Getting paid for your opinion seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it IS true.
Focus Groups and paid studies are a simple way to earn supplemental income for a relatively small investment of your time.
Never heard of a focus group before?
Companies/departments/organizations rely on focus group participants to understand how their ideas or products are perceived by a consumer audience. And since these companies are always coming up with new ideas to bring to the market, paid focus groups are often plentiful if you know where to look.
Check out this short video from TED-Ed if you’d like to watch a quick history of focus groups and how they work.
As someone who wants to get paid for the least exertion of effort possible, focus groups are high on my list of side hustles. On average, I make approximately $125-$200 per month by participating in focus groups/paid studies.
I thought about how I was going to craft this post, and while I could give you a list of all the focus group companies on the internet, it would simply be regurgitating information that’s been posted elsewhere.
Instead, I’m going to give you information on the market research companies that I’ve personally used, and tips on how to find available studies in your area.
In the words of Tone Loc, “Let’s do it.”
Yep, Craigslist. You can find everything you want on Craigslist – a boyfriend, a job, a car, a llama, aaaand focus groups.
This is my first stop when I’m looking for studies.
Craigslist is heaven for companies that are looking for a diverse demographic of people. It’s also heavily relied on by smaller companies and educational institutions that may not be able to afford the hefty invoice that comes along with using a specialized market research firm.
I live in Seattle which is home to several large corporations like Amazon, Starbucks, Expedia and Microsoft (to name a few). While I would assume they have the cash flow to contract with a market research firm, I often find their paid study postings on Craigslist as well.
About 2 months ago I signed up for a usability study with one of the aforementioned companies via Craigslist. I was paid $100 for only 15 minutes of my time. All I had to do was give my opinion about the installation process of one of their smart devices.
The company gave me the widget and asked me to follow the provided installation guide. It literally took me 5 minutes (not bragging, even a cave man could’ve done that). The remaining 10 minutes was spent with the researcher asking me what part of the installation process I found intuitive, and what areas might’ve been hard to understand. It was so simple!
To search for paid studies in your area, simply to go Craigslist and search for the following terms:
- “focus group”
- “paid study”
- “market research”
- “research study”
I just did a quick search for “paid study” in my area and found a study paying $500. (See below)
Companies will usually include a link for an eligibility survey to see if you qualify. If you qualify and they need more participants, someone will reach out to you.
- FocusGroups.org I found FocusGroup.org’s Facebook page a couple of months ago and it’s been extremely helpful to identify open focus groups.They often post available paid studies nationwide from a variety of major market research companies. I love that fact that you don’t have to spend time sorting through multiple websites to find studies. I almost exclusively use this page and Craigslist for that very reason. I’m all about saving time to focus on other tasks I need to get done!Every post contains bright, eye-catching graphics to grab your attention. With one quick glance, you’ll see the targeted location of the focus group, the age requirement and the topic of the focus group. Each post contains a link to register for the study.Tip: If you Like their FB page and select to see their posts first on your newsfeed, you’ll never miss a post when a study in your area becomes available.
- RPI Focus Groups: Similar to FocusGroups.org, but they only post their own studies. RPI has national studies as well and posts them on their Facebook page when a new study becomes available.
MARKET RESEARCH SITES
- Focus Point Global:
FPG consistently has studies, however not all studies reward with a monetary payment. Occasionally you might receive points which can be redeemed for cash once you get to a certain threshold.Once you sign up with FPG, you’ll receive an e-mail if your profile matches an available study. The e-mail itself will contain information regarding the compensation, specifically if it’s a monetary payment or a point reward.Generally speaking, I skip studies that reward in points because you typically have to take several surveys/studies before you can redeem them for cash. I’m an instant gratification sort of girl, so I only participate in studies that provide a monetary reward.
- Consumer Opinion Services:
COS is another site that I’ve found to be dependable with an availability of studies that offer a decent payment incentive.While most of their studies are for residents of Seattle, Portland, and Las Vegas, they occasionally have paid studies in other parts of the US. Since I’ve known them to be a dependable company, I would still suggest signing up to get notified when a paid study is available.
- Probe Market Research:
I actually just did a study for Probe last week where I earned $125 for 60 minutes of my time. They also recruit for several other market research companies, so it’s worth signing up with their database. You’ll be notified if your information matches their target participant.
Not only does Q-Insight offer paid studies, but they also have product testing studies which are my favorite!Last month I participated in a laundry detergent study through Q-Insights. They sent me two different nondescript bottles of laundry detergent. (It was easy to determine which detergent I was using since the bottle shape was the same as a well-known laundry detergent company).I was instructed to use each bottle for two weeks and then evaluate both products based on what I liked and disliked. Q-Insights also sent me $30 compensation, which was the icing on the cake considering they also gave me two full-size bottles of detergent to use.
Focus groups and paid studies are a fun and easy way to make money, but first, you have to know where to find them. Use the tips and links above to get started and you’ll soon have access to the paid studies in your area.