Inside: Interested in taking part in online focus groups? We have the low-down on how paid focus groups work and what you need to know to get involved.
Participating in paid focus groups is a great gig. Giving your opinions while knowing they’ll be valued is an enjoyable and constructive way to spend time – and taking part means earning some money too.
If you want to know how to get started with your first in-person or online focus group, stay right here to get the complete lowdown.
We’re also giving you the details of every paid focus group company you need to know about. From market research companies to those specializing in online surveys, it’s easy to make money by joining in with a paid focus group.
Whenever you can spare the time, you can make extra money simply by sharing your opinion.
If you’re wondering how focus groups work, taking part in marketing research really appeals to you or you want to know what focus group opportunities are out there, stay with us to find out how to get paid in gift cards or cold, hard cash whenever you participate.
Whether you prefer the idea of completing an occasional online survey or would like to get involved with more in-depth market research studies, you really can earn extra cash by taking part in the best paid focus group studies or online surveys out there.
Read on to discover all the must-knows about how to make money from paid focus groups.
It’s a legit way to make some serious extra cash, and the ideal side hustle for mums, students or commuters in particular.
27 Of The Best Paid Focus Groups Companies
That’s right – focus groups pay.
If you too want to get paid for this easy and fun side hustle, read on to find the best research firm so you can participate in market research, give your product or service reviews or simply share your opinions with other people.
Here are the 27 best focus group opportunities available right now – starting with a firm favorite!
1. User Interviews
Once only operating in Canada and the US, User Interviews have now opened up more across the globe. This is good news, as they’re one of the most highly rated opinion sites around.
It’s simple to sign up with them, and takes just a few minutes of your time.
You can connect your social media accounts, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and participants reckon this may lead to being offered more opportunities as they can match your profile to the research studies currently being carried out.
It’s also possible to choose between various categories, including multi-day studies, focus groups, one-to-one interviews and other tasks.
User Interviews paid focus groups participants get paid in Visa or Amazon gift cards or by cash or check.
You can see how much extra money you’ll earn when choosing what to take part in.
This can be a lucrative side hustle, with each participant being paid the equivalent of around $75 to $225 for a 30 minute focus group or other task.
This is also one of our favorite gigs as the tasks tend to be more interesting than average.
They cover topics ranging from food, hobbies, pets and family to technology, beauty, sports, music and much more.
You will also get to influence how new products, websites, services and apps are developed, and their client list includes big-hitters like Spotify, Wayfair and Pinterest.
This research company offers both online surveys and in-person research studies.
Participants from all over the world can sign up with them too, including the US.
To sign up for this way to make good money in your free time, you’ll need a PayPal account plus either a LinkedIn or Facebook account.
Once you’ve joined, you’ll be able to see all the available focus group opportunities.
You then apply to carry out focus groups work for those that appeal to you.
Your responses will then be examined, and you’ll be invited to take part if you match what the marketing research team are looking for.
A mutually convenient time can then be agreed.
Respondent pays well – you can expect to earn between $50 and $250 each time you share your opinion, and possibly more.
The company then pay cash via PayPal, after deducting a ‘fulfilment fee’. This is either $1 or 5%, whichever is higher.
3. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is mainly a paid survey research company.
While they don’t tend to pay as much as Respondent and User Interviews, they do offer an interesting range of tasks and it’s an easy way to make extra money.
Signing up with Survey Junkie is simple and it is of course free to join.
Their quick surveys typically pay about $1 – $1.50, but you could receive as much as $150 or as little as 5 cents, depending on the task.
The range offered by Survey Junkie includes in person or online focus groups, product testing and phone surveys.
The paid focus group opportunities may pay as much as $150 and will should place in a location close to you. If you participate in product testing, you could get paid as much as $50. Plus you get to keep the product.
Phone surveys pay up to $100, so don’t forget to add your phone number to your profile.
The highest paying Survey Junkie tasks may only be available about once per month, but are a great way to make extra cash when they are offered.
I-Say is owned by Ipsos and is one of the biggest market research companies on the planet.
