Signing up to participate in market research studies is a great way to earn some extra money while trying out new products or giving your opinion on products and services you’ve tried before.
When I (Laura) first decided to leave my teaching job and become a stay-at-home mom (now a work-from-home mom), I signed up for several market research companies’ databases in the hopes of bringing in a little bit of extra cash.
While I don’t have the time to participate in many studies anymore, I did my best to compile a list of market research companies in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and highlight my experiences with certain companies.
A few things to keep in mind before you sign up:
– You should never have to pay to sign up for a database. If you’re asked to pay for a membership, chances are it’s a scam.
– The company should explain to you exactly how you are getting paid and how much you are getting paid before you complete the focus group, taste test, etc. Most of the time, you’ll receive a check immediately after the study is completed.
– Be aware that by adding your name and information to a database, you will be contacted via email and phone, possibly quite frequently depending on your demographics.
– That being said, you should also know that it’s much more common to not qualify for a study than to qualify for a study.
– If you’re lucky enough to actually qualify for a study, be sure to show up at your scheduled date and location on time. You should only cancel if absolutely necessary as some studies are not able to be completed if they do not have a certain number of participants.
– Some studies may require you to travel a considerable distance from your home (depending on where you live in the metro area). Be sure to keep your travel time (and the cost of gas) in mind as you’re signing up for studies. Don’t forget that your time is valuable.
This is the main reason why I’m not responding to as many studies anymore; with two children age two and under at home, plus working from home, I just don’t often have the time to wait until my husband gets home from work, then drive to a location, complete a study, and drive home.
Without further ado, here’s a list of companies I know of (some of which I’ve done studies for) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Feel free to leave a comment if you know of any others, and also share any tips and tricks you have with other readers.
This facility is located in St. Louis Park, and nearly all of their discussion groups or individual interviews take place at this location. You can join their team of respondents by signing up online.
Consumer Surveys has been conducting research studies about food and/or grocery shopping since 2004. Once you register for Consumer Surveys, you are sent online surveys to see if you are a good fit for a taste test or discussion group at various locations around the Twin Cities. For the live taste tests and discussion group participation, you can earn an average of $30 or more an hour.
Even better, you’ll receive MarketPoints for taking the online surveys, even if you don’t qualify for a study. You can also earn MarketPoints by referring friends to join. When you earn 1000 MarketPoints, you can exchange those points for a $10 Amazon.com gift card.
This facility is located in Bloomington. If you are chosen to participate in a study, you will get paid anywhere from $50-$200 per session. This company frequently does diaper studies that I’ve qualified for but decided not to be a part of since I don’t live anywhere near Bloomington.
Fieldwork is a nationwide market research company with a Twin Cities facility located in Edina. With this particular company, you’ll participate in round-table discussions on products and services that you use. These discussions usually last between 1-2 hours, and you’ll get paid for your time and opinions when you’re finished. Fill out your information online to join their database.
This company has two facilities in Minnesota: one in Minneapolis and the other in Edina. You can easily join their database online and sign up as a consumer, medical professional or business professional.
This company has testing locations around the Twin Cities, and it’s easy to apply for a test that fits into your schedule because you can see in advance the dates and times for the taste test. Once you qualify for a taste test, you’ll schedule a specific date and time to show up.
Anyone in the Twin Cities metro area ages 18-84 without food allergies may sign up to participate at the FPI Testers website. You’re eligible to participate in up to five studies per year. I’ve participated in a few of these taste tests and really enjoyed the experience.
This facility is located in Bloomington. You can sign up to join their database by calling 952.857.0135 or emailing research @ ormanguidance.com (remove spaces). Be sure to include your phone number and the best time to call and you’ll be contacted within a week or so.
I had actually qualified for and intended to start a pregnancy test study with Radiant Research before I got pregnant with my daughter, but when I was scheduled to start the study, I found out I…was already pregnant. Oh, well. :)
Their headquarters is in Golden Valley, but it appears as though most of their surveys are done via email or over the phone. By signing up for their panel, you can help improve customer service by evaluating the way different companies do business over the phone. Check out their FAQ for more information.
Your turn: Please share your experiences with Twin Cities market research groups. What tips do you have for people who are interested in participating in any market research studies?