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Focus Groups and Market Research for Money

Updated on March 18, 2015

Doing Focus Groups/Research Studies For Extra Money

Spare green for the cash strapped.
Spare green for the cash strapped.

Focus Groups, Market Research and User Interface Studies

For very short-term but high paying "gigs" (odd jobs, Christmas money jobs, etc) consider doing market research studies.The only ones I have done have been face-to-face studies, focus group studies or telephone studies.

In Denver, Phoenix and other metropolitan areas, there are several market research companies, one of which is called Plaza Research ( For a trip downtown with a parking voucher, you can earn $60-$150/hour. If you get on a multi-day study, you can earn $250-$300. Often at the end of your first focus group or interview, they will tell you if they want a second one. They also do some telephone-only interviews, so your location would not be limited.

These organizations pre-screen, so expect to spend 10-30 minutes while they quiz you on the phone to see if they feel you can contribute information of value to them. They may have allocated slots based upon age, location or other criteria. Also, they typically ask you if you are hesitant and shy or forthcoming of opinions.

In the group meetings you are behind a large one-way mirror behind which is recording equipment. I have done some individual ones with an interviewer, also taped for later analysis. I have also done user interface studies where I was set in front of a workstation and presumably every keystroke and mouse click was recorded.

These people want the honest scoop on the products they are studying. Your value added is your opinion as a potential customer. Good luck, I have found it's often interesting as well as decent money!

For other short-term money making ideas, see which is my other hub here.


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    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      3 years ago from Aurora

      They are so fun, too! Meeting others from various fields. Thanks!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I LOVE articles like this! Always great to hear about paid focus group opportunities which helps us all earn a bit of extra cash - especially in this tight economy. You can also check out which has a lot of paid focus group listings for all across the U.S. and beyond.

    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      6 years ago from Aurora

      I also like the money. And need every cent of it most days!

    • John  Lakewood profile image

      John Lakewood 

      6 years ago from Lakewood, CO

      I have identified about 4 different Focus Research places in the area. But like you said, there are the non-local phone call ones, too.

      I love that extra cash!

    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      6 years ago from Aurora

      It is, I just did a group in Boulder, thus sparking off a hub on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.

      But truely, focus groups have expanded to include phone surveys and interactive ones via computer, as well as face-to-face. (Idea for other hub!)


    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up and useful Laura. I think it is a great idea personally Laura. We all could use a little extra money, so it is well worth trying:)

    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      6 years ago from Aurora

      Sure. Many targetted Metro areas have no public transportation problems. I personally hate driving downtown anywhere and like to people on public transport anyway.

    • John  Lakewood profile image

      John Lakewood 

      6 years ago from Lakewood, CO

      I think you should update this a little bit. Also, in certain Metro areas with lots of suburbs, say that transportation is not a problem.

    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      7 years ago from Aurora

      They can be a lot of fun. Three of my friends try to get in on the ones I get in on. Hope you find some!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      Hi, this sounds like a great idea! wonder if they do it near my town? I shall have to go and investigate! thanks for the info, cheers nell

    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      8 years ago from Aurora

      Oh yes, I just got $100 for a two hour study on food with this organization. This group does have the criteria that they do not want participation more than once each 6 months, however.

      Depending on where you are located, other opportunities may exist. For instance, Quiznos has their own research center here and I did one taste trial focus group there.

      Nothing like a nice meal to go with your focus group, too!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Wow Laura I am all over this. I wonder if you still use now? It sounds intriguing, I am going to go check out the site, meanwhile I can dream of quitting the day job right?

      Thanks for the matter of fact article,


    • Johanna Smith profile image

      Johanna Smith 

      9 years ago from Fort Collins, CO

      You can also check out who has several cities including Denver.

    • Laura in Denver profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Deibel 

      9 years ago from Aurora

      Cool! The look legit and I may sign up.

    • John  Lakewood profile image

      John Lakewood 

      9 years ago from Lakewood, CO

      I think there is a company called AccuData that does paid studies in Denver, too.


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