A Penny For Your Thoughts - Focus Groups
There are multiple ways to make more money. You can read about them here. One way that does not get enough attention is participating in market research, also known as focus groups.
Recently, one of my students sent me the following overview of focus groups in Atlanta. She generally makes $500-700 extra per month participating in these studies! Getting to that point took her time, patience and persistence. You won’t make $500 in the first month. But, by getting started, you’ll learn how to find the best studies and pocket a little extra cash.
From an amazing student:
Here’s an overview of my experience on focus groups and where to find more information:
First, let me give a general overview of focus groups and some do’s/don’ts:
- Most focus groups are in person-group sessions. You sit around a table and talk about what you like or don’t like about a product, idea, commercial, concept, etc. There is no right or wrong answers. They just want your opinion.
- Groups cover a range of topics products/services travel/hotels, cars, makeup, toilets (yes toilets), napkins, shower gel, dishwashers, tuna fish, insurance, credit cards/banks you name it!
- They have several times available to participate and I always go to the evening sessions.
- I usually get paid form $75- 300 bucks per group cash or visa gift card.
- NEVER sign up for a focus group that says they will pay you in an Amazon gift card or they will put you in a “drawing” for a gift card. These seem sketchy to me and I will not give my information to them.
- Don’t do focus surveys that will give you “points” towards prizes or cash. I want my money now for my time.
- Use a separate email account for the sole purpose of focus groups.
- Never say you work for a marketing company or department or in the industry they are screening for. That would disqualify you instantly.
- Sign up for groups as soon as they get listed. The good ones go fast.
Over the past 6 months, here are some focus groups I’ve completed:
- Showerheads — Answered a few questions online for 3 days (which took all of 15 min a day), uploaded a picture of my shower and had a check in the mail for $100 bucks!
- Charity – Talked about it for 1 hour- walked out the door with $85 in my pocket.
- Therapedic bed – tested for 30days and got paid $500 bucks at the end of the survey.
- Ralph Lauren – they gave me a $75 gift card for Polo.
To find (and signup for focus groups) here are some great resources:
- http://findfocusgroups.com/Georgia/ – I like this site because it is continuously updated throughout the day. You can also go to the search by city and choose the “Nationwide” tab to find more groups. Some are online and they will send you a check after completion of the survey.
- http://www.delve.com/respondent/Survey.asp I did several groups with this company. They pay cash.
- http://www.fieldwork.com/Participants.aspx I do a lot of focus groups with this company. They can keep you busy! The average pay is $50-200 bucks.
- http://www.pvr-research.com This company is located in Norcross-somewhat of a hike for me-usually not worth the drive. I will only go if the pay is over $75 bucks
- http://www.schlesingerassociates.com I love this company. They have tons of sessions. They now pay with a Visa gift card-but you can set up a pin to get cash from ATM.
- http://www.atlantaoutloud.net/pdf/Consumer.pdf They do a lot of food focus groups. YUM! The last one I did with them was for Maggiano’s
- http://join.jacksonassociates.com/database.asp I do a lot of work with this company. They pay with check.
- http://www.vlresearch.com/index_files/participantsignup.htm – Never used this company-but I just signed up with them. Let’s see!
Overall, focus groups are a great way to supplement your income and give your input on products. Just remember, none of these are ‘easy money’. It may take months of doing free 5 minute online surveys before you get picked for a focus group. But, be persistent and good things will happen.
Anonymous Student of SmartPath
What else? What’s your experience with focus groups?