Personal Finance 
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Paid Focus Groups: Easy, Infrequent Money

Last week, I participated in a paid focus group and was paid $75 for two hours. Unlike the last focus group in Baltimore, this one was only a five minute drive away.

If you think paid focus groups are easy money, you’re right. There aren’t many things that pay $35 an hour! The only thing you have to know is that it’s infrequent, very infrequent, so you can’t expect to make a fortune off paid focus groups. I signed up to participate with this company in September 2007, seventeen months ago!, after learning about focus groups in an MBA class.

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 Personal Finance 
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Participated In My First Paid Focus Group

As you may know, I participated in my very first focus group last night at a company called Observation Baltimore on a home improvement panel. In chatting with the folks who were there, we had a good mix of individual backgrounds from a home ownership perspective, from a handyman-esq perspective, and from an income perspective. Clearly that was done intentionally but it was surprising that even with the diversity on those levels, we had similar experiences when it came to home improvement and the companies we would later talk about.

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 Personal Finance 
7
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Participating In A Paid Focus Group

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.

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