Tony’s Take on: MintVine


MintVine – How ALL Survey Sites should work!

First the “Cowboy Star” Rating:

4.5 stars from TxCowboyDancer

I know that I’m wordy… …so if all you need is the stars
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

However, if you want more info then keep reading.  🙂

Fair warning:  this review is long because

(1) it is my first review of a survey site and I wanted to talk about “what makes a good survey site” and

(2) I’ve never said anything in all my life using five words when five hundred would do.  So brace yerself Effie, it’s gonna be a bumpy (but fun and weird) ride!  LOL

MintVine is almost The “Gold Standard”
in “What I want in a Survey Site”

Mintvine-LogoLet’s face it.  I’m doing online surveys for the money.  Not for fun.  Not to “improve products” not to better mankind…  I live on a small pension plus whatever I can scrape together through half-a-dozen different means, including taking online surveys.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not just randomly clicking answers, I actually do read the questions and try to do a “good job” by answering honestly, but when all is said and done, I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t PAID for my time.

So, like any other “job” that is “just a job” — I’m in it for the money so  just give me the CASH

When I first started doing “surveys” online to make a little bit of money, I didn’t know much of anything about anything so I had pretty low expectations.

But now, after doing it for a while, and having learned “in the school of hard knocks” as it were,  there are certain things that I look for in a “good” survey site.  And things which you should look for too.  So, pull up a chair grasshopper and learn from Master Yoda, ahem Tony.  “Master Tony”  — and you folks in the back can stop laughing like, uhm now!

For the record: MintVine does almost ALL of the things on my “Ideal Survey Site Checklist”!  And they do them well.

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

Low Payout Threshold

This is why MintVine gets 4.5 stars instead of 5 stars.  The MintVine payout threshold is $10.

Which is pretty darn good when compared to some other sites which have pay out thresholds as high as $50!  Sheesh!fat-cat-in-da-money

Do you have ANY idea how long it takes to earn $50 making taking surveys?  Let me put it this way… as soon as I hit that first pay out on the $50 site, I’m gonna take the money and run .. and delete my account on that awful site… and never look back!  So there!

My “ideal” payout threshold is 1 cent.  GASP — Do I hear snickers from the teeming masses?  Do my loyal readers think that a ONE cent pay out threshold SOUNDS WEIRD?  Not to me!  If I’ve made the money, then I should get the money!  And there is one site that does have a PENNY threshold – Qmee!  (Read my review here)

However, I do understand that the company has to pay in order to transfer funds to me.

So, being the benevolent generous, kindhearted, caring person that I am, I can live with a payout threshold of $5.

If MintVine would change their payout threshold to $5 then they’d get 5 stars.  Hey MintVine… did you read that?  Hmmm?  But I digress… on with the review

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

Option to have your money Automatically Transferred

fastmoneyWith most survey companies, when you pass the minimum payout threshold you have to “Request” your money.  You actually have to ask for the cash! Imagine having to ask your employer every two weeks to get paid!  Sheesh!

MintVine has an option where you can tell them to just send it to you automatically when it reaches the $10 threshold.  In my personal experience, this is the ONLY company that has this option.

You have to use Dwolla if you want this, but that is not an issue for me since I have a Dwolla account.

Quick Processing of Payout Requests

fastmoneyI’ve had two pay outs with MintVine since joining them.

Both were processed very quickly.  Both times I got my money by the end of the next business day; the first in less than 24 hours.  The second, I sent the request in on a weekend.  I got my money on Monday.

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

Zero Processing Fees

feesSome survey site companies force you to pay the fund transfer fees which PayPal or Dwolla charge to move money around.

Which is crap.

MintVine agrees with me.  Which is cool.  MintVine pays the cost to send your money to you. So if you cash out $10 you GET $10!

Which is as it should be.  You should not have to pay to get your own money!  It is their business expense. The survey company should pay.  The reputable ones do.  MintVine does.

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

MintVine has Excellent Customer Service

I’ve contacted their support desk a couple times.  And I have to say that hands down they have the best customer support of any of the survey sites I use.

