Your opinion as a consumer has more value than you might imagine. There are companies that will pay you, and pay you well to offer your opinion on a variety of consumer products, such as new products, TV shows, and food and beverages which we use regularly. Yes, that includes potato chips! If you have free time and are willing to share your opinions, why not earn some extra income from them. As baby boomers are such a large buying group, their opinions are especially valuable to those companies.
Your opinions are welcomed
The folks who express their opinions for pay are normal folks like you and I. They earn hundreds or thousands of dollars a year to share their honest opinions – good and bad – about a huge variety of products and services. This money comes from market research firms. For example there’s McCormick Consumer Testing, who pays you to sample foods with a variety of seasonings. You may be asked to taste test Doritos and other snack foods, or different blends of seasonings on mainstream foods like potatoes or eggs. The pay is usually $30 to $50 for about a half-hour – like getting paid $100 an hour for eating food!
More than just tasting food!
Food tasting is just a small part of market research. All of the largest companies in America hire market research companies to find out consumer opinions of new TV shows, commercials and print ads, new products like cell phones, even elective surgeries, such a Lasik eye procedures. These market research companies are all around the U.S and Canada, and are willing to pay you for your opinion. A recent example: Comcast wanted to test consumer reactions to a new commercial for their cable service, and paid $100 for those who participated.
The beauty of these market research opportunities is that you don’t have to travel far, or do any work to be included. Once you’ve signed up, the research firms will contact you if you’re a good fit for the study it is doing. There are thousands of these studies going on every day, so it’s likely you can participate regularly if you choose.
Here’s how to get started:
If earning hundred or thousands a year for your opinions sound good to you, here’s what you need to do: First, check your local yellow pages or Craigslist (www.Craigslist.org) and look for “market research” firms. I just checked my local Craigslist and found three studies just getting started. The pay for my time and opinion was around $100. Also, the next time you’re at a shopping mall, look for someone with a clipboard, and introduce yourself. That person may want to pay you for your opinion.
You can also find these firms on the internet. Four of my favorites are:
Once you’ve signed up, always keep your cellphone on. Focus groups will call and ask you to answer questions about a product or service. As these studies can fill up fast, so it’s very important to be available on a moment’s notice. When they do call, be honest with your answers and try to answer in detail, not just yes or no.
Second, if you are sign up for a focus group, be sure to note the date, time and place of the study. Market research firms need dependable participants, so if you are always late or a no-show, you’ll be on their do-not-call list.
Don’t be shy
Last, Don’t be shy! You must be prepared to speak your mind, and contribute to these focus groups, as that’s what the companies are paying you for. If you just sit there and say nothing, guess who won’t be called for any more focus groups?