I've been hearing about Pinecone Research for quite some time - Money Saving Mom has recommended them along with The Penny Hoarder. Is it worth the effort? I had to find out!
For some reason it was very challenging to set up an account, every time I followed the first email's instructions, I'd get a page saying I my log-in details were invalid. I wrote to the person who sends the survey's twice before finally getting a request for my birth date. One day later I got an email telling me to try again and at this point I was able to reset the log-in information and do 2 survey's.
The first survey asked me to download a program that would scan my Amazon purchases for the past year and upload the information for researchers to analyze. This process took about 20 minutes and I was surprised to see that I've spent $1000 in one year's time. I was also emailed an excel sheet with the information. Part of these purchases are for work and reimbursed. For the survey I was paid $3.00.
I did a 2nd survey for 200 points that took less than 5 minutes. The points can be used for gift cards. I've got my eye on a Starbucks gift card that is 500 points for $5.00.
I guess for a few minutes of time and willingness to share information I could earn enough for one cup of Starbucks coffee per month! You can also get $3.00 Visa cards with 300 points. Most survey's seem to be around 300 points so that's basically like getting $3.00 per survey.
My summary is that it took some effort to get started but seems like it might pay off nicely with just a few minutes of effort. If I can do this while watching a TV show in the evening then I'm happy.