Is Pinecone Research a Scam? (My Honest Review 2023)

Are you looking for a Pinecone Research review? But you may wonder if it is a scam.

Companies can get valuable information from their customers by using survey sites like Pinecone Research. Participation is simple: in exchange for their email address, users can receive non-cash prizes or cash for completing surveys.

Responses to these surveys provide important information that can be used to improve a company’s current products.

In short, survey sites offer financial incentives for respondents to provide feedback, but users should proceed with caution as there are potential downsides and rewards can fall short of expectations.

As an Internet entrepreneur, I’m in a good position to share with you everything I know about online surveys. Over the years, I’ve reviewed many survey sites.

As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with Pinecone Research. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.

At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to Pinecone Research that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.

What Is Pinecone Research?

PineCone Research Panel is an online market research platform that was launched in October 1998. It is one of the few websites that conduct online surveys and usability testing.

PineCone Research is owned by the Nielsen Company, a well-respected and established market research company known for its Nielsen ratings, which have been used by the media for over 70 years to measure audience and listenership numbers in the United States.

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Red Flags For Pinecone Research

An invite-only membership

Compared to competing survey sites, this is Pinecone Research’s biggest shortcoming. Since you need an invitation form to gain access, the company’s website does not offer registration.

To sign up, you have to click on advertising banners that appear in front of you only if you belong to the target audience.

Clunky interface

In contrast to Survey Junkie’s sleek and user-friendly layout, Pinecone Research’s website is clunky and antiquated.

Limited Location

There is currently no way to become a member if you do not reside in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, or Canada. Also, you must be 18 years of age or older to enroll.

Limited membership

Each Pinecone Research panelist household is limited to one person. Once you become a panelist, your immediate family is immediately excluded from participation.

Difficulty accessing your account and redeeming rewards

Many users have complained about difficulties accessing their accounts and redeeming their rewards. Some even mention that their emails go unanswered. If a website makes it difficult for you to access your account and redeem your rewards, it might not be worth your time.

Poor customer support and communication

Multiple users have stated that they’ve messaged Pinecone Research multiple times, but received no response. If you encounter any issues while using the website, it is important to have reliable customer support. Otherwise, you may end up feeling frustrated and unable to get help.

Deactivation without a valid reason

Several users have reported that they were deactivated from Pinecone Research without any explanation. If a website can deactivate you without a valid reason, it raises questions about their integrity.

Inconsistent survey availability and payment processing

Several users have reported that the number of surveys available has decreased over time, and payments take longer to process than before. If a website isn’t consistent in its survey availability and payment processing, it can be frustrating for users.

Shoddy website design and technical issues

Multiple users have reported that they’ve encountered technical issues while using the website, such as error messages and glitches. If a website is not well designed and has technical issues, it can be a waste of your time to try and use it.

Pinecone Research complaint on trustpilot 1


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Pinecone Research complaint on trustpilot

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Green Lights For Pinecone Research

Answer only prequalified surveys

One advantage of Pinecone Research’s monopoly is that participants don’t waste time filling out surveys for which they aren’t eligible because the company already knows who it needs.

Pinecone Research reviews often highlight this as a strength of the company.

On other sites, you must first answer a series of qualifying questions before you can participate in the actual survey.

After 20 minutes, you may find that you aren’t eligible to participate in the survey, meaning you’ve invested your time for nothing.

Compared to other survey sites, fewer surveys are sent here, but each one is guaranteed to be suitable for you.

Test unreleased products

Pinecone Research lets you try a product long before it hits store shelves. People who are enthusiastic about novelties will appreciate this opportunity.

However, the company will only send you products if it thinks you are a good candidate, and there is no way to sign up for it voluntarily.

Attractive compensation

When it comes to paid survey sites, Pinecone Research is a top choice. Compared to other popular survey sites (like SurveyJunkie and Swagbucks), this one pays at least $3 per survey.

Compensation for participants can be as high as $5 per hour, depending on how long they stay on site.

Safe against errors or browser crashes

It is incredibly annoying to have to start over on other survey sites when your browser crashes in the middle of the survey. In a pinch, the site remembers all your answers.

Various reward options

Unlike other survey sites, Pinecone Research offers a wider selection of gift card options (e.g., Amazon, Starbucks, restaurants, Walmart, Home Depot) in addition to cash rewards.

