Research > Reviews > Bite sized surveys
Author's product rating:
Layout & Design Average
Navigation Satisfactory
How fast is this website? Satisfactory
Quality of the Content Average
Choice of Earnings Satisfactory
Advantages: Online survey work offering a better than average reward
Disadvantages: Locating the recruitment banner - no other way of joining the panel
Recommend to potential buyers: yes

Full review
~~ UPDATED MARCH 2008 ~~
Pinecone Research is yet another site offering paid online survey work. However, joining their survey panel is easier said than done. There is no sign up link via their website, as they recruit purely through online banner recruitment on specific target websites. Happily, if you do spot their recruitment banner, then don't hesitate over clicking and joining up as they offer a better than average return on paid online survey work.~~~ WHO ARE THEY ~~~Pinecone Research are part of AC Nielson, a huge US conglomerate based in New York, who are leaders in the market research field. As a Pinecone Research panelist you get to undertake online survey work, as well as get involved in occasional product testing. They offer work on mostly evaluating new products. In other words, you will be invited to give your opinion on new product ideas for items that are not generally available to the public. Occasionally, you may be invited to do some beta testing on the new product as well. Membership is strictly limited to one member per UK household.
~~~ VAGUE HINTS AND TIPS ON FINDING THE BANNER ~~~So you like the sound of joining the Pinecone panel but you now know there is no sign up link via their website, so where do you go from here? I'm afraid that finding the Pinecone Research recruitment banner is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack, and I cannot offer you any hard and fast evidence as to where you will find their banner, just a couple of vague hints. My sign up link was through a banner advert on www.ipoints.co.uk. However, in the past I have also spotted the banner on a couple of different "free stuff" or "paid to click" websites. They have also been spotted on competition websites, and websites offering money saving advice. Sometimes they are looking to recruit specific target groups like dog owners, or first time mothers, so they will run their banners on pet owner or mother and baby websites.Sightings of it are quickly passed around the worldwide web, and they need to be fast as the banners go up and come down just as quickly. If you key Pinecone Research in a Google search engine, you will come up with numerous defunct forum links and threads reporting sightings of this Holy Grail. I spotted one forum last year offering a £5 reward to anyone finding and reporting the Pinecone Research join up banner. I would imagine that Pinecone have now taken steps to close this thread down as they are really hot on security.It's really just down to a stroke of luck and being ever vigilant in trying to spot their logo (pictures at the end of the review may make it easier to spot whilst surfing).
~~~ THE WEBSITE ~~~Whilst you are waiting to spot their elusive banner, you can go and have a look at their website (www.pineconeresearch.co.uk) it's quite well laid out in mostly gold, green, black and white. It doesn't offer a lot of clues on how to join their panel - it just tells you that:-"We are not currently recruiting new members via our website or taking unsolicited referrals. However, we will be posting recruitment opportunities through banner ads on various websites from time to time throughout the year. Please tell your family/friends to keep their eyes open for these."
And if you then want to know where you could possibly find the recruitment link they tell you:-"Unfortunately, there is no one site that I can disclose to you. The banner ad placement is not fixed over the life of the campaign. The web sites that our banner ads may appear on are constantly changing during the course of the campaign."
The home page is laid out as:-~ About Pinecone Research = Their aims and policies~ Treehouse Newsletter = Quarterly newsletter on what's new at Pinecone~ Go to current study = Log in and access your details or survey study~ FAQ/Support = Comprehensive and exhaustive - every question under the sun (and more)~ Privacy Policy = Promises of no spam etc;~ Member Login = Log into your account to either update your profile or access a specific survey/study.As you are paid for each and every individual survey you undertake, Pinecone doesn't have much of a personal account area for you to access. You can log on and update your personal information. There is also a record of surveys taken and payments made to you.
