Consumer Research

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The Internet Consumer Research Spam Invasion


The state of jobs in Ohio has led many full-time job seekers to become dedicated survey participants. What was once considered spam mail or a “spam-offer” 2 years ago has now become a welcomed form of a “now hiring offer whenever it appears in your email in-box.

As many underemployed Ohioans sit at home accumulating massive hours of boredom, frustration and impatience waiting for the phone to ring with an offer of employment, many have reconsidered the more viable alternative of completing online surveys for cash. There are good jobs in Ohio but the flexibility of adding an additional income stream, of working at home, and at an individual pace has offered many the refuge of time relevancy. What is time relevancy you might ask? It is the feeling that that you are accomplishing something, even a menial task during your empty schedule. The loneliness that accompanies unemployment for many can be suffocating, and the best remedy to pass the hours is to sit in front of the computer and blog in order to connect with other unemployed people, or accept one of the various offers for online employment with survey companies desperate for opinionated form fillers from across all age demographics.

This situation is the perfect marriage between idle time and desperate corporate clients that need to fine tune their marketing campaign for an upcoming product launch. American businesses spend billions of dollars every year on advertising but only a small amount of that money is spent on consumer research. It may seem like the greatest paradox; Fortune 500 companies spending only a fractional amount to learn what their consumers think of their product and services –a few million dollars here and a few million dollars there. All things considered, the market research companies hired by these Fortune 500 companies have developed analytical methods to derive behavioral conclusions just from survey responses taken from cross-sections of American population demographics.

However, participants like you and I who partake in these research efforts which may include telephone surveys or more often of late-online surveys for pay—can receive anywhere from 5$ to $50 dollars per survey. If you participate in online or participate in phone surveys with multi-conferencing to focus groups you could receive as high as $150 by average pay-out estimates. The internet as a platform for orchestrating a survey campaign that 15 years ago would have been executed via telemarketers is the most effective platform to reach exactly the demographic population that may or is currently buying a particular product or service. Of course consumer data has been collected on all of us since the dawn of the internet, and if you have been a long time subscriber to any internet based service they have already sold their million name list of subscriber data to marketing firms more than twice—your data included.

What does this have to do with the ongoing survey revolution? The market researches who have been hiredby Fortune 500 companies and companies of all sizes, are buying this data which contains information about your: income, marital status, car you drive, soda you prefer, how many children you have, your religion, race, sex and any other arcane details necessary. You the consumer are no longer hidden behind the telephone or annoying bulk mailer packet. You can be easily and quickly accessed again and again and even placed into a subscriber based survey pool and virtually obtain employment with dozens of market research companies that have now sprouted dot-com divisions of their main business practices. Since the onset of the economic crisis market research companies have been busy redesigning their survey queries to reflect the new economic reality of late; that consumers have less disposable income and are less willing to splurge on non-essential items unless their were strong incentives. Market researches that began subscription services for individuals like you and I, also began to increase the pay out commission on completed surveys.

This means the profit margin between what the Fortune 500 company paid the market research company to design and execute the survey and the commission they pay you for completing the survey became smaller. Of course, all of these market research firms make tens of millions of dollars every year, just a few million less because of the recession. Where do you fit into this equation. Well, if you are underemployed, unemployed or strapped with debt, earning extra income by joining a survey service is a pragmatic solution. You have no boss, no concrete work schedule and you can choose your assignments. The most important aspect of this extra income is that you can work from the comfort of your own home—and this is the crux of the survey revolution. The working at home business model is not just for market researches contracting with consumers globally, but also for Fortune 500 companies that need to contract for specialists , and temporary services without the financial responsibility of hiring full-time employee.

Take into consideration that a full-time employee will be enrolled into a company sponsored group health plan, company matching 401k and retirement plan, paid training and other expenditures that companies large and small would rather do away with and preserve their operating costs. Thus outsourcing corporate roles such as: accountant, pay-roll accountant, sales support, customer support, technical support, claims representative, enrollment manager, paralegal, research support and data entry clerk are also all portable roles that are expanding online in the same magnitude as the internet. Don’t be tricked into thinking that the global economic crisis of late has been the catalyst for “work at home” programs such as surveys. In actuality, the global economic crisis simply accelerated the eventual transformation of ideally portable corporate jobs to the back office to the home office.

Scaling-down rather than downsizing is what I define this new business model that has financially benefited millions of people worldwide who otherwise would have been unemployed indefinitely. Online surveys are here to stay because many large and small companies have completely transformed their traditional brick and mortar physical business location for a virtual location on the internet. The birth of online shopping stores and mega-shopping sites such as where you can buy virtually everything from A to Z has solidified the need to collect consumer data over the internet and identify new shopping trends via surveys.

