I was invited to a local skincare company’s research study a few years back. They wanted to launch a new line and needed feedback from women aged 20-25 with dry skin.
Because I was a recent college graduate and needed additional cash, I went. They wanted to know about my current skincare routine, what products I use, and how they feel about them. It took me just an hour to get a $75 Visa gift certificate and some product samples. It was a great way to spend an hour.
You’re in luck if you like the idea that you can get paid to share your opinion. Many places offer paid research studies. Although the study I did was done in person, you can also do many online research studies from your home.
Sites that offer paid research studies
Online focus groups can be found that will pay you for your feedback and time through many websites. You should explore all options as each site has different requirements and payment structures.
1. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie has been around since 2005. You can take surveys and give your opinion to major brands that want to improve their products or services. The site will match you with surveys that fit your interests after you have answered several questions about yourself.
You’ll get virtual points for completing surveys. These virtual points can be used to redeem for PayPal cash and online gift cards. Surveys take between 5 and 20 minutes. You can expect to earn 100 to 200 points, or $1 to $3 for each survey. You don’t need to sign up for any other websites or buy products.
2. American Consumer Opinion
American Customer Opinion is a panel that works with large companies to get customer opinions. You will need to provide basic information, such as your age and location. Next, you will complete a survey about your household and share details about it.
Survey invitations will likely be sent to you via email multiple times per year. The length of the surveys will determine how many points you earn.
Short surveys can be worth between 5 and 50 points. However, longer surveys can bring you up to 5,000 points. You can redeem your points for PayPal cash, or you can donate them to charity.
Respondent is unique in that it offers one-on-one paid research online and in person. Sign up using your email address, Facebook profile or LinkedIn.
Once you have done so, you will need to fill in some basic information like your name, birth date, and email address. They will also request demographic information such as your gender, ethnicity, education background, and age.
Once you sign up, you can browse the available “projects” and get details such as the pay and time it takes to complete them. You can fill out a questionnaire if you find a project you like and apply for it. If the company selects you, they will email you.
The majority of these projects are small business-related or technology-related. You can pay $50 to $85 via PayPal for 45 minutes up to an hour of your valuable time.
FocusGroup.com was established in 1988. It offers surveys, as well as online and in-person focus groups via webcam and phone. Once you have created a profile, you will be emailed invitations to focus groups and surveys.
Most of the focus groups and surveys on the site revolve around finances, health, wellness, pets, and shopping habits.
Participating in focus groups or surveys will earn you $75 to $150. These points can be applied towards a Visa debit card. 100 points can be cashed out for $1.00
5. Plaza Research
Plaza Research allows parents, children, teenagers, students, doctors, business professionals, and other people to voice their opinions about new products and services. It hosts surveys as well as a variety in-person focus group meetings throughout the country.
You’ll be asked to test a new product, view a commercial on TV, and discuss future products in a focus group. Fill out the online survey to be invited to a focus group or receive invitations. You will be asked questions about your education, electronic usage, home, pets, and other details.
If you are a good candidate for a focus group or survey, you will receive an email. The length of the survey and its scope will determine how much you earn. Participants will typically earn $50 to $200 for their two-hour time.
Once you have applied to the survey you like, you will be asked a few questions to ensure you are a good match for the job. You’ll be asked seven questions to determine if you are eligible and will earn $50. Within 24 hours, the money will be transferred to your PayPal account. Your earnings can be used to purchase an Amazon gift certificate.
Fieldwork has been facilitating marketing research studies ever since 1980. In-person focus groups are held in 11 U.S. cities. Fieldwork offers online and phone interviews.
Fill out the online questionnaire to register and Fieldwork will call or email you when a chance becomes available. In-person focus groups usually last one to two hours. They can also be on random topics like cereal or video games. The compensation is typically a $75 Visa gift certificate.
8. User interviews
User interviews organizes focus group meetings in person, by phone, or via video streaming to discuss products, services, websites, and other topics. Create a profile that includes your birth date, gender, marital status, education level, and household income to be eligible for participation.
To find out if you are eligible for a project, take a screener survey. You can sign up to the focus group and get $50 per hour. You will be paid by check.
9. Brand Institute
Brand Institute supports healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in their marketing efforts. After completing a brief online registration form, you can become a Brand Institute member. You will receive an email notification if you are eligible for a paid research project.
The survey you complete will determine the payment. If you have a medical background, you are more likely to be invited for higher-paying surveys. Earn between $2 and $30 by PayPal or check. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists in healthcare say they get about four surveys per month.
Engage finds respondents for market research and usability studies. You can join the panel for in-person or online focus groups. If you are a healthcare professional, you can join the panel. Consumer panel members are everyday consumers.
Information about your income, marital status and education level as well as job will be required. Once you have submitted the information, you will receive an email notification when you are eligible for a study. The majority of studies are focused on cars, electronics and food products. They typically pay $50 to $250 via PayPal or check.
Universities that facilitate paid focus groups
There are also paid focus groups that can be found at universities and colleges. Many offer year-round work and focus on psychology or human behavior. Some of these studies can be done online but others require you to attend in person.
Participation is open to all students. Payments are usually in the form PayPal cash, gift certificates, or a check. You can earn money through college-run focus group participation. Take a look at schools near you. These opportunities will be listed on their websites.
- Purdue University ( Check out studies).
- Center for Decision Sciences Columbia Business School ( View studies).
- Northwestern University Department of Psychology ( View studies).
- Harvard University Psychology Study Pool ( Read studies).
- MIT Behavioral Research Lab ( Read studies).
Jeff Proctor, co-founder of DollarSprout, participated in a six week research study at Virginia Tech on high-fat diets. He was paid $500 and meals during the research study.
He said, “It was an amazing experience, but it was very involved.” “I had daily to check in to be weighed, to choose my meals, as well as to have several urine and blood samples taken.”
How to tell if a Focus Group Opportunity Is Legit
While many focus group opportunities may be legitimate, there are many scams that are out there. It’s a red flag if you are required to pay for participation or give out confidential information, such as your Social Security Number or credit card details. Avoid any focus groups that require you to sign up for products or services, or buy products.
Do your research online to confirm that you are interested in a job opportunity. To see the rating of the Better Business Bureau and to read complaints, visit www.bbb.org. You can avoid getting excited about a group only to find out later that it is a scam.