Did you know that you can get paid to take participate in focus groups? Yep, focus groups are a legitimate and easy way to make money online. What is a focus group? Basically focus groups involve a small group of people that have been invited to share their opinions.
Focus groups can be conducted in-person or online.
They are normally used for market research for new or existing products, to be able to determine people’s attitude towards specific branding, usability, packaging or ideas. They can also be used for political campaigns and opinions research. You can think about paid focus groups as much more in-depth surveys.
Focus group normally involve you giving opinions and answering questions on a specific subject. Focus groups usually pay $50-$150 for an hour or two of work. I really love online focus groups as a way to make some extra money on the side. You won’t get rich quick, or they cannot replace your full-time income, but $150 for an hour of your time, a few times a year? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.
Where Can You Find Legit Focus Groups?
Whether you are looking for online focus groups or in-person focus groups near you, you will have to be a bit patient as you have to go through a screening process before you can participate in any research study.
Consumer research companies are normally looking for people with very specific interests and profiles. You are not going to be able to qualify all the time.
But, by joining as many companies as possible, you will be able to maximize your chances of qualifying for as many focus groups as possible.
Before you start signing up, spend a couple of minutes checking out the company and make sure it’s legit. The last thing you want is to waste your time and get scammed online!
Read all the fine prints and check their Facebook pages. This way you can find out what kind of reviews these focus groups are getting. Like with all surveys companies, you’ll never find a 5-star rating from everyone! Some people will love them, some will hate them.
But lucky for you, I have done a lot of the hard work! So, without any further ado, here are 16 of the best paying online focus groups.
Respondent is my favorite option for in-person and online focus group studies and the one that got me the $150 focus group.
Their payout is great, up to $250 per research, sometimes more! And they accept respondents from ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Respondent.io have projects that are available to U.S. Residents as well as International. This means you don’t have to be in the U.S. to join and earn from $50 to 250$ per research.
All you need to join is a PayPal account, and either Facebook or LinkedIn to connect your profile to. I know you’ll love it, and you’ll soon find something that’s right up your alley! Just sign up here.
Survey Junkie is a great legit website to make some extra cash! It’s mostly a survey company. With their surveys, you can earn anything between $0.5 to $5 (although the average is probably around $1-$1.50). But once you have signed up, you can opt-in for some great focus groups and studies.
Survey Junkie offers:
- Product testing: up to $50 – you get sent a free product to test, plus you’ll get paid for it! You just need to fill an online survey after you’ve used it.
- In-Person focus groups: up to $150 – after an initial online survey, if you are selected, you will have to attend an in-person focus group in a location near you.
- Phone Survey: up to $100 – you will go through market research questions on a phone call.
The only catch is that some of these higher-paying options are available only once a month (or less, depending on your profile).
Survey Junkie is really easy to set up and it doesn’t cost anything to subscribe. Just sign up here.
Ipsos is the third largest survey-based research firm in the world and their consumer survey platform accepts people from all over the world.
Most of the offers available here are for small surveys where you can only earn $0.40-$1.50 per survey, but they do offer from time to time high-end surveys and focus groups that pay $50-$100 for an hour of your time. They also have a mobile app that allows you to take surveys on the go.
When you complete a survey or focus group, you’ll earn points instead of cash. Points vary depending on survey length. You can redeem your points when you have at least 500 in your account.
You’ll get paid with gift cards (including Amazon and iTunes), or you can also choose a prepaid Visa or PayPal cash.
With an outstanding 4.9 out of 5 on Facebook, Recruit and Field offers U.S. nationwide online studies as well as focus groups in different locations.
They look for participants from any gender and age for their studies, including professionals and medical professionals (doctor, nurse, lab technician). They normally pay via PayPal but also offer Amazon or digital gift cards. Their payments range from $100 to $275 per study.
20|20 Panel conducts market research and paid online studies for clients from all kinds of industries. Not the most well-designed websites, but has great Facebook reviews (4.3 out of 5).
It has paid opportunities for participants to share their opinions. You can sign up for local (Charlotte, Nashville, Miami) or online focus groups (U.S. and Canada) and can earn $50 to $2500!
They will post pre-qualifying surveys on their Facebook page or send them via email. If you qualify, they will then get in touch to give you the details of the study.
FocusGroup.com offers both in-person and online focus groups all over the U.S. You can have a look at “Available studies” to check how much you can get paid. Most studies pay between $70 to $250.
Most of the research studies you’ll find interesting are probably under consumer topics, which includes: Child-Related Products, Cell Phones, Dining Out, Pets, Cars, Entertainment, Electronics, Sports.
But they also run business specific topics and medical topics.
Their payment methods are different for each research study. Make sure you check if you are happy with the payment method before you apply!
They normally pay either via pre-paid Visa card (normally valid 180 days), check, gift card, or cash.
American Consumer Opinion is a big survey company for people from the U.S. with over 7 million users. It’s free to sign up and you can receive money in two ways: PayPal or a check.
