I just got back from participating in a new vehicle focus group at the Anaheim Convention Center (right across the street from Disneyland) where I got $125 simply for offering my opinions on a bunch of SUVs. Not bad, eh?
Not a bad payoff for just over two-and-a-half hours of my time. (10/30/05)
Since we drive a GMC Envoy (our other car that you seldom hear about on the blog) they identified me as a target user and called to see if I was interested. At first I wasn't until I heard I would be compensated. Being out of work at the time, I signed up. After all, a little extra money never hurt anyone, right? :)
It was really interesting. Basically they handed me a touch screen device where I had to look at new and present vehicles and rate things on a scale from 1-10. How do I like the hood? How do I like the fog lamps? How do I like the rear hatch? How easy is it to get in the driver's seat? Etc. Etc.
Anything that would explicitly identify each car was either stripped or concealed, so I couldn't tell what anything was. They also asked me to put a price on what I think the car would cost. Later on they revealed the real prices. I was way off!
When they finaly revealed the makes and models at the end, the one I liked best turned out to be a Lexus. Go figure.
Well, the Lexus was my favorite until I saw the MSRP of $69,000! That's kind of out of my price range.
My next favorite was the Lincoln Navigator. And with an MSRP of $55,000, it sounded like a bargain. Finally, at the end, they showed me two Fords, which were around $45,000. Both of those were pretty nice for the money.
Altogether I reviewed six SUVs, with probably 50-60 questions on each. There was no attempt to sell me anything. They were just collecting opinions. At the end, they handed me $125. Pretty cool huh?
Sorry I couldn't get any pix. They were really security conscious. They wouldn't even let people bring in cell phones. But no one said I couldn't take pictures of the money they paid me! :)