What Are Focus Groups and How Do you Get Paid?

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If you have been looking for ways to earn some extra cash and like sharing your opinion, you have likely heard about paid focus groups.

If you do it with the right expectations, it can be a really great opportunity. But to find out if it is right for you or not, you need to know exactly what you are getting into. 

So what are paid focus groups really and how do they work?

This is what this guide will answer. 

You will learn how a paid focus group takes place, how to find groups for you, who can participate, how you will get paid, and much more. 

In short you will learn everything you need to know about paid focus groups to find out if they are for you or not

What are Focus Groups?

Focus groups are a research method used to find out what the participants feel and think about certain products or services.

This information is then used to make decisions by companies, organizations, politicians, and more.

For example, a fast-food chain might use a focus group to find out what the wrapping of the newest burger should look like, a candy company might use a focus group to find out if potential customers even like their newest taste before spending millions to produce and distribute it, or politicians might use a focus group to find out what issues and concerns people are mostly interested in.

Focus groups can be used for many purposes but they all have one thing in common – they focus on finding out your feelings and thoughts about a certain topic.

So participating in focus groups cannot only be a way to earn extra cash but it can also be a great way to have your opinion heard.    

Usually a focus group is led by a moderator that will make sure every participant has their opinion heard and make sure the discussions in the group will not get out of control.

They usually take around 1-1.5 hours but this will vary depending on the topic.

How will you get paid?

No doubt that focus groups can be a great way to have your opinion heard and they can also be fun to participate in – but it is, of course, also important to know how you will get paid.

Usually, you will get paid right after the focus group interview is over. 

The reward you will get can vary but it can, for example, be cash via PayPal, check, free products, gift cards, and more.

Getting Paid After Focus Group
You will usually get paid in cash, check, products, or via PayPal.

You will always know the exact reward you will get before you participate. 

If a focus group does not make it clear what you will get before you join it, you should be skeptical and make sure to clarify this before investing your time.

But in general, you will be able to see clearly what you get for participating before you even apply to participate and can then decide based on that, whether the reward will be worth it for you or not.  

Who can participate?

Focus groups are usually a small but demographically diverse group. 

This means that focus groups are looking for all kinds of different participants so almost no matter your age, location, gender, and background, you will likely be able to find a paid focus group you can participate in.

However, there are some focus groups that are very specific and only look for a very targeted group of people.

It can, for example, be if developers want feedback about a new Xbox game, they naturally only want feedback from people that actually use Xbox.

But if there are any criteria like that, you will always be able to see it before applying.

If you can see you do not fit in at all, there is no point in applying. And do not try to fake it.

They will easily be able to find out and then you risk wasting your time, their time, and not get paid.

Later in this article, you will find more info about how you can find paid focus groups for you.

Do you have to physically show up for focus groups?

One limitation focus groups used to have was that you had to always show up physically to participate.

In many cases, you still have to show up physically as some groups require that you are physically present to, for example, taste something.

And the dynamic of the group is also different when you meet physically and therefore many paid focus groups still require you show up physically.

In those cases, you, of course, should focus on finding groups near you

However, there are also more and more focus groups that take place online. 

This means that it will be easy for you to find paid focus groups no matter where you live as you can always just join the online focus groups.

What if you have to cancel after being accepted for a focus group?

The nature of focus groups is that you need to participate in discussions with other participants. And therefore you will have to participate at a certain time and sometimes also location.

Often a certain number of participants are needed to get a proper discussion going. 

For this reason, it is very important you let the group moderator know asap if you are not able to participate anyway.

Because if you sign up it is expected you will show up and it is necessary for the results to be valid.

So if you do not cancel but just don’t show up, you will likely never be allowed to participate in focus groups for that company again.

This goes both for online and physical focus groups. So just make sure to cancel asap if you cannot participate and then you will be fine. 

Are paid focus groups worth it?

Before you decide if you should try finding paid survey groups, let’s first go over if it will even be worth your time as I am often asked about this.

And to be honest this depends on your expectations.

If you expect to be able to quit your day job and just participate in a few focus groups per week and do that for a living, then you will be disappointed and then it is not the right option for you.

But if you like sharing your opinion and would like to earn some nice extra cash on the side, then it might be the right option for you.

In fact, most focus groups pay quite well and it is not unrealistic to earn a few hundred extra dollars per month with a bit of effort. In some cases and for special focus groups you will also be able to earn quite a bit more.

So it all comes down to expectations and your reasons for participating in paid focus groups. 

But if you do it with the right expectations, it definitely can be worth it and be a great opportunity.

How to find paid focus groups? 

Finding legit paid focus groups can be a bit challenging as you probably know if you have tried.

I definitely know myself, and when I first started participating in paid focus groups, I spend (and wasted) a lot of time finding good options. 

This is a part of why I created Stansgigs – to make it easier for others to get started and help you find the worthwhile options without wasting your time.

I am constantly keeping an eye out for great opportunities and share them here on this website.

So if you want to see the currently available options, you can check out the best paid focus groups for you here.  

If you have any comments, questions, or have experiences with focus groups yourself, I would love to hear from you in a comment below.

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Thanks for sharing this. I’m new to focus groups and this post was extremely helpful. I remember an example of a focus group. Coca-Cola started a hugging machine a few years ago that will give you a free Coke if you hug it. The focus group was located in Australia. The reaction was huge so the company decided to promote the product the same way all over the world. Now, this might not be the same as focus groups that pay you money, but I guess in principle they are. I’ll check out you recommendations. Thanks for sharing!


Another opportunity exposed.
Thank you for sharing this. I’m happy going through it.

I have no idea anything like this exist.

As a type who is always lookng for means to add more eggs to his basket, I must say I have just found another means to do that.

I went through the Online focus group you have provided as well and I have found 0ne or two I’m interested.

I will fall on you should I need any help or more clarification.

Once again thank you for sharing.


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