Payment Proof: Knowledge Networks Panel is Not a Scam

Filed under: All, Make Money, Reviews 
3 Comments

I’m still getting a lot of traffic from people who think Knowledge Panel is a scam, so I just wanted to post some proof that it is a legit panel. It’s one of my favorite panels and I think anyone who’s interested in taking surveys for money and is lucky enough to be invited to join the panel (you can’t just sign up, your household has to be selected) should join it.

This week I received 2 checks from Knowledge Networks.

The amounts are pretty large and here’s why: I participated in a medical study which required an in depth telephone interview, so I was compensated $100 for that. I also took an extended financial survey that paid $20. The rest was just earned through general surveys. I don’t know how typical these earnings are, but the opportunities are there and they do pay.

if you want to learn more about Knowledge Networks, read about the 2 dollar bills they sent me in the mail and my review of the panel.

If you have any questions about Knowledge Panel, please check their FAQ and the FAQ I compiled as well.

Make Money Online: Take Surveys with Toluna

Filed under: All, Make Money, Reviews 
2 Comments

This seems like a good week to try and make some extra money, right? Well, today I am reviewing Toluna. I never actually joined Toluna. I was a member of Greenfield Online, which was acquired by Toluna last year, and eventually my Greenfield account became a Toluna account. At first I was skeptical because I didn’t really know anything about Toluna, but I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with my experiences so far.

Toluna is market research meets social networking. This means there’s lots of opportunities to earn points beyond just taking surveys. Besides the traditional surveys, you can earn points every day by taking sponsored polls and short surveys (usually less than 10 questions) and writing 80+ word opinions on the site.

In addition to the community, you’ll also receive invitations for longer surveys. The surveys I’ve received are usually somewhere between 1200 & 15000 points (<$1-$5). I don't bother with any surveys under 3000 points and I take into consideration the length of time listed in the invite email. When you sign up, they encourage you to fill out their "interest surveys," which qualify you for other surveys. You receive 600 points for each interest survey and then 2000 points for completing them all. That earned me over 12000 points to start off with. I racked up the required 60,000 points for a check last month and put in the request. I received it in about 3 weeks, so this panel is 100% legit.

Overall, Toluna is a great panel, currently one of my favorites. It’s easy to rack up points with simple polls and then pick and choose the best paying surveys to make good use of my time. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to earn extra money through surveys.

Toluna Stats

Info Required to Sign Up: Name, email, address, DOB, gender, income.
Member eligibility requirements:
Sign up bonuses: 500 points
How points are earned: Taking surveys, writing opinions, voting in sponsored polls.
Value of survey/action: Surveys: 500+ points, write opinion: 100 points, sponsored polls: 15-150 points, invite a friend: 500 points.
Earnings for disqualified survey: Sweepstakes entry.
Redemption options: Check, shopping vouchers, sweepstakes entries.
Fees or rules for redemption: Minimum 60,000 points for $20 check. 3000 – 75000 points for shopping vouchers.
Time redemption takes: They say up to 8 weeks. My check came in about 3 weeks.
Cash value of points: 3000 points = $1

Note: Supposedly Paypal is a payment option, but I did not see it when I requested my payment last month.

Buying Generics & Store Brands: Is There a Difference?

Filed under: All, Money Saving Tips, Reviews 
Comments Off on Buying Generics & Store Brands: Is There a Difference?

One of the simplest money saving tips is to buy the generic or store brand version. From prescriptions to toilet paper or food, the generic version tends to be cheaper and can save you money in the long run. Yet, there’s two schools of though on generic brands.

The first is that these generics are cheap because they’re made cheap and don’t work as well or taste good or whatever. The other point of view is that it’s all the same and you’re only getting charged more for the name brand. Which of these opinions do I follow? Well, a combination of both.

First of all, I don’t automatically buy the store brand assuming that it’s the cheapest. When I shop, I consider all the prices, any coupons or deals, and the ultimate price per ounce or count, and then base my decision upon that. So for things like tin foil, dish soap, or dry pasta, we look for the cheapest option.

Now, there are certain things that I am brand loyal to, and these are usually health related. For example, since I have eczema I have to use hypoallergenic laundry detergent (All) and soaps (Dove). There are also certain brands we just don’t like (usually this is related to food, either being unhealthy or not very tasty). Beyond that, I tend to be open minded about most things.

I will say this: sometimes there is a noticeable difference between the named brand and the generic version of certain things. Sometimes it doesn’t matter but sometimes it does.

Here’s a recent example. I’ve been on this new crusade to use up random things we have around the house. The boyfriend accidentally bought some conditioner (he only uses shampoo) which has been sitting under our sink for over a year. Since I’m the only one in the house who uses conditioner I figured I’d just use it up.

So what we have is Garnier Fructis and Shique Essential Fruits (this is the Aldi brand from before they redesigned and re branded their products). They look almost exactly the same. The name brand is a “Fortifying Cream Conditioner” and the store brand is only a “Fortifying Conditioner” boasting an “Active Fruit Concentrate” while Garnier has “reinforced active fruit concentrate” plus some vitamins. They’re both labeled for “normal hair.” I check the ingredients, the first 17 on both are exactly the same, but the name brand has 22 ingredients and the generic only has 20.