No minimum cashouts

Pinecone Research is the only survey site that allows you to redeem rewards after completing just one survey, while most other sites require you to wait until you’ve accumulated a certain number of points.

This way you can decide when and how you want to redeem your rewards.

Is Pinecone Research a Scam?

Pinecone Research is not a scam. It’s a legit platform that pays its members on time. Plus, it’s owned by Nielsen, a reputable market research panel that’s been around for decades and offers various money-making opportunities and passive income apps.

However, there are some fraudsters out there trying to impersonate Pinecone Research. That’s not cool. But, Pinecone Research is aware of this and has provided some tips on what you should be cautious about on their homepage. Here they are:

  • Pinecone Research Facebook Fraud: Some Facebook pages have pretended to be Pinecone Research and asked users for their login information. Please be aware that Pinecone Research is not on Facebook and would never ask for your private credentials.
  • Pinecone Research Mystery Shopping & Check Scams: Unfortunately, some third-party scammers have used the Pinecone Research name and logo to scam people. One of these scams involves cashing a fake check.

If you ever receive a Pinecone Research opportunity that seems suspicious, don’t hesitate to contact the company to confirm and report the incident.

How Does Pinecone Research Work?

Pinecone Research is a market research company that helps improve their clients’ products by conducting focus groups and online surveys.

They use a point system to reward participants for their time and effort.

These points can be exchanged for cash or gifts, with 100 points being worth $1.00. Typically, a survey is worth 300 points.

Learn more: 32 Legit Ways To Make Money Online

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How Much Money Can You Make on Pinecone Research?

Pinecone Research, like many other survey sites, can be hard to predict how much you can earn. The amount you make depends on various factors, like how often you take surveys, how many surveys are available, and how many points each survey is worth.

Pinecone Research does offer a higher pay per survey than many other sites, at $3 per survey. However, it’s not specified how many surveys you’ll be eligible for, and it’s not guaranteed. 

Some members have also reported that the only form of communication is a weekly survey email, so it may not be a great way to earn a significant amount of money.

Pinecone Research Features

When you become a member of Pinecone Research, you have the opportunity to take part in online market research surveys during your free time. 

Additionally, you will receive email invitations to take surveys. For each survey you complete, your Pinecone Research account will earn points. 

Once the program is finished, you can exchange your points for either a check or a digital gift certificate.

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Types of Pinecone Research Surveys

Pinecone Research surveys cover a wide variety of topics, from movies and TV shows to music and health and beauty tips. Filling out a survey typically takes between 15 and 20 minutes.

Product Testing Opportunities

In addition to surveys, Pinecone Research may also offer product testing opportunities. If you agree to test a new product, the manufacturer may send you a sample for evaluation. However, it’s important to note that you are not allowed to give the sample to anyone outside of your immediate family. 

This is because manufacturers want to keep their products secret from competitors. Participants are only allowed to test the products in their own homes and cannot discuss them with friends and family.

Please note that even if you are sent a product, it doesn’t mean you get to keep it. Sometimes manufacturers want to return the goods so they can test them after regular use.

Reward Options

There are a few ways panelists can redeem their rewards:


Withdrawals from Paypal can be made with a minimum of $3 and will be processed within 3-5 business days at no extra cost


Payment by check can be done once a survey is completed or a total of $3 is earned. The check can be for any amount between $3 and $15, and the processing time is usually 3-5 business days before it is mailed.

Catalog and Gift Cards

Panelists can also redeem their rewards for gift cards or items from retailers such as iTunes, Starbucks, Walmart, and others.

Prepaid Virtual Visas

Panelists can redeem prepaid virtual visas. However, this option is only available for citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its territories.

Amazon e-Cards

Panelists have the opportunity to redeem their points for Amazon e-Gift Cards which will be sent directly to their inboxes.

Pinecone Research Fees

Your enrollment in Pinecone Research costs you nothing. Nothing is required of you on a regular basis, and there is never a charge for membership.

In other words, Pinecone’s parent company, Nielsen, probably earns money from each of your responses. Everyone knows that if something costs nothing, more people will use it.

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Signing Up With Pinecone Research is the login page of Pinecone Research.

The subsequent questions will be posed to you:

  • Email
  • Name
  • Date of Birth (DOB)
  • Gender
  • Education Level
  • Origin
  • Race

How To Redeem Your Pinecone Research Rewards?

Pinecone Research Rewards can be redeemed by selecting the desired value (e.g. $5, $10, $15, etc.) and clicking the “Redeem” button.

