Interview: Veronica Dubak
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Interview by
August 10, 2006, was created to filter out illegitimate online survey opportunities, and present consumers with a comprehensive list of legitimate online marketing research companies. It's creator, Veronica Dubak, shares with us some of her experiences in the world of market research.

SurveyBounty: Why do you partake in marketing research?

Veronica: I enjoy it! I like it when I'm asked for my opinion, as I feel I'm making a difference and am part of something bigger.

SB: What types of marketing research have you participated in?

V: I've done postal surveys, telephone surveys, consumer taste testings, focus groups, and of course, online surveys.

SB: What are the more interesting taste testings and studies you've done?

V: A major fast food chain was introducing a new deli sandwich and I was asked to provide my feedback. It was great because I had a delicious supper, cash, and the chance to try a new product before it was publically available. I also had a very interesting experience at a restaurant focus group once, which resulted in 2 participants getting kicked out.

SB: Have you completed any paid online surveys?

V: Yes! I've participated in many over the years. I've been paid for telling marketers about (among other things) my snacking habits, sports participation, my business, and automobile plans.

SB: Have you ever had problems collecting payment for completed online surveys?

V: No, I've never run into any issues. Then again, I'm quite selective about the survey panels I join, and I make sure that they're legitimate. If there's a doubt in my mind, I register anyway, but with a junk e-mail account just in case.

SB: Do you usually receive a check in the mail for doing surveys?

V: Mostly, yes. However, I've also received PayPal payments which tend to be received faster. A tip for PayPal users who have a merchant account is to also open a personal account. A fee is applied to received payments through a merchant account, unlike a personal account, where this is free. Use your personal PayPal account when collecting payment for completed online surveys - this way, you'll keep every penny.

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SB: Have you had any bad experiences with online survey companies?

V: Not especially, but of course, I've encountered annoyances here and there. Sometimes you join a panel and aren't sent a survey for months - it's understandable that as a panelist you may not fit the demographic for a study, but it's nice to be contacted at least once in a while. Sometimes too, you'll be offered something ridiculous like a $2.00 reward for a half hour survey. I feel my time is more valuable than this, and although every opinion counts, being compensated unfairly is not something I agree with.

SB: Do you fill out every survey you're invited to?

V: Definitely not. I fill them out regularly, but sometimes I get very busy, or am tired, or am simply not interested in the subject matter of the survey, so I don't bother. This approach works, as participating in surveys is voluntary, and you won't be penalized for not participating every so often.

SB: Do you have any tips for wannabee online survey takers?

V: Open a separate e-mail account specifically for online survey invitations, do your homework by only registering with legitimate marketing research companies, keep your earnings expectations reasonable, be honest when completing questionnaires, and most importantly, have fun!

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