When it comes to earning extra money without investment, one of the best ways is taking online surveys or participating in paid online focus groups conducted by companies like Apex Focus Group, the subject of this review.
Apex Focus Group is a company that claims to offer paid focus group opportunities as well as access to similar money-making ventures like participating in medical trials and research studies.
If you don’t already know, a paid focus group is a group discussion where participants provide their opinions on products and services. In focus groups, which are led by a moderator, you could discuss anything from TV shows to cell phone service.
There are lots of focus groups out there with some being legit and others being an outright scam. In today’s Apex Focus Group review, we’ll discuss whether or not the company falls into the former or latter territory.
I’ll also cover how the company works, how much money you can expect to earn, and, most importantly, whether it’s worth your time or not!
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What is Apex Focus Group?
Apex Focus Group is a company that helps you to find paid focus groups near you. It gathers focus topics from around the internet and works directly with market research firms to bring you paid focus group opportunities.
Aside from focus groups, you’ll also find clinical trials and paid survey panels on offer.
Apex Focus group says that it is looking for individuals to participate in national and local paid focus groups, paid clinical trials, and phone interviews.
With most of the focus group studies and surveys, you have the option to participate online or in-person.
How to get started with Apex
Getting started with Apex Focus Group is pretty easy.
There are no fees for signing up and few qualifications are needed either.
In order to qualify as a focus group participant with the company, you will need to have:
- A desktop or laptop that has a webcam or a smartphone with a working camera.
- The ability to work independently.
- Access to a reliable internet connection.
- The ability to read, understand, and follow oral and written instructions.
To sign up, you’ll just need to visit the website and click on “Join A Focus Group.”
Then, you will be taken to a new page. This sort of looks like a job posting that’s looking for focus group participants.
Once you are there, you can click on “Apply Now,” and a popup form will appear.
You just need to enter some basic details about yourself such as your name, email address, and zip code. In addition to that, you will also need to answer some questions about things, like whether or not you have kids and your current education level.
Once all that’s done, you are registered and just need to confirm your email.
Ways to Make Money with Apex Focus Group
Now you’re signed up, you’ll be able to start making money. There are three main ways to earn with Apex Focus Group:
Paid focus groups
The main draw with the company is that it offers paid focus groups.
It claims to have more than 1,000 legitimate focus group opportunities and to have worked with, “virtually every market research firm in the US.”
At the time of writing, it was looking for participants on the following topics:
- Child Related (People who have children who are 18 years old or younger.)
- Cell Phones (So things like Apple, Android, or Windows. Or Prepaid or Contract)
- Entertainment (TV shows, movies, and video games)
- Food (Whether you enjoy upscale dining, casual dining, or fast food.)
- Sports (Casual viewers and die-hard fans)
- Electronics (Give your opinion on which devices you prefer and why)
- Pets (Animal lovers are needed. This includes those who love cats, dogs, or other pets)
- Automobiles (You may need to answer questions like do you own, make payments, or lease your vehicle?)
As a focus group participant, your opinion can help to develop new products and provide companies with valuable insight into consumer behavior. Sometimes, you may even get to sample and test new products before the general public.
Apex Focus Group connects people with clinical research studies that offer treatments that are under development. Clinical trials are not for everyone. They can pay pretty well though. If this is something that you could be interested in, then it’s another way to make money through Apex Focus Group.
Paid Survey Panels
Paid surveys are a good way to make money since pretty much anyone can get started with them. As a survey participant, you give your feedback on brands, products, and services.
Apex Focus Groups offers paid survey opportunities.
With these, you help companies to improve their products. You provide your opinion on the products you use or even try new ones before they are on the shelves.
How Much Does Apex Focus Group Pay?
There are a few options for making money with Apex Focus Group with the main aim of the site being focus group studies.
Just how much can you make with this though?
I think it’s important to remember there that AFG itself isn’t providing any focus groups. It doesn’t run these groups so there’s no one payment figure available from the site.
Instead, AFG gathers focus group opportunities and puts them all in one place. This means that the pay varies from study to study. There are payment ranges though.
According to Apex Focus Group, here’s what you can expect be paid:
- $35 to $75 per 1 hour session.
- $250 to $500 for multi-session studies.
I had a browse of available focus group opportunities to see what payments were available. Here are a few examples:
- $125 for a study on business travel.
