Review: How I Earned $175 in 90 Minutes

Some Michael Saves articles contain affiliate links, which help support my work as an independent content creator.

If you’re looking for new ways to make extra cash on the side, Focus Pointe Global ( is a national research firm that will pay you to share your opinions!

I received an invitation from the company and just earned $175 for a 90-minute focus group at a West Elm store in Atlanta, Georgia.

Focus Pointe Global: What you need to know before you sign up 

When I first got the email about Focus Pointe Global, I was a little bit skeptical that it might be a scam. I did a few Google searches to make sure the company checked out before I replied to the email.

Now that I’ve finished my focus group, I can confirm that Focus Pointe Global is legitimate!

I’m writing this story to share my first experience as a focus group participant, but let’s begin with some things you need to know before you start making extra money with Focus Pointe Global…

Table of contents

What is Focus Pointe Global? 

Focus Pointe Global is a market research company that’s been in business for 30 years and started with one facility in Philadelphia. It has since grown to 20 research facilities across the country.

The firm hosts in-person focus groups, telephone interviews, online surveys, mystery shopping assignments and more. It works with companies like Comcast, Heinz and Astra-Zeneca.

How do I qualify for focus groups?

Ready to sign up? Along with the $175 Visa gift card I received, I got a note from Focus Pointe Global that asked me to spread the word and encourage people I know to register at Here’s what the note said:

“We’re looking for moms, dads, teachers, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, nurses, business owners, construction workers, and everyone in between to participate in paid marketing research.”

After signing up for a free account online, click on “Available Studies” to see a list of opportunities.

Focus Pointe Global available studies
Focus Pointe Global available studies

To qualify for a focus group, you’ll have to answer a bunch of screening questions. Prepare to be asked to reveal your age, occupation, salary range and information about your consumer spending habits.

If you’re a good fit for a research project, they’ll call you and ask some more questions. My call came from the phone number 215-561-5500.

Where are market research projects conducted? 

Although there are opportunities for virtual focus groups and other paid gigs, it seems the majority of the research is conducted at Focus Pointe Global’s facilities across the country.

Here are the locations where Focus Pointe Global says it has available studies in October 2018:

  • National (Webcam and phone)
  • Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Irvine, California
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota

How much do focus group participants earn? 

I earned a $175 prepaid Visa card for participating in a 90-minute focus group, but Focus Pointe Global’s compensation varies depending on the project.

I’ve seen some assignments listed for $75, others for $100 to $150 and even a few for $250.

Since I took part in an in-person focus group, I received my $175 gift card immediately after we finished. Some telephone and online survey participants may have to wait 6-8 weeks.

RELATED: How I earned $300 in Amazon gift cards with Fetch Rewards

My first experience with Focus Pointe Global 

Now that I’ve provided a general overview of Focus Pointe Global, I want to review specific details about my first time sharing my opinions in a focus group!

Screening interviews

The process began with an email from West Elm, not Focus Pointe Global. The subject line of the email was “An Invitation from west elm for Customers who live in the Atlanta Area…..Receive $175 for your participation!”

The email mentioned Focus Pointe Global, so I asked around and confirmed it was legit before clicking the survey link.

I had to answer a few questions about myself like my age, sex and location. The survey asked a series of questions about where I shop for home decor items.

After completing the brief questionnaire, I received a follow-up call from Focus Pointe Global. The employee asked me many of the same questions that I answered online.

At the end of the 15-minute call, the person on the phone told me I wasn’t eligible, but she called back minutes later and said that I did qualify!

I got an email from Focus Pointe Global that same night with my confirmation number. This email included general details about where and when the focus group was being held, which in my case was at a West Elm retail store.

Important: Make sure to arrive 15 minutes early, bring a photo ID and follow the dress code if there is one.

Participating in the focus group 

I showed up at the West Elm store about 30 minutes before the focus group and was a little confused because the store was open to customers at the time.

I told a West Elm employee why I was there and she led me to a table in the clearance section to sign in.

