paid survey panel

2007/06/01 |

The American Consumer Opinions Panel (ACOP from now onwards!) is actually the very first survey site I found around 2/3 years ago although my membership completely lapsed when I changed ISP and lost my old email addresses. A year ago I re-found them, signed up again under a different username and promptly ended up with $60 in American Express gift cheques on my doormat within 2 months. How or why I ended up with these is anyone's guess because there was nothing to say why in the envelopes(one for each $10 gift cheque) and nothing on the site, but who cares right? lol I wasn't going to argue. Since then I've received more surveys from the site and more $10 gift cheques as a result. Kinda cool seeing how little you actually have to do to receive them so I thought I'd share the site with you...

Firstly, forget the name because the site does NOT just cater for an American audience although as it is based there I would assume their focus is more on that region. They are however, open to participants worldwide and I for one can vouch that they do actually send out surveys to international members(I swear some others say they are open internationally when in fact they have no international clients) and do cough up with the cash once you have earned it as well. It's a somewhat odd means of payment but there ya go, money is money even if it does come in a strange gift cheque with a dollar amount on the face! Just in case any of you are completely naive about all things paid survey based the principle this site and others work along is this: they send you emails inviting you to answer an online survey(you tick boxes and occasionally write something very brief in reply to questions), you do so and they send you cash in one form or another when they have verified you actually bothered doing it properly. Simple really, as I said, money for old rope and £6 for 10-15 minutes opinionating isn't to be sniffed at is it?

• How Do I G et Involved?

Just toddle along to the site, click the ?Join? link and fill out a bunch of probing demographic details. This is the boring bit. You may feel a little uncomfortable over some of the questions asked(I never have) but you can rest assured that all of this remains totally private and is never passed on to either clients of the company or other third party companies. ACOP uses the details you have supplied to target surveys as those who fit their client's demographic requirements but that's as far as it goes, your details are safe. You'll also not find yourself bombarded with spam etc. they only want your details for the reasons mentioned and it's not in their interests to screw over their clients! You'll also need to(and this is important!) provide a VALID email address when you sign up and it has to be one you check regularly or you'll not get the invites.

• What now?

You sit back on your rapidly growing butt(well mine is) and wait. OK, you don't wait, you just carry on about you normal business and in a few days or a few months a survey invitation with arrive in your inbox. This is why you need a valid email address, without it, you'll not be able to take part! All survey companies send out *time sensitive surveys* as well so if you don't check regularly you'll find the date for completion has expired. That's why it needs to be an addy you check regularly. Basically, you snooze, you lose! So don't snooze, but don't sit there expecting surveys to come flooding in either because they won't. One a month is good going from ACOP. If you expect any more then you'll be disappointed.

• So what are the surveys like?

Well, they can be on all kinds of subjects and come in all kinds of formats. I tend to find ACOP sends out traditional surveys of the tickbox format as opposed so some of the other sites which often send out movie trailers for evaluation etc. Generally a survey here will take you 10-15 minutes although there are longer ones and you'll be paid more if it's a very long one. All mine have been $10 surveys which can't be sniffed at for 15 mins of answering questions. ACOP's surveys are nicely laid out and 'painless' and very professional. I've never had a problem completing one of their surveys due to technical errors etc.

• How do I get paid?

As I said, you get paid in American Express gift cheques which I assume you just cash in at an American Express office or foreign exchange thingumy over here seeing as they are in dollars. Personally I visit the US a lot and they go with me and get paid straight over the counter but most of you will be taking a trip out to change them into British squids. You get paid on completion of surveys you qualify for(some are unpaid screeners to see if you fit a more detailed demographic for a later paying survey) and there are also prize draws on site for various cash mounts each month...which is where I assume my stray $60 came from! Payment is $4-$25 apparently dependent upon the length of the survey but mine have always been $10 each. Maybe it's different if you're in the US. The GCs take a while to arrive but arrive they *do* arrive so no complaints there.

• ...and the catch is?

There isn't one. Well maybe that you get gift cheques and need to cash them in at a bureau de change or something but otherwise, no catch, no complaints.

• Verdict

Again, no giving up the day job by signing up with ACOP, no getting rich quick but a few extra pennies in your pocket for doing very little at all. Hey where else can you earn the equivalent of $40-$60 an hour(do the maths) from sitting on your butt in front of a monitor with half an eye on Eastenders(or whatever your televisual poison may be)? I like this site, a few more regular surveys would be nice but they do pay well so i t's easy to let them off for being a little slow to send the cash(it is coming from Texas after all) and for not being hugey prolific with the amount of surveys they do send. If you sign up for the site and expect to be flooded by cash earning surveys you'll be disappointed, it doesn't work like that, but you will get some(5 or 6 a year I qualify for - I get more short screeners though so you may be luckier) and you will get paid. Can't say fairer than that.

• That address again?