I knew I could no longer put off this review about SurveySavvy after it hits yet another high on popularity ranking.
Well the urgency of this review may be prompted by my own personal inquisitiveness, the good that this review is going to bring you, the readers, is that you get to find out if SurveySavvy is a legit company, what sort of scams, if any, it is associated with, the company background, and most importantly if this is a trustworthy site in the survey industry.
Survey Savvy is is operated out of San Diego California based Luth Research since 1999. Rosanne Luth founded Luth LLC in 1977 and today still presides over the company.
Roseanne Luth’s longevity in the business world is tantamount to her business savvies. But that aside, she also managed to get into the board of the San Diego Better Business Bureau for a five-year term. And being the Bureau’s first woman chairman in 1998 is surely another milestone in her illustrious career.
Under Ltd’s stewardship, Luth Research has been much heralded in the business community and it was no surprise that San Diego Book of Lists (by San Diego Business Journal) made it one of the top 25 San Diego Women-Owned Businesses.
It is obvious that the Luth’s factor is central to the spectacular rise of Luth Research, it is thus no surprise that she was named Most Admired CEO in the Private Sector category in San Diego in 2008.
Survey Savvy says that it is the biggest in the paid online survey industry, in term of survey payout, as it claims that disbursement of about $14 million has been paid out to survey takers as compensation.
The company pays on average $3 for every survey attempted and completed. It has a strong international foothold, with its over 1.5 million users coming from 190 countries. Well, that may not be an indication of legitimacy or otherwise, but I never believe that a real scam can pull off with so many people!
For members who went through the screening exercise but failed at the qualification stage, Survey Savvy would reward them with free entry to monthly sweepstakes. So it gives the impression that not all were in vain.
Those few facts aside, SS really is not unlike any other online survey panel. In essence, members volunteer their opinions about the various questionnaires, in return for some form of compensations. The payout is generally dependent on the amount they manage to get from their clients who need your inputs.
So far so good! But the above represents just a mere preview of the company. It does not guarantee that it can be a source of income for your survey participation. Perhaps more importantly, it does not say much about a company that will go away quietly, once they collect your personal details and credit card information. There ought to be a few more parameters that you want to check on before you make up your decision to sign up. I have gathered this information as follows.
Better Business Bureau’s Rating
As a matter of habit, I have always made the Better Business Bureau, also known as BBB, the point of reference before I take on any business or company. BBB has a good database that covers the majority of companies. I think it also boasts of a really objective ratings system. The fact that this service is available free means that this is the place I go to first to check out a company’s past record.
And SS certainly makes for a pleasant reading. Since 1993, it has continued to impress BBB to warrant it an A+ rating. If this sounds vague to you, you can take it simply that A+ is the best rating possible for BBB to judge any business.
I would then go on to the Web, especially forum sites, to dig out the general impression of the public on Survey Savvy.
Granted, it is never possible for any company to stay out of any negative comment, I am glad to report to you that among its peers in the survey panel business, it probably garners the least negative feedback, and some of the best reviews I found are reserved for SurveySavvy.
Now the stage is set for me to sign up, except for one minor detail. I wanted to be sure if this site charges anything for registration. Maybe it is just me, but I never approve of any survey sites that insist on sign-up fees, when we are ready to render our honest opinions. It is true that we want to make some income, but that is not reason for them to charge us a fee, no matter how small the amount can be.
Once I confirmed that the site offers free membership, I gleefully sign-up and got ready for my test run with the site.
The registration process over at Survey Savvy was like a breeze. After giving out some personal details, I was done with the website
You next clicked on to a verification link that was sent to you through e-mail, you would then be led to a “Member Profile” and subsequently “Member Portrait” sections.
Both sections would require further inputs from you, but the idea is the same, which is to extract your shopping patterns and spending habits. They would use this information to decide if you can can be a good fit for whatever upcoming surveys.
Do note that under the section called “Member Portrait”, it is not mandatory that you should fill this section. My advice, though, is to furnish more details over here. The logic being that the more they know about you, and your shopping habits, the more likely you would get invited to more suitably qualified surveys.
Survey Savvy has many pre-defined portraits. The good thing here is that it affords you the flexibility. You can choose from (and fill in) whatever number of portraits that you fancy. In that sense, you choose to become a real expert on a certain subject matter, or you can be that wise guy with diverse interests (or knowledge) across a number of subjects.
Whatever you choose to be, Survey Savvy would match your declared portraits with the intended surveys, and would only send out an invitation if they deem you to be a good fit.
The advantage of course is that Survey Savvy would do the preliminary checks for you, instead of you dive into every survey, only to find out that those surveys just simply won’t do! So, Survey Savvy’s portraits can actually save you time.
After you are done with the filling-in, just take a step back and look out for invitations to come through e-mails.
A Quick Tip
One thing for sure is that you are bound to receive lots of invitations. I would suggest that you create a separate importance for the just to take care of the invitation e-mails.
In fact, a better idea would be to have a brand-new e-mail account. You would use this account for all the survey sites (including Survey Savvy) that you like to work with, since most survey works start with invitations that come through your e-mail.
How Much Money per Survey?
There is no standard rate for survey work done here. Some come with a very underwhelming $1 compensation, but some can afford to pay out $50 per survey.
You may, at this point, feel that you can just take on every survey and just let the money roll. It could be a noble thought, but I tell you it is not a practical move.
