My Experience: Earn Cash with Market Research Studies

by Ann-Marie on September 22, 2011

There are several online sources to make money by doing surveys, performing online research, etc.  To be honest, I’m a little skiddish about the online research sites, unless I have heard a good report from a trusted source that such a website is legit, won’t spam you, etc.

There are, however, two great brick-and-mortar sources I have had the pleasure in working with over the years, that have local offices in the Indianapolis area. You can check their websites to see if they may have a location near you.

One that I actually participated last night, was with Herron Associates. I am not able to mention the advertiser (nor did they divulge, although it was quite obvious as it was the only product mentioned), however it appealed to me as a consumer and the primary shopper in the family. Another I have participated with several times is Walker Research.

I have been involved in focus groups with 6-10 individuals and a moderator, as well as larger group settings with questionnaires, and even been given a product to take home, test, and return to share my opinion.

Research opportunities such as these tend to pay very well; I’ve earned anywhere from $25-$150 for just a couple hours of sharing my opinion … which y’all know I love to do!  My advice is to arrive early and you’ll be more likely to actively participate in the study. They tend to over-invite, banking on a few no-shows. Sometimes if you arrive but are sent home, you may still earn a smaller check as a token of appreciation for your effort.

Beyond the cold hard cash (actually it’s a check), I also do it because I love marketing. It’s my former career, what I studied in undergraduate and graduate school, and to me, it’s just fun. So I’m interested in what the product is, what kind of new ads may be in the planning stages, or new products that might be introduced. And then I love to give my opinion, hear what others think, and bounce ideas around the room.

If this sounds like fun to you too, here’s how to put your name in the hat for participating in a research study:

  • Sign up for email updates with Herron and Walker.
  • When you receive an email with a research survey and the overall subject appeals to you, complete the survey. This does not mean you will be participating, necessarily.
  • If you meet the study’s basic criteria, you may receive a phone call with more questions to further qualify you.

The two market research companies I’ve mentioned here may not be in your city; however if you do a little research and talk to some friends, I’m sure you’ll find great opportunities to earn a few bucks with similar companies in your town.

So I’d love to read your comments … have you participated in a research study before? Was it worth your time?

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