We often review paid survey sites on minimal standards — whether their site was functional, how well the surveys paid, and whether any payment issues came up. It is not often we have a trustworthy site with innovation in front of us.
YouGov is the exception.
If you could ever fall in love with a panel you work for — it would have to be YouGov.
They are all hits with pretty well no misses.
What to expect?
As a YouGov panelist, you will:
- Have no less than 12 payment options to choose from,
- Be able to knock down surveys in 5-10 minutes flat,
- Manage to earn $50 to $100 rather quickly, and,
- Sometimes you can receive higher-paying focus group invites.
Everything we ask of a paid survey panel, YouGov manages to set a new standard at.
There are not even a shortage of surveys; you could be busy daily with these guys!
With that said, it is clear — current as of April 2016, Elite Survey Sites highly recommends joining YouGov’s paid survey panel — but let’s treat it like a normal review still. It is understandable if some are always skeptical, after all.
Is YouGov a Scam?
There is no reason to consider YouGov a scam at all.
First off, their BBB profile features a B+ rating. They have been accredited since 2011. The lower rating comes as a result of 29 complaints filed against them. 15 of these were resolved positively, the rest went unanswered. Quite a few complaints were fixed up by sending the full amount the claimant requested for resolution.
Secondly, they really do have over four million panelists working for them. If you search YouGov “inurl:forum” in Google, you will find a ton of their panelists discussing them. It is not a small scale business.
We review a few survey panels positively even though they are smaller, the biggest fear is having the panel turn sour. But YouGov is completely legitimate in that respect, so you do not have to worry about whether your information will get shared or if you will actually get paid for your time.
Outside of outright scam complaints, what problems exist?
The biggest complaint users seem to have is that a lot of surveys pay sweepstakes entries instead of actual points. While it is nice to think you could win a lot of money in their monthly draw. For instance, payouts in the UK for monthly draws are as follows:
So while people might not be happy with the large amount of surveys that pay sweepstakes entries, those who end up winning the draw are ecstatic!
Do You Get Screened Out Often?
Further, another complaint against many paid survey panels is the high volume of surveys with pre-qualifiers that screen you out. The opposite is true about YouGov, it is very rare to get screened out from a survey here. Yet, they have 4+ million survey panelists worldwide!
Does YouGov’s Site Have Technical Problems?
You also do not have to deal with the technical difficulties. Quite a few survey panels scam by making it seem like their site is erroneous. For example, you might complete a survey only to find out your account will fail to receive the payment. Weeks will pass and you might not get the points without contacting support, otherwise you would have lost them. Again, not a problem with YouGov at all.
What’s the real background of YouGov’s business?
You want to know why they are legitimate? In 2000 they started up, by 2006 they bought Clear Horizons, Definitive Heights, and Harrison Group. In the same year they also managed to get Polimetrix. This turned them into a technical giant in the market research industry, causing the acquisition of big-name clients like Apple, McDonalds, Nike, the US government, and many other entities and organizations.
How Much Does YouGov Pay?
Okay, so here’s the thing …
Every survey will realistically take anywhere from two to ten minutes to complete. But you only get 500 to 1,000 points for each survey you do. Now you need 35,000 points in order to request a withdrawal — this equates to $25, making it 1,400 points per $1 value.
Worst case scenario, you waste 10 minutes on every single survey and for the bare minimum payment. This would be 3,000 points in an hour or $2.14/hr , but if you look at a realistic calculate it would be six minutes per survey or 10 surveys an hour. At this rate, you could do 500 points X 10 surveys = 5,000 points in an hour or $3.57/hr which is a little better.
But you want to focus on those higher-paying surveys too. If you can average out to 750 points per survey, suddenly you are making $5.36/hr. This is a big step up; you would be able to earn your first withdrawal in just five working hours at that rate!
So it really is all about how you play yourself. Many frequent panelists tackle the monthly draw entries when there are no higher-paying points surveys available. This might slow down your balance buildup, but their monthly draw would make for a huge pay bonus.
Further, contests in the US are not quite as awesome just yet. And there are 1.8+ million Americans at YouGov, which means you have a relatively good chance at hitting a sweepstakes win if you are a UK panelist!
What Are the Surveys About?
What makes YouGov really cool is their subject matter. They tackle political opinion like no other survey panel in existence. They also take a neutral approach — they claim to be a non-partisan organization.
Besides politics, they also get into teen opinions, business and IT surveys, and even product testing … plus you can do surveys daily on your phone via the YouGov app called ‘YouGov Daily’. These surveys are super simple — you basically answer questions like, “Which of these celebrities below would make a good father?”
A lot of questions pertain to pop culture. You will often find yourself answering stuff about your favorite celebrities, companies, products, and more. If you are in tune with what’s hot in today’s mainstream media, you will find a lot of the surveys very easy to do.
Does YouGov Have Any Problems?
The BBB complaints make up for rarer instances, such as unique technical difficulties but they do not demonstrate the norm. The truth is most do not run into such problems while working with YouGov. Points get awarded promptly and in the right amount, payments come quickly, and survey disqualifications rarely happen. It is the perfect set-up for a loyal panelist; still, there are some weak points you will find along the way.
Firstly, YouGov is not very clear on the fact that getting paid in sweepstakes entries disqualifies you from receiving reward points. If you accept the entries after completing a survey, you will no longer have the option to take any points. Thus, it is important to keep an eye on that when you finish your survey. There are also some surveys that only pay sweepstakes entries, so keep an eye out to see what rewards are paid out before applying for any particular survey.
Second, some users do get a shortage of surveys. This could be due to inactivity; filling out the monthly Omnibus survey is really important, it is what gets used to qualify you for surveys for the following month. This should guarantee you at least one survey a week, but chances are you will get much more than that if you fit the right demographics and geographic criteria. Either way, you can set up automatic payments and just take on survey invites when they come to you — enjoy the payout once it happens, simple as that!
Lastly, it is true that UK panelists tend to get more opportunities right now. This is because the company has larger contracts with clients seeking market research data from UK consumers. So if you do live in the UK, you will find yourself earning a fair bit more — and getting quite a few more survey invites — than someone from the US. But things will change with time, and the 1.8 million and counting American panelists will eventually get a better share of the pie. So even just to capitalize on future opportunities, it would be worth having a YouGov account and keeping up with the Omnibus surveys each month.
Ready to Join YouGov?
If you sign up now, you can score 1,000 points right away by filling out your profile details. It will be necessary to provide your mailing information here. Many political surveys are broken down geographically, any a lot of the time political opinion is a big moneymaker.
After you complete your profile you can sit back and relax. They will email you survey offers as they come up. Also, on a monthly basis there is an Omnibus survey that needs to be filled out to further build your profile and qualify you for new surveys. This can get you entered into higher-paying opportunities with YouGov if you are lucky.
You can expect at least one survey invite a week. If your balance reaches £50, a check will be automatically sent to you. Americans can withdraw via various gift cards and vouchers, PayPal cash, charitable donations, and certain products, after earning $25 in points.
Conclusion: Is YouGov Really Worth the Time?
The surveys really are cool and fun. The site is interactive and never acts up. Some get more invites than others — it often depends on where you are located. It might take a year to get your withdrawal earned, or it could take six weeks. It really depends, but they are consistent and trusted so go ahead and do their surveys when nothing higher-paying is available!
So yes, Elite Survey Sites recommends all panelists join YouGov, but do keep time management in mind and focus on whatever surveys pay the best wherever they are.