Paid survey panels are among the most common ways of bagging a few bucks on the side. However, many of them have given a bad name to the industry, either because of playing dirty or taking significant amounts of your time in return for mere peanuts. So, if you’re roaming through the murky world of online opportunities, you’d better make sure not to rush into trouble. Kudos then for landing here to read an in-depth review of Tech Leader Forum.
We’re going to determine whether it is legitimate or scam. Also, you can read about the signup process, how the whole thing works, and whether it’s worth your time at all.
No issues with anonymity here – the owner of this panel is Toluna Group, a market research giant. Maybe you’ve heard of similar panels such as Toluna Influencers, OpinionsUSA, or iQuestion. Well, all of them are run by Toluna. That isn’t to say that all of them are good, nor does it vouch for Tech Leader Forum. However, all of those panels are legitimate and relatively respectable, so we can assume that it’s safe to trust them with our information.
How Do I Become a Member?
When I said that this panel is legit, here’s what I meant. First off, they won’t charge you any fees for joining, now or anytime down the road. Panels that do that are definitely fraud and you should steer clear of them.
Secondly, all the data you feed them will be handled carefully, without selling to third parties or advertisers. In fact, they are not interested in the opinions and consumer habits of a single John Doe. What really matters here is an aggregation of data.
For example, it doesn’t matter whether I or you as individuals are hooked on Android or iPhone. What matters are attitudes and habits of the majority of a certain demographic category. Just like other panels, Tech Leader Forum collects information on a large scale. Upon analyzing these bulks of data, their clients get a big picture about what their customers want.
Back to the topic. Joining the panel is easy. For starters, you will need to fill out a short form with your basic details – name, address, gender, ethnicity, education. It doesn’t take more than two minutes, and then you need to verify your email. Just for doing that, you will have earned 500 points.
To maximize your chances of earning, it’s best to take profile surveys. Those are in-depth questionnaires that serve to collect more info about you. I know, it can get frustrating to answer similar questions time and again. But look at it this way: the more answers you provide upfront, the likelier you are to qualify for surveys that actually pay. And there’s another piece of good news: profile surveys will bring you a certain number of points.
How Much Can I Earn?
Once you’re done with that, there’s nothing else on your plate. No need to even visit the panel anymore. As soon as there is a survey for you, you will get an email containing an invitation.
Before proceeding with the surveys, let’s try to decipher their points system. So, I got 500 points for signing up. My only profile survey was from the business field, and it brought me another 200 points. But will these 700 points just sit in my account, or can I actually convert them into tangible rewards? In other words, how much is 700 points?
The FAQ section has it that each survey is worth anywhere from 15 to 50,000 points. Some special surveys will be worth even more than that. But that still sounds too abstract, and they haven’t made an effort to make it clear. I’ve read elsewhere that a survey will bring you in between $1 and $10. If that’s true, it’s not a bad deal at all. But then again, it seems that there aren’t many surveys, or at least I haven’t received for a couple of weeks since I became a member.
There is also an option to trade 500 points for a sweepstakes entry. Each day, they draw a winner who will get 1,000,000 points. But don’t fall for this just because you will get one million of something. I figure it’s better to wait and see if you can convert your points into actual rewards.
- It’s a legit panel run by a well established market research company. Toluna is one of the foremost players in this game, with a few gigantic panels that I know of, and a couple of smaller ones such as Tech Leader Forum.
- You can choose to redeem your points for cash or nice gift cards such as iTunes, Target, Starbucks, Lowe’s, Dell. Or you can trade them for the so-called Toluna Millionaire Sweepstakes – each entry is worth 500 points. To be eligible for these sweepstakes, you need to be an active member.
- They could have made a better, more informative site. Unlike some other panels run by Toluna, this one is really wanting in information and guidance. How much are those points worth in actual cash? Is there a cashout threshold and how high or low is it? There is a long FAQ section, but it doesn’t cover all of these questions. Not the best way to attract users, I should say.
- It seems that there aren’t many surveys. As with all Toluna panels, there is no formal limit as to how many surveys you can take. That may sound generous, but unfortunately it doesn’t make much sense here. It’s not like there’s a survey every time you check. On the contrary – they seem to be pretty scarce.
- You have to wait pretty long for your rewards. If you opt for gift cards, delivery will take anywhere from two to eight weeks. That’s a long time! As for PayPal, it should take less than that. But that’s not all you need to wait for. Even the points won’t be credited immediately. With some surveys, you will get them within a few days. Others may take weeks to close. So, you can’t expect to always be in the know about your earnings.
Final Thoughts – Is This a Good Survey Panel?
On the surface, this seems to be a decent survey panel. They pay well per survey and have alluring rewards.
However, all of that doesn’t amount to much when you consider that the number of surveys is far from enough. So, here’s the most balanced recommendation I can think of. You won’t get in trouble for signing up here, and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes. Do it, but don’t rely on it exclusively. Combine it with a few more survey panels, so that there’s always something in store for you. In my experience, no survey panel is good enough to bring you consistent income on its own. They only work well when combined.