~~~ AND IF YOU DO SPOT THE BANNER ~~~If you do strike gold and end up finding the Pinecone Research Banner, click on the link IMMEDIATELY. These banners never hang around for long - sometimes they're up for just a matter of hours before disappearing into the ether. It's a really simple online form to complete. They ask for your name, address, email, occupation, age, gender, education level and the number of people in your household. In response, you will receive an email giving you instructions on how to access your first survey. Once you've completed that first survey, within a few days you'll receive a welcome letter in the post containing your payment, a letter and an accompanying leaflet telling you all about Pinecone Research. Both the email and letter will give you your Household ID eight digit number and password (as well as details on how to access your first survey). The Household ID number and password are crucial as you cannot access the study area of their website without it. Although they cannot be changed to anything more memorable, every survey invite will quote them, so don't worry if you lose the initial letter.
~~~ BITE SIZED REWARDS ~~~You get paid for each and every individual survey you undertake, so no annoying minimum points system before you get your loot. Every survey I have undertaken has paid a flat rate £4.00, no more and no less. I happen to think that £4.00 is a better than average return for approximately 10 minutes work. Rewards for Pinecone Research surveys are now paid out in either Accor Luncheon vouchers, or the new introduction of a PayPal option. If you don't have a PayPal account, then you either need to open one (see www.paypal.co.uk) or continue to accept luncheon vouchers. If you decide to use the new option of payment by PayPal you will need to log into your Pinecone account and update your payment option accordingly. You will then receive an email confirming your updated choice to be paid via PayPal instead of luncheon voucher for future survey work.
If opt for the luncheon voucher option, then the £4.00 payment comes in a handy little booklet detailing the outlets that take luncheon vouchers. The £4.00 is usually made up of a combination of £1 and £0.50p vouchers, which is ideal as you'll get no change from the outlet accepting them. The vouchers are valid for several months so you can save them up, or just treat yourself to a couple of CafĂ© Lattes at Starbucks. Unfortunately, Pinecone do not replace the luncheon vouchers if you lose them.Now you may think that luncheon vouchers sound a bit old fashioned and out of the ark. And it's true, they are not as widely used as they were in the 60's and 70's (or 80's for those of you who remember Cynthia Payne's brothel where they accepted Luncheon Voucher in exchange for certain services…). However, there are still over 33,000 high street outlets that accept them. You can use them to buy any products (not just food and drink) in all the major UK supermarket chains, as well as Boots. They can also be used in fast food outlets like Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, Burger King and Starbucks to name but a few. For a full detailed listing of outlets accepting them go to www.luncheonvouchers.co.uk. One word of warning though, you need to have patience in most outlets accepting them, as without fail, the majority of staff operating the till in said establishments have to call their supervisors for help in processing them.
And if you still don't fancy the sound of using luncheon vouchers, there's always a ready market of buyers on eBay, so you can always sell them on!~~~ SURVEY FORMAT ~~~Pinecone Research now send all survey invites by email. They used to post a letter to your home address giving you the same instructions as the email on how to access the survey. They also used to pop the luncheon vouchers in the post as well, so you could, effectively, get paid before you took the survey. However, they have now changed their system, and the luncheon vouchers will now only be mailed out to you upon completion of their survey.
The emails always come from scott@pineconeresearch.co.uk and they announce that you have been selected to take part in project number XYZ. They ask you to log onto the website and access the survey. It's worth noting that if you receive a survey invite from Pinecone Research, you've definitely qualified and you'll get paid. There are never any nasty and disappointing pre-screeners that reject you after 3 questions or less. Pinecone make their selection that you're part of their target group BEFORE they invite you to do their surveys. The email won't tell you what the survey is about, but they will give you the closing date of the survey (which is often a rather generous 5 to 7 days), so there is no need to rush to respond in case the target group fills up.The surveys are purported to take no more than 15 to 20 minutes. However, in my experience, you can get them done in a lot less (more like 8 to 10 minutes). Usually, you will be shown several images of the product you are surveying and asked for your opinion on the packaging, what you think of the product concept, and how likely you are to buy it. The questions are not at all difficult and it's mostly ticking multiple choice boxes. The surveys are extremely professional and well laid out. They are easy to complete and I have not yet experienced any technical problems. All the links have worked and done what they were supposed to do.
