How to Make Extra Money with Paid Focus Groups

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How to Make Extra Money with Paid Focus Groups

If you’re looking for a side hustle, you may have considered completing paid online surveys, but you can take this to the next level with paid focus groups. There are lots of ways to make extra money with focus groups, both locally and online, and here we’ll explore some of the best opportunities.

What Are Focus Groups?

Focus groups are small groups of people who are invited to share their opinion on particular products or services. A focus group can be based online or locally, and they are used for market research for existing or new products.

Companies use focus groups to determine consumer attitudes on specific branding, packaging, usability, or even ideas. Focus groups are assembled for opinions research or even political campaigns. In essence, they are a far more in-depth survey, where you can answer questions, give opinions, and get compensated for your time.

More companies are using research studies to gain a better understanding of trends and the current marketplace. Focus groups allow a connection with consumers both locally and globally.

Focus Groups vs. Online Surveys

Online survey sites and apps are becoming more commonplace, and they are an efficient way to receive consumer feedback on products or surveys. However, as you’re simply filling in a questionnaire, there is no conversation between respondents, which means that they don’t provide the same in-depth feedback.

Focus groups are a group setting either locally or online, so they encourage productive discussion. This means that companies can enjoy feedback on products or services without a need to interpret questions. The focus group representative can lead the discussion and guide it towards providing productive, personalized feedback.

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How much money can I make with focus groups?

Every focus group is different, but participants can expect to make $30 to $150 for each focus group. However, there are very specific groups that can pay far more for just one hour of your time. Typically, you will be paid based on the time you spend in the group, which is normally one to two hours.

Most focus groups pay in cash through PayPal, or you’ll receive a gift card or check. There are some market research companies that pay participants in points that can be redeemed using specific credit cards. Of course, you should confirm how you’ll be getting paid before you agree to take part.

Where can I find paid focus groups?

Whether you’re looking for a local focus group or prefer to work online, there will be a screening process to find an appropriate study. Market research companies look for people with a specific profile or demographic, so you won’t qualify for every group. Fortunately, there are lots of companies, making it possible to maximize the chances of qualifying.


This is a fantastic platform to help participants find legitimate focus groups. Each listing on the site has been verified, and FindFocusGroups works directly with some of the leading market research companies.

You can search for focus groups by city, state, or nationwide. Nationwide groups are typically conducted online, but it’s also possible to find groups in your local area. Once you find a group that interests you, and the time, date, location, compensation, and demographic requirements are appropriate, you can apply following the instructions in the listing. If the marketing company determines that you qualify, you will be contacted by the research representative. They will ask any follow-up questions before scheduling you for the group.

2. makes it easy to sign up for as many focus groups as you like. You can register for free, and the signup process takes just two minutes. You can then browse the listings for focus groups in your area or nationwide, so you can choose a local focus group or one based online. Once you find a study that you’re interested in, you can take an intake survey to determine your suitability. Your application is then reviewed, and if you qualify, you’ll receive an invitation to participate. has conducted over 15,000 focus groups and paid out more than $14 million to participants. After you complete a focus group, you’ll be paid by check or VISA card, so you can be confident that you will be rewarded for your time and opinions.

3. is a website for Focus Pointe Global, a market research company that has been around for 30 years. The company has 18 facilities across the USA and host in-person focus groups in addition to online focus groups via webcam.

The process of working with FocusGroup is simple. You just need to fill in the online form to create your profile. You’ll be emailed surveys, or you can log into your account to see what’s available. Based on your survey answers, you’ll be invited to attend focus groups or online studies. You’ll get to test new products and earn up to $150 for your time.

4. Respondent

Respondent advertises an average hourly rate for focus group participants of $140, and to date, the company has paid out over $11 million. The company makes it simple to sign up, as you can connect your Facebook or LinkedIn profile, so your demographic and employment information can be verified.

Once your profile has been verified, you’ll be matched to research studies appropriate to your demographics through the Respondent algorithm. However, you can also browse the website for projects that you would like to participate in. When you’re invited to participate in a study, you can select a time that best fits your schedule. After completing the focus group, you’ll be automatically paid via PayPal.

You can also earn additional money with Respondent by referring friends to participate in studies. You can share studies with your friends that look like a good fit, so you can both make extra money.

5. User Interviews

User Interviews promotes that the average time to qualify for a first project is less than a day, so you can quickly get started earning some extra cash. The sign up process is straightforward; you just need to create your profile and start looking for projects of interest. If you find a project, you’ll need to complete a screener survey to check if you qualify. You can then sign up for a session, participate, and get paid. There are over 500 projects each month; there are lots to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits your preferences.

6. American Consumer Opinion

American Consumer Opinion has more than 6 million members located around the world, providing a legitimate opportunity to earn extra money participating in surveys and focus groups. It’s free to join, and you can make money from day one. Rather than earning a cash amount, the incentives for participation are in points ranging from 100 to 5,000 for each project. One point is roughly worth one penny, so you will need to do a little calculating before you agree to participate. As you complete each project, the points are added to your account balance, and you can then redeem them for PayPal funds or a charity donation.

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7. Inspired Opinions

Inspired Opinions is an online community comprised of people who are interested in sharing their views and opinions to help influence products and services. You can participate on the phone, online from anywhere in the world, or in-person at one of the 16 Inspired Opinions offices across the USA.

The application process is free and simple; you just need to be over 18 years old. You will need to supply some basic details to create your personal login. After you complete your profile, you will be matched to research studies based on your interests and lifestyle. You’ll be contacted by phone or email to determine if you qualify for specific studies. For this, you will earn Visa Debit cards or rewards points.

