Focus Groups and Clinical Trials
Focus groups and clinical are a great way to earn a nice amount of cash AND get free stuff. Find out how I got my biggest score to date!
Focus groups are different from the online survey sites that you go to where you can earn a few cents for every survey you complete. While there is nothing wrong with that, I just don’t have the time or the patience to do survey after survey in order to make a couple of dollars. Therefore, I’m not going to discuss those on my site because I rarely participate in those types of programs.
With focus group studies, you can typically expect to earn between $50-$300 per study. And your insight is extremely valuable to manufacturers so that they can produce better products. Something you can feel good about!
You basically have to sign up with a local market research firm like Focus Pointe Global and your information gets put in their database. When they have a panel or promotion that they think you might be a good fit for, they will send you a “screener” email, or in some cases call you if that is your preferred method of contact, to screen you for a study.
The screener email tells you the general topic which is very vague. It will say something like Food Products or Electronics, and then will ask you a couple of initial questions. Often this initial email will tell you how much the study will pay you, when it will be occurring, and how much time it will take. Some studies require only an hour of your time, but other studies can take several weeks or even months to complete. Those are usually the ones that pay the bigger bucks. If you are interested in one of the topics, just answer the questions and then if you are the right fit, they will follow up with a phone call and schedule you for an appointment. Some studies are very hard to qualify for because they have a very specific demographic in mind. But if you are one of the lucky ones who fulfill all of their requirements, you can score big!
The first study I participated in was for diapers. I received a free 2 month supply of diapers and $250 Visa gift card. I had to fill out one of those bubble test forms every day and then visit the facility each week to drop off the forms and bring in sealed plastic bags containing my son’s used diapers. The facility was close to work, so I was able to do this on my way to the office. But yes, you heard right. I had to save my son’s stinky, poopy diapers. If the diapers were a little more effective, it wouldn’t have been so bad. Unfortunately he had quite a few blowouts with them, so it was kind of gross. But as far as I was concerned, I got FREE diapers AND $250! And hopefully the study helped the manufacturer come up with a better brand of diaper.
The 2nd study I participated in was my biggest score to date! All I knew was that it was for “electronics”. Little did I know that I would receive a FREE 48″ Sony Bravia Smart TV!
I had to install a prototype software on the TV and interact with it once every 2 weeks. The study lasted around 6-7 months. And after all was said and done, I got to keep the TV and I also earned a $275 Visa gift card! How awesome is that?!
Have you ever participated in a focus group? What kinds of free stuff did you get? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Another way to earn some decent cash is to participate in clinical trials. They are really not as scary as they sound. It’s nothing like you see on TV where people grow tails or your hair will fall out (although if that is one of the side effects, they will warn you of that). Not only can you make some really nice cash, you might be able to get free medical care for a specific health condition you have, and you are helping better the world by assisting with important medical research.
How it works: You can sign up online and register with a local clinical trial company like Focus Pointe or Radiant Research. And just like with the market research studies, you fill out some initial surveys and get put into a database. If there is a study you are interested in, you can apply for it online and answer the questions to see if you qualify. If you do, they will call you to schedule an appointment.
Currently I am in a study for a new vaccine. It takes the place over the course of 14 months and I get paid $50 at each appointment spaced months apart for a total of $450 when the trial is over. Fortunately the facility is extremely close to my work, so I have been able to schedule my appointments on my lunch break. The initial test paid $50 and required them to take my vitals and test my blood to see if I would be able to tolerate the vaccine. Some of my co-workers went as well, but unfortunately they did not qualify, yet they still made $50 just for going! As for me, I have had no issues with the vaccine thus far. I only wish the study was shorter because there are several others I would like to participate in, but I can’t while I’m still doing this one.
For both focus groups and clinical trials you typically can’t participate in more than one study at a time, and sometimes they require you to wait 6 months before you can qualify for another one. Currently they are looking for people to participate in a high cholesterol study that pays $1000 cash! Makes me want to load up on pizza and double bacon cheeseburgers just to see if I can qualify. Nah, just kidding.
Want to sign up and join their databases? Click on the links below:
Focusgroup.com – They do product testing, live panels, and also clinical trials. It’s a one stop shop!
Radiant Research – Focuses on clinical trials
There are many more out there. But since these are the only ones I have used, these are the trusted sites I recommend.
Have you participated in any paid panels or clinical trials? I’d love to hear about them! What kinds of stuff have you gotten?