Paid Research Studies and Focus Groups

focus-groupI was contacted last July by a person who works for a research and focus group firm. They have an office near where we live. Her email said,

I’m emailing you because I’d like to invite you to join our participant database to be notified of future paid research studies and focus groups. We pay $75 per hour for folks to come to our office and provide feedback on upcoming products and concepts. I send out emails to participants a few times a month notifying them of opportunities to take part in a paid study. (Most research studies are 60-90 minutes long.) Using our participants’ great feedback, we help companies create better user experiences for their products and interfaces.

We are always looking for participants of all ages, including children!

I forwarded the email to my wife, who filled out their online survey for herself and our son. So, guess who earned $75 for participating in a focus group this past weekend? Our 13 year old son. I have no idea of what he was asked to test. And since I assume he signed a non-disclosure agreement, I’m not even going to ask.

I have participated in paid research/focus groups in the past. In some, I was asked to accomplish certain tasks using new software. In others, I was asked what I thought of some piece of tech hardware. Eventually the requests for me to participate in these paid focus groups dried up. I am sure the focus group companies do not want to use participants who are trying to make a profession out of it.

Anyway, our son had a lot of fun, and is raring to do it again. We will have to see of the focus group company wants to use him again. If nothing else, he earned $75 for giving his opinion, and for a 13 year old, that is awesome!

Have you ever participated in paid research/focus groups?

4 thoughts on “Paid Research Studies and Focus Groups

  1. I’ve done a ton of mystery shopping, but never a focus group. My sister in law does a lot of that, keep telling her she needs to give me some pointers on how to get into it. She seems to be constantly getting paid to try different things out and then give her opinion on it in exchange for free product and/or cash!

    1. Hi Brock, I guess it somewhat depends on luck and who you know. I have done several paid research/focus group trials, but I have never done mystery shopping. If your sister-in-law lives near you, she could give you the names of one or two of the research firms that she has done the focus groups with. You could then contact them to see if you might be eligible for any focus groups.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. I’ve never been a focus group panelist, but I’ve been on the other side of the mirror, and my wife has made a career mostly as a focus group moderator. She would have loved to moderate a panel of kids your son’s age–that must have been fun for all involved!

    1. Hi Kurt, Running focus group studies must be pretty interesting work. I imagine that people in the focus groups react to new products in different, and possibly unforeseen ways. I would like to see the takeaways from the focus groups for products that never made it into production.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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