In convenience sampling, the convenience of the researcher is given importance while selecting the sample. The researcher as per his convenience decides inclusion of units in the sample. The items that are easily accessible or easily measurable are included in the sample. Specific plan/system/method is not used for the selection of items in sample. As a result bias is likely to enter into the sample selected.
Interviewing respondents on the street or at the bus stop or at the railway station are the examples of convenience sampling. In this sense, convenience sampling is also calledaccidental sampling, as the respondents in the sample are included merely on account of their being available on the spot where the survey work is in progress. Convenience sampling is more suitable in exploratory research, where the focus is mainly on getting new ideas and insights into a given problem.
Advantages of Convenience Sampling
(a) It is profitably used in pre-testing of questionnaires
(b) It keeps the researcher free of tension.
(c) It allows the respondents to answer questions in leisure.
Disadvantages of Convenience Sampling
(a) Sampling could be non-representative of the population e.g., students living in college town may not represent sample of student community.
(b) Problem of element of chance
(c) It cannot rule out bias of respondents.