This Panelbase review takes an in-depth look at a busy UK-based survey site, and discusses whether it’s a worthwhile side gig to sign up for.
I always enjoy reviewing services that divide opinion. A quick Google for “Panelbase review” revealed two polarised opinions: First, I saw a very reassuring average Trustpilot score of 9.2, and a conversation thread on MoneySupermarket where most people spoke highly of the survey company.
But then I also found a fair few comments from people with various “axes to grind” about Panelbase surveys.
With such a difference of opinion out there, I had to judge for myself, so I signed up.
What is Panelbase?
Panelbase is a UK-based survey site where you can earn financial rewards for answering various surveys. It’s similar to other such sites I’ve reviewed here, such as IPSOS I-Say and Populus Live (click through for reviews).
Although these surveys are primarily aimed at a UK audience, the FAQ page says the company intends to “extend to new territories” in the future – so Panelbase is still worth keeping an eye on if you’re outside the UK.
Panelbase’s surveys are extremely varied. In the short time I’ve been reviewing the site I’ve already had surveys related to TV advertising, my lifestyle, and the finances of my business.
Panelbase does stand out from other survey sites for having more variety and less monotony!
Panelbase Review: Getting Started
If you’ve ever signed up to a survey site before, you’ll know the standard drill – and signing up to Panelbase is little different.
After providing your name and other basic details, you’re asked some basic demographic questions, as shown above.
There’s not an awful lot you have to do before you’re put in possession of your Panelbase surveys login, and eligible to receive surveys to complete, which come through to you via email.
However…(and it’s quite a big “however”)….there’s lots more you really ought to do if you want to be in with a chance of receiving a decent number of surveys.
You see, once you’re logged on, there are LOADS more demographic questionnaires to complete. This helps Panelbase know much more about you so you can be matched to surveys. While it’s not mandatory to answer these questions, it’s definitely worth doing so to maximise your chances of decent survey income.
As you can see from the screenshot above, there are LOTS of these questions! There are 18 categories, and many of them then divide into multiple questionnaires, like the five for “Health and Fitness” above.
Some of them take seconds to complete, but others are far more detailed and – to be frank – feel like surveys in themselves.
Now there are two things here that people may not like:
- The work involved in filling out every single profile area in full – all of which is unpaid.
- The level of personal information you’re handing over by doing this. By the time you’ve completed all of these sections, it’s fair to say you’ve provided a pretty comprehensive profile of yourself as an individual!
For a combination of these two reasons, I didn’t complete every single profile questionnaire. However, I did find that completing 10 out of the 18 sections was enough to establish a pretty steady stream of surveys to complete. Now I’ve seen this is the case, I do feel tempted to fill in more.
When I was scanning the web for other Panelbase reviews, I did find quite a lot of the negative comments related to how many of these demographic questionnaires there are. However, it’s actually a pretty sensible way of ensuring the company choose the right people for their surveys. Prolific, an academic research site I’ve reviewed here, does a similar thing. The difference here is that you do genuinely seem to get more surveys if you provide more information.
I do have one criticism, however, which is that some of these questionnaires seem woefully out of date. As per the image above, the “Media Equipment” survey talks about VHS Video players but not things like streaming media sticks and Apple TVs. Similarly, one on gaming gave me the offer of a Nintendo Wii, but didn’t list the newer Nintendo Switch, or even the Wii U, which debuted in 2012.
Once I’d completed as much demographic data as I was willing to, I soon started to receive survey invitations in my inbox – and plenty of them. I certainly get more from Panelbase than any other survey site I use.
One thing people dislike about survey sites is being “screened out” of surveys because they don’t quite fit the right demographic. While this does happen on Panelbase, in my experience it happens quickly, so you don’t waste too much time. You’re also entered into a draw each time you’re screened out.
There’s certainly plenty of variation in the surveys themselves. Unlike IPSOS iSay and Populus Live, where you usually see the same survey interface over and over again (which can get tedious), Panelbase uses all kinds of different survey formats from different partners, which does keep the interest level up. So far, I’ve also had several surveys that involve watching TV advertising, which have been quite engaging.
One thing Panelbase does have is partnerships with other survey firms who want to do long-term surveys, or do things like track your exposure to online adverts.
As a bit of an advocate for online privacy, I don’t like getting involved in things like this, so there are some surveys I’ve declined. There’s no obligation to do those surveys, so I’d just advise reading all the information on a each new survey before getting involved – if such things concern you.
Once a survey is complete, the money is added to your Panelbase rewards summary – however, there’s usually a short delay before this money is “cleared” for withdrawal.
Panelbase Review: Rates and Payments
Panelbase surveys can earn you anything from 30 pence for a short survey to several pounds for something longer. It’s quite nice that you earn in actual money, rather than the mysterious “points” that some survey sites prefer.
At the time of writing, Panelbase also hands out a £3 sign-up bonus, which is credited as soon as you begin, taking you much closer to the £10 that you need for a minimum cash-out.
I quickly added to that initial amount by £3.15 within just a few days of signing up to Panelbase. I also turned down £11 worth of additional surveys which were long-term or involved advert tracking.
Despite it being early days, I can see Panelbase turning into something that allows for pretty frequent £10 cash-outs, making it a very worthwhile side gig.
Cash out methods include direct bank transfer (BACS) for UK members, and voucher options that get sent to your home. The FAQs state that “Non-UK members will be offered suitable withdrawal mechanisms for their territory.”
Panelbase Review Conclusion
Having completed my Panelbase review, I think it deserves its very positive Trustpilot rating.
This is a legitimate way to earn some side income from surveys, and while it may merely be “beginner’s luck” on my part, there seems to be plenty of them, which makes for regular income.
Nobody gets rich filling out online surveys, but signing up to a number of legitimate survey sites is a good way to establish some regular side income. And as this side gig income report proves, this money can add up to a very worthwhile sum each year.
You can sign up to Panelbase here – and I’d be inclined to give it a go if surveys are your thing.