Stephanie’s PineCone Research Review

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Stephanie is a twenty-something year old female who has been taking surveys since 2008. She is currently a college student in the San Francisco bay area. In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, painting, and working on her digital photography. She’s also a huge tech-geek and loves playing video games when she gets the free time. Stephanie is always on the lookout for high-paying surveys and those ever-elusive Invoke focus groups.

PineCone Research is an online survey panel that has been around for a long time. In fact, they were one of the first survey panels I joined back when I started taking surveys in 2008. Unlike many other survey panels, though, it is invitation-only. This means you can only sign up for the panel by finding online banner advertisements that provide a link for new members to sign up for their surveys, or through links like the one here on PineCone Research only opens up its panel to new members temporarily, so be on the lookout for when registration is open!

Getting Started

To get started taking surveys with PineCone Research, first you need to sign-up. To do this, simply go to our “PineCone Research” page and click the "Join" button. Sometimes new member registration is closed, though, so you may have to try another time when they open up their panel to new members.

Once you’ve accessed the registration page, simply fill out their online form with your demographic information. After doing this, click “I consent and would like to register” to register for their surveys. Note that you can only register one family member per household. If you register more than one family member per household, they will cancel your memberships.

You should receive a confirmation email after signing up, informing you that you’ve been accepted as a new member. You will receive a panel username (consisting of numbers) and a password. Make sure to write these down somewhere since they are easy to forget. They are normally listed on every survey email invitation you receive for easy reference, but writing them down is helpful if you want to access their website and don’t have an email from them available.

If you want to change your profile information at any time, simply log into your account and click “Update Your Personal Profile” in the yellow box on the main page. You can update your email, street address, and other general information. There are no profile surveys to take or update (this is what the “Household” surveys are for, which will be explained later). Their website is very basic and easy to use, so you shouldn’t have any issues finding the information you need.


Taking Surveys

Once you’ve signed up for their panel, PineCone Research will start to send you surveys. It may take several days or a few weeks. You will get these survey invitations via email. Simply click on the link in the email to take the survey on PineCone’s website. You have to enter your username and password to access the survey, but thankfully these are listed in the survey invitation for convenience in case you forgot them. If there are any additional notes or qualifications for the survey, they will be listed in the email.


Before sending you to the main survey, you will typically need to agree to a confidentiality agreement, which states that you cannot share the survey product information with anyone. Simply type “I AGREE” in the box. It will also ask you for your age and gender. After that, you will be prompted to answer survey questions about a new product idea. After this, you will be asked if you would like to test the product you just took a survey about, if you should qualify to test it. Answer “yes” or “no” if you would be interested in receiving a test product. You will once again be prompted to agree with their confidentially agreement. Simply type in “I AGREE” again. You are then finished taking the survey and your points will be credited to your account in a few days.

If you are selected to test a new product, you will usually receive an email about it in the next few days. The email will tell you when you should receive the product and what you can expect out of the testing experience. I’ve tested many products over the years, including cat food, body wash, bar soap, perfume, different food items, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, and many other items. They will normally pay you an extra $3.00 for completing a follow-up survey after testing the product.

Survey topics are quite varied. I’ve gotten surveys about personal care products, food, restaurants, cat food and litter, home fragrance products, medication, pest control, and gardening products. Of course, the survey topics you receive will depend a lot on your demographic information.

PineCone will sometimes send out “Household” surveys. These surveys are just profile surveys asking you about certain products that you may use and are not worth any money. They are essential to take, though, so that you can qualify for more surveys. They are normally very short (3-5 minutes). I highly recommend taking these surveys, since they can qualify you for more surveys in the future. I usually get about one or two a month.


Each survey is typically worth $3.00 (300 points). In the past, PineCone Research used to just credit your money via PayPal, check, or debit card a day or two after completing a survey. Recently, however, they’ve implemented a new “points” system and rewards catalog. This complicates things if you just want to get your money the same way you always did before the rewards change took place.


