My Favorite Way to Make Money


While I enjoy MY 9-5

my favorite way of making money is actually through consumer focus groups.

Companies in almost every industry value consumer feedback for future products. Such companies are willing to pay for your opinions as a consumer. Imagine sitting at the headquarters of your favorite company. They present you with a new ad, product, or technology and are willing to compensate you for your thoughts. That is exactly what happens during consumer focus groups! 

Depending on the company they may ask you to come to their facility to give your feedback or hire a third party market research firm. One of the perks of working with a market research firm is that you are exposed to a wide variety of products. You become apart fo their database and they will call on you for focus groups of which you are eligible. One day you can review a smartphone and two weeks from now you can be taste testing a beverage that will be launching next year.

In the past I have made between $75 - $400 a session for providing my feedback about future product prototypes. I have given feedback about personal care products, mobile devices, marketing communication for drugs, alcohol logo designs and even taste testing. I truly mean it when I say companies are willing to pay you money to be a part of their panel. 

The reason companies seek your thoughts for their products is that your participation serves as the views of people who have a similar demographic. Often focus groups will encourage different genders, various ages, and different educational backgrounds. Your ideas are used to mimic a larger audience.

Here is an example of the process:

Most companies send out a mass survey to see who qualifies for the study. After you qualify someone will either call/email you to confirm your availability. At the focus group center you typically review the product in a group setting where you are asked for your honest feedback on the product. There will be some products that you like and some that you may hate but what you are essentially paid for is your genuine feedback. What is rather interesting with focus groups is that your participation is used to represent a larger demographic based on your background. After the study is complete you are given your reward.

To start your focus group journey, Google search focus groups in my area. Seeing as though I am based in NJ, one of my earliest searches was "focus groups in NJ". This lead me to a multitude of companies where I now regularly participate in product evaluations. I strongly recommend this opportunity to anyone from college students, young adults, or anyone interested in making quick money. There exist a company that wants your exact opinion for a new product. The best part is that sessions are typically no more than 1-3 hours where your compensation can range from a check, gift card, or cash. 

I challenge you to find focus groups in you area and see what new products are coming out. 

- Manessa Lo. 

Links to Consumer Research Companies

Inspired Opinions

CEC Research

Meadowland Consumer Center

Focus Crossroads