- $250 for a study on pet products.
- $400 for a study on health and wellness.
In terms of how you get paid, that also varies from study to study. Many focus groups pay in cash. But, I did see a few on AFG that paid with Prepaid Visa cards. Others may pay you by PayPal or even a gift card. You can check with the particular study you plan to apply for to get more details on how you will be paid.
You can view available focus group studies and how much they pay here.
Is Apex Focus Group Legit?
Now, for the all important question – is Apex Focus Group legit? Or is it just a scam?
Normally, when I write a review. Aside from visiting a site myself, I look to platforms like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau to see how other people have rated a company.
This is important. I could have a good experience with a site for example, and another person may not. Ratings and reviews from platforms like Trustpilot can help to provide a wider picture of how a site is viewed by its users.
With AFG, I couldn’t find much in the way of reviews on Trustpilot. There were, however, a decent amount of reviews on Glassdoor, however.
And, I will say, that with AFG, it seems to be a mixed bag. From my own research and opinions from people who’ve used the company, it seems like the company does have some issues.
I’m not saying that it’s an outright scam since AFG is not taking your money to sign up or anything like that. It does, however, have some concerning elements.
In this section, I’ll cover some pros and cons so that we can discuss those concerns in a little more detail.
I’m going to start out with the positives.
Some people make money through focus groups
I did find some people praising AFG. These participants said that they found focus group opportunities that paid.
One focus participant in Chicago says of Apex Focus Group:
- “I have participated in a few well paying market research studies and focus groups through them, including the latest one on cellphone brands. They provide access to quality panel opportunities as well as great service to their clients.”
It seems like, for some people, there are legit opportunities to make money through the opportunities provided by AFG.
Your information is encrypted
When sharing information online, there’s always the concern that your information won’t be kept securely. Thankfully, any sensitive/credit information you provide is SSL encrypted.
I want to discuss some of the things that I, and other users, found to be slightly concerning with the site.
You might not qualify for many groups or studies
I did notice that quite a few users complained that they had to apply for multiple groups before they actually found a study that they qualified for – if they did at all.
The same participant from Chicago mentioned above, said this:
- “I don’t qualify for every studies that they recommend me . Success rate is maybe around 20%-30%.”
I saw another similar complaint from a user who said they had to apply for 8 studies before they got approved for one. It’s not that unusual for you to not qualify for studies and surveys. I mean, these groups want participants who fit certain criteria and it’s unlikely that you will always meet this criteria.
But, it is something to keep in mind. It’s not as simple as just signing up for AFG and then participating in surveys.
Many people complain of spam email
My main issue with AFG is spam email. I saw some people reporting this to be an issue with AFG.
When you first sign up to the site, the company says that you have opted in to receive emails.
- “We collect information from you when you fill out a form or enter information on our site…We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways: To send periodic emails regarding your order or other products and services.
Now, a lot of companies send out promotional emails and stuff like that. The thing that I found to be slightly concerning is that the company doesn’t exactly make unsubscribing from these emails particularly easy.
- If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can contact us.
I really don’t think that you should have to go to the effort of getting in touch with someone to unsubscribe from emails.
Especially when the company’s customer support team is reported to be less than excellent, which brings me to my next point:
Customer support can be hard to reach
I saw some complaints from users that the customer support team is hard to reach.
One reviewer from Charlotte, North Carolina says:
- “It’s pretty hard to reach support if you have any questions. Took me multiple emails to finally get hold of someone to answer my questions.”
There is no phone number to contact the company. There is, however, a contact form and physical address.
Apex Focus Group is not an outright scam. What I mean by this is that the company isn’t trying to get money from you to sign up or anything like that.
However, there are a few concerns with it as I mentioned above.
AFG itself doesn’t actually provide any paid focus groups. Instead, it gathers them from around the internet. Sure, that could, potentially, save you some time and be more convenient. After all, you can view everything in one place.
But you are having to share your email to access these opportunities, and this means that you could get spam as others have mentioned online. And, there’s the concern that you won’t get access to many focus group opportunities that you actually qualify for.
Overall, I would give it a miss. I think there are better companies out there many of which we’ve reviewed and talked about on MoneyPantry.
Have you tried Apex Focus Group? If so, let us know about your experience with the company in the comments section below.