Taking paid surveys has got to be one of the most pleasant, carefree ways of making money. However, the internet is a jungle where beautiful, edible and even yummy plants grow next to the poisonous and deadly ones. Branded Surveys is just one of thousands of such plants. Which group does it belong to?
You’re here to find out whether they are legit, and here is the short answer: yes, without any doubt. If you want to know the hows and the whys, keep reading. I will cover every single concern you might have, in the most sincere, unbiased way.
Who Are They?
Branded Surveys is a relatively young player in the market research industry, with just nine years of experience. Up until 2017, they operated under the name MintVine, and then they rebranded. Their founder is Branded Research Inc, and they boast of collaborating with many Fortune 500 companies.
How Does It Work?
Registering for an account is free and very easy. Just provide your email address and basic info, confirm the account from an email they will send you, and you’re good to go. There’s even an easier way to do it: just sign up with your Facebook account. No worries about privacy and info – you would have given them anyway.
Of course, there will be additional questionnaires that should help them determine your demographics. The more of these questions you answer, the greater your chances for qualifying.
The earning process is very straightforward. Their main currency is points, and that’s what you get for answering surveys. Then, you can either redeem those points for cash via PayPal, or for gift cards. The list of gift card stores and restaurants is quite extensive, including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, iTunes, Starbucks, and more. Just for completing my profile, I earned 100 points. And the cashout threshold is 1,000 points – not too difficult to meet it, at least in theory. The first recommended survey would last 30 minutes and bring me whopping 400 points. But alas, I didn’t qualify for it. Just so you know, 1,000 points translates to $10. Not a bad value, it seems! You will even receive a few points if you get disqualified in the middle of a survey, just to make it worth your while.
Even though surveys are the panel’s bread and butter, there are a couple of additional ways of earning. You can answer daily polls (typically worth 5 points or $0.50) and refer friends. For every successful referral, you will be rewarded with 15% of all the points your friend earns. Not a bad deal at all.
Work More = Earn More
Branded Surveys have come up with a neat way to encourage their users. As soon as you join, you will gain the Bronze status. Where there is bronze, there is also silver and gold. To get there and top up your earnings, you just need to take more surveys.
Here’s how it works. Every 10 points translate to one credit. Silver status requires 60 credits (that is, 600 points). As soon as you reach 210 credits (2,100 points), you status will automatically upgrade to Gold.
What Do Users Say?
This has been one of the more popular survey sites out there, and there are all kinds of user feedback on the internet. Even though we should always take individual reviews with a grain of salt, there are always patterns that help us get the big picture. And here’s what it reveals in this case.
Generally, users used to be pretty happy with MintVine. However, it appears that the situation deteriorated after rebranding. And it’s mainly due to the disqualification issue.
Namely, many users find themselves in the middle of a survey when, all of a sudden, they get kicked out because they are ineligible. Frustrating though it is, there is nothing you can do about it but to try again… And again. It appears it’s getting tougher to qualify, whatever your demographic features are. And that is the single most widely reported problem with the panel.
- Survey pay very well. $3 of $4 in half an hour are not an hourly rate you would die for. But when it comes to survey panels, it’s more than twice the average rate. That is, if you manage to qualify for the survey at hand.
- Choose from cash or gift cards. Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks, Target – all of those sound pretty enticing. PayPal cash sounds even more enticing. And the possibility to choose absolutely nails it.
- Your earnings increase over time. Even more importantly, it shouldn’t take very long to upgrade your status to Silver and Gold.
- You will get a few points even when disqualified. Sounds fair, especially considering how often it happens.
- Their website is modern and intuitive. It might sound weird, but most survey panels I’ve encountered have outdated websites, difficult to browse and lacking in options and information. Branded Surveys definitely did a good job in this respect.
- It’s increasingly hard to qualify for surveys. I absolutely understand that their demographic requirements depend on their clients’ needs. However, I can’t help getting furious when it happens in the middle of a survey.
- Users report that the surveys decrease in value with time. The first surveys I got were each worth hundreds of points. But I only just opened up an account, so my experience isn’t relevant here. Some long-time users have grown dissatisfied because they get more and more surveys worth mere 2-3 cents per minute.
- It takes a bit long for your cash to land on your PayPal account. Up to three weeks may not seem like the longest time in this industry, but wanting to get your hands on the money is utterly normal.
Final Verdict: Is Branded Surveys a Reliable Way to Make Money?
Admittedly, I had to think hard on this. Whereas the panel has a great workflow, lots of surveys, and nice rewards, I can’t but weigh in all those serious (and numerous) allegations. It would be all too easy to dismiss the account of someone who joined two days ago and left yesterday, disappointed because he or she didn’t make a fortune. But the fact is, many of these complaints come from users who have used the panel for years and are familiar with the game.
So, here’s what I recommend. If I were you, I would definitely try my luck on this one. Give it a test drive, with no more than a few minutes each day. If you don’t manage to qualify for any surveys, it’s more than easy to unsubscribe from their emails. If you, however, manage to fit their requirements, it could be an easy-peasy way to make a few hundred bucks per year. Not a fortune, but I wouldn’t say no to it!