Updated best survey sites for October 2017:
(Note, it's best to sign up for several as offers change regularly - click through each link above to sign on)
(Sign up to Pinecone Research while it's open as they often close for signups for long periods)
Esearch.com is an online market research panel that offers its members the opportunity to complete product and service surveys in exchange for money. It sounds like the majority of paid surveys websites, and so far, so good.
But what exactly makes Esearch different and, most importantly, is it worth trying it out? Before arriving at a fair conclusion, let’s dig deeper into the website and their reward system.
What Is Esearch?
Esearch.com is company that provides market research through online approaches to bigger brands and industries that are finding a way to gather information about their products and their consumers’ feedback.
Open and running since 1995 (and that makes it over 20 years old), Esearch was one of the pioneers in online research panel development, and is still inviting new members to join and gain money from sharing their opinions.
They do this by offering surveys to their members according to their demographic characteristics. If you happen to match the target of a certain audience that is being currently studied, you will get an invitation to complete a survey with your honest opinion in exchange for real cash.
The website claims it has over 800,000 panelists and participants, and that their survey offerings are not mandatory at all, which means that if you do not want to participate in one of them, you will not be kicked out of your membership as similar survey websites could do.
Esearch considers the success they have achieved in market research comes from their ample segmentation of users: teens, children, online investors, business owners, IT professionals, parents, consumers, techno-savvy, etc. This looks promising at first glance considering that other survey panels tend to think of you as “non-eligible” if you are over 30, let alone if you are older.
Esearch is also a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Market Research Association (MRA). They also follow CASRO guidelines for online data collection and panelist privacy, which gives them credit of some sort.
How does the website work?
Joining Esearch is really easy, and it seems that they truly appreciate your membership. All you have to do is find the “join the panel” button on the website, and you will be required to fill a form with your name, address, and a very short questionnaire. These questions include listing your hobbies and some personality traits.
The main objective of the questionnaire is determining your specific demographics in order to send you surveys that match these criteria so your opinion can have actual value to their clients. If you happen to receive a survey that was intended for people like you, you will get paid for completing it.
Survey invitations will be sent to your email, and the payment methods are purely done with cash, which is a great thing! No gift cards for Esearch, and this should get some recognition.
As soon as the study of the survey you finished closes, you have three ways to access your money:
- Via PayPal, directly to the account connected to the email address with which you registered
- Via post with a check, which will take one to two weeks to process and a $1.50 fee
- Via electronic transfer directly to your bank account
Another particular feature of Esearch is that you will be asked to join a specialty panel according to what you like and your household characteristics. This means that they will not tag you as a “man in his 30s with a +$60k yearly income,” but rather as a “business owner” or “pet owner.”
The specialty panels include:
- Small business owners
- IT and business professionals
- Pet owners
- Sports enthusiasts, both spectators and athletes
- Chronic disease suffers, such as diabetes, heart problems and asthma
- Early adopters
- Teens and young adults
- Ethnic groups, like African American, Asians, Hispanics
Although Esearch is focused on residents of the United States, it accepts members worldwide who are over 18 years old and have a PayPal account where they can receive the funds.
However, if you reside out of the United States, you might be less eligible for participating in the sweepstakes entries which also consist of cash prizes, and might receive fewer surveys than the average US resident.
Esearch has some great features that should be noted because they are not very common, and make the site straightforward and simple to use.
For starters, as mentioned above, they find every single member useful, thanks to their wide variety of clients, so even if you have been rejected by other paid survey panels, you might still have a chance to make some extra bucks on Esearch.
This is done by taking a demographic profile survey that takes about 10 minutes and that will allow Esearch to know exactly which surveys are right for you.
The surveys they offer tend to last 15 minutes at the longest, and the pay rate is really good; it can vary according to the survey but ranges between $2 to $20. If you manage to complete a 15-minute survey and make $10 from it, you have found a site worthy of joining.
With Esearch, you do not have to reach a minimum balance to access your money, which is a one-of-a-kind, really. As soon as the study of a certain survey is closed, you will get paid. Yes, a month could pass before you access it, but it could also be a week or even a couple of days.
Also, as you might have noticed by now, there is no point system, and no math. Every dollar you gain is worth exactly that, a dollar. No tricks or deceits when turning the funds you have into real currency (i.e. in other websites you can run into things like this: $65 is really worth a $25 gift card).
In addition, you won´t get bored completing surveys with Esearch. Their subjects cover so many topics that the probability of getting the same survey twice is almost zero. The topics range from food items to movies and political scandals. It´s your opinion that counts.
That does not mean that you will not get a product survey or will be asked if you want them to send a product to try at home, but it makes the website a whole lot more interactive than receiving the same survey or the same brand-based product twice a month.
And who doesn´t want to get paid for sharing their thoughts on a game show or a new movie, after all?
The main problem with Esearch is that they do not offer a balance in your member account. Because you directly get paid to your PayPal account per survey as soon as the study closes, the money never really touches your member account so there´s no record of it. This means that you will have to do your own math as to how much money you´ve been gaining from every survey.
A good way to do this is by saving the emails with the surveys you have been invited to, as they reflect how much you will be paid when completing it. This can be useful to keep track of how much money you should be receiving in your PayPal account.
Another downside of using Esearch is that the surveys are not abundant. You will typically receive an invitation for one survey a month, and that´s it. If you are lucky, you might get two, but if you are an average user, two months can pass by without any survey invitation.
Although that might be a good thing for their business because their clients do not want to “hire panelists” to complete surveys, users like you are looking for an opportunity to fill more than one survey a week. This is impossible with Esearch, and that´s a bummer.
Most of the users have experienced a terrible lack of surveys after being members for a while. This might mean that their demographics are not currently being studied, but it could also indicate that the more time you spend on the website, the fewer privileges you have.
Other members have filled online complaints about receiving broken survey links, and they contact customer support only to never get a response.
Esearch is definitely not a scam. It is a reliable site that pays money and in cash form: no gift cards, no points to redeem, no minimum balances to reach before you get paid. With Esearch, you will be paid directly to your PayPal account as soon as the survey is closed.
Do we recommend trying out this panel? Absolutely. This is, by no means, a way to make $30 a month, and you might only get one survey every four weeks, but if you just forget about it and complete the survey once it reaches your email, you will definitely make a couple of extra bucks.
If you are planning on giving Esearch a chance, make sure that you like them and follow them on their Facebook page as well, as it seems that they also send sporadic survey invitations through this platform that can compensate the lack of invitations they send to your email.