Monday, June 10, 2013

Get Paid to Test Products

Today, I'd like to talk paid product testing in your home.  Over the past nine years, I've been offered the chance to test everything from new kinds of yogurt to computer printers.  We're talking about name brand companies, here, seeking opinions and personal experience with new and upcoming products.  In return for my honest opinions and experiences, not only do I get paid, but I typically get to keep the items.

How can I get paid to test products, too, you ask?

It's quite simple, really, once you know where to start.
  • sign up with a reputable company (I'll give you a list, below)
  • fill in your profile information (this information is never sold by reputable companies)
  • fill out the surveys or "screeners" they email (which are usually also compensated).
  • when you're accepted into a product test, wait for your products to arrive.
  • complete the test, making observations about your experience and the quality of the item.
  • finish their follow up survey or complete the usage diary they provide.
  • collect your check or paypal cash.
  • repeat.
This is completely free to you, btw.  You should never have to pay to join a panel or receive a product.

Having real people test new products before they hit stores helps companies make any last minute adjustments that might be needed.  Sometimes, I've seen questions that also would help them know where a shopper would expect to find that item in the store, new flavors they should bring out, that sort of thing.

Now, sometimes the product may be one I already use at home.  Then they ask that, for the length of the test, we set aside what we're already using and use what they provide.

How to qualify for a product test:

The most important thing is to answer the survey screener questions honestly.  These screeners look for whether you're in the demographics they hope to target.  It might be tempting to say you use something when you don't, hoping to get into a test, but that doesn't help the company.  It can even get your account locked if your answers are badly inconsistent over time.  It's a lot more fun to test products you care about, anyway.

Getting paid for your reviews:

- generally won't replace a day job, unless you're a genius at turning your experiences into blog or freelance article income.  But it can be a nice little boost to income which is very easy to earn at home.

I was once paid $75 to serve on an online panel advising about a popular online kids game - one my kids play to this day!  Took about an hour.  Talk about fun, easy money.

Typically, the compensation ranges from $5 - $100 for any single product test.

To start on your path to get paid to test products, begin with this list of legitimate companies:

Market Reader Pro

These two companies pay in gift cards or items rather than cash:


Just want to test products for free?

Some panels serve specific interest groups.  Sometimes they may offer a prize draw, but often offer no guaranteed compensation other than the free products.  A few good ones are:
McCormick Consumer Testing
Microsoft Playtest Program
Microsoft User Research

Finally, let's talk about BzzAgent:

BzzAgent works differently than the above companies, in that you receive products with the expectation that you will be trying them out and talking about them to others.  This can be online - on twitter, facebook, your blogs, on forums, or wherever - or off - to your friends and family, co-workers, and so on.  (I've bzzed about a product while standing in line at the grocery store, when the lady behind me asked about the item I was picking up.)

Occasionally BzzAgent will ask if you'd be willing to accept a % off coupon for the product rather than receiving it free.  That's totally your choice.  You can always say no.  (I usually do.)  With no penalty, other than you may not be accepted to that particular campaign.

Report back to BzzAgent about your conversations surrounding a product and you'll receive MyPoints, which can be exchanged for cash through PayPal or gift cards for a wide variety of merchants including Amazon.

The more you keep up with the surveys (that determine what products you're offered) and give feedback on your "campaigns", the better your BzzScore will be, and the more Bzz campaigns you'll be offered.


Know a great product test panel I've missed?  Feel free to tell us about it in the comments.

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