Pinecone Research Review: A Great Survey Site For Earning Extra Money (Updated for 2019)

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Multitasking on your smartphone. We all do it. Those little devices allow us to share our experiences and opinions with everyone we know.  So why not put those opinions to good use as a side hustle and get paid for them?

Paid online surveys are a great way to earn extra cash, but not all of these companies are equal.  In our Pinecone Research review will learn all about what makes them one best places make money sharing your opinions.

​​​​What is Pinecone Research?

Pinecone Research is a well known and reputable company that has been around for over 20 years. Pinecone Research pays their survey panel members for each 5 minute survey they complete. They are also known to pay better than most survey sites at $3.00 apiece and low payout thresholds.

Pinecone Research is owned by the Nielsen Company and based in Ohio. The company was founded in 1998 and has a long history as a consumer market research company. They offer consumer surveys and product testing where participants are paid for their time and feedback. The site is free to join but is selective in who they accept into their membership panel, making them one of the most exclusive online survey sites around 

One of their competitive advantages is how selective they are at recruiting members for a research panel. This means there is a limited number of spots available so you may not be accepted.  This is typically because you don’t meet the demographic profile they are looking for at the moment.  

But if you do get accepted you can expect regular pre-screened paid surveys to keep rolling your way.It won’t make you rich but you can likely make $100 a year just clicking around for a few minutes at a time.  

Is Pinecone Research legit?

Yes, it absolutely is.  While you won't get rich, taking them a few times a month does add up.  And when you are working on improving your personal finances every little bit helps.  

pinecone research bbb

Like most things on the internet, there are all differing views on Pinecone Research. The Better Business Bureau gave the site a low rating based on complaints filed against the company in the past 3 years.  On further review of the complaints most are from users annoyed at the company slow response to their emails.

People also complained that they became locked out of their account. This was often after skipping several surveys, and then they cannot cash out their earnings. Most of the Better Business Bureau complaints have been responded to closed, so it appears the issues with a lack of response have been solved.

Most write ups comment on how easy it is to complete the surveys since they are pre-screened and how easy it is to cash out.

How to join Pinecone Research

Joining Pinecone Research isn't hard, but you do need to take specific steps.

  • Step 1: Find a Pinecone Research sign up offer through an affiliate link like this one.
  • Step 2: Complete the short sign up form.
  • Step 3: Waiting for a survey invite and then begin taking a survey

Below is a bit more detail if you need additional help.  

First find an invite for the Pinecone Research sign up page

Signing up is done through affiliate links like this, as they do not have a signup form on their site.  Their site says that they do not recruit new members through their website or take unsolicited referrals. Recruitment opportunities are invitation only through affiliate partner websites. That said, It's not difficult to track down an invite though if you want to join.

Quick Tip: If you plan on signing up for multiple surveys you should think about setting up a separate email address.  It's a quick way to optimize the survey process a little by cutting down on inbox clutter.

Pinecone Research Sign Up

Second, go to the Pinecone Research login

After you find a link to sign up with, you'll go to the login.  There you are prompted to fill out your demographic profile.  After that you click submit, and cross your fingers.

It's common that you will get a page that says they do not have availability for someone matching your profile.  They suggest that you wait several weeks and if a spot opens up they will get back to you. It was worth the wait, I promise. If after a few weeks they haven’t gotten back to you, try to login again. 

If one of those lucrative spots do open up, make sure you jump on it. The reason that it is difficult to get accepted into Pinecone Research is that they only send their panel members pre-screened surveys. This means no more responding to 10 question surveys only to find that you do not qualify.

If you get an email that you have a survey to complete, you will be able to complete it and get paid. If only everything was that easy.  

One limitation is that only one person per household can sign up. They sometimes send surveys for other household members to complete or products for them to review, but it all counts as the same household.

How much can you make on Pinecone Research?

With Pinecone Research you can make around $3 for every survey you complete. As a panelist you will receive emails for surveys from time to time.   The good news is you will always qualify for the survey due to their prescreening. 

If you complete all your surveys every month you can easily earn $10-20 for just a little bit of your time.  The survey's are also  quick and easy, taking around 5 minutes to complete. Not a bad return for your effort while watching tv.

