I love paid product testing. I mean, who wouldn’t like getting free products to test, while getting paid it for them? the problem is finding legit companies and avoiding scams.
Today’s review is about MindsPay, one of these companies that not only offers paid surveys, but it also offers product testing opportunities.
As always, I’ll start with a quick company history, then we move on to the actual review.
About the Company
Consistent with my other reviews, like the one of InboxDollars I, I got my investigative work started by checking out the background of the company. It was really a thankless effort as I practically found no information at all.
I invested time to uncover who are the players behind the site, but it was like diving into a black hole. The company doesn’t even list a telephone number to get in touch with them.
Better Business Bureaue’s Rating
My next best alternative was to try to dig some meaningful information the Better Business Bureau.
When I get to see the following line published by the BBB about the company, that really started the alarm bell ringing:
The address being used by the company of 2885 Sanford Ave SW, #14119, Grandville, MI is actually that of a company by the name of Mailbox Forwarding Inc. The true physical address of Mindspay is unknown.
There is really nothing comforting when the company you have in mind happens to share the same address of a company called Mailbox Forwarding Inc.
To be fair, that particular forwarding company may have nothing to do with the operation of MindsPay.
On the other hand, it is not necessarily bad even if the website is run by the forwarding company, as they do not attempt to hide this fact from the public. You would just imagine them to be more upfront and own up to it.
There lies in another ironical fact: you cannot find the “About” page on their website. It is astonishing as this is probably the first page that all companies would pay attention to as they do their websites.
It is thus little wonder that BBB has decided to give a C- rating for MindsPay. It is significant, as you cannot get a lower rating than that.
Application of membership here does not cost you a single cent, so this is consistent with the pattern of most legitimate survey companies. The only things expected of you are a personal profile (that includes demographic information) and an e-mail ID for the purpose of work.
The strange thing here is that they insist on you having an Internet Explorer in order to fill out the surveys commissioned by them. I probably can guess that this has something to do with their server-side setup and possibly the programs they choose to use. But then you think about the openness of the Internet, and you begin to question the rationale behind. After all the choice of Internet browser was never enforced onto me by any online survey panel that I have researched.
Anyway, back to the registration…
Once your fill out is complete, a sign-on bonus of $3 will be credited to you. Then you will be asked about your buying habits. There is nothing extraordinary with this, as most online survey panels tend to filter out potential candidates out of this information.
If you are picked to answer the surveys, then you will be sent invitation e-mail. If that got you interested, you can click on the link embedded in the e-mail and it will take you to a specific website that houses the surveys. Alternatively, you can choose to login to your account and select the sorts of surveys that interest you.
The good thing about MindsPay is its immediate play feature. Once the registration is over, a dialog box will prominently pop up on your screen and list out all kinds of surveys available. As fresher surveys come on board, you will be notified of such opportunities through e-mails, or what they call PaidMails, of course on the assumption that you fit the qualifying criteria of that particular survey.
You can also have full control the amount of such invitations to flow into your inbox. As part of your sign on, the system will prompt you to decide how many e-mail invites should come your way in a typical day.
To ensure that these invites do not inadvertently ended up in your junkbox, the company chooses to use @MindsPaymails.com as postfix.
A typical survey would take you now more than 15 minutes to complete. Be expected to be from $3-$25 for individual survey, but there are times when surveys could be going on a much higher rates.
Is this a Real “Get Paid to Review Products” Opportunity?
Indeed, this particular service has always been in existence of the market research field for long period of time. There is nothing that suggests foul play as even educational institutions use this approach to collect feedback.
If you are not convinced, you can read this detailed article by Jerry W. Thomas, the President/CEO of Decision Analyst, published by The University of Texas at Arlington, that explains the importance of Product testing and how it works.
Having said that, I have to admit that the model employed by MindsPay is rather unorthodox. The thing is not done in the spirit of market research study. In their scheme, what it effectively means that candidates are rewarded with cash back if they are keen on some free and paid product trials, which come from their advertisers.
So, effectively you can call it a cash back shopping rather than cutting edge study. Sure, you can fault them for misappropriation of words, but what matters is that you do get some form of cash incentive if you are keen to try on specific products or services owned by their advertisers.
But as a matter of principle, I hate it when companies try to disguise their operation with something that they are not.
There are two days that MindsPay would send out payments, i.e. on the 15th and last day of the month.
Keep in mind also that they pay out only in multiples of $50. So, imagine you would have made $120 from the website, you will only receive $100 as payment, with the $20 stays in your account.
If you choose to receive payment through PayPal, they also pay out on those 2 same days of the month. Be ready for extra waiting time, as you will have to endure a wait period of at least one month from the time you make that payment request. If PayPal chooses to do a phone verification, that waiting time could become even longer.
MindsPay also has a referral program where you can make a commissioned from every family members and friends you introduce to the company. This is a common scheme across most Internet companies. As people you refer to get to make some money here, you are entitled to a cut of 20%.
The obvious benefits of the scheme here is that you get that entitlement for life, not just from the first deal your referrals go into. It also does not matter how the earning is made; it could be either filling out surveys or participation in product testing.
And the wonderful thing is that the commission stays 20% for the next consecutive payment to your referrals. Throughout my reviews of online survey panels, there seems to be no one who is up to it.
My Review of MindsPay
Just to recap, there is no signing on fee and pay out is dispensed legally. So there is no complaint about that. But there are two things that are at least worthwhile of your attention.
To start with, the site does promise to pay you for your participation in surveys, and I must say there is no shortage of such surveys. But, when you look deeper, you will soon find out that great efforts have been made to entice you into product trials.
On the surface, there is nothing wrong with this particular business model. However, I always have a reservation on product trials as they would often require you to disclose your credit card information as a prerequisite to participate in them.
Frankly, there are a good number of free trials so there is no worry overall. The problem is that when you forget to cancel the product trial before the expiry of the trial, you will very likely be imposed on any subsequent charges. There is an excellent posting from the PC world that talks a great deal about product trials and cancellation, check this out!
But back to the surveys side of the business, you will find most surveys fall in the range of five dollars at most, which is not the best you can find in the marketplace. The only way to make up the shortfall in earnings is to engross yourself with product trials, which in my opinion is not the best way to make money.
Then there is this problem of the site willingness to pay in multiples of $50 only. This is certainly a clear hint that you got to make in excess of $50 before you get to receive your first payment.
I won’t say that no other company employs this policy, but it is certainly not the industry norm. Of course, it also represents a certain risk as you would loose all your earnings in the event that you decide to quit before you get to hit the $50 mark.
Is MindsPay a Legit Survey Site?
Well, I guess you get some of my misgivings about this company from the review you are reading so far. But let me make it absolutely clear, that is there is no evidence throughout my fact-finding exercise that suggests MindsPay is up to no good.
So, I can see that it is not a scam, but I also have that feeling that the company is somehow engaging in some sneaky practices, which make me kind of uncomfortable to enthusiastically recommend this site to you.
But there is no stopping you if you figure this can work for you, and here is the link to their sign up page.