The concept of data mining and profiting off that data mining isn't anything new.  And while some companies engage in some rather disreputable practices to do this, Global Test Market seems to be doing just fine with the whole “consent to disclose” thing.  More importantly, in some cases this may help you as some companies will offer to do more specialized product testing once they've identified you as their target demographic.

Joining isn’t as straightforward as merely signing up, because you need an invite. However it’s not as tough as it sounds, as there are plenty of links doing the rounds online if you look hard enough, and Pinecone also advertises on websites, so you might get lucky by keeping an eye on banner adverts. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be vetted to see if you qualify – based on whatever demographics their clients want at that point – and if so, the fun begins!

In the middle of all of this is a new breed of research corporation that relies on you – the survey taker – to determine this information.  For your time?  Many survey companies will pay you to take surveys for money or for other cash alternatives like gift cards or physical prizes and rewards. It depends upon the company as to whether they'll offer money or other offers and special deals.
There are also many questionable "middleman" third-party paid survey sites that hype easy money for participating in online marketing research from home. Here, the old adage is true: if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Further, it’s worth knowing that there’s a lot of competition among these companies for your participation – which means potential for exaggeration, at the very least, if not outright scams.
Since 2007, we've strived to be different. Making customer service our #1 priority and offering instant rewards processing so you get paid fast, PrizeRebel.com is one of the most trusted online survey sites with over 7.5 million members and counting. We work with the biggest global market research companies to provide you with the highest quality paid online surveys that you can complete to make money at home and earn gift cards.
First, thank you for providing this extensive list. I wanted to offer a quick follow up. After reading your post I decided to give Survey Junkie a try and I’ve already closed the account. Yes, I can tell it’s well organized and it is definitely a user-friendly platform. The problems I experienced were first that not one of the surveys they emailed me about were available. I did, however, complete several surveys from the site itself and I found them to be lengthy – in itself, not a problem, but 3 out of 5 told me I didn’t qualify after I’d already invested 10 – 12 minutes filling out the forms. They got more than enough information from me to be useful which is an old and highly unethical trick in market research – which happens to be my background. All in all, it was a LOT of wasted time.
I have a very serious question I have been a member of InboxDollars for over 2 years they send me emails that say here’s a survey for you and they waste 10 minutes of my time going through it to tell me that I don’t qualify I wrote them and said I gave you all my demographic information please do not send me this and waste my time but they consistently do that.
While surveys vary widely in how they are conducted and used, there are a number of components that are common across nearly all surveys. Many of these common features have been studied in extensive detail by survey methodologists, psychologists, statisticians, and many other fields of research. The general process of survey research is outlined in the figure below.
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