We started promptly at 7:30 p.m. with introductions. There were 10 participants at the table and the person leading the focus group from Focus Pointe Global. There was also a cameraman recording our answers.

I had a feeling that we would be recorded, but the leader of the focus group said it wouldn’t be shared with the public. That was a relief.

Everyone in my group was in their 30s. I think there were seven women and three men, a mix of single and married people, and nearly all homeowners — not renters.

We spent the next 90 minutes talking about all things home decor. Most of the participants in my group seemed to be loyal West Elm shoppers. The leader made us all comfortable to share our likes and dislikes about West Elm and other home decor retailers.

There were light refreshments (snacks, candy, water) for participants, but that’s not why I went. I wanted the money!

Receiving payment 

At the end of the focus group, the Focus Pointe Global employee handed me a $175 Visa gift card and I was on my way. The envelope that the card came in had my name and confirmation number on it.

I’ve made two purchases with it so far, so I can confirm that it works! I was a little worried because the card was pre-activated.

The leader said that if anyone had trouble with their cards, they should call the person at Focus Pointe Global who scheduled them. Corporate headquarters can be reached at 215-561-5500.

Final thought 

I really enjoyed my first focus group experience and would be happy to participate in a future session with Focus Pointe Global.

If I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I probably wouldn’t get dressed up. The email said business casual, but most people wore jeans and t-shirts. I felt a bit out of place in a dress shirt and slacks.

Also, I would bring a coffee or a soft drink from home since they only had those tiny bottles of water.

Is participating in focus groups a way to make extra cash on a regular basis? Probably not. But it’s easy money and a lot of fun if you get the chance to do it!

More Michael Saves stories you may like:

5 thoughts on “ Review: How I Earned $175 in 90 Minutes”

  1. Thanks for sharing your idea and information about paid survey and focus group
    Yes focus group is best source of earn some extra money.
    Me and my family regularly applying for these paid survey and focus group
    we here i will mention that is legit source and you can make some extra cash at the end of moth
    focus group and paid survey only 5 to 10 mints to fill. You need to give around 2 hours a day so at the end of month you will be happy.
    Focus group and paid survey is one of the best I chose.
    Again thanks for sharing about focus group

  2. Somewhat shocking to think back but I have been doing paid focus groups for 30+ years. I have been with Focus Pointe Global for at least 10 years. In the “olden” days they gave you cash on the spot after the Group. 3-4 years ago most of the Focus Group companies I work with began using Visa gift cards. some you can cash out at the ATM.

    When you join a Focus Group company and fill out your Profile you will be asked LOT of questions. Its not just nosiness. That helps the company determine what surveys you may be a good fit for. For example, my colleague that introduced me to focus groups was a mother and I am childfree. Sometimes the companies were looking for kids of certain ages, grades. Her son did video games , which he got to keep in addition to the payment to diapers for kids in hospitals. I have been asked if I was still having periods. Why? Post menopausal women are not useful for new feminine hygiene products. Homeowners have some different needs than renters. Others are occupation focussed like IT workers, mechanics or nurses. Once I even got to test drive and keep a diary on a brand new car for a week! and still make $200. Now that I’m retired, I mostly get called in for travel and health conditions. So yes, some of the questions can seem invasive but they are a screening tool with a purpose.

    Just google paid focus groups. You can find and vet quite a few. Some do local, studies some do national studies some do both. Since Covid I have done two Zoom online groups and have received my Visa gift cards. Can you get rich doing focus groups? No, but you do meet interesting people and products and tell the makers what works or doesn’t work for you with their products and services. And to brag to your friends that you have every right to being opinionated. You get paid for it.

  3. I have been searching for Ways to make some MuLa for weeks now , but all I’ve found are Scams And sites that fill my Email up A thousand times a day it seems with Them , I am new to All of this so I’m unaware of the legitimate apps to go to. Any advice would be So Wonderful on where I I am needing to go 🙂 . I just downloaded Fetch But that’s the only one

Leave a Comment