Best Online Focus Groups: Make $100/Hour With Paid Research Studies


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2 years ago

Best Online Focus Groups: Make $100/Hour With Paid Research Studies


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2 years ago

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When companies need insight into consumer behavior, they turn to focus groups to get honest opinions. Focus groups are an easy way to earn some supplemental income – all you have to do is speak honestly about your opinions and you could earn up to $100 in an hour-long session. While focus groups aren’t a full-time job, they can serve as a way to earn cash when you need an extra financial boost.

There are a plethora of companies that run online focus groups, and it can be difficult to determine which ones to sign up for. We’ve rounded up the best online focus groups where you can share your opinion and get paid.

Best Online Focus Groups and Paid Research Studies



This consumer research company conducts a wide range of focus groups and interviews – many of which come with a hefty paycheck. The average studies on Respondent pay between $50 and $100 for an hour-long session, but some can pay as much as $500 per session! The reason these focus groups pay so well is because they focus on industry professionals. If you are an expert on say, software development or engineering, your experiences and knowledge could be highly sought after. However, this company also has more generalized focus groups that anyone can apply for. Many of their studies are one-on-one interviews, while others are more traditional group sessions.

Signing up for Respondent is very easy – you’ll just need to provide some basic contact and demographic information. Then, you can browse their open studies and apply for the ones that interest you. You’ll complete a questionnaire and the site will tell you if you are a potential match for the study or not. Once you complete a project, they’ll pay you via PayPal within 8 to 10 days. It’s important to note that they do take a 5% cut of your earnings for processing.

Survey Junkie

survey junkie

Survey Junkie conducts quick and easy research studies that you can do on your phone or your computer. They don’t pay much – most of their surveys only pay between $1 and $3. However, in many cases these only take a few minutes to complete. Survey Junkie also offers occasional focus group opportunities that can pay much more – in some cases, as much as $70 per session. These are rare, so you’ll want to make sure you opt in to Survey Junkie’s emails so you’re notified as soon as they happen. Survey Junkie has multiple payment options – you can opt for payments via PayPal, or you can choose from a number of different gift card options.

User Interviews

user interviews

User Interviews is a leading focus group company that conducts interviews via video chat or over the phone. They also occasionally host in-person focus groups. The studies at User Interviews usually focus on specific products or services, and they have opportunities for people of varying demographics. Pay for most of their studies averages about $50 per hour, but they occasionally offer studies that pay as much as $200 an hour.

Signing up for User Interviews takes just a few minutes. You’ll need to answer some brief questions about your demographics and provide your contact information. Then, you’ll be able to browse their focus group opportunities. Each listing clearly states how much the study pays, how long it takes, and what type of person they are looking for. You can apply by taking a short screener survey. Most of User Interviews’ studies pay via Amazon gift card, although some pay in cash.


Run by the agency Focus Pointe Global, this site is one of the longest-running focus group operations on the market. They’ve been around since 1988 and have plenty of opportunities for people of all demographics. Most of their studies focus on your shopping habits and specific products, although many will also discuss things like personal finance choices or health and wellness. Some studies will even mail you products to test out.

These focus groups generally pay well, often anywhere between $75 and $200. They also have short surveys you can participate in for a smaller fee. As with many other focus groups, you’ll need to take screener surveys to see if you qualify. Some studies will require you to use a webcam, while others are available over the phone. Payout times for these focus groups can be slow, sometimes taking as long as eight weeks. You can opt to receive a Visa debit card or use reward points to purchase various gift cards.

Recruit and Field

recruit and field

Recruit and Field is an established company that conducts focus groups, surveys, and product testing for some of the world’s largest brands. Many of their studies are product focused and are open to the general population. However, they also have studies that are just for business professionals or medical professionals, which often pay more. Their studies can be very lucrative, often ranging from $100 to $275 per project.

Recruit and Field conducts most of their studies online or over the phone. However, they also occasionally conduct studies in person throughout the United States. Participants are compensated appropriately for the extra time and effort these studies require. They pay via PayPal for most projects, although some projects offer Amazon gift cards as compensation as well.

Experience Dynamics

experience dynamics

This consumer research company is unique in that they focus on user interface and experience testing. During a UI study, consumers visit a website or use an app and be asked to complete a number of tasks. As they do this, they will also need to share their honest opinion about their experience. However, Experience Dynamics conducts many other research projects beyond their UI and UX tests. This includes traditional online focus group sessions as well as phone interviews, in-person interviews, online surveys, and diary studies. During a diary study, participants record their experience with a product or service several times in a short period.