There will be times (lots of times, in fact) when you could not get past the screening tests. Don’t get despair! At times when your best is not good enough for the actual survey, Survey Savvy will make sure that your time and effort will get compensated in some form.
In this case, the rewards are the entries to sweepstakes. No guarantee winning, but still a nice gesture nevertheless. I find that most popular survey panels tend to do this, like MyView.com and American Consumers Opinion, more popularly known as ACOP.
While the company declares that the lowest payout is $1, throughout my time there, I must admit that all survey works attempted never paid this low. Season survey takers would know that a typical survey would likely reward you something like $2-$5 range. But Survey Savvy has no shortage of survey work that pays you from $10 up. So that is a nice incentive to become a panelist here.
How Long an Average Survey Takes?
You would also be interested to find out all how long it will take to tackle a typical survey (pdf). I can tell you that it usually takes around 20 to 25 minutes.
And before you come across a really time-consuming survey, I like to show you that over here at Survey Savvy, the amount of pay out is often a function of the survey length. So, if the survey is going to take time, the money would be good!
Savvy Connect is a new feature introduced in February 25, 2013. It is a software to be downloaded, and upon successful installation, users will get directly enrolled into Survey Savvy behavioral research panel, thus the chance of getting even more paid survey work.
In summary, this represents endless opportunities, amazing promotions, and higher earning capacity for members in this exclusive program.
Well, the software sits inside your computer dormant at most times. But the moment you get on to the web, it will start to create a log and capture all your activities. They then consolidate this information and related it to some behavioral metrics, like what are the popular YouTube videos, where people do most of their shopping online, what search terms are in fashion, and so on…
If you are intrigued with this new feature, why not test it out. You can register to this new service by clicking here (this would bring up to a separate registration from the usual panel).
How Serious They Take Privacy?
The official response from the company regarding personal data protection:
I don’t think I would have installed the app if the vendor were not Survey Savvy. I admit the image of long player for the company and the fine reputation of the CEO have probably created a bias in me.
But I am happy to report that there was no untoward incident after the installation. Rather the invitations keep flowing in, and mind you, these are not the typical survey work that pays pittance, but more generous surveys that I just don’t find enough from the main panel.
The site boasts of a nice referral program as well. If this term does not really make sense to you, basically this is a scheme that pays you money for getting your friends and family members onboard.
Survey Savvy really boasts of a referral program that pays well. First off, you get your rewards as you introduce new members to the site. Then as these new recruits start taking up work here, you are entitled to a cut of what they earn (in the region of 15% of the payout to your referral).
And here is something new! When people you refer subsequently refer even more people to Survey Savvy, you still get to retain a cut from this down line, when they work. If you always have a knack in recruitment, Survey Savvy will provided you a platform for you to put this skill in good use, and in a profitable way.
Every member of the site would be provided with individual personal link. It is up to you how you want to use this link, but a good bet is to use it on social media and forums. Whenever people register to the site using your personalized link, these folks become your referrals straight away.
One other option is to invite people via email. You can do this right from the site’s user menu. Survey Savvy allows you to customize the email content one at a time, or in other words, no spamming.
I think I would forever be amused by SurveySavvy LLC’s decision not to take PayPal as a payment option. But the good thing here is that SS holds the record in term of the lowest threshold payment in the market.
If you like it, you can always ask for your $1 balance in your account to be paid to you. Or you do one survey, and immediately demand for that payment! But there is going to be lead-time. In the case of Survey Savvy, the check would be ready in a month’s time.
Since they pay out is via checks only, you better use a real mailing address, as this is the only way they handle checks.
So, How Trustworthy is Survey Savvy?
I mentioned earlier that Survey Savvy pays good money. But that exact factor actually starts people worrying if a legit company could actually pay so much for something as simple as people’s opinions.
On the more extreme side, there are some who accuse SS being an outright scam.
My take is that if you want to be in this industry, you just have to wallow them all in, the good, the bad and the neutral views. This is an inescapable fact of the market, and competitions like i-Say, SurveySpot, SurveySay, and even Global Test Market, all have to take this in their strides.
My personal experience is not bad, if not excellent, but understandably, l alone would not be representative of the whole survey takers population. In order to stay objective, I have taken pain to find out other experiences out there, and here is what I found:
My first investigation is to check if there is any complaint targeted to the payout policy or procedure. The interest in this area is natural given that there are so many sites that tend to over-promise but go short on delivery with regards to payment and redemption. I am glad to report that no one single complaint is registered in that regard.
There is no denying that the site would need 4-6 weeks to process payouts, but this is just how the system works there. I am sure I am not the first person who disapproves of this delay, nor I would be the last, but live goes on! On the positive side, the company gladly obliges even if you are just requesting $1 payout.
People also complained about lack of options and ranges the surveys carried by Survey Savvy. But whatever limited choices they have, they choose to pay handsomely, so this weakness in variations offered is sort of compensated by high payouts. As a side note, I am of the thoughts that no one survey panel could possibly satisfy all the expectation of the market, which is why it makes sense to join as many survey panels as possible.
It is my fervent hope that by this point, your understanding of Survey Savvy and its operation has become crystal clear. I have my own list of favorite panels, and this one does sit among them. It is fully legit and it pays decent, so you may want to give it a try. You may just find out there are aspects that you like.