The idea of making money online is incredibly appealing. Who doesn't want to earn money while they are sitting on their couch? There are hundreds of ways that you can make money online, but if you do a Google search, some of them are going to be legit while others are going to be scams. If you want to make some extra spending money, then a survey site is a great way to do that, but which one is going to be the best for you.
If you've done any searching in the online survey world, then you've probably heard of Panda Research. They are one of the most popular options, and more than likely, you've run into their name once or twice. Just because their name continues to pop up once or twice doesn't mean that they are the best option. This article is going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of Panda Research to help you decide if they are the best choice for you.
Panda Research was established in 2005, which makes them one of the older programs on the market. They are under A&A marking, Inc. which is a marketing company based in Illinois. A&A also owns other survey sites, like MindsPay and InboxPays. Both of these additional sites have great reviews from customers, and if you want to learn more about either of these, check out my post about the best survey sites. That post will show you which survey sites have the best reviews and which ones are going to give you the most money for your time.
One way to check to see if a survey site is a scam is to check the company with the Better Business Bureau, which gives companies a grade based on several different categories, like financial security and reliability. Panda Research does now have a BBB rating, but their parent company doesn't have one either currently, which is a little odd. While not every survey site has a rating from the BBB, the majority of them that are over ten years old have some sort of rating.
Getting Started with Panda Research
When you first go to PandaResearch.com, you'll notice that their website looks very dated. You can tell that they haven't updated the design in several years. Bad design is not a deal breaker, but it can make a lot of users wary of the authenticity of the program. The website itself is clean and very simple. There are no fancy bells or whistles. It's straightforward, and even if you've never participated in a survey program before, it's easy to navigate the website.
At the top of the Panda, Research page is a box that says they have paid $2,218,359 to their customers. That's an impressive number, but I did a little research, and that numbers have not changed in several years. Maybe they simply haven't decided to do new calculations, but you would assume that they would continue to update the number as often as possible.
According to their website, there are several ways that you can make money with Panda Research. They have a box on the site that shows all of the different ways that you can get paid. Obviously, you can complete surveys, but you can also get money by participating in their offers, referring your friends, and by simply reading emails that they send you from their advertisers. The last detail in the box is that they pay out to their members on the 1st and 15th of every month through PayPal.
If you decide that you want to sign up for Panda Research program, it's effortless to join the survey site. Like most of its competitors, you can have an account in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is click the “sign up” button, enter some basic information about yourself, and then confirm your email address, and then you will have an account. It's as easy as that. It won't cost you a dime and will take you less than 10 minutes to finish.
Making Money with Panda Research
As I mentioned, there are a couple of ways that you can make money with the Panda program, but this article is going to focus on the survey taking portion of the site. After you've created your account, they will start sending you any survey opportunity that you qualify for. With some members, you could have a survey as soon as you sign up, but other members could wait a day or more to get their first invitation.
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One of the areas that Panda shines it the high payout from some of the surveys. Some of their high-end opportunities say that they pay around $40 for completion. This is well higher than the other survey sites on the Internet. Obviously, these higher payouts come with a longer survey that can take you an hour or more to finish, and those opportunities are scarce. The rest of the surveys that you get are going to be around a couple of bucks ($1.50 – $3) for finishing them. The problem is that the majority of surveys come with a catch. You'll only get paid if you complete the survey, which typically has an offer at the end and you need to participate in the offer to get your money from the survey. Not all of the surveys are like this, but from the member reviews, a vast majority of them are.
When you're ready to get your money from Panda Research, they will remind you that they pay their “employees” on the 1st and 15th of every month, and only through PayPal. Another restriction that they place is that you have to accumulate at least $50 before you can request a cash out to your PayPal account. This is a lot higher than their competitors. The majority of other sites have a lower threshold around $20, which is a lot easier to reach. Unless you get one of those $40 surveys, it could take you a while to get up to $50.
It's obvious that there are a lot of pitfalls of Panda Research. If you do a simple Google investigation on the site, you'll find plenty of angry members. One of the most common complaints that I saw was regarding the payment process when they are trying to access their money. There are dozens and dozens of members out there they say they never received credit for completed surveys, and when they tried to cash out, they never got the money in their PayPal account. Panda Research does tell you upfront that the verification and waiting process could take a while, but there are reports of it taking 90 days before they saw their cash.
Another common complaint is a lack of customer service. There are clearly several problems with the site, and when members reached out to the company for assistance, they got no response. This is one of the biggest red flags about the site. There are a lot of things that you can overlook, but a non-existent customer service team is not one of them.
I don't think I really need to tell you some of the other frequent complaints, but I'm going to anyway. The fact that you have to try different “special offers” to complete some of the surveys is a big no—no. Sure, some of them are free offers, but others require your credit card information, and you are not going to get your rewards unless you accept the offer to finish the survey.
Is Panda Research a Scam or Legit?
For me, this is a difficult question to answer. I can't honestly say that Panda Research is a “scam” based on the definition. Technically, they will pay you for surveys, and you will get your money, but there are plenty of hurdles that you have to jump through and you could wait several months to get your money. With that being said, there are DOZENS of other sites that I would join before Panda Research. Sure, there is a chance that you'll land one of those whopping $40 surveys, but you don't get them enough to justify all of the problems with the program.
If you want to give Panda Research a shot, go for it. It's free and easy to join, which means that you won't lose anything if you hate it. Personally, I would recommend some of the other more reliable companies on the market. If you need any help deciding which one is going to work best for you, check out my “Best Survey Sites” page, and you can browse all of the different programs that I've reviewed. Don't waste your time joining all of the sites yourself, I did all of that dirty work for you.
Best Survey Sites
While I can't call Panda Research a “Scam,” I can confidently say that it's far from the best. If you need any help, head over to the Best Survey Sites where I had outlined all of the pros and cons of the sites and detail different factors that how you will get paid if they reward cash or points, and the ways that you can access your money. If you're looking to make some extra spending money, I highly advise you checking out that post to guide your search.