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.
I first participated in a focus group during 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 want to make some extra cash by participating in online 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 paid focus group opportunities?
Here is a list of places to find consumer research companies.
Launched 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 their 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 earn $20!
Be sure to read our full Respondent review.
2. Focus Group by Schlesinger
To participate, fill out the online application, and respond to studies that you qualify for. For in-person focus groups, you must be located in the US, but online opportunities are available globally. For each study you participate in, you’ll earn points that can be traded in for gift cards and Visa debit cards. 100 points have a value of $1.00 in cash and rewards.
3. 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. You can read our full review on User Interviews to learn more.
4. Adler Weiner Research
Adler Weiner Research accepts focus group participants within driving distance from Chicago, 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.
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 general studies and healthcare studies and actively seek nurses, doctors, physician assistants, and other medical professionals. To start, fill out the online application and wait for invites. Studies are most often conducted via the focus group format, but they also have taste-testing opportunities, product trials, phone interviews, and online studies. Compensation ranges from $50-$100.
7. Find Focus Groups
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. This company is not a market research firm but instead a focus group marketplace. According to their website, they vet all the opportunities listed on their site.
8. Google Usability
Google User Experience Research conducts consumer research on their own online products and services. Studies are conducted online and in-person, and for each study you complete, you’ll receive a small gift, such as a gift card from a major retailer or a Visa or MasterCard debit card.
9. 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. The average compensation is $35-$75 for a single session and $350-$750 for a multi-session study. Apex Focus Group has a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
10. Nelson Recruiting
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. First, 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.
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.
12. 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.
13. Probe Market Research
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.
14. 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-$100, with studies paying in cash, check, or Visa gift card. L & E Research has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
15. 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. You’ll earn points towards Amazon gift cards or cash via your PayPal account for each study or survey. 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.
16. GLG Insights
GLG Insights is a market research firm that conducts studies in a wide variety of professional industries. Research is gathered using phone interviews, in-person research studies, and simple online surveys. With GLG Insights, you set up your profile and hourly rate for participation and wait for invites to studies that match your professional expertise. Once you complete a study, you’ll get paid via direct deposit.
Ipsos recruits individuals to take part in market research through paid online surveys. They accept users from all over the world, and it’s easy to get started. Sign up for a free account, verify your email address and phone number, and answer a few simple profile questions. You can start taking surveys immediately, or you can complete profile questions that will match you with more opportunities. For each survey you take, you’ll earn points that can be traded for digital gift cards to major retailers, cash via PayPal, or a Visa card. 500 points are equivalent to $5 in cash!
PingPong conducts video research studies for a wide variety of companies. With PingPong, you can earn €10 to €100, sometimes more. However, you will need a computer or laptop with a webcam and mic and an internet speed of at least 20 Mbps. Payments are distributed by PayPal or Transferwise, and they accept participants worldwide.
19. Recruit + Field
Recruit + Field is a market research firm that conducts consumer, B2B, and healthcare studies. Studies are conducted via in-person focus groups, online surveys, phone surveys, and product testing gigs. For each study you participate in, you’ll earn compensation. Recruit + Field has been in business since 1977, and they accept participants from around the world.
Participating in paid focus group studies can be an excellent side hustle for bringing in 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.
While there are lots of legitimate focus groups to take advantage of, you do need to be aware of scams. Follow these simple scam prevention tips, and research companies extensively before committing to an opportunity.
Have you participated in focus groups for extra money? We would love to hear about your experience!
Originally published September 3, 2015. Content updated March 2023.