If you own or work at a contracting firm, you might encounter a paid survey panel called Contractor Advisory Board. Upon a bit of browsing through their website, you will realize that joining is free. It’s a good sign, and you won’t be wrong to conclude that the panel is legitimate. However, does it also mean you can earn some money from it? And how much money are we talking about? Hardly anyone could expect to get rich by taking surveys, but it’s still good to know how much (if at all) does a market research company value your time.
To provide an answer to these questions, I did a bit of digging. Read on to learn everything I found out.
Just like its name suggests, Contractor Advisory Board is a group of various contractors from the US, Canada and many other countries all over the world. It’s a subsidiary of a giant market research company Decision Analyst, Inc. based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. If you care to take a look into this company’s background and history, you will discover that it’s been around since 1978. Sounds like a remarkable experience. But they also appear to have a decent business reputation. Even average to bad user reviews haven’t tarnished their BBB file, which features an accreditation and an A rating.
So, what’s wrong with the users’ experience? It seems that most complaints were filed due to delay in compensation of the points that people earned. The company responded to these complaints with an explanation that the points take up to eight weeks to hit the balance. However, most people claim that their points didn’t go through even after several months. According to them, the panel used to be a decent place to earn some side bucks, but isn’t so anymore.
In these cases, I tend to take both the users’ complaints and the company’s response (if any) with a grain of salt. Let’s see how the system works and if there’s any other info before we pass a verdict.
What Do I Need to Do?
In the opening survey, they will ask you to provide some specifics about your company’s operating scope and services it offers. Check the major types of contracting services that your firm provides, the markets and market segments it serves the most. Furthermore, you will have to provide info about your position within the hierarchy, ownership percentage, annual sales.
As soon as you complete this survey, you should get a confirmation email. No other steps are required. By hitting the confirmation link, you will become a member. Your membership is set and you can forget about it. There is a user dashboard where you can see if there are any surveys currently available, as well as your earned points. But there’s no need to check it every now and then. You will receive invitations directly to your email address, typically only several times each year.
As for the surveys, most of them won’t take longer than ten minutes to fill in. You can hope to get short screener surveys from time to time, and they are worth ten points. The longer ones will earn you anywhere between 500 and 800 points. Now, every point is worth one penny. That means you can earn up to $8 worth of points in about 10 minutes. Not bad, eh? But if you try to cash out as soon as you take your first survey, you will realize that it’s not possible until you manage to accrue 2,500 points, that is $25. Once you meet this threshold, you will be able to either redeem your points for cash via PayPal or check, or donate to charity.
An Email Address to Whitelist
In case you signed up a few months ago but still haven’t received any survey invitations, here’s a little tip that you can try. All the invitations will come via the email address firstname.lastname@example.org All you need to do is add this address to your contact list. Also, make sure to check the Spam folder in your inbox. If you have any emails from this sender, mark them “Not Spam” and that’s it. You’ve done everything on your part, and the rest is up to them.
- They accept contractors from all over the world. Many survey panels are exclusive to the US and Canada. That’s why I feel I need to single this out as an advantage.
- They pay in cash. That is, if you choose to cash out and not donate to charity. Those of you who opt for money will get it via PayPal or check, which is another nice thing about this panel.
- Even screener surveys will get you some points. Admittedly, it isn’t much. Ten points convert to just 10¢. But even that means they respect the time you put into that. And that’s a commendable approach.
- Very specialized. You have to be a contractor in order to join the panel. Any type of contractor will do – light or heavy commercial, industrial, or residential – which is good news if you happen to be one. Nevertheless, it’s bad news for everyone else.
- There are very few surveys per year. When they say “several,” they mean it. Even if every survey earns you the maximum of 800 points or $8 and you get lucky to receive five surveys per year, it still means you won’t be able to earn more than $40. Doesn’t seem like a very good source of income.
- It seems there are payment issues. As I said, many people are complaining that approving a completed survey and compensating for it takes forever. A number of people never got the points that they earned. Even if they somehow violated the terms and conditions or did something else wrong, it’s still a bad sign.
Final Verdict – Is Contractor Advisory Board Worth Your Time?
If you are a contractor, I would say there’s nothing wrong with giving them a shot, just to see if it’ll work for you. However, don’t rely on this panel alone to be your side gig. You won’t be able to earn more than a couple dozen bucks each year. And that means you will do best to combine it with a few other survey panels. That’s the only way to get the most out of survey taking.
However, if you are not a contractor, don’t even try. You won’t even get to complete your registration, since the specialized questions about your business are a must.