Occasionally you will be emailed and asked to complete a short household update questionnaire for which there is no payment.~~~ MY EXPERIENCE ~~~Despite their welcome pack leaflet promising approximately 1 to 2 surveys every month, I haven't fared as well as I hoped with Pinecone Research. In three years, I've received 30 surveys, and earned £120.00. Yet when you consider that £120.00 was earned for just over four hours work in total, that's really not a bad rate of return. I think I'm probably in a less popular demographic group, because my mother and aunt (both in their 60's) are both doing considerably better than me, each receiving the promised 1 to 2 surveys every month. To date I have received product questionnaires on cleaning products, deoderant, chewing gum, confectionary items, beer, shampoo, medical remedies and dog food. I have also been asked to undertake a couple of follow up product trials on some of the items I have been asked to survey.~~~ CUSTOMER SERVICE AND PRIVACY POLICY ~~~Customer services are run by Karen Scott and she is very quick to get back to you in the event of a problem. Pinecone Research assure you that your details will not be shared with third parties. One point worth making with Pinecone Research is that they are very hot on security. Before each and every survey/product test you undertake, you have to sign a disclosure agreeing not to discuss the product with anyone else. Periodically, they send out warning emails telling you that Big Brother Pinecone is watching you, and you should not be discussing any of the products you have evaluated on their behalf with anyone. Discussing any of the products online, be it in chat rooms, blogs or bulletin boards, may result in you getting thrown off the panel. To summarise in their words "We promise to keep your personal information secure and confidential. We ask that you promise to keep our information secure and confidential."~~~ CONCLUSION ~~~This is a survey site well worth joining if you can find that elusive recruitment link. Although the work is sporadic, they do offer a much better than average payment for minimum graft on your part. So, watch out for those banners with the green and white Pinecone logo - they've got to be out there somewhere…..
~~~ FURTHER INFORMATION ~~~Pinecone ResearchACNielsen HouseLondon RoadHeadingtonOxfordOX3 9RXE-mail: scott@pineconeresearch.co.uk Website: www.pineconeresearch.co.ukFreephone: 0800-028-6280

Paypal paid Surveys

Paypal is an easy way for survey companies to pay you. As many as 80% of all surveyors choose Paypal option as a secure and convenient way to get paid for taking online surveys.
Each Survey company advertises about the methods and types of payment offered to their panel members.

Survey companies that will pay you via Paypal:
Esearch surveys
pays for completing surveys only via Paypal.
Lightspeed Consumer Panel
you collect points with them, which could be redeemable as cash deposit into a PayPal account.
cash rewards via Paypal.
cash rewards - direct deposit via PayPal (all participants) or a cheque mailed directly (Australian participants only)
Online Global Recruiting
panellist members can choose to be paid for surveys via Paypal.
Ciao Surveys International
for completing surveys with Ciao you can request payment through PayPal to your bank account.
Go Zing
rewards for completing surveys include PayPal cash, Buy.com gift certificates and Napster music.
PSB Surveys
cash rewards are sent directly to your Paypal account.
Brand Institute
offers Paypal payment option to their survey panel members.
PineCone Research
you will get paid for completing surveys via Paypal or by check.
Clear Voice Surveys
members can choose to be paid for completing surveys through Paypal.
pays you instantly through Paypal for each survey completed.
Opinion Now
they transfer the amount for each survey/interview to your bank or Paypal account.
Planet Pulse
Cash payment is made to your PayPal account.
Panda Research
Panel members are paid when they have at least $100 or more in their account. Payments are made via Paypal.
My View
rewards through Paypal.
Greenfiel Online
payment via PayPal should be available soon. Ask Greenfield Online support for details.

[Tips]10 Online Survey Tips to Keep You Safe!

Interested in taking online surveys but not sure if you should? Here some tips that will help keep your personal information safe, and will help you reap the rewards of being an online surveys panelist.

1.Register only with online survey panels that list a privacy policy on their website.
2.Look for panels approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and that have privacy policies reviewed by TRUSTe or features the WebTrust for Online Privacy Seal of Assurance.
