Stephanie's Consumer Village Review

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Consumer Village is an online forum created in 2007 by Gongos Research, a leading market research company. As a member of Consumer Village, you are invited to participate in a variety of company-sponsored surveys, polls, community discussions, and online focus groups. You earn tokens the more often you participate in the online discussions and surveys, which can eventually be converted to gift cards.

I’ve been a member of Consumer Village since 2009 and have earned about $250 from them so far. This includes a $75 check from a focus group conducted over the phone that I took part in a couple years ago, as well as rewards from their various surveys and online discussions. I currently participate in their Airwaves community on Consumer Village, which discusses mobile devices and technology. I am also a member of a few other communities owned by Gongos Research (including one focusing on candy and another focusing on soda) that are located outside of Consumer Village, but work the same way.

Unlike more typical survey panels that send out several surveys a week, Consumer Village does not send out many surveys a month. The main objective of Consumer Village and the other communities owned by Gongos Research is to get members to participate in online discussions about specific topics, which earn you tokens. The more you participate, the more you earn.

Getting Started
To get started with Consumer Village, first you need to register at their website. Click “Join” in the upper right-hand corner and fill out the information. Take their membership survey to complete your registration, which takes about 5-10 minutes. You will then receive a confirmation email with a link to confirm your membership.

It may take some time to start getting invited to surveys after registering. In the meantime, make sure you take the Profiler surveys that are located in the “New Surveys” box on the home page. These are very important to take so that you get invited to surveys and discussions you qualify for, although you do not earn tokens for completing them.

Taking Surveys and Participating in Dialogues
Whenever a sponsored survey or online discussion topic (called a “dialogue”) is available on the Consumer Village website, you will receive a notification email. The email will usually list the topic of the survey or dialogue, how many tokens it is worth, and how long it will be available (usually until a certain number of people complete it). Token-earning activities, including sponsored surveys and dialogues, are also listed on the home page to the far right in the box labeled “Token Earning Activities.” It’s best to take the survey or participate in dialogue as soon as possible before the quota is met.

Consumer Village dashboard

You can also participate in surveys and dialogues via their mobile app (for Apple and Android devices), which is called i°C mobile. The app is available on the home page with instructions for getting started. You can access Consumer Village, as well as other Gongos Research communities through the app. It makes participating in their surveys and dialogues more convenient, although answering long dialogue questions on a mobile device can be a bit frustrating. Therefore, I prefer to use their regular website from my desktop or laptop where an actual keyboard is handy.

With regard to survey topics, they can vary quite a bit depending on your demographic. Many of the ones I’ve taken involve groceries and technology products. Some of the surveys will invite you to participate in other specific communities in Consumer Village (such as Airwaves, which focuses on mobile technology) or outside of Consumer Village (such as Candy Dish, which focuses on candy purchases and new candy products). These are the surveys to watch out for because they will get you invited to more communities so you can participate in more community discussions, thus earning more rewards.

Survey frequency, unfortunately, is pretty low, at least in my experience. Lately, I’ve only gotten a few surveys from them each month. As stated before, the main way to earn rewards is to participate in dialogues. I usually get a few emails a week about new discussions as I’m currently a member of three communities.

Dialogues involve answering short surveys or flash polls and then responding to a series of discussion questions. You can then see what other members think by viewing their answers and respond to them if you’d like. Sometimes forum moderators will respond to your answers and ask you to elaborate further. To receive the full incentive, make sure to fully answer each discussion question and provide answers longer than just a few words.

At Consumer Village, rewards are offered in the form of tokens, which can eventually be traded in for gift cards. You also earn money to donate to charity (usually 25 to 50 cents for each incentive level). When you first start out, 500 tokens are worth a $5 gift card. The amount of the incentive is based on your participation level, as illustrated in the table below:

Consumer Village incentive table

Tokens also never expire or reset. Incentives are calculated at the end of every calendar month and processed by the 15th of the following month.

You can view your current token balance on the home page when you log in. It’s located on the right-hand side in a box labeled “My Progress Details.” When an incentive is available for you to claim, an email will be sent to you detailing how you can claim it. They used to just email gift codes, but now they send an email telling you to access your profile on the home page to retrieve your code. Simply click on your username on the home page and check your gift codes under the area labeled “Incentives.”

For focus groups, you are usually paid with a personal check, although it’s been a long time since I was invited to one. The one I took part in sent a $75 check a week or two after I took part in it.

I really recommend Consumer Village and other Gongos Research communities to anyone taking part in online survey panels. You may not get a lot of surveys each month, but participating in the community discussions can be fun and you get to learn about new products in the process. You also get paid in gift cards the more you participate, which, to me, is the main draw.

What are your experiences with Gongos Research and Consumer Village? Any comments are most welcome.

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