If you are searching for paid surveys to supplement your income, you should be aware that you’re walking on ice that’s pretty thin. One wrong step and you might end up in a place that siphons cash out of your pockets, all the while promising to make you rich. But not every wrong step leads to catastrophe. In most cases, you “only” stand to waste hours of your time to earn mere cents that won’t even buy you a drink.
That’s why you need to do some research before hitting that signup button. What do other people think of it? Is it a legit enterprise or just another scammy project? How do they use all the information you’re feeding them? In the worst case scenario, they could sell it to the highest bidder. Which is why you should never enter your credit card number or other sensitive info.
So, today we’re here to talk about a panel going by the name of Consumer Advisory Group. Let’s try to determine whether it’s legit by taking a look at their sponsor company. And then, we’ll consider whether it’s worth your time at all.
About the Company
Consumer Advisory Group is a subsidiary of MKM Partners LLC. This company is based in Stamford, Connecticut. While I couldn’t find any info about their experience or years in business, it’s worth mentioning that they have done market research for Chipotle and Keurig Green Mountain. They have no record on Better Business Bureau as of this date, but they do have a pretty active LinkedIn page with over five thousand followers.
It’s interesting though that they are in fact registered as a broker-dealer firm. There’s no doubt about their legitimacy, as they are a member of FINRA and SIPC, reputable non-profit organizations.
How Can I Become a Member?
The panel’s design may look pretty dated. But that’s not the only nor the gravest issue – we aren’t here for the looks anyway. The website seems to be acting out – at least it did when I tried to sign up.
First, there is no visible way to register on the homepage – not as a call-to-action button, nor as an option in the tabs at the top. Now, my experience with survey panels has taught me that this option is often concealed, for reasons that are entirely lost on me. Are they just negligent? Or maybe they are getting more membership requests than they can handle? Frankly, I doubt that the latter is the case with Consumer Advisory Group. Considering the poor overall looks and functionality, it seems that they are just doing a sloppy job.
There is a “My Account” tab though. So I clicked on it, hoping that the signup option would crawl out from somewhere for the sake of those who aren’t members yet. Alas – a piece of gibberish code was all I got. Obviously, some kind of error.
The guesswork goes on. Maybe they aren’t admitting members at the moment? But there’s no reason not to say that upfront. Maybe it’s a mere glitch? The FAQ section didn’t help either. “Visit the online registration page,” they say. Is there another page or am I missing something important?
I will keep an eye on the panel and update this post if there are any changes.
Anyway, here’s what you can hope for if you’re luckier than me and manage to open up an account.
How Much Can I Earn?
First, you’ll have to take a screener survey, to help determine your demographic profile. If you belong to the category they are currently targeting, you will get a confirmation email within 10 to 15 business days.
Yes, this means that you stand a chance of being rejected. But will they let you know that? Unsurprisingly, they don’t say. Anyhow, if you don’t get a note from them after 15 days, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and make an enquiry about your case.
Similarly to many other panels, earning opportunities are not frequent or numerous here. You will receive invitations via email whenever a new survey is available. However, you may hope for up to three invitations each month on average. Every survey will be open until it gets enough respondents. Therefore, make sure to take it as soon as possible, if or when you get one.
They aren’t very talkative when it comes to rewards either. Some “special rewards” are mentioned, but they don’t say what kind or how much. Discretion may have its merits, but I don’t think this amount of it is very helpful. How are they going to recruit consumers if they won’t even tell them about compensations? It’s like saying: do your job please, and I will reward you if and when I see fit.
There isn’t much user feedback online. From what I’ve gathered, you shouldn’t expect cash as a reward. Instead, you will probably “earn” various gift cards and sweepstakes entries. Not very alluring, you have to admit. But then again, almost nothing on this panel is.
- Registration is free. That’s the case with all legitimate survey panels, but it’s still worth mentioning. Especially because it’s the only advantage I can think of.
- It seems you can’t get any cash. Note that I am not 100% positive on this, since I couldn’t register and test the thing myself. It’s just a piece of info I dug out online. For what it’s worth, you can only get gift cards and sweepstakes entries.
- The site has glitches and huge information gaps. Firstly, joining is impossible at the moment. Secondly, they really aren’t forthcoming, not even with the basics.
- Very few earning opportunities. Three surveys per month on average, and nobody can guarantee that you will qualify for all of them. Nobody in their right mind would expect to get rich by taking surveys. Still, those three surveys can’t even account for the humblest pocket money. Unless each of them is worth dozens of bucks – which would be too powerful an asset to be omitted from the site, I suppose.
Final Thoughts – Is Consumer Advisory Group Worth Your Time?
Finally, it’s time to pass our verdict. In this case, it’s a no-brainer, since they won’t even let you join.
But what if they decide to fix the glitch sometime in the future? To tell you the truth, I don’t think that would change the fact that this survey panel is just “meh.” With so few earning opportunities, it’s just not worth the time it takes to register, let alone confirm your account. There are plenty of panels that you can take advantage of right now. While none of them will buy you a summer house, they will definitely deliver on that small, basic promise. And that’s to send some pocket money your way, without too much hassle.