It accepts participants from across the globe. As with Survey Junkie, many of the surveys offered are small scale and thus may pay around a dollar.
Sometimes, however, more lucrative opportunities are offered, such a paid focus group or more in-depth survey.
I-Say has a decent mobile app, so you can take part even when you’re out and about or doing other things. t’s great for students, mums or commuters who may often have a few moments to spare.
If you are offered paid focus groups, you may make extra money to the tune of around $50 to $100 per hour.
The downside is that they pay in points rather than cash.
Once you’ve reached the 500 point threshold, you can opt for PayPal cash or a prepaid Visa card, or you can swap your points for a gift card to spend with retailers like iTunes or Amazon.
5. Focus Group
Focus Group – also known as Inspired Opinions in some locations – offers paid phone, in-person and online focus group work worldwide.
Once you’ve joined up and created an account, you may be contacted by phone or email to be offered the chance to take part in a research session.
Do add your phone number if interested in phone surveys.
These may take place at one of 16 US offices, via the website or on the phone.
One of their specialisms is health care, so you may be offered more frequent job opportunities if you qualify to join this group.
Earnings are typically between $50 and $250, and the points you are paid in can be redeemed once you hit the $10 – or 1,000 points – mark.
6. 20|20 Panel
A 20|20 Panel user typically earns from $50 to $150 for their genuine feedback when taking part in their studies, surveys or paid focus groups.
Having been around for over three decades, 20|20 is a very experienced survey and panel company.
Join up and you can influence business and marketing policy – while you earn.
The majority of the work offered is online paid focus groups, so you can participate wherever in the world you’re based.
7. Google User Research
Google User Research – or Google Usability – is ideal for those who would love to earn while offering opinions that could shape one of the biggest businesses in the world.
Most opportunities are online-based, so it’s ideal for any user who doesn’t want or or have time to travel.
There are occasionally in person paid focus groups too.
Money-wise Google pays about $75 per hour to those who join up and take part.
Research companies certainly don’t come much larger than this one!
8. Survey Feeds
Survey Feeds are based in the US, and offer a range of online and in-person groups and studies in locations such as New York, LA, Miami, Boston, San Francisco and more.
You can sign up online, and it’s a good idea to follow this research company on Facebook as they often share the highest paying opportunities via the platform.
Survey Feeds offers focus groups, clinical research and one-to-one interviews, while typical remote tasks include online surveys, web conferences and phone interviews.
So don’t leave out your phone number.
Those who complete tasks for Survey Feeds may earn between $50 and $475 each time, so it’s a great way to make money by giving your opinions.
Mindswarms is a company specializing in a different kind of surveys and reviews, taking advantage of the fact that everyone has a camera cell phone these days.
You can earn money in as little as 10 minutes, as you simply film yourself answering a series of set questions.
Normally there will be less than seven to respond to, so it doesn’t take up too much of your time.
As research companies go, Mindswarm is one of the most flexible as the work can be done via phone and submitted online whenever it suits you, and wherever you are.
The pay isn’t bad either, with users typically earning up to $50 per task.
10. Recruit and Field
Recruit and Field is another legitimate company that specializes in providing consumer insights to business owners.
They offer a mix of online studies and focus groups, so you can take part in a session face-to-face or via the website.
They offer focus group opportunities across the US, and like Focus Group are especially keen to recruit health care workers.
Other professionals are also sometimes required, and they recruit across all age and gender groups.
This highly rated market research company pays in either gift cards or PayPal cash, and pay is usually between $100 and $275 per job rather than per hour.
PingPong is a relative newcomer to the market research company business, but it’s still fully legit.
In fact they boast some big client names, such as Nestle, Skyscanner and Dropbox.
As a European organization, fees be may paid in Euros, but you can join PingPong for free even if you live in the US, or elsewhere outside Europe.
Do add your phone number, in case they want to call you for interview.
A PingPong user can opt to test products or websites or take part in interviews.
Reviews and insights gained are then used to inform product and marketing research.