To redeem your points for cash, log into your PineCone Research account with your username and password. Click on “Redeem My Points” in the yellow box at the bottom of the page. You will be taken to the Rewards Catalog page. Your reward points are displayed in the upper right-hand corner under your name. Click on “Featured Awards” at the bottom of the page on the left-hand side. A dropdown list will come down when you click on it. Select “Cash Option” at the bottom of that list. You will be taken to a page where you can cash out for $3.00 or more depending on how many points you have. Select how much you want to cash out for and click “Add To Cart.” You can also add it to your favorites (wish list) by clicking “Add to Favorites.” This makes it easier to access later on when you need to cash out again. Your “Favorites” are listed on your account information page, which you can access by clicking on your name in the upper right-hand corner.


Note that there are no options for PayPal, Everywhere Reward Debit MasterCard, or checks. You simply get paid the same way you did before the points system and rewards catalog were implemented, if you were a member then. This could be PayPal, debit card, or check; it is whatever preferred payment option you selected before. You can change this if you want by contacting customer support, but I haven’t personally needed to do this.

After clicking “Add To Cart,” your rewards option will now be in your cart at the top of the page (to the right). Click on the cart icon and click “Checkout.” You will be taken to a page where you can check over your order and make sure everything is correct. If everything is correct, click “Checkout” at the bottom. It will process and you will be prompted to confirm your shipping address, if it’s already listed. Check it over to make sure everything is correct and then click “Continue.” Click “Continue” again on the next page after verifying the information. You will get an order confirmation number. You will also receive an order confirmation email in several minutes.

All in all, it is now much more of a hassle to redeem points for cash. There are more hoops to jump through to cash out now, whereas in the past it was quick and PineCone just sent the money to you automatically after you finished a survey. Now it takes several days to receive payment.

Their new rewards catalog is interesting and has a lot of reward options in it if you like to just save up your points and cash out for things later. For myself, though, I prefer receiving my payment via PayPal since none of the new reward options interest me. They do not offer gift cards, either. Plus, if you’re like me, you’ll only receive a few surveys a month (sometimes more, sometimes less), so it would take forever to cash out for any of their more expensive rewards. I much preferred automatic payment to their current rewards catalog.

Customer Support

One of the great things about PineCone Research is their excellent customer service. I’ve always had a great experience with their customer support for the several years I’ve been a member of their panel. When I’ve had any technical issues with a survey or haven’t received payment (which is rare), they are quick to respond and are very helpful. The problem is usually resolved right away. They definitely have some of the best customer support out of all the survey panels I’ve belonged to over the years, at least in my experience.

If you have any difficulties cashing out, you can also use their Live Chat option at the top of the Rewards Catalog page, which is a new feature. You can click your name at the top of the page to access a dropdown menu with Live Chat listed. It is open Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm, and is closed on the weekends. I haven’t had any experience with this myself, but it’s helpful to have that option if you need it.


PineCone Research won’t earn you a lot of money like some other survey panels, since you usually only receive a few surveys each month that pay $3.00 each. However, they are a trustworthy and reliable survey company with great customer service that is worth keeping as one of your regular survey panels. Every little bit counts when taking surveys. The product tests make them worthwhile, as well. I strongly recommend them and hope they work out for you, too.

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Comments (3)

  • Donna Harris April 15, 2015 Reply
    I am also a member of Pine Cone Reaseaarch. I love doing surveys. I have never had a problem with this company. Can you send me more companies where I can do more surveys. Thank you.
  • Carol December 22, 2014 Reply
    I did this long time ago and I'm happy to be back. I love this survey.
  • William Roberts March 18, 2014 Reply
    I've been taking surveys for PineCone for a number of years. Never a problem. Not a lot of money but quite a bit of fun! A very positive experience. What I have found with some other surveys, about two thirds through the survey they will say, "Sorry, you don't qualify." so they get most of the information for nothing. Needless to say, I no longer work with them.