After you have earned points, you send them to a virtual shopping cart (the “cart”) that can be redeemed.

Unlike PayPal payments, which are processed within three to five business days, paper checks can take up to seven days to clear.

Do Pinecone Research Points Expire?

If you have not earned new Pinecone Research points within one year, they will expire.

Payment Options and Prizes

You can redeem your points for a variety of rewards, including money in the form of a check or virtual prepaid card, gift cards, and products.

How Long Do Pinecone Surveys Take?

Pinecone Research surveys can be completed in about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how carefully you look at each item.

It takes me longer to complete surveys because I tend to overthink everything. I don’t mind taking my time with surveys, though, because I’m rarely in a hurry to finish them.

Unfortunately, my hyperactive puppy is sleeping right now, but she’s a habit of interrupting me when I’m trying to focus on something other than her.

It takes me a little longer to complete the Pinecone Research surveys because I think too much and get interrupted often.

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Will Pinecone Research Give My Personal Information Away?

Pinecone Research claims that they will not share your personal information with third parties. However, they emphasize that this is for scientific research purposes only.

Nevertheless, you should always expect that your data will be sold. It does not matter if the survey was conducted by Pinecone Research (for which I make no accusations) or if it was conducted by your dentist or your dog’s veterinarian. 

Someone, somewhere, is always trying to make money off your need for information. And the definitive proof is pretty much impossible to come by.

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Can You Use Pinecone Research On Mobile?

If you have a smartphone, you can earn money with surveys whenever you have some free time.

That’s why it’s nice when a survey site has a mobile-friendly website or, even better, an app that can be used with minimal effort.

PineCone Research’s app can be downloaded for free on both Apple and Google Play devices. Therefore, this app can provide convenient access to surveys for panel members.

It also allows you to be notified when a survey is available.

If you want to participate in as many surveys as possible, the app and the notification of new surveys is a great ideas.

Who Can Join Pinecone Research?

You must be at least 18 years old (or have parental permission) to use this website.

At this time, only citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany may participate.

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Pinecone Research Customer Support

Pinecone Research doesn’t offer telephone or live chat assistance. Questions frequently asked by visitors are answered in a special section of the FAQ. Hopefully, what you’re thinking has already been thought by many others!

You can send a letter to Pinecone Research at the following address:

Pinecone Research

250 E 5th St

Ste. 1000

Cincinnati, OH 45202-4127

Alternatively, you can submit your request through their website.

There do not seem to be many ways to contact customer service, which is a bit surprising. 

With over $6 billion in annual revenue, parent company Nielsen could theoretically afford to put more resources into improving customer service. It’s likely that any improvement in the company’s poor BBB rating would be due to an increase in the quality of customer service. 

Final Verdict

Are you passionate about taking online surveys and getting compensated for your opinion? If so, consider Pinecone Research; it has the potential to be a rewarding side hustle.

Pinecone is an official survey panel backed by Nielsen, one of the world’s leading market research companies.

However, Pinecone Research (and its alternatives) may not offer you the most fulfilling experience if you do not have a lot of free time and if you really value your time for every penny it’s worth.

There are many things that can get in your way on the road to financial freedom. On the other hand, it opens up a wealth of respectable opportunities to make money. To make the best decisions for yourself, it’s important to consider all the possibilities and then trust your intuition and research.

In the next section, I will tell you the best way to make money online.

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Is There a Better Way to Make Money Online?

If you want to make a stable and secure stream of passive income, I would suggest you start an affiliate marketing business online.

Affiliate Marketing is perfect for anyone who is new to online business. 

In fact, of all the online business models I’ve tried, affiliate marketing is the easiest and most rewarding so far.  

In affiliate marketing, you can actually run your business almost with zero cost and achieve a steady and sustainable passive income to pay for your bills. You don’t need any initial capital and can even do it as a side hustle.

And if you really want to learn affiliate marketing and build a business from scratch, I’d recommend you to get started with the most reputable platform for affiliate marketing: Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch. It offers you a free account (including a free website) with comprehensive training on SEO (free traffic methods), which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.

But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?

A 21-year-old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while using free traffic methods.

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Wealthy Affiliate has existed for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade.

You can read our full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?

Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has free and premium membership.

If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.

And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool.

You can enjoy all these values without paying a penny. 

So I strongly recommend you to register a free account and see it yourself.

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