The downside of this business model is that as surveys become more popular the commission structure payouts for survey subscribers will begin to decrease. Thus now more than ever is the time to take advantage of online surveys while they offer a viable financial solution for replacement income.

Confessions Of A Would Be Moving Broker


Life takes strange twists and turns some times, that separate the fate of two people in ways that are not always controllable by personal will. This past year, after a three year FBI sting, 14 people were indicted in California for their participation in a ring of fraud and extortion, in which a scam moving company, after repeatedly making a low moving cost estimate, drastically raised prices and held the goods of the victims hostage until they got full pay.

Shockingly, the FBI and the Federal Courts in California, are not only targeting the management of the company, they also indicted the sales personnel, the driver of the truck and at least one employee who helped with the loading.

This news story was a wake up call to me because I almost went to work for a moving broker company in Israel a year ago; a company that may have been doing some of the same things the company in California was indicted for. Only I didn’t know it. I was told that my job would involve talking to people on the phone who had called in to get a moving cost estimate. I was to go over all their household items on an inventory list supplied to telephone sales personnel. And once the customer decided to use our services, I was to get a deposit, and from then on out the move would be processed by management. The company didn’t hire me; because they weren’t convinced I would be an enthusiastic sales person. Quite honestly, I probably wouldn’t have fit in anyway. When company management starts ordering me not to return phone calls form complaining customers, and not say this or not to do that, I feel very uncomfortable, and generally ignore them. This willful independence on my part contributed to my being fired from my previous sales job.

I subsequently started my own Internet service company, using my own approach of total customer honesty and satisfaction, and was rewarded when I got a client who owned a New York and Florida Packing Service, which is dedicated to fighting moving scam. In the process of doing SEO work for him, I learned about moving scams, and only then realized how close I had almost come to being hired by a possibly dishonest moving broker company.

About six months later, I ran into my friend, who was still working for the moving broker.We talked for a few minutes, and I asked him about moving scams. He acknowledged that he had heard from some of his customers that they had ended up paying a lot more for their moves than was worked out in the original estimate. He personally felt a little uncomfortable about it, but he had decided to stifle his discomfort, because, after all, we all have to work at something, and the world isn’t perfect.

I truly hope that my friend’s company is more honest than the moving brokers who were indicted in California. But based on what he told me, it did seem like their activities were at least in a continuum with the more serious criminal behavior being prosecuted in California. And it makes me realize that we have to take responsibility for our own life and the consequences of our actions. People don’t want to hear the line “I was just following orders,” today, any more than people wanted to hear it 63 years ago when Nazis were indicted for working in the concentration camps, and made the same claim.

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Protecting Your Household Items From Theft When You Move


The following story was taken from the pages of It illustrates why it makes sense to transport your household goods in a container, when your are moving interstate.
“During my move from Brookline, Mass to Santa Monica, CA, 3 of my boxes were opened by R. Movers. (at least 3) …They cut open the tape on the boxes, went through my things, and took over 90 CDs, 5 video games, and 3 Nintendo Wii controllers. They then sealed up the box with some tape, and handed it over to North American’s cross country movers. Nobody would ever know anything was missing. Since the boxes were packed by me, R. refuses to refund ANY of the items that were stolen. NO REFUND AT ALL …About $1900 worth of items was stolen, and I’m not going to be repaid at all.”
As the story unfolded, we find that the victim loses hope of getting any recompense for the theft. She has no way of proving who took her belongings, and she admits that the owners of the company seemed like nice people. And the bottom line is that it only takes one dishonest helper to perpetrate theft of items being moved. In this case, since the items were being transferred from one moving company to another, there would be no way of tracing back and discovering the source of the theft.
Movers, who often hire new employees with little previous experience, and a short training, cannot be responsible for the integrity of each and every worker. And yet, these are the various people in whose hands millions of people are placing their most valuable possessions. Everyone, placed in this situation, believes he will be protected from theft because he is entrusting his goods to a licensed business. What he doesn’t realize is that there are many technicalities in the moving regulations, which often allow movers to get out of paying for stolen and damaged goods. This is why it makes sense to use containers for interstate moves. Moving containers are large steel containers that can hold a room full of furniture. Once packed, the container is locked and only the shipper has access to the key. The container company then comes and transports the locked container to its destination, where the shipper once again is responsible for unloading his goods.
To make your move complete, hire a dependable packing company to protect your delicate possessions with their professional packing and loading skills. Packing Service Inc. is the name to trust in the Packing Service Industry. Packing service is dedicated to fighting moving fraud They will provide you with a moving packing and loading cost estimate They have extensive experience working with container shipping companies, and can save you the most money while protecting all your belongings during the move. Packing Service Inc. only hires workers with at least one year experience in the packing and or moving industry. And with a growing number of affiliates, chances are Packing Service can help you on both ends of your move.

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Consumer Research – Intro


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