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Something to point out is that you have to complete  all of the surveys sent to you. If you stop responding, they will drop you from their panel in favor of someone more engaged. This can cause you to get locked out of the site, along with your access to your non-cashed out earnings.

An easy work around for this is to email Pinecone Research if you will be traveling or otherwise unable to complete surveys for a while so that they know you still want to resume panel activity in the future.

Some of the surveys will include product tests and will pay a little more, around $5, plus you get to keep the product that they send you to test.

Testing products is a fun way to try out new items, get free stuff for your family, and share your feedback with the manufacturer so that you can help them create an even better product.

​Pinecone Research Rewards

After you complete a survey, your earnings will be posted to your account 3-5 business days later. Your first earnings redemption will always be sent via check to your mailing address. After that, you can select to have your earnings transferred to your Paypal account, a virtual prepaid Visa gift card, or continue to get a check.

You can also use their point system to cash out with amazon gift cards or browse their virtual store for items like a Google Home or Keurig coffee maker. 

pinecone research review

Pinecone Research Sweepstakes

In addition to getting paid for each survey, each one you complete enters you into a  sweepstakes with a weekly and quarterly draw. The sweepstakes is held in conjunction with Harris Poll Online and allows panelists for either site to enter to win cold hard cash.

They do a drawing every two weeks for $500 and every quarter for $4500. And that is on top of the cash you already earned taking the surveys.

Free money is always welcome!

​Pinecone Research Sweepstakes

Pros of using Pinecone Research

Okay, so what’s the best part about Pinecone Research?

  1. Prescreening: You are sent pre-screened surveys so no testing out of surveys and wasting your time.   This is a huge benefit of working with Pinecone.  Most other survey companies utilize a spray and pray method with their survey panels, but not Pinecone.
  2. Great pay: Each survey pays $3.00 at least, which is pretty high for most survey sites.  What makes it ever more attractive is that you are guaranteed to receive it if you complete the survey.
  3. Low payout threshold: You can cash out at only $3.00, so no need to wait and no unattainable cash out threshold.

Cons of using Pinecone Research

Honestly, Pinecone Research doesn't have a ton of flaws, besides how exclusive they are.  That in mind, one could argue these issues are part of what makes them great to work with.

  1. Very selective: It can be very hard to get selected to join as it is based on the specific demographics they need at the time. When this happens you'll have to wait and re-apply in the future.
  2. They expect you to stay engaged: They value having a highly engaged user base.  That means you can get booted from Pinecone Research if you don’t complete the surveys they give you.  
  3. Will drop members:  A big part of their success is driven by having a diversity of opinions available to them.  As a result, they re-evaluate their membership panel demographics and will drop people sometimes if they no longer need you.  


Pinecone Research tips

  1. Sign up early and often. If you don’t get selected at first, keep trying to sign up every two months and hopefully they will let you in.
  2. Take the surveys they send you. It is possible to stay a member in good standing for years on end but you have to regularly take the surveys they send. Don’t worry, they are short and sweet.
  3. Cash out as soon as you can. Transfer your earnings to your Paypal account as soon as you get them so that you can be sure you won’t lose access to your account if you get locked out because you forget your password or in case you get dropped for inactivity.

Sites like Pinecone Research

If you're looking for other sites like Pinecone Research, we'd recommend checking out these survey and rewards sites

Wrapping up our Pinecone Research review

Similar to what we found with InboxDollars, Pinecone Research is one of the better survey websites around. Once panelists join, they often stay with the site for years to come because they are ensured regular surveys that pay well.

Paying $3.00 per survey is pretty high for most survey sites.  This is especially true since they always pay $3.00 and you always get compensated for your time. Their low payout threshold also means that you don’t have to wait long for your cash. 

If you found this Pinecone Research review helpful, check out some of our other unbiased reviews of reward and survey sites.  Our goal is to help you make the most out of your time online whiling adding a few dollars to your pocket.

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About the Author

Hello, I'm Ryan Rollins. I've been passionate about personal finance and entrepreneurship for as long as I can remember. After earning my Bachelors of Science in Business and Marketing, I soon found myself at my first software start-up. That experience led to me earning my MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Louisville, and eventually to a career in the fintech industry focusing on educating consumers about the importance of being financially resilient. Learn more about me here, and you can also follow me on twitter @TMPF_Ryan and Linkedin.

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