Would you like to make money participating in paid focus groups? If so, keep reading! This post has everything you need to know about earning money with focus groups.
The first time I got called to participate in a focus group was my sophomore year in college. It was for a radio station that had gathered my name from a sweepstake that I had previously entered. The 2-hour segment required me to sit in a room and listen to music snippets and rate each song on a scale of 1 to 10. After the session was over, I was handed 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 have earned cash and/or gift cards. Interestingly, I’ve never sought out any of these opportunities; they came along because I had either tried out a free class, used the product, purchased a membership, or entered into 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 lots of places to get connected. Best of all, these opportunities pay well. Usually between $50-$150 for an hour or two with some gigs paying as much as $200, $300, and even $400 for a couple of hours of your time.
Often you’ll get free products to sample, too; a nice little perk!
For short online and telephonic surveys, expect to earn between $5-$20 for 15-20 minutes.
Are you ready to cash in with focus groups?! Here are 17 places to get started.
Started in 2016, Respondent is an online platform 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 can be done remotely. 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 review on Respondent here.
2. 20|20 Panel
20/20 conducts in-person research studies in Nashville, TN, Miami, FL, and Charlotte, NC, as well as online research studies. The company was founded in 1986 and has been seen in The Wall Street Journal. A few of the companies they’ve done research with are Kraft, P&G, Frito-Lay, Disney, and Dell. Studies pay between $50-$150 or more. Apply online for opportunities.
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 when opportunities arise, you’ll be contacted via email. Adler Weiner Research has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
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. To apply, click on the link to the city where you’re located and fill out the application. If you qualify for participation, you’ll be called via phone for additional screening. Consumer Opinion Services has been in business since 1960 and has worked with companies like HP, Grove Insight, and Auto Focus Research.
Conducts paid focus groups in 16 major cities across the US (you can see a full list on their website), but they also set up temporary locations for their clients as needed. To be considered, fill out the online application, and when you meet the criteria for a study, you’ll be called or emailed. Compensation ranges from $50-$100. Fieldwork has 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. Find Focus Groups has been featured on Forbes, CNN, and The Today Show.
Schlesinger Group (which acquired Focus Pointe Global) conducts market research online, via telephone, and in-person. To participate, fill out the online application, respond to surveys, and attend focus groups you’re invited to. 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. Research is conducted on-location (in Mountain View, San Francisco, San Bruno, Seattle, Kirkland, and Manhattan), online, and in-home. Participation in a study session will entitle you to a “token of appreciation” such as a gift card or donation to a charity.
Related Content: 8 Types of Work-at-Home Jobs with Google
10. Apex Focus Group
Apex Focus Groups conducts focus groups, clinical trials, and paid survey panels in the US. Studies are both in-person and online, and participants must have a high school diploma. Average compensation is $35-$75 for a single session and $250-$500 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 get started, fill out the online profile, and wait to be matched to relevant opportunities. After completing the study, the hosting company will make payment 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 be considered for the opportunity, fill out the online application, and answer questions via video for studies you’ve been invited to participate in. Participants are paid $50 for each study the complete; payments are made via PayPal.
13. Nichols Research
Nichols Research conducts consumer research in the San Francisco area. To apply, sign up online and wait for opportunities to be sent to you. Nichols Research opportunities include focus groups, video game testers, surveys, usability labs, mock juries, and car clinics. Participants receive a gift or an honorarium for their time and participation. Nichols Research has an A+ rating with the BBB.
14. Plaza Research
Launched in 1982, Plaza Research offers focal groups (in 14 major cities), including telephone interviews, in-home interviews, and online surveys for payment. Plaza Research has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Established in 2005, Probe Market Research offers a wide range of opportunities, such as 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 paid focus group studies for over 30 years. They offer online, phone, and in-person studies. Many studies are for healthcare professionals, but they also have focus groups for the general population. 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 individuals from the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, France, and the UK for paid focus groups, surveys, and website testing gigs. Studies are conducted online, over the phone, and in-person, and the average payout is $50-$100 for an hour of your time.
Participating in paid focus group studies can be an excellent way to bring in some extra cash. You will need to fill out the preliminary questionnaire to see if you qualify for the study, but once you qualify, it’s an easy and flexible way to earn money from home.
Have you participated in focus groups for cash? If so, we’d love to hear how you found the gig and how much you were paid. If you enjoyed this post — please share it on your favorite social media site.
Originally published September 3, 2015. Content updated December 10, 2020.