As much as we talk about what a great opportunity focus groups are to earn some extra cash, there’s one population that we haven’t touched on yet that could really benefit…
Aside from being a way to earn a decent amount of money (almost) independently, focus groups build character.
Focus groups help young people recognize that their voice matters. The process of qualifying, showing up, and participating also allows kids to practice soft skills like listening, showing up on time, etc
The tricky thing is that companies rarely offer focus groups for people under 18 years old because of legal matters that come along with minors.
However, I scoured my internal index (and Google) to find some reliable options for paid focus groups for kids and teenagers.
Keep reading to find them!
Online-Only Survey Sites
Surveys are a very low-barrier way to get started in the world of focus groups and market research. They aren’t as fun or interactive, but they definitely familiarize you with giving your opinion in exchange for a reward.
For kids, they also might be a better option because they are completed from home, and don’t require potentially complex interactions without supervision.
My Soapbox is an online survey platform that allows kids 13 and up to give their opinions on products, services, and experiences from familiar brands.
Completing surveys allows participants to earn points to popular places like Starbucks, Target, AMC, and other big box retailers and entertainment centers.
Typical surveys pay about $0.75- 1.00, and you can cash out at $25.
Teens 14 years and older can take surveys on LifePoints in exchange for gift cards from retailers or Paypal.
LifePoints is a huge platform with over 5 million members from 40 different countries, and they also boast 1 million likes with 4.5 stars on Facebook. They’re a reliable choice with a good reputation.
Earn 10 points just for signing up.
This site is branded for kids 13 and up, with a superhero theme. They also gamify the experience with bonuses for streaks, points even if you are screened out, and level systems.
Plus – they offer you $5 just for signing up! After that, surveys average about $1, and you can cash out for a wide range of gift cards when your account reaches $25. Paypal requires a balance of $50.
In-Person & National Focus Groups
Surveys are great for their flexibility and, but structured focus groups centered around a moderator and selection of curated people – whether online or in-person – are the ideal experience.
Of course, it’s a bit tough to make sweeping recommendations for the best firms nationally outside of our city guides (check out the blog for those) – BUT a lot of quality in-person firms also offer online options for kids and teens.
Here are my top recommendations for paid focus groups for kids and teenagers in-person and online:
Media Science is a firm that offers a whole youth panel for people under 18. They focus on TV & media (go figure). Their in-person facilities are located in Austin, Chicago and New York, but you can also sign up online where you can take surveys and watch videos from anywhere!
They’ve worked with huge media companies such as ESPN, Fox, Twitter, Microsoft, Disney, and more!
You can earn up to $20 per hour for online/at-home studies and $30-40 per hour in-person. It’s super easy to sign up with their database. Once you’re in, you can fill in more details to better qualify for studies.
Concepts in Focus:
Concepts in Focus also has a dedicated team for participants between 6 and 18 years old. They offer focus groups, taste tests, home-use (product) tests, and one-on-one interviews.
Their physical locations are in Philadelphia and Jacksonville, FL, but anyone can sign up for online studies.
Compensation STARTS at $5 for surveys, which is extremely competitive. For in-person focus groups, people claim to earn anywhere from $50-300. Cash or gift cards depend on the study.
You can sign up directly from the link above. Parental consent is required for the team to contact and qualify minors.
Consumer Opinion Services:
This company is a general focus group firm that conducts product tests and focus groups for a wide range of businesses. They are located in Seattle, Portland & Vegas, but also have a national panel to participate in online studies.
Children aren’t allowed to sign up directly, but parents can add their dependents to their profile. Once a study for/with kids comes up, you’ll be more likely to qualify!
L&E Opinions doesn’t explicitly work with kids (you have to be 18 and up to register) BUT they frequently post studies that children participate in.
This is a great firm that we frequently rank on our city guides. They always offer a wide variety of topics and formats (great for kids). You can also always browse available studies, so you don’t have to sign up until you see a relevant study.
This group is local with locations only in Minnesota and California, but they conduct fun live taste tests
They offer several different options for their tests: single-day, multi-day, and in-home and pay around $40/hour. Perfect for living out your fantasy as a recipe tester.
Kids are also eligible to participate, either together with you or on their own (with consent and supervision, of course).
Admittedly, it’s not easy to find market research firms or focus groups that are for children. And for good reason – market research typically requires some level of personal data to be collected.
Still, reference sites like Greenbook are great aggregators for finding individual groups that need kids & teens to participate. I hope this article is another resource that can help you find quality focus groups for minors to participate in.