Save a $1,000 Day 16: Give Your 2 Cents and Get Paid

SONY DSCToday’s tip is a guest post by Account417 follower Jennifer Allison and it’s a great one!

Do you like sharing your opinion?  Even if your spouse, kids or coworkers are sick of hearing what you think about everything there are market research companies that actually want to PAY you for your thoughts.

To participate all you need to do is enter your name and demographics (age, gender, etc…) into market research databases and you’ll be contacted when they have upcoming studies that may fit you.

You’ll typically get an email or phone call first asking short qualifying questions like “do you have kids” or “does your dog have bad breath”? If you’re a good match they’ll let you know where, when and what to do. Opportunities may include completing an online survey, a phone interview, trying a new product or sharing your opinion in a face-to-face focus group meeting. It’s actually a lot of fun and a simple way to supplement your income.

The studies I’ve helped with only took 1-2 hours of my time and I walked away with a check in hand for $100-$150. My son, desperate for cash as a dating and driving teenager, went to a pizza-tasting focus group and made an easy $75 AND got a free meal. You can’t beat that with a stick!

Below are the two market research companies I participate with most but there are others to look for in your area as well.

Schlesinger / InspiredOpinions (all over US and UK)

Jackson Associates (Atlanta area)

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8 thoughts on “Save a $1,000 Day 16: Give Your 2 Cents and Get Paid

  1. Wow. I think this is the most useful “make extra money” post I’ve seen. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can make more when a) no one is hiring that would pay more than I make at my experience and b) I work so much overtime with such weird hours I can’t pick up a second job.

    Do you pay taxes on money earned in focus groups? How do you declare them on income tax?

    • And yes they are taxable (sorry I am just the messenger 😉 You will either report them on a Schedule C (as “business” income) if the amounts exceed $400, or as “Other Income” not subject to Social Security and Medicare Tax if under $400. You may just receive a W-2 if you work often for the same company and that will be easy to report. Wow, I can’t believe I still remember all the that tax stuff!

  2. I’ve been doing these in the NYC metro area for the last 2 years. Usually its about $100/hr, sometimes cash/sometimes check. All I did was talk about product advertising(like/dislikes) for companies like Verizon, Comcast, and Dentyne Ice. On average I get called for 10% of the ones I apply for. I think I went to about 5-6 last year.

    BTW, I use a site called findfocusgroups.com to locate them.

  3. I’m not a tax expert, but I believe companies don’t require tax information from you unless your yearly income from that company exceeds $600. In other words, you can make up to $600 per focus group company, per year before those companies will issue a W2, in the U.S. Many focus groups will only let you participate once every few months so it’s good to find a few to sign up for.

    Also, I have friends that have signed up as secret shoppers and enjoy it. They get to go shopping or sometimes eat at a particular restaurant and get paid to document their experiences.

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