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How to conduct a low-cost or free market research survey

I have a product that I would like to sell, so I want to see if anyone else is interested in it, in order to confirm or deny that I should market it. So, I want to conduct a survey online to ask users if they prefer my product more so than the competitors, and some other questions. I see from looking at the prices and products for this that I could get a free survey of 100 respondents, but to get it directed at specific respondents costs as much as a dollar per respondent. Is there any way that I can get around this in my statistical analysis so that I can find out the answers to my marketing questions at a lower cost? (I also saw one company that had respondents for 50 cents each).
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Leonard Gojer
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Leonard Gojer
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
If you want to be statistically accurate, you need to figure out how many respondents you need that are random samples.   Let's say you determine you want 100 people to answer your questions.  Let's also assume 10% of the people who receive a survey will complete it.  This means you need 1,000 random people to start.  

$1 per respondent sounds like a pretty good deal.  If you want free, ask your friends and family and facebook friends.  Don't expect an unbiased answer though.  

If you are about to invest thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time into something, $100 bucks is a wise investment to do it right.  Also understanding the correct way to write questions is important.

One option is contacting your local community college or university and work with their research department.  You may still have to end up paying for some supplies but the end result would be a lot less than paying a research firm to do this for you.
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Leonard GojerCAD Technician/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
I like your idea of going to the local college or university. Do you have any idea what the name of the department or course that I go to for that is? (i.e. Statistics, Market Research?)
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
It is very common that a business course for an upper level market research will do this. I worked with a hospital for a research project in school.
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Leonard GojerCAD Technician/ProgrammerAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your good help.
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