business people doing a focus group survey

FocusGroup is an online research panel. They offer you to participate in several types of paid studies like focus groups and tasting products or to take surveys. It sounds easy and fun, and you will even get paid for it! The internet is flooded with offers like this one. But, is it really that simple? I am always suspicious when I see an offer to make money without effort. Seriously, how on earth is that possible, unless you’re already rich?

It is only natural to be wary and cautious. But the truth is that the Internet has opened the door for so many new ideas and businesses. And it is actually possible to earn a couple of bucks in your spare time without breaking a sweat. Online surveys are probably the most popular way to earn some extra money just for voicing your opinion. Of course, you can’t earn a decent wage, but it is appealing to earn some pocket money while having fun. This is absolutely legit business that benefits all parties involved. The only problem is to find reliable sites that will pay you fair and square. Because there are many dishonest sites and even scams.

Today I will take a closer look at FocusGroup panel and try to figure out if it is a good opportunity or not.

focusgroup homepage preview

Basic Facts About FocusGroup

FocusGroup is an online panel operated by Focus Pointe Global. It is a market research company founded in 1988. They have offices on at least 20 locations across the United States. It is a reputable and successful company. So, you can rest assured that this is a legitimate company and legit business. It still doesn’t make them reliable and trustworthy, but for starters we know it’s not a scam. 

FocusGroup is focused on in-person studies, but they offer a variety of tasks for their members. Besides focus groups, you can take part in product tests, shop along and mystery shopper studies, phone interviews, online surveys, and other similar studies. The goal of all these studies is to gain insight into consumer habits, opinions, and decision-making process. They use this to help companies to improve products and services. These studies often include new products yet to be released. Some people find it exciting to be part of the process of evaluating and shaping new products.

How It Works

To join this panel you need to register and that’s all. It is a short procedure. You need to fill in your basic info and verify your registration via email. You will receive invitations for studies via email, but you can also search for available studies on their site. There’s a section ‘Available Studies’ on your dashboard. 

Whether you receive an invitation or find the available study on your own, you need to pass the 4-step eligibility process to actually enter the study. The first step is a screen out survey. For online surveys, this is the only step and you can proceed to take the survey. For other tasks, someone from the company will call you to verify your answers and ask a few additional questions. If your answers fit the requirements of the study you will enter the third stage. The number of participants in the study is limited. The goal of the third stage is to choose the best fitting candidates among those who have qualified for the study. If you enter this group you will receive a confirmation email. The fourth stage is actually participation.

This is a pretty long process, but these studies have specific requirements and eventually pay very well.

Payments

There are several ways of payment depending on tasks. For online surveys, you will earn between 100 and 1,000 points per each survey which translates to $1 and $10. You can withdraw your money as soon as you accumulate 2,000 points or any amount of money three months after the completion of the survey. The payment will be made via prepaid Visa card. For phone surveys and online multi-session studies, you will receive a prepaid Visa card in 6 to 8 weeks. Finally, for in-person studies, you will receive your reward at the end of the study via prepaid Visa card. 

You will get info on how much each study pays in advance. In-person studies pay the best, usually between $75 and $150.

Pros

  • Excellent pay. All tasks pay very well. So, once you get the opportunity, you will earn some easy and decent money.
  • Versatility. They offer a wide variety of activities and most of them are pretty interesting.

Cons

  • Disqualifications. A long screening process can be quite tiresome and frustrating if you don’t qualify. Disqualifying rates are particularly high for online surveys. Some people complained that they never qualify.
  • Rare opportunities if you don’t live near their offices. They have offices in 20 towns and cities, but if you don’t live there you will have a seriously limited number of opportunities.
  • Bad customer support. If you have any kind of issue, it takes a lot of effort and persistence to get an answer.

Conclusion

FocusGroup is legit and it pays well. However, your experience with them can vary from great to awful. While I don’t doubt their ethics, they focus on studies that require a very limited number of participants. As a result, disqualifying rates are quite high. With a long screening process and poor customer support, it can be quite annoying.

On the other hand, once you get selected for a study, it is all fun. And you will earn quite well. They are also reliable when it comes to payments. So, I have a dilemma here. 

Because of these issues, I wouldn’t highly recommend this site. But, if you live in a city where they have their office, maybe you should give it a try. You won’t have regular opportunities every day or every week, but if you qualify for their studies it can turn out to be a great experience. 

If you don’t live in the vicinity of their offices, you should probably look elsewhere.