Would you like to make money participating in paid focus groups? This post has everything you need to know about earning money with market research studies.
The first time I participated in a focus group was my sophomore year in college. It was for a new radio station. The 2-hour segment required me to listen to music snippets and rate each song on a scale of 1 to 10. After the session, I received an envelope with $100 in cash — not bad for a couple of hours of easy listening.
Over the years, I’ve participated in many different focus groups where I’ve earned cash or gift cards.
Interestingly, I didn’t apply for these opportunities; they came along because I had used the product or entered a giveaway.
Make Money Participating in Paid Focus Groups
If you’re looking to make some extra cash by participating in focus groups, there are many places to apply. Best of all, these opportunities pay well, usually $50-$150 for an hour of your time. And often, you’ll get free products to sample, a nice little perk!
For shorter online and telephone surveys, expect to earn $5-$20 for 15-20 minutes.
Are you ready to cash in with focus groups?!
Here are 18 places to find focus group opportunities.
Started in 2016, Respondent is a market research company that offers a wide range of focus group studies. Just create an account and browse the various projects that are going on. Some focus groups are in-person, while others are online.
A couple of studies that were going on when I searched the platform were:
1) Share your digital banking experiences – $45 for 30 minutes
2) Men’s fashion website testing – $50 for 60 minutes
According to Respondent’s website, the average hourly pay is $140 per hour, and payments are made via PayPal. You can also earn money by referring friends and family to the platform. If one of your referrals completes a study, you’ll receive $20!
Be sure to read our full Respondent review here.
2. 20|20 Panel
20/20 conducts in-person qualitative research studies in Nashville, Miami, and Charlotte, as well as nationwide online research studies and surveys. A few of the companies they’ve done research studies for are Kraft, P&G, Frito-Lay, Disney, and Dell. Focus group studies pay between $50-$150 in Visa or MasterCard gift cards, and quick surveys pay in points (500 points equals $5.00).
Adler Weiner Research accepts participants within driving distance from Chicago, Lincolnwood, Los Angeles, and Orange County. They have been in business since 1960 and conduct market research via focus groups, in-depth interviews, in-home visits, and shop-along visits. To apply, fill out their online questionnaire, and wait for invites via email. Adler Weiner Research has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Alibaba conducts different types of user studies, including surveys, interviews, and usability studies. Participants will receive monetary compensation of a check, coupon, or gift card for their participation.
Consumer Opinion Services does market research in Portland, Seattle, and Las Vegas, as well as online studies in the US. To apply, click on the link to the city where you’re located and fill out the application. If you qualify for participation, someone will call you with additional screening questions. Consumer Opinion Services has been in business since 1960 and has worked with companies like HP, Grove Insight, and Auto Focus Research.
Fieldwork conducts nationwide paid focus groups and in-person studies in Seattle, San Francisco, Orange County, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lee, and New York City, but they also set up temporary locations for their clients as needed. They conduct healthcare studies and actively seek nurses, doctors, physician assistants, and other medical professionals. To start, fill out the online application and wait for invites. Compensation ranges from $50-$100. And it’s worth noting that they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Find Focus Groups is an online platform that lists nationwide focus groups. On their site, you can browse by location, see what topics are available, and how much each study pays. Besides focus groups, they also offer online surveys, and you’ll receive $5 for signing up.
8. Focus Group by Schlesinger
Schlesinger (which acquired Focus Pointe Global) conducts market research studies through online surveys, phone interviews, in-person events, and product testing opportunities. To participate, fill out the online application, respond to surveys, and attend focus groups you qualify for. In-person focus groups pay between $75-$150 for your time. Currently, Schlesinger Group recruits study participants from the US and the UK.
Google User Experience Research conducts consumer research on their own online products and services. Study locations include Mountain View, San Francisco, San Bruno, Seattle, Kirkland, and Manhattan, but they also have online studies available. According to their website, most participants will earn a small gift for their time.
10. Apex Focus Group
Apex Focus Groups conducts focus groups, clinical trials, and paid survey panels in the US. Studies are done both in-person and online, and participants must have a high school diploma. Average compensation is $35-$75 for a single session and $350-$750 for a multi-session study. Apex Focus Group has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Launched in 1980, Nelson Recruiting conducts paid focus groups, surveys, phone and web interviews, taste tests, new app testing, and mock juries in the US. To start, fill out the online profile, and wait for relevant opportunities. After completing the study, the hosting company will pay via cash, check, or Visa gift card. Nelson Recruiting has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau.
MindSwarms is a third-party platform where you share your opinion via video on your webcam, smartphone, or tablet. To join, fill out the online application, and answer questions via video for studies you’ve qualified to participate in. Participants earn $10-$50 for each survey they complete; payments are made via PayPal.
13. Nichols Research
Nichols Research conducts consumer research via focus groups, surveys, in-person and telephone interviews, product tests, online studies, and more. To apply, sign up online and wait for opportunities via email. Participants receive a gift or an honorarium for their time and participation. Nichols Research has an A+ rating with the BBB.
14. Plaza Research
Plaza Research conducts market research in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tampa. Types of studies include phone interviews, in-home interviews, mock juries, usability testing, focus groups, and online surveys for payment. Plaza Research targets many users such as consumers, parents, children (with parental consent), students, physicians, and business professionals. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Probe Market Research offers a wide range of opportunities, like focus groups, online surveys, mystery shopping gigs, mock juries, product trials, and much more. Focus groups pay between $50-$400 per study. Probe Market Research has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
16. L & E Research
L & E Research has been conducting market research since 2011. They offer online, phone, and in-person studies in Austin, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Minneapolis, New Your City, Raleigh, San Francisco, St Louis, and Tampa. Many of their studies are for healthcare professionals, but they also have focus groups and opportunities for everyday consumers. The average pay is $50-$300, with studies paying in cash, check, or Visa gift card. L & E Research has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
17. User Interviews
User Interviews recruits people from the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, France, and the UK for paid focus groups, surveys, and website testing gigs. Studies take place online, over the phone, and in-person, and the average payout is $40-$200 for an hour of your time. To find out more, you can read our full review on User Interviews here.
18. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is an online platform that rewards users (from the US, Canada, and Australia) with points for participating in surveys, focus groups, product testing gigs, and web searches. For each study or survey, you’ll earn points towards Amazon gift cards or cash via your PayPal account. With Survey Junkie, your account must reach a 500 point balance ($5.00) before you can request payment. Survey Junkie also has a mobile app so that you can participate in studies on the go. If you want to learn more, you can check out our review on Survey Junkie here.
Participating in paid focus group studies can be an excellent way to bring in some extra cash. You’ll need to fill out some preliminary questions to see if you qualify for the study, but once you’re accepted, it’s an easy and flexible way to make money from home.
I suggest creating a separate email account just for these activities, as you’ll receive many emails from these companies. Another thing to consider is if you’re not comfortable sharing information like your age, gender, and household income, then this probably isn’t the right opportunity for you. Market research firms want to know these details along with behaviors, thoughts, and opinions.
Have you participated in focus groups for extra money? We would love to hear about your experience!
Originally published September 3, 2015. Content updated October 20, 2021.