Scarborough Research Review — Paid Surveys Legit or a Scam?

December 4, 2019

Online survey sites are on the rise. Most of these sites usually function in similar ways. Scarborough Research is one site that offers something a bit unique. Most survey sites will require that you sign up to be a member. You will then receive a survey each day for you to complete, after which you are awarded in either points or cash. Scarborough Research lets participants earn for giving their opinions. However, unlike other sites, membership is by invitation only. The website usually chooses participants randomly from the local community. They receive the surveys to complete via email and are paid in cash, about two weeks after filling out the survey.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Scarborough Research. We will highlight how you can earn through the site and some of the finer details concerning how the website works. All this information will help you determine whether the site is legit or a scam and make it easier for you to decide whether or not it is worth your time.

Scarborough Research Review
Scarborough Research

Name: Scarborough Research

Description: Scarborough Research is known as Nielsen Scarborough in full and is a branch of the powerhouse market research company, Nielsen.

Scarborough Research is a large project on its own, as well. The market research company has its headquarters in New York City. It also owns some interviewing facilities in Texas and Florida, as well.

Scarborough Research Summary

According to the website, the company conducts around 200 thousand surveys annually. They mainly focus on getting information on television viewing, radio listening, magazine reading, leisure activities, and hobbies. The company conducts its research in 120 local areas in the US.

Nielsen Scarborough is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. While this gives the assurance of it being a legit site, there are several complaints on the quality of service from the participants.

This project from Nielsen aims to collect as many opinions and ideas from the consumers each year. These opinions are used to help improve local businesses, organizations, and products. In exchange for the views, Nielsen offers participants a cheque that is sent via mail, two weeks after completing a survey.

Some of the site’s primary services include:

  •          Market reviews for over 100 local markets
  •          A multiple-market study
  •          Sports marketing
  •          Market research using internet panels
  •          Consumer research among the Hispanic community etc.

How to Join the Scarborough Research Site

A unique feature of this site lies in the way they get to choose survey participants. You will not find a form on their website for you to sign up and fill to be a member. Instead, you have to wait for an invitation to join the research site.

Sure, it feels great to get a personal invitation. However, this does not necessarily mean that you are unique in any way. The site chooses participants of the surveys randomly via mail or telephone. Because they mainly conduct local polls, the company draws its participants from the local community.

According to the site, the company uses machines to come up with random numbers. The chosen participants usually represent the people living in that neighborhood, or people who belong to a specific demographic group.

So, what happens when you get an invitation?

You will still not need to sign up anywhere. All you can do is wait for the company to reach out with a survey. Often, these will be done via phone. Alternatively, you may get a product for you to review and keep it eventually. Other users claimed that they received a survey via mail with a $1 bill. Upon completion and sending back the poll, they received another $5.

Eligibility Criteria

As we have mentioned above, the site picks its participants randomly via phone or mail. The company conducts research studies for over 100 local communities in the US. As such, the only requirement is that participants have to be residents of the US.

How to make money on Scarborough Research

There are two primary ways through which participants can earn money from the site. These ways are through surveys and product testing.

Taking Surveys

One advantage of the Scarborough Research site is that the studies are offered in different forms. You can take telephone surveys, paper surveys, or online surveys.

The surveys are usually simple for the most part and should only take you a few minutes to complete. You will receive your compensation in the mail two weeks after completing your telephone and online surveys.

Paper surveys will require you to answer some questions using radial dots. The company sends you compensation via mail two weeks after you mail the survey back to them.

Product Testing

Product testing is also a unique feature of this online survey site. The company may send you a product to use and review, after which you get to keep the product.

Product testing will earn you about $1-$10 per product. The main advantage of this is that you get to try out new products beforehand and make some extra money from it.

Payment System

The amount of cash you can earn from each survey is not clear from the official website. However, each survey makes you a different amount depending on the type and complexity. Testing products will also earn you anything between $1-$10.

The company’s payment system indicates that rewards are sent via mail after the completion of a survey. An advantage of this survey is that there’s no minimum threshold for consumers to get to first before they can receive their payments. Even if you earn $1, you will get your money in the mail two weeks after completion.



  •          Unique opportunities

Most online survey sites usually offer the same services, with the difference being in the cashouts. Scarborough offers a unique way of joining an online survey site. Besides, product testing is an excellent addition to the surveys being provided.

  •          Different types of surveys

It helps to have a variety of surveys to choose from. While you may not have a say as to what kind of survey you want to take, it helps to have a different way of completing them. You may end up doing a telephone survey this time and a paper one next time.

  •          No minimum threshold

One of the main peeves of survey sites is that you have to get to a certain amount before you can redeem or cash out your payment. Scarborough does not have this feature, and you will receive your compensation, no matter how little it is.

  •          Payment is in cash

Most survey companies offer compensation in the form of points that you are supposed to redeem them for some money or gift cards later. Scarborough offers its payment in the form of cash, giving you the liberty to decide how to spend the money. The reward is paid in cheque and is often quite prompt.


  •          Joining is via invitation only

The only way that you can take part in the surveys is after you have received an invitation. This method makes it harder for just about anyone to join the site. Given that the company conducts around 200 thousand surveys annually, there are meager chances that you will get an invite to participate in a survey.

  •         Time wasting

Sometimes, users may spend quite some time on a survey, only to be told that they are ineligible. Some users have reported being on a phone call for 15-20 minutes and with no results to show. Online surveys eat up so much of your time when this happens, and it is even worse when done via the phone.

  •          Signing off is difficult

For something that you did not join voluntarily, Scarborough Research makes it challenging to walk away. Even after asking the company to stop calling you, you may still receive a couple of phone calls from them. This can be quite a problem for anyone who has no interest in completing the surveys.

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NameScarborough Research
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Is Scarborough Research legit?

Even without considering whether or not the site pays, we can conclude that the site is legit from its parent company. Nielsen is a giant market research company that has been around long enough. This alone is enough proof that Scarborough is legitimate.

How much can you make through Scarborough Research?

Let’s be honest; you won’t make much money from the site. The payouts are quite low and are only suitable as some extra petty cash. However, do not quit your job over this.

Final Verdict on Scarborough Research

Is the company legit? Definitely. Are there better options? Yes.

Although Scarborough research allows you to earn some money after giving your opinion, the truth is that there are better options out there. Sure, it is a great way to earn some extra monthly cash, but you cannot rely on the company entirely for a substantial amount.

That said, should you receive an invitation, you have nothing to lose by completing the survey. So, be sure to check it out in case that happens.

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