SurveySavvyLast Updated January 2014
|Best Feature:||Very reputable company and can redeem cash rewards starting at $1|
|Worst Feature:||Takes 2-6 weeks to receive rewards + 4-12 weeks to receive check|
|Best Uses:||Earning cash for sharing your opinions|
|Company:||Luth Research, LLC|
SurveySavvy™ is an online survey website that compensates members of its community for providing their opinions on products and services relevant to them. It is owned and operated by Luth Research, a reputable market research company that was founded in 1977 and has been BBB-accredited since 1993 (currently with an A+ rating). Luth Research originally made a name for itself by establishing focus group facilities and a call center operation, and both of these areas remain an important part of their business today. In 1999, Luth launched SurveySavvy with the purpose of helping them build and manage a community of individuals interested in participating in market research. Since then, the community has grown to about 1.5 million members from a number of different countries around the world.
Joining the SurveySavvy panel is free and easy. The initial registration process takes a few minutes and gathers your contact information, as well as some basic background like your age, gender, education level, etc. You will be eligible to participate in research studies as soon as you have verified your email address, but SurveySavvy encourages new members to first fill out two brief "Portrait" surveys about their employment and health. These initial surveys allow SurveySavvy to build a more complete picture of your background and lifestyle, which helps them to better connect you with the most appropriate studies.
SurveySavvy members will primarily be invited to participate in online surveys, but they could also receive invitations for other types of research studies like online communities, focus groups, clinical trials, webcam/telephone interviews, etc. In terms of rewards, members are compensated with cash (no obscure points system here), and, as soon as they have earned at least $1, they can redeem their money directly from the members' area of SurveySavvy.com (payment issued via check). When a member screens out of a study for any reason, SurveySavvy still compensates them for their time with an entry into a monthly sweepstakes that awards 50 panelists with $10 cash each. To learn more about SurveySavvy's online panel, please see the rest of our detailed analysis or visit SurveySavvy.com.
Product Report Card Grade
We give SurveySavvy an A-. We like that it is a reputable company and that it uses a straightforward cash rewards system to compensate members for their participation in various research projects. We also really like its innovative two-tiered incentive system for referrals and the fact that you can start requesting payment as soon as you have earned $1. Although we receive fewer earning opportunities than we do with other online survey sites, we feel like SurveySavvy offers higher paying studies and does a better job of connecting us with opportunities we are qualified for. With that said, we had to deduct some points because of how long it takes to receive rewards after completing a survey (2 - 6 weeks) and then how long it takes to receive your check after you've requested payment (4 - 12 weeks). If waiting for your cash rewards doesn't bother you however, we would definitely recommend joining SurveySavvy's panel.
Pros & Cons
- Luth Research is affiliated with CASRO and is a BBB-accredited business that currently has an A+ rating
- Pays cash and doesn't use obscure points system or bogus sweepstakes programs
- Minimum redemption balance is $1
- Surveys seem to have higher payouts
- Easy to keep profile information and "Portraits" updated
- Website is very easy to navigate
- Patented two tier referral system pays you for successful referrals and also for any successful referrals your referrals make
- Can take 2 - 6 weeks for rewards balance to be updated after completing a survey
- Can take 4 - 12 weeks after requesting payment for your check to be processed and delivered
- Fewer survey opportunities (about 10 per month)
- A few panelists have reported issues receiving payment
- Doesn't offer a mobile app
Through Luth Research, SurveySavvy is BBB-accredited (A+ rating) and is affiliated with major industry organizations such as CASRO, the American Marketing Association and ESOMAR. The founder of Luth actually serves on the board of directors at the American Marketing Foundation and she previously served on the CASRO board of directors for 8 years. While the site is clearly reputable, feedback from panelists is somewhat mixed. Some people have been very happy with their experience and the money they've earned, but others were frustrated by the lack of survey opportunities and by the delay in receiving compensation. There were also a few complaints about not being credited for surveys and not receiving payments.
I personally have enjoyed my experience as a member of SurveySavvy. Joining was really easy and the website is very user-friendly. The straightforward cash rewards system is obviously preferable to an obscure points system, and I like that I will always receive cash (not sweepstakes entries) for completing surveys. I haven't yet participated in the referral program, but it is definitely an attractive part of their business that I plan on testing. One person I came across said they could earn as much as $20 per month for their direct and indirect referrals' activity.
Since joining, I have received about 10 - 12 invitations per month, mostly to participate in online surveys but also to join online communities and clinical trials. I filled out the "Portrait" surveys and do feel like SurveySavvy has done a good job of connecting me with relevant opportunities. The compensation for 10- to 20-minute surveys has typically been in the $1 - $3 range with a few opportunities in the $10 - $20 range. While I haven't been chosen for any of the higher paying surveys yet, I have made a few dollars here and there on the site.
I do agree with other panelists that it is annoying to have to wait 2 - 6 weeks to receive your rewards after completing a survey and another 4 - 12 weeks to receive a check after requesting payment. I also think it is somewhat unacceptable that they don't keep a list of completed surveys with pending payments in the members' area of the website. While I understand that SurveySavvy needs to receive payment from their client before paying the panelists, it seems a little weird that panelists are required to keep track of all survey completes and their reference numbers to ensure that their account balance is updated accordingly within the 2- to 6-week window. In any case, what works for me is just keeping screenshots (like the one below) of my completed surveys and storing them in a "SurveySavvy" folder on my computer. Given Luth Research's reputation and BBB rating, I'm confident that payment issues are completely unintentional and isolated incidents, but I'd rather just have my survey history easily accessible if I do end up having to deal with customer service about a missing payment.
The bottom line is that, if you don't mind waiting months to receive a payment, we would definitely suggest trying SurveySavvy's panel. It is probably best suited for people who are a little more organized, but it is still a great way to earn some extra cash in your spare time, particularly if you enjoy participating in market research.