Review: Is Pinecone Research Still the Survey Standard?

Taking surveys can not only be a fun way to earn a little money, it can also be an enlightening process. Not only do you get a platform on which to meaningfully share your opinions, you also sometimes get the opportunity to test products before they’re released to stores. It’s for those reasons that I’ve been a member, off and on, of various survey panels for years. The first one I ever signed up for is Pinecone Research, which is considered by many to be the one of the best survey opportunities available online. The question is, does Pinecone Research still meet the hype, or have other survey sites eclipsed it?

The Exclusivity Factor

Those who are new to the online survey taking world might, at first, find Pinecone Research a little daunting. After all, this is a survey panel that doesn’t do the referral thing, nor can people just register directly on their site. The only way that people can actually join the Pinecone Research is via their recruitment banner ads. In the earlier days of the Internet, it used to be a bit like a treasure hunt, trying to figure out which websites those elusive banner ads would show up on.

However, it’s never really been that difficult to find a signup link for Pinecone Research. I myself sort of just happened upon Pinecone Research almost a decade ago while perusing Annika’s Market Research. This is one of the most trustworthy resources for surveys out there, and it’s great to see that its creator, Amy Lynn, still has it going strong. You can find the most up-to-date, legitimate Pinecone Research signup links (according to country), HERE.

The Actual Survey Process

Like many other survey panels, the general process for Pinecone Research is to send out screener surveys (which take a couple of minutes and earn an entry into a sweepstakes drawing), or even direct links to the surveys themselves – it’s always necessary to log in, though. Completed full-length surveys, which can take, in my estimation, up to about 20 minutes, will earn you 300 points, which is equivalent to $3.00.

The survey formats tend to vary slightly, and the more innovative they are, the more potential there is for technical glitches, such as time outs/freezing. This is all dependent, too, on whatever browser you happen to be using. Apparently, Firefox isn’t encouraged, Chrome seems to be okay, and Pinecone Research suggests Internet Explorer. I’ve found that usually, regardless of the browser, the survey saves to wherever I happened to be when it froze. They do monitor participation, so if you sign up and don’t take the surveys they offer you, there’s a chance you might be removed from their database.

The Rewards Are Many

Unlike other survey sites, which require a certain minimum cash-out option, you can have even just your $3.00 transferred to your PayPal account. Their rewards store has to be the most extensive one I’ve seen for a survey site, with lots of different options that you might want to save up for – anything from gift cards, to sporting goods, to office accessories.

The Survey Frequency

This has to do with, of course, a lot of factors like age, location, occupation, even whether or not you have a pet. So, it’s difficult to say how many surveys you might qualify for – you’d have to take the “wait and see” approach. For me, this is currently the most disappointing aspect of Pinecone Research – the amount of surveys I’m offered is a tiny fraction of what I used to get.

To put it in perspective, I’d usually make around $100 per year, with the occasional product testing, too. Now, I’m fortunate if I get even 5 surveys per year. However, I’ll keep my Pinecone Research membership, and do recommend joining, because although it’s not what it used to be for me, it’s still a survey option worth having.

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