12/07/2024

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0+/hr Paid Research Studies (2023)

$100+/hr Paid Research Studies (2023)

I recently participated in a paid focus group in San Francisco. You know, the kind with the one-way mirror on the wall.

We talked about travel habits and preferences for an hour and half, and I got paid $150 for my time and opinions. Not bad!

0+/hr Paid Research Studies (2023)

The whole thing was pretty quick and painless—and actually kind of interesting—which got me thinking that this could be a great side hustle. Especially if I could do it from home!

So down the rabbit hole I went, trying to find other companies that conduct paid research studies online.

And I should note before we get started that these aren’t the typical companies that pop up when you search for “online surveys.” Those companies, like Swagbucks and InboxDollars, are legit, but pay relatively little.

The companies I was after here were the ones that pay bigger sums to make it more worth your time. I earned $100 an hour for my little focus group adventure, and you can too.

1. User Interviews

User Interviews facilitates in-person and online consumer conversations about products, websites, and services. The pay rates vary, but the average seems to be around $50-100 an hour.

user interviews

I’ve earned $105 through the site so far, in exchange for about an hour a half.

In one of my studies, I earned a $10 Amazon gift card for completing a short online survey for bald guys! It said it should take 15 minutes, but all the questions were straight yes/no, so it probably only took 5.

Click here to join User Interviews.

Or check out our full User Interviews review.

2. Respondent

Respondent is a cool service that facilitates consumer research studies online—and often pays $100+ an hour!

respondent participant homepage

Once you create your account, you’ll be able to browse all the open studies you might qualify for. The research brief shares the type of person the company is looking to connect with, the expected time commitment, and pay rate.

If it looks like a fit, answer the brief screener questionnaire to throw your hat in the ring. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get selected right away—I’ve been selected for 5 studies out of 50 screeners so far.

While there are some “general population” studies, the best-paying opportunities are for industry professionals—up to $750 an hour!

respondent hourly rates

The company takes a 5% processing fee, but the rest of the funds you earn will hit your PayPal account within 8-10 days of your study. (I’ve earned $395 through Respondent so far!)

Click here to join Respondent.

Read our full Respondent.io review here.

(Since recording, I’ve done a couple more studies.)

3. Rare Patient Voice

A leading source for medical research, Rare Patient Voice pays patients and caregivers $120 an hour. You can browse a full list of available studies on their site—nearly all of which are phone or webcam interviews.

rare patient voice homepage

If you suffer from any sort of medical condition (even if it’s not super rare), this one is worth a look.

The site is open to residents of United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

4. Survey Junkie

While most Survey Junkie earning opportunities don’t pay much, you’ll occasionally get emails for better-paying focus group and product testing studies.

These admittedly are pretty rare, but pay up to $75.

survey junkie

Still, power users of the regular Survey Junkie site/app report earning up to $40 a month. 

The site boasts more than 20 million members and pays out more than $1 million every month.

Click here to sign up for Survey Junkie.

Too Many Choices?

Start here instead. Punch in your name and email below I’ll show you step-by-step how to add $500 to your bottom line.

Join the Free 5-Day $500 Challenge

You’ll also receive my best side hustle tips and weekly-ish newsletter. Opt-out anytime.

5. Product Report Card

Another well-established market research company is Product Report Card. They offer paid surveys, product testing and review gigs, and online focus groups.

product report card paid research studies

The best-paying work is for in-home product tests and remote interviews and focus groups — often in the $75-$150/hour range.

Product Report Card will also give you a $5 welcome bonus for completing a short survey after you join. There’s a $25 minimum to cash-out.

6. FocusGroup.com

FocusGroup.com offers nationwide paid research opportunities. (The site is powered by Sago, a leading market research company.)

focus group

Be on the lookout for the “National” studies that pay between $75 and $200. These are scheduled over the phone or webcam so you can take the calls from anywhere at times that are convenient to you.

It took a while, but I eventually earned $115 for an online study related to a well-known Seattle-area company.

The next one I did was an hour-long online focus group on credit cards that paid $100.

Other studies I saw were related to cars, technology, and banking.

I receive a few email notifications every month with studies. Those range from around $2 for 20-minute surveys, up to $150 for 90-minute in-person or online focus groups.

Check out my full FocusGroup.com review to learn more.

7. Lightster

Lightster is a unique money making app, where you get matched with brands and researchers based on your profile.

lightster

To get started, you’ll add some demographic information about yourself and answer some questions about your experience and interests.

After that, you may see some questions pop up in the app. Answer those to qualify for paid research conversations that pay $1 per minute.

I got invited to my first half hour session within a couple weeks of downloading the app, and got paid (via Amazon gift card) right away.

8. PingPong

I was excited to discover PingPong as a newcomer to the online market research field. The service specializes in user experience testing for apps and websites, with pay rates ranging between €40 and €100 an hour. (Roughly $45-110.)

pingpong research

You might be curious—with the rates in euros—if this one is open to non-Europeans. PingPong let me join as an American and says they welcome testers from all over the world.

