Focus group sessions have boomed online recently, with more people asking, “Is Plaza Research legitimate?”
As a fan of paid online opportunities, I must admit Plaza Research piqued my interest.
After reviewing several testimonials, it seemed the perfect place to get my feet wet and try unique focus group opportunities.
With the many online reviews I found, I admittedly wondered whether their offers were legit.
This led me to do my own research, which helped me answer some of my most pressing questions.
Let’s look at what you can expect from joining Plaza Research to help you find some fantastic focus group opportunities.
What Is Plaza Research?
Plaza Research owns a platform called iOpinion, which connects people with different focus groups across the United States.
They hold different market research opportunities throughout the year with competitive payouts.
I found most of their opportunities to span several industries like snacks, beverages, computer products, and pet food.
What I found most impressive about the platform is they get straight to the point.
Plaza Research doesn’t try to sell you on specific opportunities; they simply act as the middle man.
You’ll get connected to many amazing focus groups in your area and online to earn cold, hard cash in your pockets.
Their headquarters is in New Jersey, but I found they have several subsidiaries across the United States.
Focus group members can find opportunities in Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tampa, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, to name a few.
Along with focus groups, Plaza Research also specializes in other free programs to help you earn rewards and cash, like:
- Phone interviews
- At-home interviews
- Online surveys
The company was founded in 1982, starting as a single marketing research firm.
Since then, they have expanded across the United States, offering many multi-city projects.
Uniquely, they don’t focus only on online opportunities; you can also find in-person focus groups to attend.
Is Plaza Research Legitimate?
Now comes the pressing question I was most curious to consider: “Is Plaza Research legitimate?”
I must admit, it was challenging to find information about the company at first.
However, the reviews I came across surely spoke to the uniqueness of their opportunities and payment options.
On Yelp, I was able to get a feel for one of Plaza Research’s locations in Los Angeles, CA.
Many participants who left reviews agreed they received payment after their focus group.
There was even the added benefit of getting snacks and drinks while waiting for your group to start.
Their official Facebook page was also a good place to see a few positive reviews.
It also gave me great information about the company, the services they offer, and the locations they have available.
Although there weren’t as many reviews as on Yelp, it gave me a little more comfort signing up for their service.
The third spot I found to be incredible for finding information about the company was Glassdoor. Surprisingly, Plaza Research has a relatively high ranking which is difficult to compete with.
I got a feel for how the company works and learned more about its legitimate offers.
By the time I was finished looking into Plaza Research, I was convinced it was the perfect platform to try out.
The only thing left was to sign up for an account myself.
How Does Plaza Research Work?
I noticed that the entire Plaza Research’s process is easy, as it only includes four steps:
1. Sign Up for an Account
As with any focus group platform, I first needed to sign up for an account.
The site asked me for a bunch of information, way more than I was expecting, to match me with focus groups.
However, some fields, marked with a *, were required, while others were optional.
I chose to fill everything out as the more information they had on me, the easier it would be to match me with focus groups.
I had to provide standard details such as my first and last name, birthday, email address, and marital status.
To be honest, there are dozens of optional fields you can also fill out, which make the application process longer than I’d like.
A couple of examples of the extra items I chose to provide include:
- The types of electronics I own
- My educational background
- The number of members in my household
- Different lifestyle factors
- Any previous military experience
2. Submit Your Application
Once I finished the lengthy application, all I had to do was submit the form on Plaza Research’s website.
I was hoping to be directed to another page where I could choose from different surveys and focus group opportunities.
However, the company uses iOpinion, a unique platform that connects you to opportunities.
If you have filled out all your information correctly, you will be brought to a page saying your record was successfully added.
From there, all there’s left to do is wait.
3. Wait for Offers
Plaza Research is quite different from other survey and focus group platforms I’ve tried my hands at in the past.
Most other platforms allow you to pick and choose opportunities for which you want to sign up.
As a backup option, these market research firms will send extra offers to your email inbox.
With iOpinion, Plaza Research takes a different approach.
There aren’t any survey or focus group boards to browse through; you won’t be able to choose any additional opportunities at your leisure.
Instead, I had to wait for the market research firm to contact me with opportunities.
They sent any offers to my inbox, and they arrived not as often as I had hoped.
Still, I found this was a unique way to get people to sign up for focus groups handpicked for them.
I found I spent way less time trying to get into highly competitive focus groups.
Instead, the platform gave me focus groups and surveys tailored to my interests.
Admittedly, I was able to bring in more rewards and cash this way than with any other platform I’ve tried.
4. Attend In-Person Focus Groups
Along with the online opportunities I had in my email, Plaza Research also had in-person focus groups.
During signup, I had to provide my zip code and address, which likely connected me to offers in my immediate area.
If you’re someone looking for in-person opportunities, these focus groups are a great choice.
Most focus groups can be up to two hours when you visit a Plaza Research location.
Depending on the discussion topics, you can earn up to $200, which is plenty of cash for a few hours.
Like online surveys, the focus groups target many demographics, like business professionals, parents, and students.
