Looking for ways to earn money in your spare time? If you've heard of Apex Focus Groups, you're probably wondering if paid focus groups are legit or not.
We're always on the lookout for scams ourselves, so we went ahead and took a close look at Apex Focus Group to see if they're the real deal.
To start, we looked into the official Apex site and checked independent sources like TrustPilot, BBB, Glassdoor, and Reddit. We also analyzed actual user reviews for both complaints and compliments.
We compiled everything in this article, including the pros and cons of Apex Focus Group, how it works, how much you can earn, and alternatives if you're not interested.
If you want to get answers to your burning questions about Apex, read on. Otherwise, you'll be missing essential deciding factors on whether Apex is worthwhile or a waste of time. Let's start.
Takeaways from this article:
- Apex Focus Group is a middleman that connects you to paid focus groups and other opportunities.
- While they say you can earn a lot per research study, those opportunities are very hard to come by. Many people only make a few dollars after completing several hours of work.
- You might be better off with Inbox Dollars, a similar platform that has more earnings opportunities such as being paid to play games, answering surveys and reading email. You get $5 immediately upon signing up.
Is Apex Focus Group legit or a scam?
Based on our research, Apex Focus Group is legit and not a scam, but don't sign up just yet. We came across a number of complaints about the site, including issues with payments, customer service, and more.
We also found that some users who have used Apex Focus Group didn't earn much money. In fact, many people only make a few dollars after completing several hours of work.
We'll go into that more later, but first, let's take a closer look at how Apex Focus Group works.
What is Apex Focus Group?
Apex Focus Group is a site that claims to connect people with paid focus groups and other research opportunities. In other words, they're the middleman. They offer users four main ways to make money:
Paid Focus Groups
A focus group is when a company gathers a group of people together to get their opinions on a product or service. For example, a skincare company might want to know what potential customers think about their new face cream before it hits the shelves.
Apex Focus Group will connect you with companies that are looking for people to participate in these focus groups. They don't give a lot of details about what to expect, but they do say that you can earn $50 to $250 per session.
Apex also offers clinical trials as a way to make money. Clinical trials are when companies test new medications or treatments on human subjects.
Usually, these trials are conducted by hospitals or research facilities, but sometimes companies will contract out to third-party recruiters to find participants. That's where Apex Focus Group comes in.
Clinical trials usually pay more than focus groups, but they also require more time and commitment. It's also harder to qualify since you have to meet certain medical criteria.
Apex Focus Group says you can earn $100 to $1,000 per clinical trial, but doesn't give any other details.
Paid Survey Panels
In addition to focus groups and clinical trials, you can also make money with Apex by taking online surveys. These are the traditional surveys that you're probably familiar with if you've used other rewards sites like Swagbucks and InboxDollars.
As a part of a survey panel, you'll be asked to give your opinion on a variety of topics, such as what kind of products you buy, which TV shows you watch, or what type of vacations you like to take.
Survey panels are usually pretty low-paying, and Apex is no different. They don't give an exact number but say you can earn $1 to $5 per survey. On the flip side, they're also easier to qualify for and don't take very long to complete.
The last way to make money with Apex Focus Group is by participating in phone interviews. These are basically the same as focus groups but conducted over the phone instead of in person.
During a paid phone interview, you'll be asked your opinion on everything from current events to consumer products.
The rate for phone interviews is typically similar to focus groups, but it still depends on the length and topic of the interview.
According to their website, they have:
- 1,000+ clients and market research opportunities
- 834 active participants
- Members across 41 states in the US
That's a lot of clients and studies, which means there should be plenty of opportunities for those who sign up.
Who owns Apex Focus Group?
Unfortunately, we didn't find a lot of information about the company behind Apex Focus Group. They do list two headquarters on their website:
- U.S Office: 2160 Kingston Court SE Ste E, Marietta, GA 30067
- Singapore Office: 316C Punggol Way, Singapore 823316
Apex Focus Group has no verifiable social media presence as of the time of writing.
Clicking the only Facebook page we found with the same name gave us this warning, “The link you tried to go to does not follow our Community Standards.”
The Apex Focus Group Business Model
Apex Focus Group is essentially a lead generation company. They collect information from people who sign up on their site and then sell it to companies that are looking for research participants.
In other words, they're a middleman. They don't actually conduct the research themselves. This business model is actually pretty common. There are a lot of companies that do the same thing, like Survey Junkie, InboxDollars, and Swagbucks.
Technically, you can find focus groups on your own without using a service like Apex Focus Group. However, it can be time-consuming to find legitimate opportunities and weed out the scams. Apex Focus Group claims to do that work for you so you can focus on earning money.
Is Apex Focus Group accredited by the BBB?
No, Apex Focus Group is not accredited by the BBB. They haven't claimed their BBB profile either.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing since there are legit companies that aren't BBB accredited.
Still, we recommend factoring this into your decision, especially since companies like Prodege LLC (which owns Swagbucks and MyPoints) are accredited and actively respond to complaints on BBB.
Breaking Down How Apex Focus Group Works
As we mentioned earlier, Apex Focus Group simply connects to companies doing market research.
When you sign up for Apex Focus Group, you're basically signing up to be on a list of potential participants. You don't automatically qualify for every focus group or study.
What generally happens is:
- Apex Focus Group collects information about you when you sign up.
- They then offer your information to companies that are conducting market research.
