PanelBucks.com is the online home of Panel Bucks, a website which promises to give people a way to earn extra money from home with one of the oldest and most popular internet industries, market research.
Long ago, online market research became one of the most popular ways of earning money online because people were told all that was expected of them was to simply provide their own opinions and own experiences in exchange for some form of compensation.
Panel Bucks is not actually a market research company that enrolls members and distributes surveys directly to them. Instead, they partner with a wide variety of market research companies that they encourage you to sign up with.
The first promise they offer their potential members is a signing bonus of $25 when they finally commit to enrolling. Once you are enrolled, you will have immediate access to their directory of free market research companies to sign up with, mystery shopping jobs, free online coupons, exclusive offers, and work from home opportunities.
The website is very clear that the best strategy for their members to earn as much money as possible with market research is to simply sign up to work with as many different companies and opportunities as possible.
Panel Bucks goes on to say that the companies they work with will pay their members between $3 to $75 for surveys, $30 to $100 for participating in focus groups, $10 to $50 per hour for mystery shopping jobs, $2 to $50 for trying new products, and $150 or more per hour for work at home opportunities.
Is Panel Bucks Legit?
The fact that Panel Bucks does not ask their customers to pay any membership fees is very important, and is a good step in the right direction, but ultimately this company doesn’t seem very ethical or trustworthy, mostly because they are making a bunch of promises they can’t possibly keep.
The worst is the outrageous numbers they quote for their members’ earnings. The website says that their members can expect to be paid $10.00 for a short survey and up to $150 for a focus group survey.
By any reliable measure of online market research, these numbers are ridiculous. A short online survey pays closer to ten cents than it does to ten dollars, and though $150 focus groups do exist, they tend to be offered only after you have built up experience and a relationship with a company, and even then only if you are willing to do an in person focus group – not an online survey.
The biggest red flag, however, is their promotion of “work at home opportunities” that can pay more than $150 an hour. What this means is they plan on partnering with companies that train you in independent business opportunities to sell you expensive and generally worthless training courses. This is not to the benefit of their members, and because of this, prospective members should find their surveys from other companies.