Because I have some pet peeves about customer service.  Hey I was a Librarian for over 20 years and I was a good one.  I know how to give good…

…your mind just went into the gutter didn’t it? he he he…

… CUSTOMER SERVICE!  I don’t know what YOU were thinking of but you should be ashamed.  grin

awesome-customer-serviceBut I digress… …I do that a lot ya know…  LOL

When I contact customer service / support desk via email there are some things that will set me off.  And MintVine does it right!!!!  As it should be.

#1. MOST IMPORTANT is that MintVine does not use “boiler plate” responses to my questions.  In other words they don’t just cut and past a “standard response” — they actually use their fingers to type out a real message to me, based on what I typed to them.

OMG!  Communication!  Between two people!  Wow!  What a concept!  MintVine gets it.  I wish other companies would.

#2. They actually solve the problem that I contact them about on the first try, OR they tell me honestly that they don’t have a clue and they are working on it and they’ll get back to me when it is solved.  Wow!  Honesty.  What a refreshing change.

#3. They send an immediate computer generated response that lets me know that my request has been received and placed in the queue.  Then a real person always responds within 24 hours to my initial request for assistance.

#4. Their response to me is appropriate to my skill level.  (This is one of my aforementioned pet peeves)

I have almost 30 years of experience using computers.  I have been using computers since the days when you still had to use paper cards to load a program.  I have used the Internet since the days where you had to type in the actual numeric IP numbers to get to the computer you wanted to visit.

customer-serviceSo I absolutely HATE it when I get a response that essentially treats me like an idiot!

Something along the lines of “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.  Us uber-macho computer geeks will help you.  Now reach down very carefully and… turn the computer off – then turn the computer back on – clear you cache.  There.  Aren’t you glad you contacted us?”

Arrggghhhh!!!!  Aaaaaaaaiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee!  I wanna scream!

I am NOT A FRIGGING NOVICE!  IF I CONACT SUPPORT IT IS BECAUSE I’VE NOT BEEN ABLE TO SOLVE THE FRIGGING PROBLEM FOR MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!

I do realize that the person on the other end of the wire doesn’t know me.

So… …when appropriate whenever I contact a tech support desk I usually include a screen shot of the problem and I tell them what I’ve already tried.

computer-geek-dogtagI also tell them pertinent details about my operating system and my browser, etc etc etc.  AND I tell them that I am not a novice user; I tell them I have 30 years of experience using computers and I list everything I’ve already tried.

Of course this only works if the support people actually READ all that information about the problem before they respond to me.

But most tech guys at most companies do not. Which is frustrating.

MintVine, however DOES read all that! Which is cool!

So I REALLY appreciate it when the tech guys who respond do so in a manner that DOES NOT TALK DOWN TO ME!!!!!!!

MintVine support “gets it right”

AND they give me points “for the inconvenience.”  OMG!  WOW!  And they ALWAYS apologize, even when it isn’t their fault!!!!  OMG!!!!!

They’ve even given me credits when the problem was not their problem! But another company to which they linked.

WOW!  Now, THAT is customer service!

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

Reasonably short screening questions

screeningquestionsOne of the MOST frustrating things about taking surveys online for money is that in each survey, you have this “screening” process where you are asked questions to see if you match up with the desired group which the survey is targeting.

For example, if a company is testing the market to see how a new eye shadow applicator would go over with the ladies and you’re a dude who does not wear eye shadow, well then there really is no point in having you take the survey.  So when you check “Male” as your gender, you are screened out.  Although if I were an eye shadow company I would have three choices: Male, Female, and Drag Queens. — jus sayin!

The thing that ticks me off is getting a survey that asks you questions for 10-15 minutes or MORE and then says “sorry you’ve screened out of this survey” or “you do not match our target audience”!  Arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!

MintVine does it RIGHT!  First off, they do pre-screening which means that on your list of available surveys, they only put the ones there that match up with your profile.  If the survey is for women only and you’re a dude, well you will never see that survey at all.

Once you start the survey, the screening questions are very short.  Most under 1 minute, maybe two.  YAY!

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

Easy to understand “Points to Cash” Conversion Ratio

just give me the moneyAt MintVine, as with many survey sites, you get “points” every time you complete a survey.