It normally doesn’t pay very much, with short surveys making you $0.05 to $0.50, but if you get selected for longer market research surveys you can make up to $50.
You get points for each survey that you take. 1 point is equivalent to 1 penny. When you hit $10.00, you can request your money.
Fieldwork compensation to participate in a focus group starts at $75 and their focus groups normally last one to two hours.
It has locations throughout the US: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago-Downtown, Chicago-O’Hare, Chicago-Schaumburg, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lee, NJ, LA-Orange County, Minneapolis, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle.
But if you don’t live near any of these locations, you can still apply to join their national database. They normally pay with Visa gift cards, but check before you apply for a focus group.
Rated 4.7 out of 5 on Facebook, Probe Research is a U.S-based market research company and constantly hosts focus groups to get feedback for clients’ new advertising campaigns, products, or services.
Focus groups normally pay between $50 and $400 and in some cases, you may not even need to leave your home! Interviews are conducted in groups, by phone, or online—depending on the amount of time assigned to that particular study.
Survey Feeds is US-based and has opportunities all over the country and online. You can earn anything from $75 to $475. Survey Feeds Specializes in:
- One-on-one Interviews
- Focus Groups
- Clinical Research Studies
- Web Conferences
- Online Surveys
- Phone Interviews
Mindswarms is quite unique: they will pay you $50 to answer 7 questions about a product or service, or $10 to answer 1 question.
Once you have registered, you’ll be able to see studies that might qualify for you, based on your profile. You can apply by answering a few simple questions in less than a minute.
If you are invited to take a survey, you’ll be asked to answer up to 7 questions using the video function on your smartphone, tablet or webcam. It’ll take you less than 10 minutes to record your answers.
Then you’ll get paid automatically via PayPal, 24 hours after you post your responses to a study.
You just need to register your details and reply to some simple questions. Make sure your account is as up to date as possible and you will be contacted if you qualify for any study. If you do, you will receive an email, so make sure you check regularly.
You will be paid via PayPal (remember to claim your payments within 30 days of completing a study!), or check.
User Interviews pays for your feedback on real products and brands. After you sign up, you’ll need to complete surveys via email. If you qualify for a study, you’ll get paid to participate. You can only apply from the U.S. and Canada.
If you connect via LinkedIn and Facebook, you’ll get more chances to participate in surveys, as they’ll be able to see details in your profiles.
You can check out active projects by clicking here. You’ll be able to select between: Focus groups, 1-on-1 interviews, Multiday studies, Tasks.
The pay goes from $75 for 30 minutes of your time up to $450 for very specific one-hour studies.
In order to participate in research studies, you just need to be over 18. You can register from all over the world.
You will be asked for some basic information and will be able to create your own personal login and password. Once your profile is complete, they will match you to their research studies. When they find a study that fits your profile they’ll contact you either by email or phone, to see if you qualify.
You can then participate in research studies in a variety of ways: In person at one of their 16 offices across the U.S, On the telephone, Online from a computer anywhere in the world.
They have a great 4.4 out of 5 on Facebook. By participating to one of their focus group, you can earn anything from $50 to $250.
They use an Opinion Reward points system. And you need to reach 1,000 ($10) before you can redeem points for gifts cards.
Voted 4.4 out of 5 on Facebook, you can earn from $50 up to $200 for a study (US-based only).
WatchLab has online focus groups, in-person research studies, and in-home studies. You can check out their Facebook page to see the range of focus groups they offer.
There are focus groups in San Francisco, LA, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Denver, and Portland. There might be more!
Engage has a pretty old school looking website.
It specializes in consumer and healthcare market research studies (you’ll need to pick one when you subscribe), and they pay ranges from $50-$250.
You can subscribe from all over the world, just select your country when you sign up!
More Ways to Find Paid Focus Groups
My 16 favorite websites for online and in-person focus groups aren’t the only ones around! The San Francisco Bay Area alone has over 60 market research groups trying to pay people for their opinions! And as I said before, the more you can find, the more opportunities you have to be a perfect fit for a paid focus group.
You can also search Facebook for “focus group” to find a list of pages of companies looking for applicants. I’ve listed some more companies below that might be worth checking out!
- FindFocusGroups.com: will help you to find focus groups near you in the US, by state.
- FocusGroups.org: another US-based website that will help you to find focus groups in your city.
- TakePartInResearch.co.uk: if you are in the UK, this is an amazing focus group finder! You can earn up to £150 for an hour of your time!
- SIS International Research: conducts focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and research studies all over the world.
- Advance Focus: a top-rated website that hosts focus groups and market research panels in New York City.
- Plaza Research: specializes in in-person focus groups and has facilities across the U.S. and pays $50-$200 to group participants.
Your Opinion Counts – And It’s Valuable!
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! And if you are not going to get a free coffee from an in-person focus group, you can sign up to Swagbucks and get free $5 credit that you can use for a Starbucks gift card!