Since joining, I’ve received invites to several studies but haven’t been able to book one just yet.

9. Fieldwork

Fieldwork was the company that hosted the San Francisco focus group I participated in. They have locations throughout the US:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Los Angeles (Orange County)
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Phoenix
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

Compensation starts at $75 for participating in focus groups, which usually last between 1-2 hours. The drawback was I got paid in Visa gift cards instead of cash, so I went to the grocery store and bought Amazon gift cards with them instead.

10. Experience Dynamics

Experience Dynamics specializes in user experience and user interface testing (UX and UI). Corporate clients pay Experience Dynamics to help “make their users smile,” and they turn around and pay people like you for honest feedback on website designs and software applications.

According to the site, they recruit testers worldwide with all levels of technology experience. Most studies pay between $50-$150 dollars.

Experience Dynamics also facilitates:

  • Field Studies, 1-2 hour interviews at your home or work.
  • Diary Studies, where you to record your thoughts over 1-2 weeks.
  • Phone Interviews
  • Online Focus Groups
  • Online Surveys

11. American Consumer Opinion

American Consumer Opinion is another market research company where you can qualify for several surveys a year.

Annoyingly, they insist on using their own “virtual currency” point system. Still, you can earn up to $50 worth of points for longer market research surveys.

american consumer opinion

There’s a $10 minimum to cash out and you can deposit your earnings directly into PayPal. To give you an incentive to complete the low-paying screener surveys, American Consumer Opinion will add your name to a monthly $50 drawing.

12. FindFocusGroups.com

FindFocusGroups.com is an aggregator service that lists focus groups and paid research opportunities around the country.

At press time, they had the best-looking interface of most of these sites. The banner ads are distracting, but you can easily navigate to find a list of studies near you or online.

When I checked the compensation for these ranged from $50 to $200.

13. SIS International

Through “compensated interviews” and focus groups, SIS helps brands figure out direction for their products. You can see a full list of available paid studies on this page.

I found rates from $25-200, depending on the time required and complexity of the topic. SIS recruits participants from all around the world, not just the US.

14. SurveyFeeds

Similar to FindFocusGroups above, SurveyFeeds isn’t a market research company itself, but instead a promising “feed” of paid survey opportunities.

I found their Facebook page updated more frequently than their website, so it might be worthwhile to check there and see what you might qualify for.

The online studies I saw ranged from $75 to $300.

15. Field Voices

When I checked out Field Voices, I found a couple available studies to apply for. One was a neighborhood improvement interview that paid $150 for one hour, and the other was a group workshop on snacking habits that paid $300!

This firm works directly with companies as well, which means they’re not just pulling together lists of other research projects.

16. Prolific

When academic and research institutions need opinions from the general population, they turn to Prolific. It’s easy to sign up and start completing online surveys.

prolific participant homepage

The pay on Prolific is a bit lower — often in the $8-15/hr range. But in my Prolific review, I found plenty of quick and easy surveys available, and you can cash out to PayPal.

17. Probe Market Research

Consumers, medical professionals, and executives are in demand for Probe Market Research’s panels. Focus groups pay between $50 and $400, and you can often participate online or over the phone.

Major brands enlist Probe to conduct online surveys, mystery shopping gigs, mock juries, product trials, and more.

18. Recruit and Field

Recruit and Field is one of the longest-running national market research companies. Since 1977, they’ve built up a participant database of over 300,000 consumers, business leaders, and medical professionals.

The company works with lots of name-brand clients and typically pays $100-275 for in-person and online surveys.

19. dscout

The popular and well-rated dscout app connects you with “engaging research missions.” Through those, you can get paid to share your feedback on a product or service.

dscout paid market research

Typical studies pay anywhere from $2 to $100, paid out via PayPal. The biggest complaints from users are that the often in-depth screener surveys are unpaid.

20. GLG Insights

Less of a market research firm and more of a consulting marketplace, GLG Insights aims to match you up with their clients looking for industry-specific expertise. Request to become a “Council Member” to get notified when relevant paid studies are available.

On GLG, you’ll be asked to connect your LinkedIn profile and upload a resume (or link to an online resume) to verify your career credentials. You can also name your own consulting rate — usually $100-150 and up.

After that, I answered a series of ethics questions based on GLG’s terms and conditions.

21. WatchLab

WatchLab has an obnoxiously inadequate website, but they claim to facilitate all sorts of focus groups, usability tests, interviews, mock juries, and more.

The pay varies depending on the research, and may be in the form of gift cards or cash. I saw ranges from $100 to $175 for 1-2 hour focus groups. WatchLab have locations in San Francisco and Chicago, as well as online options.

For in-person focus groups, you get paid on the spot — online may take 4-6 weeks.

22. Mindswarms

Mindswarms is a unique video consumer research platform. They’ll pay you $50 via PayPal to answer 10 questions about a product or service.

