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At Frugal For Less, we love survey sites. They are an excellent way to make a little extra money and a great way to use your downtime productively. Recently Panel Payday came across our radar, so we tried it how. This is our Panel Payday Review.
Lots of Choices
If like us you enjoy taking surveys to earn some money, you have lots of choices; Survey Junkie, Vindale Research, and YouGov among others. But some survey sites are definitely better than others. If you’re going to invest your time, you want it to be worth your while. So let’s find out if Panel Payday fits the bill.
What is Panel Payday?
Panel Payday itself does not offer surveys. Rather they are a sort of clearinghouse that links survey providers with survey takers. It’s free to make an account. Panel Payday makes money by referring you to their partner sites.
When you sign up with the partner sites, Panel Payday gets paid. So for them, you (well, your email address) are the product. Panel Payday is not a survey company; they are an affiliate marketer.
To create your Panel Payday account is a five-step process. The first step is entering your name and email address.
When you create an account, there is a notice that by doing so, you agree to receive emails from Panel Payday and their partners.
As with any survey site, it’s best to use a dedicated email so the emails sent by the survey companies (and any other company they sell your information to which is something that is pretty typical), don’t clutter up your every day in box.
The next page is a list of various partnered survey sites. You can click “Yes” on any that you would like to join. The sites on my page were two survey sites; Brands Need You and Opinions That Pay and two sweepstakes sites, one that was oddly nameless and Top Sweeps.
When you select one, you will be directed to their site and go through their separate sign up process. I chose Brands Need You, but I have no interest in joining a sweepstakes site, so I skipped those.
The next step assured me that money would soon be flying into my account. The next step is a page of three more offers, Earn on Demand which claims only to have six remaining spots, a $1,000 Facebook survey with just eight spots left, and an offer to make $1196 a week with four spots left.
Seeing claims about just a few spots remaining is a red flag to me. These sites are trying to create in you a sense of urgency to sign up, but it’s false scarcity. I went back a few more times and low and behold, the same number of “limited” spots were still available.
Skeptical of all of these, I skipped them. You do have to check “Yes” or “No” on each offer though before you can continue on.
The next page had a single offer for a survey site where I can make $800 a week. Clicking “Yes” took me to the page for Survey Voices Research, where you have to sign up separately.
Next, I had to confirm my email address through the email Panel Payday sent. When I clicked on the link to do so, it took me to Survey Voices Research again.
You can access dozens of survey sites at Panel Payday, and other make money from home sites that purport to pay consumers for things like product testing and clinical trials or to send them free samples of things like household products.
Some of the partners you may have heard of and include Ipsos Panel, Global Test Market Panel, Opinion Outpost, and Pinecone Research. Oddly, while there are eight pages of survey partners, some of them like My Survey Panel are listed more than once.
You can click on the “Learn More” button under each partner to get a little more information before deciding if you want to sign up.
It’s not a ton of information though; there isn’t much about the type of information you would really want like how much do the surveys pay, how do they pay out, and if there is any cost to sign up.
If you see a partner that looks interesting, go to the site directly and find the information you need. It’s easiest to go straight to the FAQ page. Then you can make a more informed decision.
There are also partners listed on the site that are multi-level marketing opportunities which is a more delicate way of saying pyramid schemes. One offer claims to teach you how to earn $1,500 a day with just an hour and a laptop.
There are two tiers of surveys sent out to survey takers who sign up through Panel Payday. The first tier consists of “test” surveys. You won’t earn cash answering these surveys but “prizes” which are not clearly defined.
If you pass the “test” which is meant to find out how serious you are about taking surveys, then you will be sent the tier two surveys where you can earn cash or gift cards.
Because Panel Payday is just the middleman between a survey site and a survey taker, I can’t give you information on how much taking surveys pays or how they pay (gift cards, cash via PayPal, etc.).
Each partner does things differently so before choosing which sites to sign up with, make sure they pay enough to make it worth your time and in a way that you prefer to be paid.
I will tell you that you are not going to make $25-$75 per survey as Panel Payday claims right on their home page. No general online survey sites pay that much, and it’s disingenuous for Panel Payday to make that claim. Their partners are going to pay the standard rate of $0.50-$2.50 per survey.
The only time you are going to make $25-75 for giving your opinions is if you are asked to join a focus group on a specific product. No one pays that much for your thoughts on toilet bowl cleaner.
Is it a Scam?
Panel Payday is not a scam. They don’t ask for any money from you which is the hallmark of a scam. Panel Payday is an affiliate marketer. They make money when readers sign up for survey sites through the links on their page. Affiliate marketing is not a scam.
That said, Panel Payday does partner with some sites that certainly seem shady. Offers to find lost or forgotten money that is legally yours, sites claiming that you can make untold thousands of dollars with just a few hours of work a week, and pyramid schemes where it is possible to make money but only if you are on top of the pyramid.
To some of us, these sorts of things will be obvious, and we would never sign up for them and give out sensitive information like bank details or Social Security numbers, but not everyone is as discerning.
Especially people who may be desperate to earn extra money for whatever reason and let that desperation cloud their judgement.
While Panel Payday is not a scam, they do have partners who use phishing URLs. You think you are being directed to a legitimate site, but it’s a phishing site meaning it looks like a legitimate site but it is designed to get personal information from you like usernames and passwords to sites you use.
Antivirus software can usually detect these sites and warn you away from them, but incredibly, not everyone uses it.
Is Panel Payday Worth It?
The only reason I can give to visit Panel Payday is to get a handy list of survey sites all in one place. They have dozens listed, and many of them are legitimate. But you don’t need to sign up for an account with Panel Payday to access these sites.
You can just go directly to the sites and sign up. If you’re not quite sure if one of the partners is legitimate, five minutes of Googling should give you a pretty good idea.
This will save you from getting tons of spam emails some of which may be phishing scams trying to get personal identifying information from credulous people.
Panel Payday does not seem very discerning about who they partner with. If you’ve spent more than five minutes on the internet, you can clearly see which partners are shady just by the front page thumbnail they use on Panel Payday. Some of them look like your eight grade My Space page circa 2008.
Panel Payday is not actually paying you anything, and the possibility of getting phished or scammed into some bogus work from home opportunity is just not worth the risk.
There are a lot of better ways to make some extra money without the fear of having your identity stolen, or your bank account wiped out. Check out these 35 work from home gigs, or 30 ways to make $1,000 fast. If you like taking surveys, we put together a list of the best legitimate survey sites.
Don’t let your desire to make extra money land you in hot water. Stick to legitimate sites that have been proven to pay out without putting your private details at risk.