PingPong pay up to $100 per hour to each participant in their paid focus groups and other surveys, so if you qualify this can be a good earner.
12. American Consumer Opinion
American Consumer Opinion also provides US citizens with a legit way to make money by giving an opinion.
With more than 7 million users, it’s a big market research company.
As usual you can sign up for free, then will earn points for every task completed.
Many of the brief surveys don’t pay that much – often between 5 and 50 cents.
A more in-depth market research survey, however, will pay up to $50, so do fill in your phone number.
Cash is paid via check or PayPal, once you’ve racked up at least enough points to reach the $10 threshold.
Every point is worth one cent.
Fieldwork stands out as a paid focus group company because it runs 15 research facility sites across the US.
There are three in Chicago, and others include those operated in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Orange County and Fort Lee (NJ).
They also undertake online focus groups and market research, so location need not be a barrier to earning a Visa gift card for sharing your opinion.
This can be a legitimate and fun way to earn, and they undetake research projects on every continent.
The minimum payment from Fieldwork is normally around $75, and each focus group job typically lasts for 1 to 2 hours.
14. Probe Research
Claiming it offers the ‘best US focus groups’, Probe Research is a consumer research company that recruits across the country for those who interested in participating and giving their opinion while they earn.
Its services to clients include questionnaires, face-to-face and phone interviews, website usability, product trials and of course paid focus groups.
This means it needs people to take part in all this research – and of course the phone number of each recruit.
This highly regarded business pays those who take part in consumer related projects between $50 and $400, and you can join in via an in-person focus group, online or on the phone.
Watchlab recruits US-based participants for various market research projects such as focus groups, online studies and one-to-one interviews.
Pay ranges from $50 to $200 for those who take part.
For a sneak preview of what Watchlab has to offer, check out their Facebook page.
This is also worth following after sign-up, as current paid focus group opportunities are regularly posted.
Watchlab’s in-person focus groups take place in locations such as New York, California, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois and Washington State.
They also offer online opportunities.
16. Brand Institute
Brand Institute is primarily a branding agency, and as such carries out market research to inform the identity a big business will adopt.
They have offices across the world, including locations such as Boston, LA, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Dallas, Miami , Rockville and Raleigh-Durham in the US.
In the rest of the world, Brand Institute have facilities in Ottowa, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Basel, Seoul, Tokyo, San Juan and Sao Paolo.
So they have a strong global presence in Europe and Asia as well as North and South America.
Rated as one of the best research companies, Brand Institute gathers user opinions to help name businesses, as well as in developing a distinctive brand identity.
After signing up, they will email if you are invited to take part.
Once you’ve completed a job, you can choose to be paid via check or PayPal.
17. Field Voices
Illinois-based Field Voices pays people well for helping them to gain data, directly on behalf of all sorts of companies.
They conduct a range of studies and focus groups to make sure customer voices are heard.
The pay per hour is higher than with some other companies, so the money can be decent when opportunities arise.
They recruit from across the globe too.
Complete an assignment with Field Voices and the money paid could range between $150 and $300 for as little as an hour or two’s work.
Engage Research say they are always seeking new participants for market research projects they undertake to boost business for their clients.
Tasks may comprise website usability studies, an online opinion sharing session or you may be invited to participate in paid focus groups.
They take sign-ups from across the world, and specialise in both healthcare and general consumer research.
Typical pay for this market research company is in the range of around $50 to $250 for each job.
19. Survey Squad
Offering mostly home-based phone or online survey opportunities, Survey Squad collects data by means of user reviews, interview techniques, online diaries, paid focus groups or other kinds of research that’s related to the customer experience.
They require business and medical professionals for their valuable and unique insights, as well as people from all walks of life.
Those who want to join in are advised to connect with them on Twitter as well as filling in a profile complete with a phone number, as it’s an easy way to keep up with the latest projects.
Similar to companies like Mindswarm, DScout is based around a smartphone app, where users can record and share video feedback.
The app can be accessed via Apple or Google Play for Android.
There are currently over 100,000 users worldwide, and DScout design their tasks to be quick and fun to complete.