These studies normally take around 10 minutes and can be recorded via your webcam or smartphone, but competition to get selected can be fierce.

mindswarms

To create your account you’ll need to record a 60-second video about one of your passions. Or you can do this through the Mindswarms app on iOS or Android.

23. 20|20 Panel

Earn $50-150 for online focus groups and studies. While the website doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence, 20|20 Panel has been around for over 30 years.

24. FocusGroups.org

Another site that pulls in lots of different paid studies, FocusGroups.org was a great find. When I registered, I saw online focus group options that paid anywhere from $75 to $625!

Topics included pets, hygiene, cooking, luxury cars, and lots more. There are some handy filters you can use to select only online or “National” studies.

25. Focus Insite

I found several online focus groups paying $50-200 on Focus Insite. The company popped up in my Instagram feed, a signal they’re actively recruiting new participants.

focus insight

You can join their panel database as a medical, technical, or business professional, or just as a general consumer. Alternatively, you can apply directly to the available market research studies listed.

Too Many Choices?

Start here instead. Punch in your name and email below I’ll show you step-by-step how to add $500 to your bottom line.

Join the Free 5-Day $500 Challenge

You’ll also receive my best side hustle tips and weekly-ish newsletter. Opt-out anytime.

Other Online Focus Group and Paid Research Study Options

The companies listed above certainly aren’t the only research companies around, and for this side hustle, it makes sense to join as many firms as you’re comfortable with.

That way, you’re presented with all the opportunities available, not just the projects managed by one company.

Here are a few more to consider:

  • PrizeRebel – Earn $10-12 an hour doing surveys or completing other tasks. (Just avoid the low-paying ones.)
  • L&E Opinions — I found nationwide studies paying $125-250. 
  • Focus Forward — A unique aggregator of paid focus group and survey opportunities.
  • UserTesting – Earn $10 for completing 20-minute online user tests of websites, apps, shopping portals, and more. This is pretty fun but you have to be fast because these tests get snatched up quickly.
  • Brutal – Earn $30 an hour to give feedback on websites and apps. (Love the name!)
  • Pulse Labs – Earn up to $100 a week providing video feedback on products.
  • Intellizoom – Get paid an average of $10 testing and reviewing websites.
  • UserBrain – Receive new websites to test every week, an earn $5 for each 5-15 minute test.
  • Google User Experience – Google pays gift cards for feedback on their products.
  • Nelson Recruiting — Nationwide market research company established in 1980.
  • Marketade – Specializes in remote usability testing, market validation, navigation research, and more.
  • Engage Studies – Earn as much as $100 per focus group through this research company.
  • Tell Us Your Opinion – Mainly operating in Tulsa but may have online/phone opportunities as well.
  • Adler Weiner Research – In-person studies in Chicagoland and Southern California, plus remote studies nationwide.
  • Advanced Focus – Hosts market research panels and focus groups in New York City.
  • Nichols Research – Get paid to participate in in-person focus groups, primarily in Northern California.
  • Herron Associates — In-person studies in Indianapolis, IN and Tampa, FL.

In doing all this research, a new side hustle came to me: web design and social media for these companies.

I ran into dozens of severely-outdated sites with copyright dates in the footer going back to 2010 in some cases. Their Twitter accounts where ghost towns and the blogs (if they had one) hadn’t been updated in years.

They might have a hard time making sales if their online presence makes it look like they went out of business!

Online Focus Groups Alternatives

As with any side hustle, there’s an opportunity cost. As in, what else could you be doing with your time?

I encourage you to check out our monster list of side hustle ideas, but here are a few that are similarly flexible.

Become a Bookkeeper

One of the first jobs that many companies hire out is “someone to keep the books.” If you have experience in this field, or just love numbers, becoming a remote bookkeeper could way to make extra money.

Most businesses don’t need a full-time bookkeeper so they’re open to hiring someone part-time. Most virtual bookkeepers charge $100-300 per client per month.

Network with business owners locally or online and let them know about your service. It might make sense to check out this free training on how to start a remote bookkeeping business.

make extra money by starting a bookkeeping business

Alternative Investments

If you’re after passive income, you might consider adding some alternative investments.

For example, Fundrise allows you to invest in professionally-vetted commercial real estate. This spreads your risk around with properties in multiple geographical locations–and minimums as low as $10.

fundrise review

Disclosure: I’ve been a Fundrise investor since 2015, and earn a commission when you join through my referral link. Opinions are my own.

Resell Furniture Returns

Reselling furniture returns is a unique low-risk side hustle.

How it works is you join Sharetown as a local “reverse logistics” rep. Sharetown partners with direct-to-consumer mattress and furniture brands to handle their return requests.

When customers decide they don’t want to keep the item, you’ll get dispatched to go pick it up. After that, you’ll:

  • clean it up
  • photograph it
  • list it for resale on sites like Facebook Marketplace

side hustle with sharetown

The Sharetown reps I’ve connected with target $150-250 per flip — and, importantly — you don’t have to pay Sharetown for the inventory until the item sells.

Check out my full Sharetown review to learn more.