If you're like me, you're probably wondering what's with the explosion of paid online survey sites lately, as well as how to choose the best one for you! Are they that lucrative?
After all, making money at home is something most people dream of but never get to do effectively. Paid surveys offer a convenient way to earn some extra cash that could take care of a couple of bills monthly, or even boost your savings.
Panda Research is one of those companies that enables you to make money by taking online surveys.
In this Panda Research review, we break down this survey panel, touching on their features, pros, and cons, to enable you to decide if they're a perfect fit for you.
About Panda Research
Panda Research launched in 2005, which makes them one of the pioneer survey panels on the market. They are a subsidiary of A&A Marketing based in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, USA. This parent company also operates MindsPay and InboxPays.
The survey panel is a middleman between survey participants and companies in need of their opinions.
Apart from taking surveys and getting compensated for them, members can also complete basic tasks, read promotional emails, and complete free and paid offers. The panel also has a referral program that can help members boost their earnings. Refer your contacts using your unique affiliate link and earn a recurring income of 10% on all of your referral’s earnings.
Panda Research also presents members with promotions, discounts, and the occasional giveaway on completion of a survey. They claim to pay out $1.8 to $2.5 million to their members annually.
Compensation is via a direct PayPal deposit, which is only payment method approved at the moment, so you must sign up on PayPal to cash out your earnings from the panel. Payments are processed twice a month, typically on the 15th and the 30th of each month.
To be eligible to participate in Panda Research, you must be over 18 and live in the US.
How Does Panda Research Work?
Panda Research offers paid surveys and get-paid-to tasks. These tasks include completing free and paid offers as well as reading paid emails. You can also earn from referring people to the website.
How to Sign Up
- Go over to the Panda Research website and enter your personal information and email address.
- You will then need to verify your email address by clicking on the confirmation link in the verification email sent to you.
- Once verified, you’ll need to complete a quick survey to build your demographic info for survey selection. This initial survey comes with a $3 bonus, but only if you qualify. If you don’t qualify, you will not receive the bonus.
- You can then start taking surveys and begin earning from the panel.
- You should also sign up for the referral program at this stage to receive the unique affiliate link that you will use to promote the website, should you wish.
Earnings on surveys at Panda Research vary wildly. Some require very little effort but pay handsomely, while others need you to complete many minute tasks to earn big.
Qualification for surveys is also another hiccup. If you qualify for most surveys, you can quickly earn cash faster than those who rarely qualify. You must also keep a keen eye out for available surveys as they appear and fill up in a flash.
Surveys don’t take that long on Panda Research. A standard 10- to 15-minute survey can typically earn you $1 to $3. Mid-range surveys pay $10 to $20, but these are longer and will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete. The best-paying surveys can pay up to $75, and take 2 to 3 hours to complete, but are rarely offered up on the site.
So, from surveys, expect to make about $5 to $10 per week. Alarmingly, some studies will not give you access unless you fill in your credit card details to access offers or trials. These “surveys” will only pay you money if you take up the associated offer.
Should you choose to proceed with these “offer-based surveys,” we advise that you do so with caution, in fact, we advise against it. These trials will keep require your credit card information on file and provide a cancellation period of 15 to 45 days. If you do proceed, keep a note of the dates and do not forget them.
Should you fail to cancel within the offer period, you will be charged the cost of the service or product. Many of these charges recur monthly, and with some, you may not be able to cancel for a whole year.
Completing Paid and Free Offers
Panda Research also allows its members to take paid offers. Likewise, free offers presented during sign-up may later become paid offers. These offers may require that you pay some amount to participate, so make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before proceeding.
As a company, Panda Research promotes these offers on behalf of providers to its members. You will receive points if you decide to accept one of these offers. As a downside, however, you may end up with quite a few promotional emails in your inbox, which could feel spammy after a while.
Reading Promotional Emails
Reading these mandatory paid emails could also earn you some extra points, and hence money. The rewards are not huge, but every little dollar amount earned adds up over time.
However, there is a cap on earnings from reading promotional emails. This limit $25 per month—the rest of your earnings must come from other activities performed on the website.
Special Discounts, Promotions, and Giveaways
Panda Research also offers special promotions and discounts for products or services. These offers are open to active members, so you'll need to keep active on the panel.
You can enter the occasional giveaway upon completing surveys and offers, to bag you some extra money, too.
The Panda Referral Program
Another way to boost your earnings on the platform is to participate in the referral program. Bank 10% of everything your referrals earn for the lifetime of their membership so long as your membership remains in good standing.
This payment applies to earnings from all activities except reading promotional emails.
Is Panda Research Legit?
Panda Research most definitely is legit, but the way they do business has attracted quite a few complaints. On the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the US standard for a company’s reliability and legitimacy, they sport an F rating, which is pretty poor.