As they tend to be short assignments the pay isn’t the highest, but it can be a more interesting way of spending an hour or less than filling out complex questionnaires.
Cash is paid via PayPal, and by taking part you may enjoy sneak previews of brand new products – before they’re unleashed on the public.
21. Plaza Research
With 14 US offices, Plaza Research is like Fieldwork in the fact that it operates fully equipped focus group and market research suites.
As you might expect, it mainly concentrates on in-person paid focus groups.
The tasks offered are varied, and could include discussing proposed new products, reviewing existing ones or even previewing a commercial.
Focus groups take place during working hours and in the evening, and participants are paid for providing their opinions in cash, directly after each session.
22. Experience Dynamics
Experience Dynamics provides companies with real user insights. You can report on your experience when using websites, software and apps.
As a UX and UI interface specialist, this one might be of special interest to any technical types out there.
Experience Dynamics usually pay people between $50 and $150 dollars to give genuine feedback on your uer experiences. They recruit across the world, and whether you have any IT knowledge or not.
The company is also involved in online reviews, phone interviews and diary studies, and may come to speak to you at home or your workplace.
You may also be asked to complete an online survey, and don’t forget to give them your phone number for telephone assignments.
23. SIS International
SIS International is a worldwide market research firm, and as such it requires participants from all over the planet.
They provide healthcare and business to business market research to companies as well as insights and reviews from all kinds of people.
SIS conducts focus group research in numerous US cities including New York, Chicago, LA, Baltimore and Washington DC.
Normally their focus groups will consist of six to eight members, discussing product, service and marketing reviews.
Rates of pay vary according to the task, but may be in the range of $25 to $200.
As well as registering with the database, users can follow SIS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
24. GLG Insights
This player is a little different from other companies detailed here.
Instead of recruiting for reviews, focus groups and surveys, they pay per hour for your expertise.
Participants tend to be experts in their profession, and become GLG Insights ‘council members’ to share their related industry knowledge with interested parties.
High profile world leaders like former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, David Cameron, the former British Prime Minister, and a past White House Chief of Staff have even been involved, passing their opinions and insights on to selected GLG clients.
You can set your own consultation rate per hour to charge, and must upload a resume as well as connecting your LinkedIn profile to join.
Once you’re in, you’ll be contacted as and when relevant work is available, so do provide a phone number.
25. Find Focus Groups
If you’re asking ‘how do I find paid focus groups near me’, the answer may be found online via Find Focus Groups.
Operating for over 15 years, this company matches up business leaders with willing survey takers across the US.
The site allows you to search online for studies and surveys by state or city, and topics covered a wide-ranging.
Whether you’re more into providing sports-based reviews than video gaming, love talking food or finance or prefer to concentrate on travel, they might just help find the perfect paid focus groups in your area.
As this is primarily a search facility, pay per hour may vary.
26. Apex Focus Group
Apex Focus Group is another of the companies connecting willing participants with paid focus groups in nearby locations.
They offer paid survey panel opportunities and even the chance to take part in clinical trials as well as the usual focus groups.
While the site is geared to finding focus groups where you live, they also sometimes list online surveys, product reviews and the like.
The pay is more generous than some, with most rates ranging from $100 to $400 for participating in face-to-face focus groups.
Focusgroups.org is simple and fast to join and the money can be good too.
Pay ranges from $50 to $200 for most studies.
If you qualify, they will invite you to take part in a survey, reviews or a paid focus group.
Unlike with other companies, you can even see where focus groups are taking place before you join up.
The pay per hour can be pretty good too, with each focus group you take part in rewarding you with up to $250 in cash.
With opportunities in numerous US cities, checking out this company website can be a great place to start if you want to see if you could earn money by participating in group reviews or focus groups nearby.
The homepage also shows a current tally of available assignments, for an at-a-glance guide to what might be available.
Frequently Asked Questions – Paid Focus Groups
What is a focus group?
A focus group is where a group of people get together to discuss a given topic – such as a product, service or advertising campaign.