I started out using the Shique. I have thick, frizzy, wavy hair that’s pretty dry so I usually use moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I noticed after a week of the Shique that my hair was really dry, frizzier than normal, had a hard time holding curl, and seemed to get tangled a lot more. I chalked this up to the fact that the conditioner is for “normal hair.”

After awhile, I got sick of the Shique and decided to try out the Garnier. Immediately I noticed a difference. Obviously it still wasn’t as effective as moisturizing conditioner, but my hair was less dry and easier to manage. Even the conditioner itself just looked better and felt creamier.

In this case, the named brand is definitely better and I will never buy the Shique again. This hasn’t turned me off all generics. I’ll still buy the store brand saran wrap and hand soap. Sometimes the savings are worth it and sometimes you just have to wait for a sale on the name brand and stock up.

Have any generics you love or a brand you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments.

Make Money Online: Instant Cash Sweepstakes UPDATE

Filed under: All, Make Money, Reviews 
1 Comment

Some of the information in this post is out of date. Check out the the most recent ICS post for current info.

All right everyone, the first time I posted about Instant Cash Sweepstakes I’d only been a member of the site for about two weeks, and I wasn’t particularly impressed with it at the time. Since I’d only had limited experience with the site, I promised to give it more time and then come back with an update. Well, here it is.

Honestly, I stopped visiting Instant Cash Sweepstakes for the most part a week or so afterward. I racked up coins and lottery tickets, but never earned anymore money. I started to feel like maybe this is was the kind of site where you could only earn money if you convince a lot of people to sign up via your referral link (yes that link above is a referral link). At this point I have no referrals, which isn’t surprising, because I haven’t exactly given the site the most outstanding reviews. With all of the other survey sites and money making sites out there, I could earn actual money, not just sweepstakes entries, in the time I was wasting filling out those little surveys.

So what changes have I noticed since my last visit about two months ago? Not much. The coin store is still sparsely populated with ten high priced items (including that bizarre box of Splenda, which costs more than the 8gb jump drive). Apparently at the beginning of the month they decided to change their sweepstakes format, instead of one big prize each week, they’re doing a daily prize of $50, and if your referral wins it, you win it too.

What are my earnings at this point? Well, I’m still stuck at 75 cents. I have 389 coins, and 154 tickets for the lottery drawing today. Keep in mind I haven’t used the site for like a month and a half, but still, not impressive.

So overall, I think I’m mostly done with Instant Cash Sweepstakes. I think I’ll probably still check in from time to time just to see what’s going on and if they’ve done anything new. They still call themselves “beta” and seem to incorporate the ideas of the users, so it’s possible they’ll transform into a great site yet. I’ll keep you updated if they do, but for now I have other things I’d like to spend my time on.

Check out my third update about their video surveys.

Some of the information in this post is out of date. Check out the the most recent ICS post for current info.

Make Some Extra Cash: Global Test Market Surveys

Filed under: All, Make Money, Reviews 
Comments Off on Make Some Extra Cash: Global Test Market Surveys

Let’s kick off the new week with a new website to make some extra money. Today I’m featuring a survey site called GlobalTestMarket. I’ve been a member of this panel for many years, and it’s been a positive experience. I’ve earned money from this site and have been paid a few times.

It’s pretty basic: you sign up, fill out a few profile surveys, and then you’ll receive email invitation for the surveys. Each email will include how many points the survey is worth. When you complete the survey, the points are instantly credited to your account. If you don’t qualify to complete the survey, then you may receive points (they used to give 5 points if you disqualified, but they seem to have mostly phased that out), sweepstakes entries, or just a thank-you screen.

One of the downsides is that it takes a little while to earn enough points to cash out, simply because the minimum cash-out amount is 1000 points, which equals $50. On the other hand, it’s nice to get such a large check in the mail. My first check was $63, which bought two weeks of groceries for me, so it was worth the wait. You just have to plan to be with the panel for the long term.

Personally, I’ve had no problems with Global Test Market. The surveys are fun and interesting and I’ve always received my credits immediately. Payment does take a few weeks, but the checks always come within the time frame. If you are interested in making money taking online surveys, then I definitely recommend GlobalTestMarket.

This panel is open to members around the world, so even if you’re not from the US you can sign up.

GlobalTestMarket Stats

Info Required to Sign Up: Birth date, email, first & last name, address, phone number
Member eligibility requirements: 18 years or older, or 14-17 with parent’s permission
Sign up bonuses: None
How points are earned: Taking surveys
Value of survey: Varies, anywhere between 5-50 points
Earnings for disqualified survey: Points, sweepstakes entries, or nothing (depends on the study)
Redemption options: Check
Fees or rules for redemption: Mi0nimum 1000 MarketPoints ($50)
Time redemption takes: 4-6 weeks if in the US
Cash value of points: 1 MarketPoint = 5 cents

Next Page »

Other Sites: