WARNING: I do NOT recommend Valued Opinions.
I highly recommend that you join Ipsos I-Say instead because it’s a MUCH better-paying survey panel.
Valued Opinions is a survey panel that I’ve been meaning to check out for a while…especially after having my inbox stuffed full of people saying: “Spencer, please do a Valued Opinions review!”.
Last week I cleared some time from my schedule and gave this survey panel a try. And here I’m going to let you know if it’s a scam or a trusted site.
What’s The Deal With Valued Opinions?
One of the first things I noticed when landing on their homepage is just how popular the site is. They claim to have 600,000 users in the US alone! In fact, over 13,000 people signed up last month to their site. Not to say that popularity necessarily indicates quality (if that were true than Panda Research would be an amazing panel) but it does indicate that they’ve been around for a while.
Speaking of the US, note that the site is only available to US residents and/or citizens. If you live in the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand you should head over to their sister sites for your home country. And if you don’t happen to live in these five countries then you should seek out another panel that will accept you.
How I went this long without trying it is beyond me (I guess I’ve just been too busy taking surveys from the panels that I already belong to).
I also want to point out that their slogan really spoke to me: “Rewarding Time”. If you’ve spent a lot of time joining survey panels and taking surveys you probably know how rare it is to feel that your time is valued by the site. Sometimes I’ll spend 10+ minutes just to see if I qualify for a survey only to be told that they’re not looking for people in my demographic. Needless to say it’s refreshing to find a site that even claims to be interested in compensating me fairly for my time.
As you know, trust is very important to me as surveys can sometimes be a somewhat shady industry. When I find a new survey site I actually assume it’s a scam unless I see evidence to the contrary. This may be a bit paranoid but it’s the only way to make money online from surveys.
And if you’re wondering if that Valued Opinions scam you read about is real then read on as I try the site myself and report my findings.
Inside the Site
One more first impression type thing before I get into the nitty gritty of my review is their membership with a number of reputable market research organizations. As you can see in their charter they belong to a laundry list of organizations that I look for when evaluating a site, including the Marketing Research Association and the American Marketing Association (you can learn more about the AMA here). In other words, they’re a legit marketing research-driven survey panel.
They also have an A+ rating by the BBB…not bad!
As soon as I joined I found that I was eligible for about 5 surveys right off the bat! This is actually quite rare as most panels require you to fill out some detailed demographic information about yourself before hooking you up with your first survey. Of course, Valued Opinions has this feature as well (they call them “profile surveys”) and can significantly increase the number of surveys that you qualify for.
Also, the site offers especially high-paying surveys (up to $50) to specialists, especially those in the health care field. If you don’t fill out your profile surveys then you won’t become eligible for these high paying specialist surveys. In other words, you should always fill these out when joining a new panel (as long as they don’t ask for payment information) so you can make the most from the site.
I wasn’t eligible for these special surveys so I’m not able to tell you what they’re like. But considering you get $50 per survey, I imagine it’s pretty cool!
Anyway, those 5 surveys seemed to be a bit of an aberration because I once I finished those up (for a grand total of $25) I didn’t qualify for any others for several days. But when I did I found that they paid significantly better than most other survey panels (approximately $3 for a 20-minute survey).
The surveys themselves were what you’re accustomed to if you belong to other popular survey panels: answering multiple choice questions or giving your opinion on a scale of 1-10.
Valued Opinions Rewards
One other thing I like about this particular survey panel is the fact that they have a straightforward rewards system. Everything on the site is in dollars and cents. No confusing points.
Here is a screenshot of a rewards balance from the members area:
That being said, they (a bit ironically I might add) don’t pay in cash or Paypal. But they do pay in gift cards that you can easily use online or at a store. For example, you can get gift cards from Amazon (which is almost like actual money these days), Marriott and Macy’s. They also offer Visa Promocodes which can be used online in lieu of an actual Visa credit card.
While I prefer cold hard cash whenever possible, I think that the range of cash-like rewards the site has is pretty darn close.
It’s important to note that you’ll need to accumulate $20 before being able to cash out. If you take advantage of every survey invitation you receive then you’ll probably be able to redeem your rewards once per week. At least that’s what happened to me. After 5 days I earned the $20 minimum and redeemed my rewards in the form of an Amazon gift card. Everything went smoothly.
What Others Had to Say
For a paid survey panel, Valued Opinions has surprisingly consistent reviews. While there’s definitely a few people with gripes (which I’ll touch on later) most of the reviews I found were quite positive.
What most people seem to rave about is the fact that they get more than enough survey invitations to keep them busy. In my opinion, it’s simply impossible to have too many survey invitations. And getting multiple invitations from the same panel is ideal as you can usually hit their minimum payment threshold much faster than if you took a few surveys from a number of different panels.
Another common thread was the fact that they put their slogan “Rewarding Time” into practice. Many people that belong to multiple panels report that the amount they make per hour from Valued Opinions is much more than at other sites.
However, there were a few isolated incidents that you should be aware of before signing up. There were more than a handful of people that claimed their hard-earned rewards simply disappeared one day. And when they tried to reach out to their customer service team they ended up getting the run around.
Because of these shortcomings I’m reluctant to recommend adding Valued Opinions to your survey panel portfolio.