Relevant reviews may form part of this process.
Companies pay well to gather genuine insights from real people, so you don’t need any particular skills to get involved.
Sometimes, though, you could earn more per hour if you have experience in a related field to the topic of study, such as healthcare.
Focus groups will involve a number of participants answering specific questions or giving opinions, and occasionally the subject matter is political rather than customer focused.
A paid focus group may take place in person, or online via apps like Zoom, Facetime or Teams.
Are paid focus groups legitimate?
Yes, paid focus groups are indeed legitimate!
They can be a flexible way to make money, as a market research company will happily pay to garner your opinion or specific reviews on behalf of their clients.
These companies will operate focus groups online or in person, where a group of participants gets together to form a focus group.
They will then air and share their opinions on existing services or products, or give feedback that will be used in the development, branding and advertising of new ones.
If you want to join up with only legit focus group sites and apps, then you’re in the right place.
We’ve only listed the best paid focus group options here, so you can be confident that all of these research companies have been researched before this guide was written.
How much are focus group participants paid?
Pay for taking part in focus group or other forms of market research studies varies widely, and it depends on the effort required as well as each specific company.
Often, rates are given per job rather than per hour.
If you want to translate that to an hourly rate, don’t forget to factor in travel time, plus any spent filling out questionnaires or reviews beforehand or afterwards.
For some quick-fire question type surveys, participants may be paid under a dollar, while taking part in focus groups may earn you a fee of up to several hundred dollars.
What is a paid online focus group?
Whether it takes place in person or online, paid focus groups are there to gather data, reviews and public opinion.
The results of this type of market research will be used in the development, branding and marketing of products and services.
An online focus group will take place remotely, so there’s no traveling involved.
All you need to do is share your views via your computer – or in some cases an app on a smartphone or tablet – before being paid in gift cards, check or money sent via PayPal.
Sometimes you will be required to download software before you take part.
Where this is the case, it’s best to get familiar with it before the live session starts.
What is an in-person focus group?
If you’re invited to a focus group taking place near you, then you’ll be expected to attend in person if the invitation specifies this.
Usually a number of people will attend, and participants can talk to one another.
The group leader will be employed by the research company who are organizing the session.
If you need to attend more than one, the rate of pay per hour or session applicable to each should be specified in advance.
Can online focus groups make money?
Online focus groups make money for all concerned, otherwise there simply wouldn’t be so many legit companies’ databases to join – for free.
If you qualify, taking part in these surveys can earn you money – whether you have 10 minutes to spare at home or 2 hours plus traveling time.
As well as making money, user opinions inform big business, who use focus group consumer insights to shape their products or services, marketing and advertising policy and more.
Whether you want to be rewarded with a gift card now and then or want to make larger sums by taking longer surveys, writing reviews or joining paid focus groups, there is real money to be made.
Top tips for joining paid focus group companies
When deciding which focus group companies to sign up with, it may be worth paying attention to their reviews.
You can usually find the latest ones on their social media pages, or you could trying searching online for ‘(company name) reviews’.
Don’t forget that research organizations will be looking for people whose profiles are closely related to the target market of the business who they’re working on behalf of.
You can increase your chances of being invited to take part by completing your details as fully as possible.
Just in case last minute places become available in paid focus groups – such as when someone drops out at short notice – it can be worth providing your phone number.
The gamble is whether to spend more time in filling out fewer profiles, or apply for many as quickly as you can.
There’s no right or wrong answer here.
Reviews might again provide some clues from current users.
Final thoughts regarding paid focus groups
Taking part in paid focus groups is not going to make you a millionaire overnight – but it is a legit way to help research companies out while getting paid.
Taking part in such groups could mean meeting new, like-minded people, and the discussions that go on are sure to give all participants food for thought.
As well as the insights and opinions to shape how business leaders develop in the future!
We’ll say it again – focus groups pay, and it’s a great way to make money in any free time you have.
Even if it’s just an hour here or there.
Whether you prefer the idea of online or in-person groups, why not sign up with a few companies listed above to see where it could take you?