One of my favorite ways to make some extra money is to participate in paid focus groups. My first focus group was about four years ago. I sat down in a room and someone observed me while I surfed a website. I left 45 minutes later with an envelope filled with $75! Since then, I’ve done several focus groups that have ranged from tastes tests in a room full of people, going to a store with someone observing me, or being mailed boxes of a new product to try. The pay for each experience differs, but they usually range from $45 to $100 for an hour of your time.
There are several market research companies in Atlanta that are always looking for new participants. I find out about studies by signing up for mailing lists with different companies. They regularly send out information about what demographics they’re looking for and the dates of their upcoming studies. You typically need to take a short online study to determine if you are qualified to participate in a certain focus group. If you’re eligible for a study, someone from the company will call to screen you and schedule a time for you to share your opinion about different products or companies.
The focus group locations typically have comfortable waiting rooms and refreshments. Some of the companies also have additional cash incentives for arriving early or completing “homework” assignments. There are often times when the focus groups are overbooked and they have too many participants. If you arrive on time, but they don’t need you to participate in a particular group, most companies will still pay you for making the effort to attend. I recently received at $50 Visa gift card just for waiting in the office for five minutes.
Here are some companies in Atlanta that I’ve done paid focus groups for: