People are now taking part in paid focus groups to earn money on the side. Launched in 2016, AFG also claims to let their panelists become focus group members and earn up to $3,000/project. And on this Apex Focus Group review, I’ll try to analyze if it is legit or just a scam!
Focus group is a traditional methodology of qualitative research. It first came into the market to analyze the behavior and attitude of customers towards any specific product or service. And now, many major companies are using this method.
While many call AFG helpful, many call it an outright scam. So, I decided to personally test the site to debunk the myths and facts behind it. Is it possible to make extra money on AFG? Let’s analyze it!
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What Is Apex Focus Group? Summary & Quick Facts
Apex Focus Group is a crowdsourcing platform that helps panelists find high-paying clinical trial and survey jobs.
Many paid online focus groups are now available that ensure equal opportunities. They started operating in the USA and Singapore seven years back.
But before I tell what I have found about this company, here are some quick facts about Apex Focus Group:
- Official Website: Apex Focus Group
- Genre: Paid focus groups, Clinical trials, Surveys, Telephonic interviews
- Available In: Worldwide (Primarily the USA & Canada)
- Requirement: 18 years and above
- Earning Potential: $75 to $150/hour
- My Score: 3.8/5 (Trust Score) & 2.6/5 (Effectiveness)
There is not much information available about the company behind this site. However, I’ve traced three of their offices, one in Singapore and the other two in the USA. And there is a support mail available as of 2023.
- Registered Office: 2160 Kingston Court SE Ste E, Marietta, Georgia 30067
- USA Office: 14350 60th St North, Suite #46131, Clearwater, Florida 33760
- Singapore Office: 316C Punggol Way, Singapore 823316
- Support Mail: [email protected]
The company itself states that it operates in 41 states in the USA and has 800+ active participants. They even claim to have 1,000+ opportunities for market research and clinical trial campaigns.
Who Can Join Apex Focus Group?
When I first searched for Apex Focus Group near me, I found a few ongoing clinical trials. They all claim to help you make money without paying anything. Some trials even claim that you can earn $3,000+ for each project.
The current joining criteria of AFG
- Age: 18 years and above
- Academic Qualifications: High school diploma or equivalent
- Demographics: USA (Although they claim to operate worldwide)
- Equipment: Latest smartphone with front camera/computer with a webcam
- Connectivity: Reliable internet connection (Broadband/Wi-Fi)
This company suggests anyone who can follow instructions and do it accordingly can come on board. However, their career builder profile states that they have just three positions remaining. A bit of confusion here!
My Findings: Technically, anyone with a legal working cage can join AFG, although you will only find success (!) if you are from the USA. Getting paid trials or reviews will depend on many other factors.
How To Signup On Apex Focus Group?
The signup process for Apex Focus Group is easy and takes less than a minute. Once you signup and become a panelist, AFG claims to connect you to paid focus groups concentrating on offline, telephonic, and online research jobs.
The signup process
- Step 1: Visit the official website of AFG.
- Step 2: Click on the “Join A Focus Group” button.
- Step 3: On the following page, click on “Apply Now.”
- Step 4: Fill up the basic details in the popup joining form.
- Step 5: Click on the “Submit Registration Profile” option.
- Step 6: You’ll receive a confirmation mail of your successful profile creation.
Once your profile is verified and you are enlisted as a panelist, you’ll start receiving primarily three types of offers. All are related to market research:
- Paid Focus Groups: AFG claims to be associated with 1,000+ paid focus groups worldwide.
- Clinical Trials: AFG associates with pharma companies, medical researchers, and other professionals and connects them with interested people looking for paid clinical trials.
- Survey Panel: You need to test a yet-to-launch product and submit your genuine review for product improvement. AFG claims that you will also receive the product or a sample for free.
While testing this site, I realized that the project you’ll be offered would depend on many factors, such as your age, demographic identity, marital status, health status, and employment status.
My Suspicion: When I tried to join through the official AFG website, everything looked normal. But, when I tried to join through CareerBuilder, the popup form had a strange question: “Are You Interested In Receiving A $6,895 Back To School Grant?” Now, that’s clickbait!
How To Become A Panelist On Apex Focus Group?
Apex Focus Group is now accepting panelists from the USA and Canada. And they also claim to deliver legit surveys that pay cash instantly to their members. I couldn’t find any member dashboard on this site, as they communicate exclusively through emails.
How do AFG panelists work?
- Once you create an account, it will start automatically matching you with available offers depending on the personal information you have provided.
- You’ll receive emails when there is any opening in the online focus groups, clinical trials, and paid surveys.
- You need to check your inbox regularly, as some offers stay for a few hours.
- Follow the email to join the focus group, survey, or clinical trial.
- You’ll receive further information about the scope and proceedings.
- Once invited, you must show up at the location, be present for a telephonic interview, or deliver your comment on the survey form.
- Once the project ends, you’ll receive your payment through PayPal deposit or cash.
Apex Focus Group only matches clinical trials to people living in the immediate vicinity. So, you’ll not receive trials, and survey offers if it is too far.
My Findings: You need to be patient! There are reports that even Americans tend to wait up to 3 months to get an offer for a legit clinical trial or survey. And even if you receive emails for all the available offers, you may not be eligible for each one.
How Much Money Can You Make? The Earning Potential
Although AFG claims to help you make money fast and easily, you can’t actually start making money here. Apex Focus Group will not pay your salary or commissions per project.
They are just the middleman connecting companies and researchers to people who fit their target group. So, you’ll receive money from the end client instead of AFG.
The average earning potential on AFG
- Market research through focus groups: $35-$75/hour
- Clinical Trials: $350 to $750 (multi-session studies)
- Online Surveys: $2 to $5/survey
- A focus group on “Women’s clothing” by “Plaza Research” is looking for females between 16 and 25 years of age from Southern California for a payout of $150 to $200.
- Another focus group on “Alcoholic Beverages” by “Focus Pointe Global” is looking for people between 22 and 29 years from Los Angeles for a payout of $125.
- A clinical trial on Osteoarthritis with an earning opportunity of up to $1,950.
- Another clinical trial on Uterine Fibroids with income potential up to $3,000.
My Findings: I’ve found some astonishing claims on Glassdoor where a guy claimed he got into a clinical trial that paid $1,200. He never shared any substantial evidence or payment proof, though! I haven’t found any legit payment proof or earning screenshots anywhere.
How Do You Get Paid On Apex Focus Group?
One thing is evident in this Apex Focus Group review that they are not responsible for paying you any money, even if you take part in any of their listed surveys or clinical trials. They will just connect you with the end client who will pay.
I’ve found some interesting listings on the AFG site where companies seek genuine reviewers. However, the pay rate is on the lower side, and many other good alternatives are available where you can get paid to write reviews of products and services.
I’ve talked with a few of AFG’s previous and existing members to understand the payment terms. People told me that most end-clients pay through Cash or PayPal deposit. Some surveys and focus groups also offer gift cards.
Note: The payout process can vary from project to project, as there is no standard payout method available. Besides the monetary compensation, AFG also lets you keep the product for free after you submit your honest review.
Pros & Cons
Not every company is perfect; I completely agree with that! And Apex Focus Groups also have some advantages and disadvantages. The cons are overpowering, though!
There are many complaints that AFG sends suspicious emails full of their affiliate links. Those emails claim to get you into specific focus groups once you click on those links. But that’s false! They just make their commission for your clicks, and you get nothing.
My Take: AFG does not seem to be the right platform to click on affiliate emails, as legitimate platforms are available to get paid to read emails. They also don’t have any social media presence, which is a clear red flag for me.
Apex Focus Group – Reviews & Ratings
If you need money now and are in a desperate situation, the claims of AFG can feel pretty overwhelming. But when I looked for the BBB profile of Apex Focus Group and on Trustpilot, I started doubting this company.
Ratings of AFG on different platforms
- BBB: B+ Rating and not accredited to Better Business Bureau.
- Trustpilot: 2.3/5 with seven user reviews (100% voting on 1-star)
- Glassdoor: 2.7/5 with 26 reviews. 54% recommendation score.
- Scampulse: 3 active complaints (For up to $750 scam).
- Social Media: No presence on FB, Twitter, or anywhere else.
My Confusion: While I look for the user reviews on Glassdoor and Trustpilot, they seem to split into two groups. One group is praising the company and giving some juicy details about payments and all, while the other group is very dissatisfied with AFG and calls it spam!
My Take: It’s a big NO if a company has no social media presence in 2024. The positive user reviews are also not trustworthy, as they are too good to be true and full of overwhelming claims.
Apex Focus Group – User Complaints
I’ve already said that Apex Focus Group gathered some negative reviews on Trustpilot and similar sites. And most people claim that this company is nothing but a fake middleman.
Many also claimed that AFG is a lead generator company that collects your personal data and sells it.
Many people have even suggested staying away from this company as other available jobs pay $40+/hour these days.
What people are saying on different mediums
- tonysrabidllama on Reddit, wrote, “I never saw any cash. They pay you in merchandise cards. I filled out about 3 hours of surveys and couldn’t buy a $5 card yet.”
- David Blair Graham on Trustpilot wrote, “SCAM SCAM SCAM! Literally, just a site that collects your info and keeps asking you to sign up endlessly.”
- Reporter310076 on Scampulse wrote, “I was offered a work-at-home data entry position. The job paid $25 or hr. Then he wanted my phone account information as well as a credit/maxed-out credit card. I refused.”
My Findings: AFG is not directly scamming people, as no money is involved. But they are making false promises and exuberant claims! Almost all the genuine user reviews pointed out that it is tough to even make $5 on AFG.
Apex Focus Group Alternatives
While researching for this Apex Focus Group review, I’ve found and tried many other sites that work on similar principles.
I’ve found some legit companies, and my top recommendations are:
Final Take – Is It Legit Or A Scam?
Yes, Apex Focus Group is legit! But it is not helpful or effective. Many people doubt that it is basically a data collector that gets your personal data and sells it.
I also couldn’t find and genuine review that ensures the trust factor of AFG. And no social media presence in 2024! Who does that?
It is better if you stay away from Apex Focus Groups, as the reward is minuscule. And I suggest you try other legitimate passive income ideas rather than relying on this somewhat fake company.
If you want even more ideas for making money, consider checking our posts on:
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Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.