Is Scarborough Research a Scam that Harasses You, or Legit?

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Thanks for stopping by to check out my Scarborough Research review. Are you looking for ways to make money from home, or just trying to find out if they're legit?

The topics I'll talk about in this review are how Scarborough Research works, who they are, what you can expect, and  of course… the reasons why some think they are a scam.

Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Scarborough Research. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not to apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info

What is Scarborough Research?

Scarborough Research is a market research company that pays members for doing paid surveys and expressing their thoughts and opinions about things like shopping patterns, lifestyle trends and various media outlets including newspaper, radio, and TV.

They operate in 120 local US markets and conduct an estimated 200,000 surveys every year.

Scarborough Research, based in New York, is among the more reputable survey companies and have a long history dating back to 1987 as a subsidiary of BNU and Birch Radio.

Their reputation is also backed by a joint venture with Nielson Arbitron.

How Does It Work?

The general process is simple… or at least it's meant to be. Scarborough Research pays you to answer a series of survey questions and they offer both online and paper booklet surveys.

Of course, if it were as simple as answering questions and getting paid, everyone would do it, but there’s more to the story.

First… Scarborough Surveys is invite only. Unlike other survey sites like Vindale Research or Opinion Outpost for example, you can’t just sign-up.

Second… a big problem with paid surveys is that they ask you personal questions (when setting up your profile) which are intrusive… and it’s one of the complaints against Scarborough Research.

It’s necessary, because they must establish the specific demographic you belong to.

But… people are becoming more cautious, and concerned that their information is being sold… and why not? It seems every day now we’re hearing about private information being sold, stolen, or shared due to a glitch (like a story in the news recently about someone’s personal pictures ending up on someone else’s phone).

There are certainly many views about personal data sharing, and for some, giving up some private information to earn some money is not necessarily a big issue.

Who Is Scarborough Research For?

Scarborough Research is for the casual at-home income earner who only needs (or wants) a few extra bucks every now and then.

Who Is It Not For?

People looking for something more substantial, or aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make serious money online. Paid surveys don't pay very much, so some people sign up to several and do as many as they can.

But there is another big limitation…

Limitations of Paid Surveys

If the earning potential was at least reasonable, sharing your private information might be an easier pill to swallow. But it’s not.

To use an analogy…

The web is like a Ferrari (or your favorite car) that people don't even know they already own. They have this extraordinary vehicle (the internet), but never take advantage of it.

The real power of the internet is the ability to build something once and get paid many times over for it (which is why there are people online generating 5 and 6 figures a month).

They still work hard, but they are using the web to create leverage.

Online surveys unfortunately, don’t work that way. You only get paid once for the work you do.

Is Scarborough Research a Scam?

It's easy to make the claim that something is a scam, but that doesn't mean it's true. Wikipedia defines a scam as “an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their confidence”.

Scarborough Research, from everything I’ve learned about them, is not out to defraud you.

What they may do however, and why some people call them a scam, is nag you with phone calls like telemarketers. I don’t know about you, but it’s not often a day goes by when I don’t get a call by a scammer.

Having said that… Scarborough Research is not a scam. They are a legit market research company.

How Much Does Scarborough Research Pay?

Scarborough Research pays in the range of $1.00 to $10.00 per survey, which is average among market research companies.

What’s not average though, is that they have no minimum payout threshold, and you are mailed cash usually within a week.

There are no points to accumulate, and a degree in advanced mathematics just to calculate and convert those points into something you can use is not required.

Scarborough Research also pays members to do telephone surveys, as well as keep a TV diary/journal.

Scarborough Research Reviews and Complaints

In general, Scarborough Research's reviews are positive. And, to be honest, I was surprised by that… because there are also a considerable number of complaints.

I think the fact that they pay quickly (and in cash) is the biggest reason why people like them.

Actually… compared to so many survey scams… the fact that they pay at all is also a pretty big reason.

Another thing that sets them apart, is that people are not getting to the end of a Scarborough Research survey and either being kicked off the web-page, or being told they’re not getting paid because their answers don’t qualify… which is a common problem among survey companies.

For Scarborough Research, it doesn’t seem to be a problem.  

With that said, the complaints are…

  • The constant unwanted phone calls, with some people claiming they’re getting them several times or more per week.
  • There is some suspicion that Scarborough Research is biased and is conducting research for a political agenda (a topic I definitely won't touch here…). 😬
  • Also, as we already discussed above, people are concerned about what’s happening to their personal information. Is it being sold?

These are all legit complaints… but the most important positive in my opinion is that Scarborough Research consistently pays (which is something not all survey companies can brag about).

What I Like About Scarborough Research

  • Quick to pay.
  • Associated with reputable companies.
  • They pay cash (no point accumulation system).

What I Don’t Like

  • Like most people, I can’t stand nagging phone calls.
  • Even though they are one of the better market research companies… the money you earn is still only coffee money.
  • No passive income potential.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, making money with online surveys is not the best use of your time. The pay is far below potential. Of course… it’s not the worst use of your time either.

If you've never made money online before, surveys can be a fun way to get started and if you have an opportunity to join Scarborough Research it might be worth your time. 

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