Is BigSpot Legit?

While I was browsing through a forum I saw a question asking if BigSpot was a legit survey site. I had never heard of this site - I know and am a member of a lot of survey sites too. I then browsed more and found that people were seeing a commercial about them on TV. As soon as I heard that, I immediately thought its probably some type of scheme. I went to their website which is hosted by Survey Payoff, that name seemed familiar. I then realized I had seen the Survey Payoff logo on offer landing pages among other imitator survey sites. This told me that they were not very trustworthy - at least in my book.

I decided to sign up for BigSpot, of course using one of my "spam" email addresses just for this purpose. I filled out the form that is presented on the first page then clicked "click to join". They then informed me that based on my demographics I had "privately qualified"(what does that even mean?)for the Ipsos i-Say and that I would just have to check the box in order to join. Why how nice of them ..... to bad I am already a member. I was also assured that I would still have complete access to the database after joining. I was expecting them to tell me to check my email to activate my account, but this was not the case.

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Now here comes the fun part, they are so generous that before I get a chance to see this "database" I can choose some offers that may interest me. There are a couple survey sites listed as well as dieting and cheap travel offers. Well good thing I'm not on a diet or traveling anytime soon or I might have just check "yes" to those offers. This is the part where the privacy of your information comes into play, if you click "yes" to any of those offers you are giving them permission to contact you. Well, if you want more info on those offers then you probably won't mind, but how loose are their privacy policies?

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After clicking "Submit & Continue!" you are taken to the page below. At this point your probably thinking they are loading your demographics to match you up with surveys, at least that's what it seems. It does say "survey database" not "survey site database".

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Finally the page gets redirected to this great "survey database" .... oh wait its actually a "survey site database". When I saw the database of survey sites, the first thing I thought was "that's all?". Seriously, they only list a measly 12 survey sites, correction 11 survey sites "Quality Survey Panel" is nothing but the Quality Health website where you get free samples by basically completing offers. All the links lead to the correct sites except for "African American Panel" which actually leads to Mindfield Online. The other 10 survey sites they list are:

Lightspeed Research Panel
Valued Opinions Panel
My Survey Panel
i-Say Survey Panel
American Consumer Panel
E-Poll Research Panel
eSearch Survey Panel
SurveySavvy Panel

That's it, they ask you to bookmark the page and share it with others via Myspace and Facebook. Seems like they want their "members" to do the advertising for them.

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The Gist of BigSpot: BigSpot is just another affiliate marketing site looking to make an extra buck from unsuspecting viewers. I'm not saying that affiliate marketing is bad, it can actually be a good thing. What I am concerned about is that they are somewhat misleading to the general viewers of their website. Also throwing in offers during the registration process just bothers me, the site is making you go through unnecessary tasks in order to join. A legitimate survey site wouldn't make you jump through hoops, they may want you to complete profile surveys but this is to your benefit. BigSpot's database is sad to say the least, if I was going to spend money advertising on TV I would be sure to add a lot more survey sites to the list as well as have the links send my members to the correct sites.

You will gain nothing from joining BigSpot, maybe extra unwanted emails but that's about it. You do not need to sign up with them in order to find survey sites that are available to you. There are free directories out there that will provide you with much more information then BigSpot's database. I know for a fact I even have more survey sites listed on my blog then they do, and thats pretty pathetic. If you notice on the main page they state:

"If you have access to the Internet and live in the United States or Canada, you can be an online survey taker."

What about people that live outside of the United States and Canada? What about the rest of the world that wants to voice their opinion? Well, I guess International members just don't bring in enough income for them to list sites that would allow them to join and make some extra money. I am pretty sure that is exactly why they state what they do, they only get paid when people from those countries join the panels they list. Maybe I am being a little harsh, but I believe if you are going to list survey sites why limit them to people of certain residency when there are survey panels where international members can share their opinions and get paid for it.