Is Promotions Online Usa Legitimate is the question and the idea of winning gift cards or rewards from USA online promotions sites is really appealing.
What’s not to love about entering your basic info (mostly just your name and email) and being win to give email?
We know companies need to run focus groups. We know they need to test new products, new services, and new ideas like advertisements. As potential customers, our opinion matters. They need product testers and real reviewers.
And sometimes they just make promotions just to make brand awareness in our minds about that brand. They are willing to give thousands of dollars worth of gift cards for free. Also, they pay thousands of dollars to giveaway companies too.
But like anything else great in this world, there are thieves and scammers lurking around the corner ready to take advantage of unsuspecting people.
Ten years ago, most giveaway companies were clearly scams. Product testing companies just weren’t looking online to pad their pools. Nowadays, many giveaway and product testing companies are using the internet to get more responses. The legitimate companies are drowning out the scams, but the scams still exist. And the scammers now have models to copy so they look like legit companies!
The end result is that it’s becoming increasingly hard to tell the difference between a legitimate opportunity and a scam.
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Today, we’re going to teach you how to tell the difference.
What’s a Scam?
There are two types of scammy promotion online Usa sites:
- Sites that just send you products and services to test.
- Sites that give you gift cards and rewards.
They lure you in with the promise of untold riches through market research but bait and switch it on you. In both cases, they make money off you when you sign up on their sites.
They mostly are similar to the old “work at home” scams. Work at home scams is simple, the promise of “work” if you buy their “startup” package. Replace “work” with surveys and “startup” with membership fees and you have an old scam with a new facade.
In both cases, the companies will also take advantage of the juicy personal information you may have provided.
How the Legitimate Promotions Online USA Works
Before we get into how to determine if a promotion opportunity is a scam, we need to understand how the legitimate marketing business works.
A big well-known company (like a brand name consumer goods company) needs to do some market research or run a focus group. Both are expensive to do in person, as focus groups often pay $100+ for 60-90 minutes of work to a participant. You can only imagine how much the research company adds to the bill. Online product testing is much cheaper!
So those big companies hire a product testing or market research company to send out products to folks with the right demographic target (age, income, marital status, geographic region, etc.). You have survey companies with enough business to run their own (GetItFreeUs, VouchersAvenue, etc.) and you have smaller companies who are there to fill in the gaps.
These second-tier companies are often the ones you see listed all over the internet.
In some cases, the marketing company only does promotions. These purists are often the closest to the market research companies. In others, there are a lot of other “point earning” activities you can do like “read email” or “watch videos” or “play games.” (more on this later).
The tough part of market research is that it’s an unpredictable business. It’s unpredictable for the product tester (you) because companies won’t always want your opinion.
The result is that you enter giveaways irregularly but you win a little cash or rewards along the way.
You won’t feed your family with these but it can earn you a little extra and get further ahead financially.
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Is Promotions Online Usa Legit?
Who Can You Trust?
It’s hard to know who to trust before you sign up but I always look at the Better Business Bureau and see what their rating is, whether they have complaints, and what those complaints are about. One of the more popular sites, the National Consumer Center, has an A+ and 114 closed complaints in the last 3 years. 114 sounds like a lot but when you consider how many members it has and the time frame, ~3 a month is a low number.
Here are five giveaway and product testing companies I’ve signed up for and can confirm don’t have any of the flags listed below.
Then start looking for these red flags:
- Never pay to join – Huge red flag, you should never be paying to join… legitimate companies spend a lot of money building their rosters because the more people they have, the more likely they can fill in those demographic gaps. They would never ask you to pay to join.
- Never give social security number, credit card information, or full address – There’s really no need for any of that information. The most a company should ask for is the general demographic information (age, sex, zip code, income, family, etc.), they don’t need your full address and certainly not your social security number.
- If they force you to go through promotional offers before they show you anything – Some companies have added these other pieces, like watching movies and playing games, to the core survey offers. The reality is they only get so many surveys so to keep you an active member, they offer these other pieces. They don’t make you wade through offers to get to surveys.
- They email you from an anonymous account – A legitimate company won’t be emailing you from a @Gmail.com or @Yahoo.com or some other free email service. They will have their own business website with their own email address.
- Never take a big payment of any kind where you have to pay some of it back – A common scam is for someone to send you a big check and have you send them something back of value, either money or an expensive product. It’s known as advance fee fraud and the check will bounce (after spending a few days looking like it’s successfully cashed) after a few days, once you’ve already sent back money or items. Never do this.
- If it sounds too good… – The language companies use can tell you a lot about them. Scams will promise you hundreds or thousands of dollars a month or extremely high payouts. Your internal BS detector is very good, if you sense something is off then walk away.
Here are some other ideas that can help:
- Check the BBB – If the name is extremely generic with lots of dashes, it’ll be hard to find their company name. This itself is a bit of a red flag because most of the legitimate companies have real names to help with the branding. The ones with generic words don’t want to stand out!
List of Legit Promotions Online Usa Sites
If the company you’re wondering about is on this list, you can be reasonably assured they’re legitimate at the time of this writing. If they aren’t on the list, they could still be legitimate just smaller (so I don’t know about them). I just can’t say either way.
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