8. Plaza Research

Plaza Research has been around since 1982 and is considered to be the premier network of focus group facilities in the USA. The company has dedicated focus group suites in 14 locations across the country that include viewing rooms, so companies can watch the group discussion.

To register, you’ll need to complete the electronic form online. This will allow you to become eligible for participation in focus groups, online surveys, telephone interviews, and in-home interviews.

Plaza Research assures members that no one from its organization will try to sell you anything or send unsolicited emails. You can also remove your name from the participant mailing list at any point.

The information you provide Plaza Research will be used to help select participants for research studies. The company assures all members that personal information is strictly confidential and will only be used for research purposes and will not be sold to any other organization.

Plaza Research focus groups are held in the evening and during the day. You will be in a small group and may be asked to preview a commercial, sample a new product, or talk about new products. You will also be served refreshments during the group session. Participation payment will be presented immediately after the session, and it averages $50 to $200 for a typical two-hour session.

9. Probe Market Research

Probe Market Research is a nationwide firm that was established in 2005 to provide services to assist brand understanding. So, you can get paid to voice your opinions about products, commercials, and services. The Probe Market Research focus groups typically pay $50 to $400, and this can be locally or even without needing to leave your home. The group interviews are conducted by phone, online, or in person. So, you can get a sneak peek of product launches and earn extra cash.

To register, you’ll need to complete the online form that includes lifestyle, medical, and basic financial details. When a survey matches your interests and demographics, Probe Market Research will contact you to arrange participation.

10. Fieldwork

Fieldwork looks for all types of people to participate in studies. The company has facilities in 11 cities across the USA, and once you register, you can choose the one that is nearest to you. However, if you do not live in an area near a facility, you can be added to the national database to be eligible for online or phone participation.

To register, you will need to select your nearest city or check the national database and fill in some basic personal information. A lot of the information on the form is optional, but the more detail you can provide, the greater the likelihood that you will qualify to participate in a focus group.

11. Recruit and Field

Recruit and Field market research projects encompass myriad products and services. You will have an opportunity to participate in focus groups, online surveys, phone interviews, and in-home product testing. The company has more than 300,000 participants, and you can join them through a simple sign-up process. All respondents are compensated for their time and opinions after participating in a study.

12. 2020 Research

2020 Research specializes in roundtable discussions online or at its office. Participants can expect to be paid $50 to $350 for focus groups, but the company also conducts online quick surveys that can earn you points worth up to $10. To join, you’ll need to complete a basic survey to help 2020 Research understand your demographics and interests. This information will be used to match you with focus group projects.

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13. Nichols Research

Nichols Research is an independent marketing company in California. You can participate in focus groups, telephone interviews online surveys, and product testing to earn extra cash. To decide which studies are best suited to your demographics, Nichols Research will ask questions, but the information that you provide is voluntary.

The remuneration for the studies varies, you’ll most often be paid with Visa cards, but you can also be paid in cash or check. The payment method is ultimately determined by the client and the Nichols Research team, but you will be advised before participation.

14. Advanced Focus

You can participate in Advance focus research based on one of four categories; adult consumers, young consumers, business consumers or medical professionals. The amount you’ll be paid will depend on the study topic, and session length. You’ll be routinely asked to verify your information to ensure that you meet the criteria of specific studies.

15. Adler Weiner Research

Adler Weiner has been conducting market research since the 1960s, and you can earn extra money by participating in a focus group in one of the four locations; Orange County, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Lincolnwood. You will need to register using the form for the appropriate city and provide some basic information to be matched to focus groups. You can sign up as a consumer or a healthcare professional, and you’ll be advised of how much you’ll be compensated before you participate.

16. Consumer Opinion Services

Consumer Opinion Services is continually looking for participants for focus groups in Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, and other areas. When you join, you’ll be added to a secure database and matched to future studies.

The application form requires the sharing of basic information, including your political leaning, medical data, and personal preferences. This data is used to ensure that you are a good fit for the target market for particular products or services. You can also participate as a family, as the company often requires children’s feedback. Out of appreciation for providing your time and opinion, you’ll receive cash, giftcards, or gifts.

17. watchLAB

WatchLAB searches for the best research participants to complete focus groups online, in person, or in-home. The company even offers the possibility to win $100 as a thank you for joining the WatchLAB community. There is one winner per quarter, and the draw is only open to new members.

To register, you’ll need to supply some basic information that will be used to match you to appropriate focus groups. Depending on the project, you’ll be paid in person after the focus group or have a check sent to your home address.

18. Brand Institute

As a panel member of the Brand Institute, you will have the power to shape the competitive landscape of consumer products and pharmaceuticals. The insights you provide will assist companies and influence the products and services available to everyday consumers.

To register, you just need to click on the link and complete the basic form. The information you provide will be used to pair you with specifications of defined research projects and determine which studies you will be invited to participate in. You’ll receive an invitation via email, so you will have plenty of time to confirm attendance.

19. Mindswarms

You can join Mindswarms online or using the company’s app by providing some basic information. You’ll be matched to projects and be expected to participate via video, so you’ll need to have a webcam and microphone on your computer or use the App. Typically, projects involve answering up to seven questions, so you should read the questions before you start to record the video. Most projects are based on a specific product, so it is a good idea to have it on hand as you’re recording. Payment for each project varies, but it is typically $50.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are some great ways to earn extra money with focus groups. Many of the companies we’ve listed here offer local or online participation, but it is a good idea to check the specific project requirements before you sign up.

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