How to Earn Money With Plaza Research
Earning money with Plaza Research is about as simple as I expected.
After you have made an account, your information gets added to the iOpinion catalog.
When offers meet your information, you’re prescreened and sent personalized opportunities to consider.
Compared to other online focus group platforms I’ve used, I found this to be a far better way to do it.
I was given opportunities that met my expectations and that I was actually interested in.
It also helped to ensure I was given the highest-earning opportunities instead of making as little as $0.30 for online studies.
There are two main ways you can make money with Plaza Research:
Online Focus Group Studies
If you sign up for a market research field, as I did, you’ll earn extra cash in several ways.
Remember, Plaza Research connects you with other online market firms.
That said, payment and product trials will depend on what individual opportunities offer.
Some online opportunities gave me rewards I could redeem for digital gift cards after one to two-hour interviews.
Other opportunities gave me cash that I could withdraw from my PayPal account within one to two weeks.
Honestly, I preferred their in-person market research studies, as they gave me cash in my hands at the end rather than e-gift cards.
In-Person Focus Groups
Undoubtedly, in-person user interviews were my favorite option when working with Plaza Research.
They paid me the most and sent a wide range of focus groups, so I could save a little bit of extra cash on a flexible schedule.
Also, it was a great way to meet new people after the group was finished.
Payment for focus groups is usually between $50 to $100 per hour.
I found the larger the company, the more participants were paid.
However, I took advantage of every group that came my way so I could truly test their services through and through.
Payment for the in-person focus groups was also far more reliable than online offers.
At the end of each group, we were given cash. There weren’t any strange checks or money orders that I had to deal with.
Compared to other consumer research focus groups, I must say that Plaza Research’s in-person groups were the most professional.
Along with payment at the end, they also ensure their participants are comfortable.
We were offered snacks and drinks while waiting, and the focus group rooms were cozy and accommodating.
3 Alternative Sites to Explore
If you want to explore more marketing research firms to earn money, you can check out the following sites below:
Mindswarms is one of the more modern market research companies I’ve come across.
They give you multiple ways to answer market research questions.
I also loved how I could participate in consumer research studies from anywhere, as long as I had an internet connection.
What makes Mindswarms unique is they have an easy-to-use app that you can download.
It’s a far better option than in-person focus groups, especially if you’re strapped for time.
Also, I found the flexibility of answering market research surveys at any time from anywhere was more convenient than I expected.
I created an account on the consumer research company, which allowed me to browse through numerous market research opportunities.
All I had to do was apply for specific postings and fill out a questionnaire.
If I met the requirements for the focus group, I unlocked the true power of the app.
By using my smartphone or laptop, I participated in focus groups.
Most of the time, I had to answer questions on video, which was easier and more comfortable than I thought.
The offers I got never exceeded seven questions per group, so it didn’t even take much time to get through.
Depending on the offer, you can make around $50 per focus group on the platform.
I found FocusGroups.org to be a little different than Mindswarms.
I could sign up for online focus groups, but they also had different business surveys I could visit in my local area.
This made me very happy, especially as I prefer having a cash incentive in hand over online points to redeem for rewards.
With FocusGroups.org, the signup was similar to Plaza Research’s iOpinion platform.
I had to fill out plenty of info, ranging from my name to my personal interests.
Even though the signup was lengthy, it connected me to some amazing offers.
Most of the payouts I found on the platform started at $75 earnings in cash, with some reaching even $250 per group.
The best part I loved was I could browse through the available offers before even making an account.
This helped sell me on the platform’s legitimacy, as they were being so transparent.
3. Stan’s Gigs
If you’re a fan of getting your hands on freebies and extra income, we’re in the same boat.
As someone who had spent months finding the best opportunities, I thought, why not make these offers accessible to everyone?
I decided to build Stan’s Gigs from the ground up, offering some of the best online offers in one convenient location.
Many members enjoy free future products while others sign up for surveys and focus groups tailored to them.
I guarantee you’ll find some of the most competitive offers on Stan’s Gigs; the best part is they’re all legit.
You can sign up for the newsletter to learn more about what I offer.
Plaza Research’s Legitimacy: The Verdict
I’m not one to spend too much time on focus group platforms that don’t offer any benefits.
I’d rather look elsewhere if a marketing firm doesn’t pay out well.
However, I can gladly say that Plaza Research is one of the best in-person and online marketing research firms around.
With locations across the United States and plenty of online reviews, it’s easy to see they’re legit.
Not only that, but I participated in some of the highest-earning focus groups I’ve found to date.
I highly recommend signing up for an account on their iOpinion platform to get started.
I am a father to a beautiful baby girl, a husband and a serial gigster 🙂 I live in Toronto, Canada. My claim to fame: I made thousands of dollars from focus groups and surveys over the last 15 years. Studied Marketing in Ryerson Univerity and worked in Marketing and Marketing Research for the last 14 years+ My mission is to educate others how to be successful with side hustles. You can contact my be email or on Facebook.