Experience Dynamics pays between $50 and $150 per project, depending on the length and type of interview. They recruit participants of all demographics and backgrounds. They don’t have a huge range of studies available at once. It may take some time after initially signing up with this company before you get your first invitation.



Mindswams specializes in video interviews, and their studies are typically very easy and quick to complete. For most of their studies, they have participants record themselves talking for about 10 minutes about a specific product or service. You’ll have to take a quick screener survey to see if you qualify, and then you’ll be asked to answer a series of questions on video. These surveys pay very well considering the time required to do them – most only ask a total of seven questions, and you’ll be paid $50 for each one you complete. You can opt to receive the money via PayPal or redeem it for an Amazon gift card instead. One of the best things about this platform is that they make payments very quickly, usually within 24 hours.



This research company runs focus groups and conducts online surveys to help their clients better understand consumer opinions. They are operated by Schlesinger Group, which is an international market research company. Their online surveys are short and only pay a few dollars at a time. However, they also conduct many in-depth consumer interviews that can be much more lucrative. Their focus groups pay between $50 and $350, depending on the specific project. These include online interviews and discussion groups, as well as in-person focus groups. Their in-person focus groups are only available in Nashville, Charlotte, and Miami. They pay via PayPal, but also have the option to receive pre-paid gift cards for participants that prefer that option.

Inspired Opinions

inspired opinions

Inspired Opinions is another platform that is part of the Schlesinger Group operations. They offer plenty of easy online surveys, most of which only pay a few dollars. However, they occasionally offer hour-long focus group sessions, which can pay as much as $125. These are typically conducted online or over the phone, although they will sometimes offer in-person sessions at their offices around the country. One of the downsides of this platform is that they only pay in Amazon gift cards – there’s no option to redeem your points for cash. However, they are one of the few companies on this list that accepts international survey participants. They currently accept panelists from the UK, France, and Germany as well as the US.

Engage Studies

engage studies

Engage Studies manages two ongoing research panels. Most of their studies are online focus groups, but they occasionally will conduct in-person research projects as well. They run a general panel, which caters to business professionals and the general public, as well as a medical panel for healthcare professionals. To join the panels, you’ll need to answer a few simple demographic questions to see if you qualify. Once they’ve accepted you onto the panel, they will send you email notifications about studies you may qualify for. Their studies can range quite widely in compensation, anywhere from $50 to $250 per project. You have the option to receive payment via PayPal or via a check in the mail.

SIS International Research

sis international research

SIS is one of the few global market research companies on this list. They recruit participants from all over the world to join their focus groups and surveys. Unlike many other sites listed here, SIS International does not require you to join a panel. Instead, you can apply for their individual research projects by completing the pre-screening surveys on their website. Each project listing details exactly what is expected of the participant as well as the financial incentive attached. Compensation ranges widely depending on the study, it can be as low as $25 or as high as $200. It’s important to note that the SIS website isn’t particularly advanced, so you may find project listings on it that are outdated.


This site is unique in that they don’t actually operate focus groups. Instead, they are a platform that aggregates focus group listings, making it easy to find the focus groups all in one place. It has a very intuitive platform where you can browse recent focus group listings, medical trials, and other paid interviews. Each listing indicates the subject of the focus group and the compensation, so you can decide if you’d like to participate. Many of the listings on this site are available nationwide, but some are in-person focus groups that are only available in certain cities. If you’re looking for in-person opportunities, you can narrow down your search by city or state. They also have a page that aggregates paid survey platforms for those that are looking to make even more money.



Fieldwork is a national market research company that has offices in major cities throughout the United States. They conduct both in-person and online focus groups, and search for participants of varying demographics. In addition to focus groups about exciting consumer products, they also host focus groups where they will ask about your job. Their focus groups typically last one to two hours, and compensation starts at $75 per session. However, compensation can be as high as $250 per session, depending on the amount of time and effort required. To join their database, you’ll need to answer a brief survey about your demographics, and Fieldwork will call or email you when they have an opportunity available. You can also log onto their website to see focus groups that you could potentially qualify for and take their screener survey. They usually pay in Visa gift cards, but in some cases they’ll offer other payment methods.



