There are so many ways to save money. Which is a plus. But it can be hard to determine which apps are for you, and which apps won’t fit your needs. Which is a bummer.
One of the questions often fielded in the SavEars is, “What do you guys think of _____ app?” Or, its popular cousin, “What are your favorite apps for earning?” In the spirit of filling our savings lives with more pluses and less bummers, we’re digging deep and investigating the most popular earning sites and apps.
The app spotlight reviews new (or new to us) apps that have proven to 1) earn money and 2) not be a scam. How do we know? Every app reviewed in the App Spotlight has been tested and verified by multiple members of Couponing to Disney. We try it out first, and then report back to you.
This week’s app is….
What is it?: A product based survey site.
Pinecone Research is a trusted leader in voicing the opinions of consumers nationwide. Companies are seeking your input to develop new and improved products. By completing their online surveys, your opinions will directly influence tomorrow’s products today, and you will be rewarded!
As a Pinecone Research panelist, you are part of an elite group that represents consumers and households like yours nationwide. Your opinion is very important to manufacturers who count on people like you to help predict which products will be developed and which may not be suited for launch.
Participation is simple. Pinecone sends you an email notification when you have a survey available. This I love, because you don’t have to log in and check, or fill our 200 qualifying questions. Pinecone has your profile and when they find a survey you match with, they alert YOU. Complete the survey and earn points to be redeemed for either cash or prizes.
Pinecone Research members receive points for each completed survey. The standard survey for Pinecone Research receives 300 points (equal to $3) upon completion. One nifty feature is the notification of your points being processed. Every time you are awarded your points, Pinecone sends you an email. Occasionally, the survey will include an in home test product. Pinecone sends you the product to test and you will be required to answer some additional questions about your usage of the product. These types of surveys can earn more than the standard 300 points.
Pinecone is free to sign up for and free to use, but there is one catch. Pinecone Research does not accept every applicant as a panelist. There is a often a wait list for popular demographics. If you have a referral from a current panelist, your chances of being accepted do go up a little bit.
Still, even if you don’t have a referral, I would recommend trying to join Pinecone. Unlike many survey sites, the format Pinecone uses is consistent no matter what the product is. This makes it very user friendly and easy to navigate. Also unlike other survey sites, the content on Pinecone is very specific. You will only be answering questions about products that could be purchased in a retail environment.
One of my favorite parts about Pinecone is that they only send you surveys that you qualify for. This is one of the reasons they do not accept every applicant immediately to be part of the panel. They are cultivating their demographics, which benefits their members. Pinecone sends you a survey that you’re guaranteed to be the desired demographic for. It’s a great use of your time, since you’re guaranteed to see points for your efforts.
Who is it for?: Anyone who purchases retail goods like groceries or household items.
Most of the surveys I have taken on Pinecone revolve around information in my profile. I’ve given my opinions on baby products, food items geared towards families, and cleaning products. If you are the person in your family who does the grocery/household shopping, than you are the ideal panelist for Pinecone because you have opinions based on experience! You are the person shopping for these products, so your opinion holds a lot of weight.
Pinecone Research surveys average 15-20 minutes, and because you know in advance when you have a survey you qualify for, you can plan on when you want to take it. This is great for you busy folks who still want to earn some money!
Where do I use it?: On your desktop computer or laptop. Pinecone does not have a mobile app, so surveys need to be accessed using either your desktop or laptop computers.
When do I use it?: Pinecone will send you surveys as soon as they’re live. The surveys remain live for a period of time, which will vary by survey length and desired demographic. While you don’t want to wait a long time to complete your survey, you do have some leeway to complete it when convenient for you.
You are generally expected to complete one survey a month to remain active (though you are welcome to complete more if more are sent to you!) Not remaining active may lead to being removed from the panel. Remember, this is an exclusive panel because it pays well and is very interesting. They expect their panelists to engage on a regular basis. But truthfully, that is pretty easy to do since you make the schedule.
Why do I use it?: To earn prizes, gift cards, or PayPal deposits to contribute to your Disney Fund.
Gift Card and PayPal cash outs begin at $5 and can go up to $100. Gift card options might be the most varied of any site I’ve seen. They include Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, Nike, Buffalo Wild Wings, Macy’s, Banana Republic, Hotels. com, Nordstrom, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Chili’s, Gap, and so, so many more.
Prize redemption is definitely one of the places Pinecone research shines because in addition to using your points for PayPal or gift cards, you can redeem them for a wide variety of prizes. Like, seriously wide variety. Categories include books, automotive, baby, electronics, home and garden, gourmet food…There are over 20 categories of prizes. This makes Pinecone an especially great option when it comes to birthdays or the holidays.
Final Verdict: Highly Recommended. The relevant survey topics, possibility of in home test products, considerate use of your time, and excellent prize redemption offers makes Pinecone Research a gem among saving sites, and definitely worth the effort you’ll put into it. Use Kristin’s referral to see if you can skip the waitlist.
Think you’ll give Pinecone Research a try? Have you already? What is your reaction so far? Tell me all about it in the comments.
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!