Wanna get paid to sit in a circle with a bunch of people complaining about a product or service? Then you’ll love paid focus groups!
Just how much you can make with focus groups depends on a few factors. We’ll talk about the exact numbers in a moment.
Definition of Online Focus Groups
Paid focus groups are a date-driven form of market research like surveys. The primary goal is to gather opinions and statistics to predict trends, improve products, or develop new ones.
Participants take part in small groups of mostly 5-8 people and give opinions about the targeted product.
Instead of recruiting groups of participants to hold in-person discussions about a table with a focus group moderator, they recruited participants into an online forum such as a Zoom video conference room (or equivalent software).
Similar to traditional, in-person focus groups, participants are able to share their feedback, thoughts, and answers to questions. Participants also react to others’ answers to create a qualitative dialogue within the forum.
Tips on How to Choose Paid Focus Groups
When it comes to sharing our personal information, we usually become very protective, and even opportunities to make extra money won’t change our minds, right?
But when we are talking about serious research companies who take information security seriously, we can be sure that they and protect participants and their own reputation.
Make sure to check reviews about the company you choose to work with, their reputation, and their image.
Below I gathered the list of the best companies that pay for taking part in focus groups. Save your time, choose the one that you like most, register, and start making money by sharing your opinion.
5 Types of Focus Groups
When most people think of focus groups, they imagine a group of people gathered around a table having a conversation.
While that is true to some extent, it only describes one form of it.
They conduct focus groups in a variety of ways.
This is one of the focus groups near me. You’ll be asked to show up on a certain day in a local facility where you will be in a room with 7 to 20 people discussing various aspects of the topic of the study.
Since these are done in local settings, you’ll have to be a local resident to take part (though there are studies that allow anyone from anywhere to take part if you don’t mind driving a long time to get there.)
It can last between 30 minutes to 3 hours. Most focus groups, however, last about 40 minutes.
They conduct these studies online through chat rooms or private online bulletin boards.
Depending on the subject of the study, it can be a one-time session lasting from 40 minutes to 2 hours or so, or multiple sessions held for a few days or weeks with multiple sessions on different days lasting from 1 to 2 hours or so.
These studies usually have a smaller payout compared to in-person studies. You can expect anywhere from $20 to $200 or more.
3. Telephone Interviews
This is one of the focus groups near me. As the name suggests, they do studies over the phone.
It works the same way as an online or in-person study–you’ll be asked a series of questions about the subject of the study. These usually are shorter and last anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes or so.
Again, the pay depends on the subject of the study and the length of the interview. Expect anywhere from $20 to $150 or so.
4. In-Home Interviews
This is one of the focus groups near me. Also, this is rare, but it happens.
Basically, the researcher or researchers will show up at your house (obviously, with your prior permission) to conduct the interview. The pay depends on the subject and the length of the study. Expect $30 to $100.
5. Shop Along
This is a fun one. Also, this is one of the focus groups near me.
It’s kind of like mystery shopping, but the aim is different. Instead of the employees and the store as a whole being watched and rated on performance, the researcher watches you (the shopper).
16 Best Companies that Pay for Taking Part in Paid Focus Groups
1. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is one of the most popular platform online. And it is to make extra cash by completing online surveys.
The only thing to keep in mind is that Survey Junkie doesn’t pay you in cash, but rather in point that can be redeemed into gift cards.
But the whole experience is rather easy and straightforward. Probably Survey Junkie is one of the easiest ways to make money with survey companies. Start here and check it for yourself.
Pay: $2-75 equivalent per survey
Respondent.io is a worldwide marketing research company that makes remote interviews.
The average pay is $140 per hour
3. User Interviews
User Interviews is the user research platform for recruiting research participants.
Pay: $10-100 per survey
FocusGroup.comis a panel where you register online. Also, take part in surveys and paid focus groups.
Pay: $75-150 per survey
5. Google Usability
A survey right from Google. Yes, it is a real thing. You can join Google User Research to share your experience. Once you complete the survey, you’ll receive a gift card, or you can choose to donate the money to any charity.
So it is a little tricky, you won’t get rich with this, but it is a great and secure way to check what an online focus group is.
Pay: $75 per hour
6. Recruit and Field
The national market research company that holds in-person and online surveys.
Pay: $100-275 per study
7. Ipsos i-say
It is a survey site that has a big variety of rewards for your time and opinion starting from cash payments to merchandise, gift cards and even charity.
Pay: $50-100 per hour
8. Experience Dynamics
A user research panel for researching user experience, including user testing, user research, interaction design, and visual design.
Pay: $50-150 per study
SpringBoard America is another legit research company that pays real money for customers’ opinions.
Pay: $0.5-5 per 10-minute surveys
Update: currently SpringBoard America doesn’t register new users.
20 | 20 is an innovative and technologically advanced online research company.
Pay: $50-150 per survey
14. Inspired Opinions
Inspired Opinions is a data collecting company that works with world-known brands.
Pay: $5-100 per survey
15. Engage Studies
Engage Studies is a research company that works with businesses, individuals, and institutions.
Pay: $50-250 per survey
16. SIS International Research
It is a global research company that gathers focus groups to collect data about B2B, healthcare, and consumer products.
Pay: $150 per hour.
I know it seems weird, but since most focus groups are conducted in physical locations and require local people, companies conducting them will normally post ads on Craigslist’s “Jobs” or “Gigs” section.
This is a site for people and companies in the business of market research.
But you can use its “Directory” section to locate focus groups companies and their facilities in your area.
This one is like the Yellow Pagesfor the market research industry. Again, although it’s geared towards the people in the industry, you can use its massive database of market research firms to find local focus groups.
This is a massive directoryof market research firms. They have a dedicated section just for focus group facilities.
Other Online Focus Group and Paid Research Study Options
The companies listed above certainly aren’t the only research companies around, and for this side hustle, it might make sense to join as many firms as you’re comfortable with.
That way, you’re presented with all the opportunities available, not just the projects managed by one company.
Here are a few more to consider:
PrizeRebel–Earn the equivalent of $10-12 an hour doing surveys or completing other tasks. (Just avoid the low-paying ones.)
UserTesting–Earn $10 for completing 20-minute online user tests of websites, apps, shopping portals, and more. This is pretty fun but you have to be fast because these tests get snatched up quickly.
Intellizoom–Get paid an average of $10 testing and reviewing websites.
UserBrain–Receive new websites to test every week and earn $3 for each 5-15-minute test.
Google User Experience–Google pays “tokens of appreciation,” or “small thank you gifts” for providing feedback on their products.
Engage Studies – Earn as much as $100 per focus group through this research company.
Nichols Research – Get paid to participate in in-person focus groups, primarily in Northern California.
Marketade – Specializes in remote usability testing, market validation, navigation research, and more.
In doing all this research, a new side hustle came to me: web design and social media for these companies.
How to Find Legit Focus Groups
Whether you are looking for online focus groups or in-person focus groups near you, you will have to be patient as you have to go through a screening process before you can take part in any research study.
Consumer research companies are normally looking for people with very specific interests and profiles, and you are not going to be able to qualify all the time.
By joining as many companies as possible, you will be able to maximize your chances of qualifying for as many focus groups as possible.
Focus groups are not going to make you rich overnight, but they are a nice side hustle to make some extra cash in your spare time! Please feel free to share this information with your love ones.