PingPong is a market research company based in the UK, but they accept participants in their focus groups from around the world. Their pay rates are listed in Euros, but they generally even out to be between $40 and $110 per hour. Many of their opportunities are user experience testing studies, where you’ll visit a website or mobile app and complete specific tasks. They also offer video interview opportunities, which require a webcam and a microphone to participate in. Once you sign up to be a tester, they will send you email notifications when there’s a study fitting your demographics. You will be paid seven days after completing the interview via PayPal or an automatic bank transfer. PingPong is very straightforward and easy to use, so it’s great for those who are just getting started with focus groups.

Plaza Research

plaza research

Plaza Research mainly conducts in-person research studies and has locations in 14 cities throughout the United States. They have been in the business since 1982. They occasionally conduct their focus groups online or over the phone as well. Most of Plaza Research’s studies focus on consumer products, and you may even be asked to test a new product and given them your opinions about it. Signing up for their panel is very simple – you’ll just need to complete a quick online form with some personal information. The company will send you email invites for focus groups you may qualify for. This research company occasionally offers focus groups for kids and teens, in addition to focus groups for adults. Their studies pay between $50 and $200, depending on their length and effort required. One downside of Plaza Research’s studies is that you’ll get paid via a check in the mail, so you won’t get paid right away.

Probe Market Research

probe market research

Probe Market Research has a wide range of opportunities available for consumers. They offer focus groups in-person, online, and over the phone, and these can range from $50 to $400 in compensation. In particular, they are looking for healthcare professionals and business executives to share their opinions. They have offices in New York City and San Francisco, but conduct studies nationwide. Probe also conducts online surveys, usability testing, product testing, and mystery shopping. You can sign up to be a part of their panel on their website by filling out a quick questionnaire. Probe will contact you if you are eligible for any of their market research projects.

Brand Institute

This market research company focuses on the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. They have opportunities available globally, so this is a great option for those living abroad who want to make some extra money. They have online surveys available that pay anywhere from $2 to $30 each, which you can complete at home. They occasionally offer longer surveys or discussions that pay more, particularly for those that work in the healthcare industry. Brand Institute pays via PayPal or check, depending on your personal preferences.

Ipsos I-Say

ipsos i-say

Ipsos is known as an online survey platform, but they occasionally conduct focus groups as well. This platform is available to adults in the US and Canada. You’ll sign up by filling out a questionnaire about your demographics, and then you’ll receive survey invitations. These surveys typically don’t take long, but they’ll only pay a few dollars. However, keep on the lookout for higher-paying opportunities like focus groups or phone surveys. While Ipsos doesn’t offer these too often, they may occasionally show up on your dashboard.

What To Expect From Focus Groups

Focus groups can be a great way to make a bit of extra money. While they are not a full-time job, sometimes they can be very lucrative, paying as much as $200 for an hour of your time. Consumer research companies use focus groups as a way to get your honest opinions about products and services. There are focus groups out there for many different demographics and interests – for example, you might be asked about things like finance, cars, food, entertainment, beauty, and more. There are also focus groups for professionals in specific industries, where you may be asked questions about your job.

There are a few different ways to participate in a focus group. Today, many focus groups are conducted online using a webcam. In-person focus groups are also common. For an in-person focus group, you will need to go to the research company’s local offices. During the focus group, you will be asked a series of questions, and you may be encouraged to discuss with others in the panel. During some focus groups, you will be asked to interact with a product or service. You may also be asked to fill out a journal or questionnaire to provide more insight into your answers and opinions. After the focus group is over, you will be compensated for your time. Depending on which focus group platform you use, you may be paid via PayPal, or you may receive a Visa or Amazon gift card.

How To Make Money With Focus Groups

It can take some time to make money from focus groups. You likely won’t qualify for every focus group opportunity, but don’t get discouraged – the more focus groups you apply to, the more likely you will be to eventually qualify for a study. To increase your chances of qualifying for a focus group, be sure to join multiple panels. Check your email frequently for alerts to see if there are any new opportunities. These focus groups fill up quickly. The sooner you apply, the more likely you will be to qualify for them.

A great way to stay up to date on current focus groups is to join Facebook groups centered around market research opportunities. These groups will post about the latest focus groups and consumer research panels to join. This is a great way to find out about focus group opportunities before they expire, and to find out about new panels that are hosting focus groups.

More On Focus Groups

If you qualify, focus groups can be a great way to make some extra money every once in a while. Most focus groups are easy to complete and they can even offer fun opportunities to try new products. Many market research companies are moving to an online model for their focus groups, so you may not even have to leave your home to make some extra money.

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