Here is my new fool-proof plan for making tons of extra money. Are you ready?

Step 1: Sit on an airplane
Step 2: …
Step 3: Profit?

Let me explain.

On Monday afternoon, I got a call from a number I wasn’t familiar with. I usually just let those calls go straight to voicemail, but Monday night was going to be my first night of a four week dance class and I thought it might be the dance studio calling.

Embarrassing Hobby Segue

Yes, you read that correctly. I spent $50 on a Groupon for a one month membership at a dance studio. Despite the fact that I may have marginal vocal and instrumental ability, I am the whitest of the white when it comes to dancing.

I will be dancing four days a week over the next month in an attempt to rid myself of my horrible lack of hip rhythm. I even asked the instructor after my first night of class, “How do I stop looking so white?” He said he’d do the best he can.

If you guys are lucky, I’ll do a before and after video and post it to my vlog channel. But only if you’re very lucky, as I expect both the beginning and after to be perfectly awful.

A Strange Phone Call

I answered my phone and immediately knew it wasn’t the dance studio. I had a bad connection and couldn’t exactly hear what the person was saying, but it sounded like they were trying to sell me something. I almost hung up until I realized they were looking for participants in a market research study.

I hung on the line and listened to her pitch, and they offered to pay me $90 for two hours of my time. All I had to do was sit on an airplane and pretend like I was flying somewhere. I was planning on writing a blog from my apartment on Tuesday night, so I figured I could write a blog from an airplane and get paid $90.

I was in.

Making Money Doing Market Research

I wish I had some kind of interesting or funny story to tell you about the 2.5 hours I participated in the study, but I got nothing. Nobody fell down getting into the plane. No one ripped a nasty fart once we got seated. We got free soda and pretzels, sat around for two hours, and filled out a few surveys.

The most interesting thing I can tell you is that we all sat in a bit of fuselage that is used for emergency training for flight attendants. They call this little guy “Poolie”.

How cute.

market research side hustle

I got paid $90 to sit in this "plane" for two hours

I think the study has something to do with Southwest’s acquisition of Airtran. Maybe they want to know if customers prefer Southwest or Airtran planes, so they can put the more preferred planes on the higher traffic routes. I don’t know, and I doubt you care. The point is, I had a lot of time to think while I was on that plane.

Anyway, I did my time, filled out my surveys, and got a $90 check. It was some of the easiest money I’ve ever made. It got me thinking:

Could someone actually make a significant amount of side income doing market research?

I didn’t sign up to get calls like this. Apparently Southwest Airlines gave this marketing company my number because I’ve flown with them in the past six months. While I’m glad I got this call, I wouldn’t sign up to hear about these studies because I actually don’t have a lot of free time to do them. (I’m supposed to dance Mon and Wed-Fri, remember!?)

I’m sure there are some readers out there who would want to do market research as a profitable side hustle. Based on this one experience, it seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

What Are the Best Market Research Companies?

Readers, if you know legitimate websites or companies that pay people for their opinion, be that with market research studies, surveys, or anything else, please share that information below.

Let’s see if we can create a resource for people looking to make some extra cash.

If you don’t know anything about market research, then feel free to answer this question: would you spend a weeknight pretending to be on a plane flight for $90, or am I just a cheap loser who misses the first half of Game Four of the NBA Finals to make a few bucks?