However, at MintVine, it is pretty simple: 1,000 points = $10.00

Take note of the zeros!  They match up.  Ten Dollars = 1000 pennies.  In other words 1 point = 1 cent.

That is the kind of math I can handle.

A lot of survey sites make it too damned complicated.  I think they do this to hide just how little money you are actually making by doing a survey.

With MintVine it is pretty simple.  If you are getting 30 points to do a survey that means you get paid 30 cents for the survey.

Having said that, I wish they would just drop the “points” and call it cash.  Stop saying “30 points” and say “30 cents.”  Even with that minor irritant, MintVine is STILL heads and shoulders better than some of the other sites!

I know that I’m wordy… …so if all you need is the stars
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

You get points when you don’t match up

MintVine pays you 5 points aka “Five CENTS” if you screen out of a survey.  Basically they are paying you for the time it took to take the screening questions. Which is WAY cool.  MintVine, in my experience, is the ONLY one that does this!

Many survey sites will give you a “Sweepstakes entry into a monthly drawing” for either a Visa Gift Card, or an Amazon Gift Card or cash.  But in my humble opinion, that is a VERY two-bit VERY suck eggs kind of thing.

I mean come on!  What are the odds that you’ll actually WIN?

NOPE… just give me the cash.  I’d rather get paid 5 cents for every failed attempt at taking a survey than some worthless “sweepstakes entry”

Because that 5 cents a pop adds up.  Why?  Because experience has shown me that on EVERY survey site, even MintVine, you screen out more than you actually match up.  And I like the idea of being paid for the time I spend doing those screeners.

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

MintVine gives you “clues”

Face it, people wear many hats.

I for example am retired, in the sense that I get a monthly pension as a result of working for city governments for over 20 years.

I am also an independent businessman who is the “sole proprietor” of several small businesses: I do graphic designs which gets sold on Zazzle (http://TxCowboyDancerDesigns.com) and I teach dance, just to name two of them.

But I’m also “unemployed” because I do not go to a “job” which pays me to be there 20-40 hours a week and makes me fill out tax forms and takes out unemployment insurance and has a health plan and makes you wash your hands when you leave the bathroom and return to slinging food….

Uhmmmm… was that too much information?  LOL

So… which one do I answer when presented with:

“Choose which of the following best describes your employment status:”

  • Unemployed
  • Retired
  • Self-employed (part-time)
  • Self-employed (full time)
  • Employed full time
  • Employed part time
  • Small business owner

Sheesh!

But MintVine gives you a clue BEFORE you start the survey.  They use labels like “consumer survey” or “business survey” or “small business owner survey” so before starting a survey I can choose the response that is most likely to get me through the screener questions.

I’m not lying on the survey.  I’m just choosing which hat I am going to wear at that moment and MintVine, helps me pick out the hat

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

MintVine time estimates are accurate.

clockMany survey sites will tell you an “estimated” time to complete a survey.

And many sites LIE THROUGH THEIR FRIGGIN’ TEETH!

I absolutely hate clicking into a survey thinking it will take 10 minutes and it turns out to take 20 minutes!!!!!

In my experience, MintVine time estimates are pretty good.

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

Daily Poll

Note: they’ve changed the Daily Poll slightly since I originally did this review.  The info below is accurate but for details on the “changes” check out my updated MintVine Review which supplements this review.  A link to the supplement is at the bottom of this page, so just keep reading.  🙂

pollsIf you click onto the MintVine website, you’ll see they have a “Daily Poll” which is a fun bit of fluff.

But they PAY YOU FOR IT!

You get 5 points aka 5 cents for taking the poll.  Hey, it takes all of 15 seconds, and you get 5 cents for doing it!

We in da money! CHA-CHING!

MintVine Account Page is CRYSTAL CLEAR

mintvine

Click to enlarge

After you log in, you are presented with everything you need in one easy spot:

  • Your current points is presented as a graph split into “approved” and “pending”
  • Your most recent activity is presented.  Check it out and you can see proof of what I was telling you about earning money doing the screeners.
  • You will also see a “pending” survey in the Recent Activity list with a clear indication of when it will convert from “pending” to “approved”
  • You can see the Daily Poll that I was talking about.
  • There is a number next to the “Surveys” tab that lets you know how many surveys are waiting for you to take.
  • And there is an easy to understand indicator of how much you need to reach your next payout.
  • Support is just a click away — See the ? mark on the right hand side?  That’s a direct link to customer support.  You can type in a question there AND when you do so you can snag a screen shot of the page you are on.  When contacting support a picture really is worth a 1,000 words — they get to see what you are seeing which makes troubleshooting the issue so much easier.

