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Participating In A Paid Focus Group

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About six months ago, in one of my MBA classes, the owner of a marketing research group gave a talk to the class. Afterwards, I looked up her company, and the names of several other marketing research groups in the Baltimore area, and signed up for their focus groups. Well just the other day, six months later and long after I had forgotten I’d signed up, I was sent an email to participate in a 90 minute focus group that would pay out $100 upon completion, $50 if I was ineligible. I’ve never participated in a focus group before so I’m really interested to see how the process works. $100 for 90 minutes works out to be more than what I am paid normally and, since the focus group runs from 5:45 to 7:15, it won’t impact my full time job – a perfect situation.

The first part of the process was the pre-qualification survey that I took online via a link from the original email. The focus group was about home improvement so all the questions were about home improvement and how much research I’d done in various areas. It asked if I considered and researched things like carpeting, windows, gutters, hardwood floors, and siding. It asked for the vendors I considered such as Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, and a handful of others. Lastly it asked if I actually pulled the trigger on the purchase (I’ve made two improvements since moving in, getting windows from Castle and carpeting from M&S).

All told the whole process will likely take a little over two hours counting all the time involved. The pre-qualification survey took approximately 10 minutes and driving up to Baltimore and back will take around 30 minutes. Sum that all up and you’re talking approximately 130 minutes of work for $100, or approximately $46 an hour. Plus it’s something to write about!

The focus group will be next Tuesday so keep on the lookout for a post in the near future if you’ve thought about doing this sort of thing for a little side cash.

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “Participating In A Paid Focus Group”

  1. jason says:

    These are great things to get involved in. I seem to qualify for one of these about every other month or so. Pay for mine has ranged from 75-200 dollars per group. Takes about 2.5 hours with drive time included and is definitely a nice bonus to the budget each month they come in.

    Good luck on getting more of these.

  2. Patrick says:

    Not bad! I think I need to look into something like this. But, I would probably have to drive over an hour to get to a city large enough to host something like this. Like Jason mentioned, that is a nice side income if you can get it regularly.

  3. Matt says:

    Thats pretty good money for the focus group – I’ve been to a couple and they only paid $30 plus a gift certificate for beer (they were beer surveys). I don’t think I’d rely on a steady income from this since focus groups don’t like to use the same people all the time.

  4. Alvin says:

    I love your blog!!! Keep it up. It’s very addictive. 🙂
    I’d love to hear about the focus group.

  5. jim says:

    It’s certainly not something you can depend on, I mean I signed up a six months ago (or so) and got the first call this week… so you can’t depend on it, but it makes for a nice little bonus.

  6. MoneyNing says:

    $100 is great money for 90 minutes worth of work 🙂 I’ve gotten an offer once years ago after I bought my car but I didn’t join since I had to take a day off work.

  7. SavingWithMe says:

    I have been registered with a marketing research company for almost a year now. They seem to call about every two months and ask me a few questions to see if I qualify for a focus group. At times they will spend 10-15 minutes asking me questions. I have never qualified for a focus group. Not sure if am part of a huge demographic that they always have covered or what. I thought males age 18-35 was a very coveted demographic that is hard to reach? I guess not…

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