Pinecone Research is the only paid online survey company that I am comfortable recommending. I love Pinecone because their method is simple. They email you a survey link, you fill out the survey, and then you receive a $3 payment by check or Paypal less than a week later. That’s all there is to it. There’s no ridiculous point systems, minimum payout requirements, shady affiliate pyramid schemes, or any of the hoops that other survey companies make you jump through just to get a payout.
Pictured above are five checks I received from Pinecone between May and mid-June 2011. At $3 each, that’s $15 I made just for taking five Pinecone surveys. They arrived in the mail 3-5 days after each survey was completed. I know $15 over the course of a month isn’t exactly a huge moneymaker, but an extra $15 can go a long way when money is tight.
Pinecone only lets new members sign up at certain times of the year. They run banner ads during recruitment, so keep an eye out for them. I’ll post an update here and on Twitter next time they are looking for new members.
UPDATE: I just posted an article about how to avoid bad survey companies. While Pinecone is an excellent example of how an online survey company should be run, they are, unfortunately, an exception rather than the rule. Many survey companies and bloggers offer misleading claims about the money they’ve made from online surveys, all in an effort to make money off of you. Check out my guide so that you know how to avoid the scams and lies.