Wow!  I wish EVERY survey company would do it like this.  Clean, simple, easy to use, and easy to understand.

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

MintVine Survey Page is Also Crystal Clear

Mintvine2

Click to enlarge

Everything you need to know about the survey is clearly presented.  Many sites I do surveys on do some of this but no one does as much as MintVine.  They really are the ones that everyone else should strive to match.

  • Only surveys that match up with your profile data are presented. MintVine only gives you surveys which are a likely match.
  • Info about the survey is presented on the left:
    • Type of survey: business, consumer, etc
    • Subject of survey: opinion, product evaluation, type of product, etc.  Check out the one labelled “furniture”
  • Option to HIDE a survey.  Sometimes you just want a survey to go away.  You look at the time / reward combo and decide that it isn’t worth your time.  Poof!  You can hide it.  Or, you start a survey, like I did yesterday, on “shipping” and discover that yes, while technically you meet the requirements because you do ship the occasional package sold on Amazon as part of your “small business” that the “shipping” the survey is talking about is really shipping by the truckload, which means that you really don’t have clue as to what they are talking about.  So… POOF! You hide that survey away.OMG! people, EVERY survey site should have this feature!!!!!!!  MintVine is the ONLY one which does.  All the rest should copy them.  I can not tell you how awesome being able to “hide” a survey is.  Basically it means that you don’t have to look at it and “do the math” in your head every time you log onto the site.  Literally “out of sight – out of mind” works!
  • Clear time estimates.

I know that I’m wordy… …so if you’ve got enough info already
then here’s the link to sign up with MintVine

Yeah, I kinda like MintVine…

4.5 stars from TxCowboyDancer

Why?  Because it is pretty much the ideal Gold Standard in what a Survey Web Site / Survey Company SHOULD be from a survey-taker’s point of view.

The only two things that I think should be different is:

  1. The pay out threshold should be $5 instead of $10

and

  1. They should have an auto-pay option for PayPal as well as Dwolla.

If they did that then they’d get five stars.  Every other review of a survey site will have to measure up to MintVine.

Mintvine-Logo

See ya on the dance floor!

Be sure to check out the update to this review which I did on June 23, 2015 >>>


 Full disclosure:

  • These are my opinions...
  • Other than being a customer / consumer / user of the site being reviewed, I am not affiliated with any of these companies in any way.
    (Though if you happen to be with one of these companies and you want me to be your spokesperson, well, uhmm, give me a shout via my contact form and we’ll talk. – yeh, like THAT’s gonna ever happen!).
  • I have actually used and/or researched the products/sites I review – read the individual review for all the details on any particular item.
  • Some of the sites have referral programs.  MintVine does credit me for each referral. Some don’t.  For those that do give a credit for referrals, I’ll make note of that in the review.  But folks, the itty bitty teeny weenie, bit of “credit for referrals” they toss toward me if you sign up after clicking on a link, well it is pennies.  Don’t get me wrong, right now, given my financial situation, if I see a penny on the pavement I’ll stop and pick it up.  BUT the few cents I might get from a referral is NOT enough to make me give a good review to a bad site.  Don’t get me wrong… I can be bought, but girlfriend, I can’t be bought cheap!!!  LOL  — I have a MUCH higher price tag than a few pennies maybe earned via a referral. So there! 🙂 (And if I ever *am* bought out by a company, I’ll let ya know up front! LOL)

 

Buy Tony a cup of coffee or a Weight Watchers entree as a "thank you" for the review

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About TxCowboyDancer

Eight time Country Dance World Champion. I love to dance. In the middle of a journey, transforming myself from "unemployed and out-of-shape" to "in-shape and full time dance instructor, writer and graphic artist."

Posted on Fri, Mar 27, 2015, in Making Money Online and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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