- These companies decide if you qualify for their opportunity.
- If you do, they'll contact you directly with more information, such as the time, location, and compensation for the focus group.
Apex will also email you about opportunities that match your profile, so you can decide if you want to participate.
Requirements for Apex Focus Group
You don't need any special experience to join Apex Focus Group, but you need to meet a few requirements:
- You must be 18 years or older
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- A smartphone with a camera and/or a laptop or desktop with a working webcam
- A stable internet connection
- The ability to read, understand, and follow instructions (oral and written)
- The ability to work independently, aka unsupervised
If you can meet all those requirements, you can sign up for Apex Focus Group.
How to Sign Up for Apex Focus Group
It only takes a few minutes to sign up for Apex Focus Group, but they do ask for a lot of information.
Aside from providing your full name, gender, email, zip code, and birthday, you also need to answer questions like:
- What Smartphone Do You Own?
- Do You Have Children?
- Are You Currently Employed?
- Are You Interested In Paid Online Surveys?
- What Is Your Current Education Level?
- Are You Interested In Higher Education For Career Advancement?
After answering all the questions, you'll need to agree to the terms and conditions and hit submit to complete your registration.
From here, Apex Focus Group will start sending you market research opportunities via email.
How Much Can You Earn from Apex Focus Group?
The company claims that you can earn up to $750 a week as a focus group participant:
- $35-$75 (per 1 hour session)
- $350-$750 (multi-session studies)
This seems plausible based on some of the available focus groups on their site:
- Plaza Research: $125
- Focus Pointe Global: $250
- L&E Research: $400
- Canvas Marketing: $50
- Schlesinger Group: $100
These are more profitable payouts compared to similar market research sites like Survey Junkie, which only pays $1 to $75 for surveys.
Apex Focus Group Payout
Unlike other survey sites, Apex won't be the one sending you payments. Instead, the company that's conducting the focus group will pay you directly.
Again, it depends on the company, but common payout methods are:
- Prepaid debit card
- Check in the mail
- Amazon gift card
- Direct deposit into your bank account
None, because you're paid directly by the company running the market research.
The focus group companies will also have their own payout schedule. For example, one company may pay you immediately after the focus group, while another may take a few weeks to process your payment.
It's important to ask about the payout schedule and method before participating in a focus group, so you know when to expect your money.
Apex Focus Group: User Feedback & Complaints
So far, Apex Focus Group sounds like a great way to earn some extra cash, but we wanted to see what actual users have to say.
- “Never had much issue getting paid”
- “$250 wasn’t too bad for the amount of time it took”
- “Participated in a few surveys and phone reviews and was paid promptly”
- “Flexible, remote, easy job for someone who needs extra money”
- “Pretty hard to reach support if you have any questions”
- “I had to apply to 7 or 8 studies before being selected for this one”
- “Success rate is maybe around 20%-30%”
- “Some opportunities pay pennies which is not worth the time”
- “Opened the pandoras box of scam emails, hundreds a day not related to the job”
From those comments, Apex seems to payout as promised, but getting accepted into a focus group can be difficult.
It also seems like Apex could do a better job of vetting opportunities and weeding out the low-paying ones.
Finally, the spam issue is a common complaint with market research companies. If you're not careful, you can end up on a ton of email lists after signing up for just one focus group.
Why do people join focus groups?
Focus groups are a great way for companies to get feedback on products or services before they launch.
By joining a focus group, you can help shape the future of products and services that you use every day.
In addition, focus groups can be a great way to earn some extra money without having to commit to a full-time job.
Is it safe to join focus groups?
Yes, focus groups are safe to join and a good way to earn cash on the side as long as they're legit. Always do your research to make sure the focus group opportunity is legitimate before signing up.
Keep these tips in mind:
- Use a separate email address: This will help keep your inbox clean and make it easier to unsubscribe from marketing emails.
- Never pay to join a focus group: You should never have to pay anything upfront to join a focus group. If you're asked to pay, it's probably a scam.
- Look for red flags: Be wary of any focus group that asks for sensitive personal information like your Social Security number or bank account number.
Alternatives to Apex Focus Group
Not convinced about Apex or simply want to explore other options? Here are some similar companies that may be a better fit for you:
- Survey Junkie: It’s one of the most popular survey sites out there, with over 10 million members. You can earn money with Survey Junkie by taking surveys, watching videos, and even shopping online.
- Respondent: It’s a market research platform that connects companies with research participants. You can earn $50-$150 per hour by taking part in focus groups, user testing, etc with Respondent.
- 20/20 Panel Research: It’s a market research company that conducts focus groups, product testing, and more. You can earn $50-$200 per session with 20/20 Panel Research.
- L&E Research: It’s another company that pays you to participate in focus groups and other research studies. You can earn $50-$700 per session by taking part in L&E Research studies.
Other similar companies are Plaza Research, Field Work, and Dynata.
Interestingly, you can find all of these sites listed on Apex Focus Group, so if you want to save time and effort, you may want to stick with Apex instead of signing up for each company individually.
Overall, Apex Focus Group looks like a legit way to make extra cash online.
The company does have some drawbacks. Users complain about how hard it is to get selected for studies, the low number of high-paying opportunities, and the influx of spam emails they receive after signing up.
However, if you're looking for a legit way to make some extra cash and don't mind the occasional low-paying opportunity, Apex Focus Group could be a good fit for you.