Many companies are willing to pay to get an insight into your consumer opinions and habits. All they need are relevant demographic groups to target. But how do they track these down? Through myriads of online survey panels such as Palm Research.
But before you decide to register for this panel, you will need to learn if it’s legit or scam. Furthermore, you should know what’s in it for you, if anything. These and other pertinent questions are what I’ll try to cover in this blog post.
Who Are They and How Does It Work?
So, let’s start from the beginning. When you land on their site, get ready for a lousy experience. Not only will you have to access it from desktop (since it’s not mobile or tablet responsive), but you will also have to zoom in to see the text without serious eye strain. In the era of mobile-oriented websites, this is an unacceptable drawback. And it only shows that the people running this panel aren’t very professional.
But let’s not stop there. When it comes to information, don’t expect to get much of it. They brag about having nine years of online experience, as well as over 375 thousand registered members. However, this info doesn’t really account for much. It doesn’t mean those hundreds of thousands of users are all active earners. In fact, I am one of them, and I only went there to test the panel.
Be that as it may, the registration is free and simple. As a first step, you only need to provide your name and email address, and confirm your membership from an email they will send you. Note that this email will contain something called E-Signature Key. However, when you click through the confirmation link, you will see that the relevant field is already populated. So, no need to bother copy-pasting this.
Next, you will need to fill out just a couple of basic demographic questions such as race, gender, birthdate, state, employment and household income status. In just under two minutes, you’ll be all set and ready to start taking surveys. The member dashboard should show a few daily consumer surveys worth between $0.50 and $1.
How Much Can I Earn?
That’s where the real trouble begins. All of their surveys seem to be hosted by other panels. So, they will basically redirect you to those panels, many of whom will ask for further demographic info before letting you proceed. For example, I got surveys from Toluna and Global Test Market, but unfortunately, I wasn’t eligible for either. Chance has it that I am already a member of those panels. Otherwise, I would have had to register there as well! That translates to entering the same demographic info over and over again. And after you’ve spent half an hour doing that, you are still very likely to be disqualified simply because you aren’t a demographic match.
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A good thing is that you can take some of these surveys more than once per day. They have an exact number outlined in the “Details” section below the survey’s name. But what good is it if you get disqualified all the time? It just means spending twice or thrice as much time on a survey that won’t earn you a single penny.
- There’s cash involved. Even though some of their clients will compensate you in points redeemable for gift cards and merchandise, you will be able to opt for cash more often than not. And you get to choose checks or PayPal as your preferred payment method.
- The cashout threshold is low in comparison with most other panels. In theory, $10 shouldn’t be very hard to earn.
- In addition to surveys, there are also focus groups. It’s nice to have an extra way of earning, plus it pays more – proportionate to the time you spend on it.
- Most surveys are short. In under 12 minutes, you should be able to earn up to $1 if everything goes well. If you get a longer survey, the compensation should be bigger.
- Many locations outside the U.S. are eligible. Too many get-paid-to platforms are exclusively focused on the U.S. users. Therefore, it’s always a good thing to have one more panel that accepts other people too. The only requirement is that you are over 18 years old.
- They appear to be just a middleman to other survey panels. Now, those panels themselves are intermediaries between you and their clients. How about intermediating with the intermediary? Doesn’t sound too alluring, plus it means many additional steps.
- The earning potential is far from satisfactory. It’s hard to qualify for a survey. Yep, this site isn’t free of the notorious issue with survey panels. On the contrary – many users (myself included) claim they couldn’t qualify for a single survey.
- You want to cash out? Get ready for some serious waiting. You thought a month or two was long on some other panels? Some users of this one report waiting for months or even years to get their payment, which would only arrive long after they had forgotten about it. Others never got theirs. Which brings us to the next point…
- Customer service is either inaccessible or unhelpful. There are three ways to contact them – via postal mail, email, or contact form on their site. However, none of these seem to help. And that’s one of the biggest user complaints I’ve come upon.
- Taking too many daily surveys leads to suspension? At least that’s what some of the long-term users have complained about. That’s okay – everybody is free to put some rules in place. But why do they even let you do more than one daily survey? With other sites that heavily rely on daily surveys, you are limited to one a day and can’t do more even if you tried to. Here, they even specifically say that you can take certain surveys up to three times per day. So, why punish people for it?
- Very dated interface. How can they hope to attract new users to a site that is so ugly and uncomfortable to look at? Unless they are actually fed up with their business and want to discourage us from joining.
Final Verdict – Should I Join Palm Research?
Let me be blunt on this. Even though they seem to be legitimate, I won’t encourage you to go ahead and sign up. This panel just doesn’t deliver on its basic promise – to make it worth your while, at least partially. Even if you really enjoy taking surveys and don’t care about compensation, you won’t be able to do it. The disqualification rates are so high that it translates to a complete waste of time, without getting anything from it – not even the fun you might be looking for.