3.Beware of "survey websites" asking you to receive information for special offers and other survey panels during registration - these websites may sell your name and information to other companies that will send you spam.
4.Always set up a separate e-mail account exclusively for survey invitations. This will make it easier for you to see how many surveys you have received, and will avoid spam being sent to your personal e-mail address, should you make a mistake and register with an unreputable surveys website.
5.Beware of "survey websites" that ask for overtly personal information such as your bank account information, credit card numbers, full names of family members, etc. A real online market research company would never ask you to provide this type of information.
6.Be cautious of "get rich quick" websites. You cannot get rich taking online surveys. However, you can make a decent amount of cash on the side participating in surveys.
7.Legitimate online survey e-mail invitations will provide information on the type of study being conducted, the survey length, and the incentive for completion. Do not respond or click on e-mail "survey invitations" that feature ads to win products, cash, etc. These e-mails are not coming from legitimate market research companies!
8.Some research companies will ask you to download software after registration. This software usually tracks your web browsing habits and the information is then sent to marketers. It is ok to download this software if you can verify a legitimate market research firm is running the site - do your homework to make sure that this is indeed the case.
9.Look for mentions of marketing association memberships on survey panel websites. Reputable associations include CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations) and the AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research).
10.Your opinion counts! Marketers truly are interested in what you think, enough to reward you with cash and prizes just for sharing your thoughts. Stay cautious when registering with online survey panels, but when you've found a reputable panel - have fun and reap the rewards of being a panellist!

[Tips]Identifying Paid Online Survey Scams

Consumers wanting to participate in online surveys are faced with the daunting task of figuring out which online survey panels are legitimate and which are simply scams. Sometimes the decision is easy - a website where a bikini-clad model holding a laptop with "win me!" flashing on the screen is clearly not a legitimate survey panel, but rather, a marketing company looking to collect information.

Sometimes however this differentiation is not so obvious. The following are tips to help you identify paid online survey scams.

Bare Bones 1-Page Registrations
A site that simply asks for a first and last name and e-mail address is usually a scam site and not a market research panel. If the intital signup page looks overly simplified, be weary - most online survey companies collection additional information so they can better target panellists for available surveys. Be cautious with these 'bare bones' websites and watch for these next signs.

No Company Information
Similar to a 1-page registration, many survey scam websites do not provide any information at all regarding their business. Marketing research companies willingly disclose information regarding their company headquarters, company history, survey panel information, etc. A website lacking this important 'about us' page may be an online survey scam website.

No Privacy Policy
Similarly to no background information, a website that does not list a privacy policy is likely not a legitimate online survey site. Legitimate online survey panels will list the ways they use panellist information and will display this in the form of a privacy policy. Any website missing this important page of information should be avoided.

Crazy Promises
Some online survey websites will make claims that include making exorbitant sums of money. For example, a claim stating earnings of $150 a day taking online surveys is most likely fraudulent. Most verifiable market research companies encourage panellists to take online surveys because their opinions are valuable and influence the products and services of tomorrow. Reasonable compensation for surveys is usually awarded to panellists, but taking surveys is not a huge money-making endeavour. Websites promising otherwise should be thoroughly investigated.

If there is any question in your mind that a website you visit is not that of an online survey company, but is instead an online survey scam - don't fill in the registration! Once you hit 'submit' on a form, you are agreeing to having your information used in ways that you might not agree with. If you're feeling adventurous, complete the panel registration form, but set up an alternate e-mail address and provide this address as your contact e-mail. This way, if your judgement is incorrect, the spam you receive will be to a less important e-mail account.

Online surveys are a great way to voice your opinions and be compensated for doing so. They are fun, addictive, and really do make an impact on the products and services companies develop, modify and discontinue. SurveyPolice is at your service to help you differentiate between online survey scam websites and true marketing research companies, wanting and needing your opinion for legitimate purposes.

Let SurveysCenter serve you.


You'll find the Tips and Tricks series of surveys very useful...Enrol for free here...