Concerning the Recent Merger of SurveySpot and Opinion Outpost

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History of the Merger

On July 7, 2011, Survey Sampling International and Opinionology received approval to unite under the SSI brand, bringing together two global leaders with over 50 years of experience, 30 offices around the world, respondents from 72 countries and a staff fluent in 36 languages. What does this mean to the average survey taker?

The first hint of the change was noticed on July 26th, 2011, when Opinion Outpost posted a “System Maintenance!” notice at the same time that SurveySpot was having problems with log-ins.

On October 15, 2011 Opinion Outpost sent out this email:

Exciting News! Pay Pal comes to Town! At Opinion Outpost plus other upcoming new exciting changes to the website and new rewards! Outpost will be down for maintenance Oct. 17.

After the Opinion Outpost site update, the new site looked nearly identical to the SurveySpot previously existing site, save for some color differences.

Changes and Problems After the Merger

After some initial problems, including site errors and sending out tax forms to a lot of people who had not earned over $600 in combined income from SurveySpot and Opinion Outpost during the fiscal year, SSI eventually ironed out the problems and several things changed, some for the better, some not so good. The best thing was that Opinion Outpost now has PayPal and you can cash-out as soon as you reach 100 points ($10), which is promptly sent to your PayPal account, usually in just a few hours.

The worst thing is that now the surveys on both SurveySpot and Opinion Outpost are essentially the same, but Opinion Outpost clearly pays more for the same survey, making SurveySpot somewhat redundant except for email invitations with specific points attached, such as the beer diary which pays 300 points ($3) every other week for several months and the occasional Invoke Interactive.

I completed an Invoke with SurveySpot for 2000 points ($20) on November 17, 2011 and another for 3500 points ($35) on January 18, 2012. SurveySpot still requires you to cash out with 1000 points ($10), but also has PayPal.

I am also disappointed in Opinion Outpost for adding so many $1 (and less) surveys through OTX Research (Online Testing Exchange) and Opinion Sphere. I will frequently click on an email link for a 20-point ($2) or 30-point ($3) survey and quickly get redirected to a $1 survey from OTX Research (Online Testing Exchange) or Opinion Sphere. Very few of those 10-point ($1) surveys are less than 20 minutes in length and some are longer, particularly considering the lengthy and redundant screeners.

It’s probably best, time-wise, to just hit the “No, I’m Done” button and hope for a better survey or at least a chance to win the Instant Win game (Opinion Outpost only). I always hit “No Thanks” at the end of every survey to maximize my chances at winning the Instant Win game. I have won 20 points ($2) three times and 10 points ($1) once since the merger. I find that I win about once out of every 200 times I click “No Thanks”, but I did win 20 points ($2) twice in a row recently. I have also completed one Invoke with OpinionOutpost for 1000 points ($10) on January 9, 2012. I currently have 177 Prize Draws for the Prize Draw period that ends: 3/31/2012, but so far, that statistic is meaningless for me.

My Earnings Since the Merger

1. Opinion Outpost $1335.40 (100 points = $10 minimum pay out) (Joined: 2008-02-04) (PayPal) (Invokes) (product tests) [Last payment: 2/9/2012] Monthly Average = $25.82 Currently, I have 180 points ($18) with Opinion Outpost and it still ranks #1 in earnings.

4. SurveySpot $839 (1000 = $50 po) (2008-01-30) (PayPal) (Invokes) (product tests) [1-20-12] Monthly Average = $16.79 I have 1650 points ($16.50) with SurveySpot currently and it has actually climbed from #7 to #4 on my Top Ten list of highest paid survey panels since the merger was announced in July, but is holding steady for now.

Here is a breakdown of the surveys I took from Opinion Outpost from Oct. 21 through Dec. 2, 2011 to give you an idea of the points spread immediately after the merger:

Points Amount Number Total Percentage of Earnings
5 $0.50 5 $2.50 1.91%
10 $1 16 $16 12.24%
20 $2 22 $44 33.66%
25 $2.50 1 $2.50 1.91%
30 $3 1 $3 2.30%
35 $3.50 1 $3.50 2.68%
50 $5 1 $5 3.83%

As you can see, the vast majority of the surveys I received paid 10 points ($1) or 20 points ($2), though I did have a few for more and less.My first cash-out via PayPal of $50 after Opinion Outpost merged with SurveySpot on October 21, 2011 took from October 27, 2011 until November 22, 2011 (26 days). My second $50 PayPal cash-out took from November 22, 2011 until January 13, 2012 (52 days). My third PayPal cash-out of $53 took from January 13, 2012 until February 9, 2012 (27 days). I think that is pretty good.

Tips and Advice for SurveySpot and OpinionOutpost

  1. If you’re cashing out with PayPal, you sometimes have to try a few times so just log in and repeat. After two or three times, the money will be in your account.
  2. If you get to the end of the survey and get a blank page reading ‘false’ just click on the html bar and hit ‘Enter’. It will reload and send you to the ending page where you can complete your survey and get your reward.
  3. Don’t try to take surveys from SurveySpot and OpinionOutpost in separate tabs of the same browser window simultaneously, as the SurveySpot tab will just revert back to OpinionOutpost.
  4. If you are having problems with your account call the toll-free number: 1.877.254.1234 (Opinion Outpost) or 1.866.360.9575 (SurveySpot). Do not leave a message if you don’t get through as they are unlikely to return your call. If you are redirected to the recording about leaving a message, hang up and call back later. I have never had to do this more than 3 or 4 times before I got through to a live person. They can actually help. They will pull up your account and tell you exactly what you need to do to get your account problems resolved.

Contact InformationFor SurveySpot use the “Submit A Question” button on the General FAQ page. Or call 1.866.360.9575. For OpinionOutpost, use the “Submit A Question” button on the General FAQ page. Or call 1.877.254.1234.

If anyone else has any impressions on the SurveySpot-OpinionOutpost merger, I would really like to hear them. If you have tips about taking surveys with SurveySpot or OpinionOutpost, please post those as well. Thanks.

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