Focus groups, unlike singular surveys, tend to focus on the review and release of products that haven’t yet hit the market. When you join a focus group panel, you have the opportunity to shape what will actually be released, and that’s pretty cool!
One site that offers a unique blend of interviews, surveys, and focus groups is Focusgroup.com. This site has mixed reviews, but those reviews don’t matter if you like how they work. Apex Focus Group is another market research company that offers the same service. Apex Focus Group reviews are very mixed as reviewers’ opinions differ greatly. Thus, let’s break down what goes on at FocusGroup.com and check whether it is the right choice for you or not.
Focus Pointe Global, the company behind FocusGroup.com, has been in the marketing industry for over 30 years now, and that experience shows. It started with a single center in Philadelphia in 1988, and they have grown a lot since then. Today, this brand has over 18 different focus group centers where they run in-person focus groups and coordinate remote focus group experiences.
The target panels put together by the website include both consumers and healthcare professionals depending on the client, the client’s goals, or the data that the company is currently researching.
How It Works
This company is aiming to collect data, analyze opinions, and find out what works and what doesn’t work on a number of different topics. To get this information, they put together groups of people either in person, online, or over the phone to find out what they believe.
Signing up is free, and all you have to do is visit their website. After providing some basic information, your profile will be complete, and once the company has a survey or study that you are a match for, they will contact you.
It’s more likely that the company will contact you if you live in one of the cities where the company has an office, but it is not a requirement. After all, they also do have online and phone studies that they need a variety of panelists for.
Beyond just focus groups, this company also runs a wide variety of other types of marketing research studies. From in-home interviews to shop-along studies, there are several ways that they might want you to get involved. If you are looking for something that is a little different from your average focus group experience, you might find it with them. Not to mention, phone interviews and online surveys here and there seem like a very easy way to make a part-time income right?
Payment for work is done in a variety of ways depending on the location and type of study that you do. If you do any work in person for them, they will pay you immediately via check or prepaid debit card. You can expect to receive this at the end of a session as long as you complete the entire session.
If you do online surveys for them via their website, you will earn points. Like most other survey websites, 100 points can be cashed out for $1.00. Once you have more than 2,000 points, you can cash it out and receive a prepaid Visa debit card. That said, if it has been more than three months and you did not yet pass 2,000 points, you can cash out any amount of points.
Finally, you may also receive sweepstakes entries as a bonus gift when you complete surveys or other activities with Focus Pointe Global. The monthly sweepstakes is for members in the USA only, and one winner gets a prize of $100 dollars, while six other winners get prizes of $25 each.
- Pays Well
If you are screened and accepted into an in-person focus group, you can expect to get paid between $45 and $200 for your time depending on the subject, company, and duration of the focus group. This money will be paid to you in person at the end of the focus group, so you can be sure that you are going to get paid.
- Flexible Schedule
The nice thing about having membership on a site like FocusGroup.com is that you can do surveys whenever you want to. Even opportunities like focus groups, if offered to you, are optional and you can choose to only participate in those that fit your schedule. This makes it easy to add some bonus income even if you don’t have a lot of time.
- No Focus Groups Received
If you do not live in the area where the company has offices, or your profile does not match the needs of the focus groups, you will never receive an invitation for this potentially lucrative study. And that is one of the biggest complaints that people have about this website!
As you can imagine, not living near the Focus Group company’s office means that you are not going to be able to physically attend any in-person focus groups which are extremely important to the company. Participating in focus groups can be done via phone calls, online, and sometimes even on social media, so there are indeed a lot of ways to participate in paid focus groups.
Despite filling out many qualification surveys, most people are never invited to do a focus group. If you are invited to one, it is unlikely that you will ever be invited to another in-person group again, so it’s hard to consider this to be a long-term income option and may not be worth your time at all.
- Payment Issues
There have been some reports that FocusGroup.com is very slow to send payment, and attempts to contact them about this have not reached any type of resolve. For that reason, many people dislike using them since they are trying to qualify for focus groups by doing surveys that don’t pay very much, and then they are not even getting paid that money. This is a big red light for most budding participants as the whole reason they want to participate is for the extra money.