Although the BBB does have its rating criteria, which are independent of consumer reviews, Panda Research still shows 49 complaints in the last three years and 18 complaints within the last 12 months. What's also odd is that A&A Marketing, their parent company, does not have a BBB rating.
The company is also not listed on TrustPilot, so it is difficult to get accurate consumer reactions to their services. Customer reviews are generally mixed towards this survey panel. We will say this, they are not a scam, but they could do much better to get people to warm up to their services.
They currently rate poorly on payment processing and customer service. Some customers state that they’ve received their payments without any hitches, while others complain bitterly about the payment processing wait
Customer service is also lacking. A reputable site addresses customer concerns adequately and urgently—Panda Research doesn’t. A fairly consistent complaint is that it takes days to get a response from customer care. Also, if you are not a member of the site, you can't contact their customer service department at all!
“They don't pay. I have been waiting a year for $100 in completed surveys to be credited to my account, which seems like an eternity and simply won't happen." – Sur D. on Sitejabber. “Panda Research has got to be one of the very worst sites to do survey's through. I have accumulated well over $60.00, but according to them, I have only been approved for just about $5.00.” – Dw. On Sitejabber. “It seems I signed up with Panda Research a while back, and since then, they have blanketed my email inbox with hundreds of emails.” – Jacknstax, Survey Police Forum Member
So, in short, while Panda Research is not a scam, they do have some work to do as regards their overall services. Their currently online reputation is certainly nothing to write home about.
Panda Research — What Works and What Doesn’t
We find one of the easiest ways to quickly gauge if a site is worth using or not is to utilize a list of pros and cons—so that's what we've put together for you as part of our in-depth Panda Research review.
- This survey site has some of the best paying surveys. Longer surveys can earn you a decent $25 to $75 in one sitting.
- They partner with PayPal for payment processing, a widespread and convenient payment method.
- There's a variety of things to do on the website – earn from surveys, tasks, offers, reading promotional emails, giveaways, and referrals.
- Surveys and promotional emails are abundant on the site.
- There’s a sign-up bonus of $3 once you complete the initial survey, but you must qualify for it first.
- The occasional giveaway and referral program gives you a chance to boost your earnings. Earn 10% from your referrals’ earnings for the life of both your memberships.
- They have a strong anti-spam policy that vigorously protects member information. They even advise members not to spam third party sites or contacts with their affiliate link. Most survey sites don’t give this valuable advice to new members.
- Although they have no mobile app, and their website looks quite dated, it is mobile-optimized. You can easily work on the site using your mobile phone, and while on the go.
- Payment for completing surveys is not guaranteed! This small detail is in the Terms and Conditions section of their website. Be mindful of this condition and read the terms carefully to understand the payment procedures.
- There’s also a high cash-out threshold of $50. If you don’t receive a high-paying survey, it can take quite a while to reach this amount as other surveys on the platform typically pay $1 to $3.
- They have a long payment processing period of 30 to 90 days! Similar survey sites payout immediately or within 24 hours. This feature has earned them more negative Panda Research reviews from their customers online than any other factor.
- Their customer care department is slow to non-responsive. They typically take a long time to get back to users regarding their complaints, if they get back at all.
- Some surveys and offers require that you enter your credit card information, which is not ideal. At Personal income, we advise against this action.
- Registration is only open to US residents
Despite many significant negative Panda Research reviews from some customers online, Panda Research is a genuine site, and the company does operate within the law.
The best surveys are high-paying and worth it in our opinion. The problem is — getting them! You’ll wait quite a while before you get one of these, and should you get one to complete, you’ll wait months, and even jump through hoops to cash out your payment.
Payment processing has taken 30 to 90 days in some cases, sometimes requiring some follow up with their customer care team, which is not a pleasant experience. Some customers have reported that despite booking a complaint ticket, no one has ever gotten back to them.
Some free offers pop up during the sign-up process, and later on, these offers can become paid offers. Before accepting these offers, study the terms and conditions carefully to understand what they are presenting before agreeing to participate.
Panda Research also presents more and more as a get-paid-to site, which can confuse users. Is it a survey site? Is it a get-paid-to site? They seem to be leaning towards the latter while claiming to be the former.
The platform also states that it reserves the right to pay you, even if you do complete a survey. This feature does not present an ideal situation for members; no one would want to take part in a survey and complete it, merely for the “chance” of getting paid. Not in today's busy world, where time is money!
And finally, should you refer anyone to the site using your referral link, you will earn a residual income of 10% – not bad at all.
Our overall advice is to use Panda Research as a back-up earnings channel. Proceed with caution when using the website for offers if you do decide to join. Do not give out your credit card information for any surveys or offers and open a secondary email address to avoid getting spammed with third-party promotional emails.
Have you tried Panda Research yet? What has your experience been so far? Feel free to leave us a comment below. We’d love to receive your Panda Research reviews, both positive and negative.