My husband was sorting through the mail yesterday, tossing spam and setting bills aside for closer review. Then he picked up an envelope addressed to “Current Resident” from a company called “Scarborough.” He’s not sure what inspired him to actually open it, but he was glad when he did because he found a crisp, new $1 bill inside. My husband is the sort of guy who picks up loose change off the ground, so getting a free $1 bill is a huge thrill for him.
Once upon a time I received 2 $1 bills from a market research company called Knowledge Panel. At the time I was unemployed and doing a lot of online surveys to make extra money while I looked for a new job. I signed up for the Knowledge Panel (read my full review here) and did surveys with them for a couple years, earning me hundreds of dollars, until I got a job and didn’t have time to do the surveys so they kicked me out of the program.
Because of that experience, when this $1 bill showed up from Scarborough Research, I was intrigued. The envelope had a letter asking us to complete a short enclosed survey and promised to send us $5 cash in return. This made me extra interested because the survey was less than a page long and I love getting money for minimal work. My husband was a bit skeptical though and neither of us are interested in signing up for any new research panels right now, so I decided to do some investigating.
So I started Googling for Scarborough Research to see what came up. I got varying results, from people who received calls from them and got paid to complaints from people who can’t get them to stop calling.
After poking around a bit and looking at their website, it’s pretty clear that they are a legitimate market research company and are actually run by Nielsen–the company known for Nielsen TV ratings and the TV boxes that track shows watched in certain households. I have no problem with that. My only issue is we don’t like to receive phone calls for surveys–we would rather do them online at our own convenience. By providing them your phone number, you opt-in to receive phone calls about future surveys.
Since I read plenty of examples of people receiving the $5 for the follow-up survey, I think it’s worth trying out. I’m going to have my husband fill out the survey and send it back.
This is an invitation-only panel, so if you’re interested in joining Scarborough and doing phone surveys that pay up to $50, definitely send back the survey when you get it. If you’re not interested, just keep the free $1 bill and throw the rest away.
I will update this post if we receive the $5 payment from Scarborough.
We received the follow-up mailing from Scarborough on May 18th (about 2 months later) and it included a crisp $5 bill just like they promised.
We were very surprised that they sent us a bill and not a check and overall we were pleased that this was legitimate and we got paid. So far my husband has gotten one call from them (that he missed) for a survey, but he’s excited to earn more money from Scarborough.