- Poor Support
Customer support from FocusGroup.com on their website or via their email address is nearly non-existent. However, if you were to post a negative review elsewhere, a customer support party would likely appear to talk to you. It’s frustrating that you can get ahold of them by being negative but not by trying to contact them directly.
- Apex Focus Group
We mentioned Apex Focus Group in the introduction, but how many of you have heard of the company and wondered if it is worth trying? Most of the options of the company are very mixed and it is hard to find good Apex Focus Group reviews online. Don’t worry, we are going to clear things up a bit and see what all the commotion is about.
What is Apex Focus Group?
Apex Focus Group is a market research company that directs eager participants to appropriate focus groups. The company has been active for more than 7 years and publishes over 150 paid clinical trials, focus groups, and surveys on a monthly basis.
Becoming a member of Apex Focus Group means that you will be participating in paid social clinical studies in order to inform manufacturers about what products really suit their clientele. Apex Focus Group is responsible for matching you with the appropriate paid focus group.
Joining Apex Focus Group is incredibly easy. Members must be 18 or over and have internet access.
Is Apex Focus Groups Legit?
If you are looking for a legitimate focus group referral company then this isn’t one of them. Although their website is professional and boasts about their 50,000 registered members and thousands of focus group opportunities they aren’t what claim to be. The reality is that you probably won’t get much from Apec Focus Groups other than a lot of spam mail.
It is important to clarify that Apex Focus Groups does not own or pay participants for any of the focus groups, clinical studies or surveys. Because of this, it is difficult to say how many participants are ever paid appropriately or not.
You would be better off checking out the below companies if you are eager to get involved in participating in focus groups;
Let’s begin by mentioning their high payout average of between $50 to $150 per study. Of course, it goes without saying that the price depends on the type of activity you participate in. They have been in business since 2001 and want people who are genuinely interested in the product being researched or trial being completed.
20/20 Research has been in the market research industry for 30 years so you can imagine they know a thing or two about the industry. In order to become a member, you must first fill out a survey on their website.
The survey will determine whether you are suitable for the type of focus groups that the company holds. If you are successful in your application, a representative will be in contact with you with further instructions.
If you decide to join Field Work, know that it is mainly in-person focus groups that are on offer with just the occasional online survey or other online studies. The plus side of working for Field Work is that it is well known for paying very well and is extremely reliable and easy to work with.
Here is another respected market research company with over 35 years of experience and 90,000 members to add to their C.V. They too focus mainly on in-person studies. Studies are frequently updated and new posts are advertised almost on a weekly basis.
The only downside with signing up with L&E Research is the vast amount of members that they do have. The more members a company has, the less chance you have to be chosen for the study which can make the process very long if you are waiting to be chosen.
There is no need to remind yourself to constantly search Plaza Research’s website for studies as once you become a member they contact you. Members receive a weekly email with details of upcoming studies along with how to apply for them.
All-in-all, we have to say that FocusGroup.com is not a scam, but it is also not a highly recommended site. While they do offer real focus groups that could be very interesting to take part in, they also have some issues with payment, customer support, and authenticity.
The biggest issue is that even after doing dozens of surveys, many people never qualify for a focus group or offered any surveys that pay well. In time, it can feel like you are doing a lot of work for no reward, and that is when it ends up feeling like you are getting ripped off. Hence, if you want to make a real side income, you should look elsewhere since FocusGroup.com doesn’t have the means to provide this for most people.
In regards to our opinion of Apex Focus Group, it is best to steer clear and sign up with one or all of the above recommendations if you want to get paid for your participation. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people that have had great experiences working with Apex Focus Group, but too many members have labeled it as a scam and a site to be very wary of.
When signing up to a survey company, make sure that they don’t disclose your personal information to other companies, and have some form of data protection and anonymity agreement. Most repeatable survey companies that offer service group studies pay via PayPal, Amazon gift cards, or using a points system, so please do not disclose your bank details.
Think of focus groups as a little bit of fun and an opportunity to make a few extra bucks along the way. It certainly isn’t a full-time job, but if you find a good company to work with, it can be a fun and pleasant experience all round. We hope you have found the information in this review helpful. Please don’t hesitate to share your experiences with us with any of the companies we have spoken about above, we would love to hear about it!