If you’re looking to start completing surveys online for rewards, you’re going to have to be ready to spend a lot of time for not-so-much money. This makes it even more important that you actually get what you earn – otherwise you’re spending hours of your time for free.
In the world of online survey panels, not everything is black and white (like a panda!). Even if a site is 100% legitimate, they aren’t necessarily a good site to consider using. Whether it’s due to technical issues, low pay, or payment/cash out concerns, some sites just aren’t up to par with the rest of the industry. Unfortunately, Panda Research seems to fall into this category.
About Panda Research
Panda Research is an online survey panel that collects feedback from its panelists about a variety of topics, trends, and more. Founded in 2005, it’s been in operation for more than a decade, paying out over $2 million dollars in rewards to their panelists. However, this figure appears to be out of date, as the same number has been displayed for a number of years.
Panda Research has a variety of complaints against it, and with the combination of bad reviews, no BBB accreditation, and an unresponsive site, they’re already starting to lose our trust.
Who’s It For?
The target audience for Panda Research is users who are looking to answer questions and provide feedback about a variety of topics in exchange for rewards. This feedback helps to shape marketing for a variety of businesses, making it incredibly valuable to the businesses who conduct the surveys.
To participate in Panda Research’s panel, you’ll need to be located in the US, and above the age of 18. Bypassing these requirements can earn you a permanent ban, so be sure that you’re eligible before registering.
Simply put: Panda Research’s website isn’t very good. There is no navigation bar that is easily accessible to navigate the site, the registration button only exists on one page, and the format of the landing page is outdated and clunky to navigate. It also hasn’t been updated since 2011 according to its footer bar, which puts up a red flag.
Despite being seriously lackluster, the site at least functions properly. The landing page has a very clear registration form to fill out (or a login link if you’re already an account holder) to get started.
After you click the registration button, you’ll be greeted by a list of offers that you apply for (despite providing much information at all), and a form for more information about yourself in order to claim them and the $3 sign-up bonus. This stage simply asks for basic personal contact information, while proceeding will take you to the “New Member Questionnaire.” This survey collects information about you as a consumer and potential survey taker, asking things like your spending habits, brands you’ve heard of, credit score, and more. With this, they are able to determine your eligibility for different offers, as some companies only want feedback from specific demographics.
After you’ve provided all the information they require, you’ll confirm your email and phone number, and be ready to take surveys.
The surveys for Panda Research are simple questionnaires, consisting of multiple choice questions and answers or longer form responses. They don’t offer some of the product testing or media opportunities that other sites offer, which makes it hard for them to distinguish themselves.
These opportunities are available on the website and also are emailed to you, and following a link will take you to the website to claim and complete them. Within 1 week of completing them, you’ll be awarded your reward.
The one (deceptively) bright side of Panda Research is their rewards. They actually pay significantly well when compared to most survey sites. At $1-$50 per survey that is expected to take between 5 minutes and 45 minutes, it offers a pretty solid return on your time. You’ll have to earn at least $50 first, but with high-paying surveys being relatively common, it shouldn’t be hard to reach, right?
They also have PayPal as a cash out option, allowing you to spend your earnings how you want rather than just settling for a gift card. That is, if you can actually get your rewards.
Panda Research vs. Other Sites
While you may be drawn to the high-paying offers and solid cash out options, you may be disappointed when it comes to claiming them.
One of the biggest complaints against Panda Research (and perhaps the most prevalent complaint we’ve ever seen) is that Panda Research doesn’t pay their cash outs. People who have completed a variety of offers and attempted to claim their money have been met with ignored emails and no payments. Not just a few cases, though; there are hundreds of documented cases of people not getting paid by Panda Research throughout the years of their operation, which is the single biggest negative that any site could have. They also state in their terms and conditions that they do not have to pay you for completing a survey, citing that “technical problems” void the reward. When you combine this with the unusual number of high-paying jobs available on the site, it paints a major red flag on the company overall. While the website problems are something that can be overlooked, you simply can’t overlook failure to pay.
The term “scam” has been thrown around online when discussing Panda Research, and it’s not hard to see why. Their unreasonably high pay and survey availability certainly falls under the “too good to be true” cautionary tale. While it would be nice to earn a significant payment for completing surveys, unfortunately it doesn’t appear that the feedback is quite as valuable as the rewards may have you believe.
Outside of the rewards, Panda Research doesn’t really do anything exceptional as a site. The lure of earning more money for your time has been enough to breed thousands of unhappy panelists when it came time to claim, so we believe that there are better options out there. After all, if you don’t get paid it doesn’t matter how much the surveys pay.