I Got Paid $60 to Eat French Fries and So Can You

Paid market research studies are a fun way to make extra money.

This week I participated in my first paid market research study and I actually got paid $60 to taste french fries!

Marketing research companies are all over the country and I bet there’s one where you can earn extra money too.   First let me explain how paid market research programs work and then I’ll tell you more about my experience so you know what to expect.

Marketing research is incredibly important in the world of business. Just think about it.  If you were CEO of a corporation that was considering offering a new product, wouldn’t you want to get some feedback on the idea before you spent millions of dollars developing it? Maybe you’d create a few prototypes and let people test them out to see if they like them?

So companies hire marketing research firms to run focus groups, surveys,and taste testing panels to get objective opinions about their products BEFORE they commit to spending a fortune developing them.

That’s where you come in!  When you sign up for a paid market research program you can actually get paid to drink coffee, test new kitchen utensils, or watch pilot episodes of new sitcoms.

How I Got Paid to Eat French Fries

One of my wife’s girlfriends recently started participating in focus groups and she got my wife to sign up too.   When you first sign up you fill out a short questionnaire so they can get an idea of what kind of paid market research studies you would be eligible for.

When a new study is ready, you’ll get a call asking if you’d like to participate.  There may be some additional questions to determine your eligibility.   My wife started getting calls right away…a couple a week actually, but the timing just didn’t work out (most studies are during the day and she would need a babysitter).

paid market research

When they called about the french fry testing they mentioned they were primarily looking for men so they asked if there was a man in the house willing to participate.  I love french fries so you can bet I was willing!  :)

The marketing research office is not far from my home so I was able to swing by on my way home from work.  I signed in and chatted with some other members of the test panel in the waiting room.  After a few minutes they ushered us into the testing room.

We sat down as the testers handed out the questionnaires and then they brought out little plates with french fries to taste.  There were 3 sets of fries and after each we had to fill out a survey describing what we liked and disliked about each.   The testers came around and made sure each survey was complete and then we were excused.  On the way out I stopped by the front desk and the receptionist handed me an envelope with $60 inside.

That’s easy money baby!  :)

To find a research program or focus group near you just do a Google search and see where the closest locations are.

You shouldn’t expect to get rich participating in paid market research studies, but it is certainly possible to earn a a couple hundred bucks a month while having fun testing out new products and tasting food.

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Mike is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in finance and parenting topics. He is a dedicated husband and father of three who is obsessed with creating multiple streams of income and building wealth so he can achieve true financial freedom for his family. Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our free RSS feed and follow us on Twitter.

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  1. says

    Focus groups seem so interesting to me. When I lived in San Francisco, I applied with several companies, but I didn’t hear back from any of them until nearly two years after I moved away… then I started getting tons of offers. I recently applied with one in NYC, but I figure it’ll just take forever to get called up over there too. We’ll see.

  2. says

    I love focus groups! I have gotten to participate in a fee of them about banking, medical devices, and a new television show, but never food testing. mmmmm….I wish I could do the food testing. Who doesn’t love French fries?!

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