Paid online survey panels can be roughly divided into two types. The majority of them will accept any applicant, no matter their background, profession or education. Others will focus on people who belong to certain occupations – physicians, contractors, engineers, educators, etc.
Vanson Bourne Business Panel belongs to the latter category. It recruits IT professionals and carries out market research in the business and technology niche.
If you happen to work in IT, this could be a way to make some pocket money by taking surveys. But before you head over to their site and hit the signup button, read on this article to find out whether it’s safe and worth your time.
Company Overview – Is It Legit?
The panel’s parent company Vanson Bourne has been around since 1999, providing market research services to their tech clients. They started the panel in 2004 as a way to collect relevant user data on a large scale. That’s quite a respectable experience, but it’s not enough to be considered proof of the panel’s legitimacy.
When trying to assess whether a survey panel is legit or a scam, the second step is to look up their social media presence. As a rule of thumb, obscure or fraudulent panels almost never have social media pages. Why give their users feedback channels and ways to contact them if they are engaged in dishonest practice?
On that account, it seems that VB Business Panel has nothing to hide. Not only do they have a LinkedIn page, but also a Twitter account. Admittedly, none of those pages have many followers or engagement. Still, it means that they have passed another test of legitimacy. Should you ever need to contact them, you can easily find their address, phone number, and email listed on their site. Plus, they abide by international ESOMAR standards of market research and online conduct. That means your personal information is protected and can only be used by their clients, without disclosing or forwarding it to any third parties.
Last but not least, they won’t charge you any fees for using the panel. Even though we can never be 100% sure that a panel is legit, I think we’ve got enough reasons to believe that this one is.
How to Become a Member?
Since this is a specialized panel, the registration process is somewhat more complicated than with all-purpose panels. You will need to provide your own basic info, but also the name, address, and postcode for your company. I get it if you’re reluctant to disclose these details. But you’re gonna have to take their word for this if you want to take advantage of their surveys. In their own words, this info will only serve for verification. They will never contact your company or reveal any of the info to any other party.
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If you decide to proceed with the registration, don’t expect to get a confirmation email right away. They may take up to one week to process your details and get back to you. Only then will they start emailing you survey invitations. Or you can log in any time and check your dashboard for any available surveys.
How Much Can I Earn?
Now, the main currency at VB Business Panel isn’t cash but credits. Every survey will bring you anything between one and 20 credits. According to the Rewards page, the typical amount you stand to receive is ten credits per survey. But how much is that when translated to cash?
Ten credits are worth £5. Speaking in US dollars, that’s slightly over $6 as of this writing. When you take into account that an average online survey pays in cents, this should be music to your ears.
But before you start rejoicing, let’s see what ways are there to redeem these credits. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to convert them to cash. But there is the second best, and that’s gift cards for Amazon UK. Or, if you prefer charity work, you can choose to donate any or all of your earnings to The British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, or Code Club.
- Nice earning potential, at least in theory. One credit equals five British pennies. If their approximation of ten credits per survey is true, it means that every survey will bring you about $6 USD on average. Compare that to 25¢ or 50¢ per survey on most other panels, and you will realize that this is compensation is more than satisfactory.
- It appears that the cashout threshold is 10 credits or £5. I read that from the fact that the Amazon UK gift cards are in £5 and £10 denominations. And those £5 shouldn’t be difficult to earn. If you’re lucky, a single survey will do it for you. But why exactly is this good? Because most survey panels keep the threshold at around $20 to $25. When it’s that high, it may take months or even years to hit it.
- It seems that the panel is heavily oriented on users residing in the UK. If you’re in the US, Australia, or any other major country, they will accept you. But it’s probably better not to hope for as many opportunities. While we’re at it, it also seems that your company needs to have at least one employee in the UK in order for you to be eligible.
- They don’t offer cash as an option. If it’s any consolation, Amazon gift cards are generally the second best when it comes to survey panels.
- You have to wait to become a member. A week doesn’t sound like much, but it’s still frustrating that your profile needs verification and approval.
Final Verdict – Is This a Good Survey Panel?
The answer to this question really depends on your expectations.
If you hope to get rich by taking surveys, this panel won’t do it. Nor will any other for that matter. At best, survey panels are there to supplement your income. No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to turn them into your primary source of income.
But if you have realistic expectations, this panel should be a decent option to bag some easy money now and then, if you meet the condition of being an IT or business professional. To maximize your chances, you should combine it with several others. That way, you will receive new surveys on a regular basis.