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Did you know that you can get paid to test products at home?
As crazy as it sounds, product testing is a real thing. Sometimes companies will ship you a physical product for you to use, test, and enjoy.
The concept is similar to taking paid online surveys, except there’s usually one big difference. At the end of the testing period, they’ll often let you keep the product or service for free in exchange for an honest review.
Companies do this because they need the information about the product to make improvements before they can push it to market.
That’s where you come in. You help provide necessary feedback so the company doesn’t waste time and money developing a product no one will buy.
What is Market Research?
Market research involves providing your opinion to a company in order to help better their products.
Examples of paid market research include:
- Product testing
- Focus groups and panels
- Mystery shopping
- Paid survey sites
- Free samples at grocery stores
- Retail experience surveys (why yes, Kroger, I will take your survey for extra fuel discounts)
- Free product testing electronics
It doesn’t make sense for companies to spend money on a product launch if the feedback they’ve received during product testing has been mostly negative. They then have to go back to the drawing board and change things based on the reviews they’ve received.
Product testing is different from survey-taking because companies will typically ask you to actually use a product or service in a specific manner, as opposed to only asking questions about it. Brands need individual opinions based on actual product usage to improve their products. It helps them understand how people view their product’s performance.
You won’t always get an actual physical product to try. You might be asked to try a free music streaming service, a new iPhone app, or other digital service.
How much you get paid to test products depends on the number and types of programs you choose to join – the more programs you join, the more ways you’ll be able to make money testing products.
How to Get Paid to Test Products
The best way to get started is to register for several sites that offer paid product testing gigs. Each site will ask you to fill out a short form with key demographic information.
This will help companies match you with products to review. Once you’re registered and approved, you’ll start receiving opportunities to test products and submit your thoughts. In exchange, you’ll get cash, gift cards, or the opportunity to keep the product for free.
There are hundreds of reputable brands looking for users to test products and give their honest feedback.
Note: Since these sites will frequently send emails when a new opportunity arises, we recommend making a new email account or use one where you don’t mind receiving lots of promotional-type emails every day.
Start With These 8 Legit Product Testing Opportunities
Some product testing companies pay better and are more reputable than others.
1. Vindale Research
Vindale is somewhat unique in that they will only reimburse product testers in cash instead of a physical product.
They also offer a $1 sign-up bonus to new users. Between that and earning up to $50 per survey, Vindale is one of the more lucrative product testing sites out there. They have a 4-star rating on Trustpilot, and you can earn $5 when you refer friends.
Some other features include:
- Users apply for available surveys and answer a few short questions to see if they’re eligible.
- If selected, participants will answer questions about digital services or physical products they’ve used in the past.
- They can withdraw cash bonuses via check or PayPal.
You can learn more about Vindale’s features and money-making opportunities in our review.
2. National Consumer Panel (Nielsen)
You’ve probably heard of Nielsen TV ratings. They’re a reputable company that, for several decades, has polled American consumers about what, how, when, and why they watch certain shows.
Today Nielsen operates a handful of sub-brands. One is the National Consumer Panel (NCP), which functions in partnership with iRI, an international marketing research and data analytics company. Their joint venture is the Homescan program.
Here’s how the Homescan program works:
When you sign up (for free) to become a product tester with NCP, you’ll receive a handheld scanner or access to their mobile app. When you shop, scan the barcode of the products you buy to earn points towards gift cards and merchandise.
You can also participate in surveys to earn additional points. Plus, you’ll be automatically entered into quarterly, monthly, and weekly sweepstakes to win gift cards, bonus points, and cash.
There is a waitlist to participate with Neilson, and while they periodically recruit for certain geographic areas and demographic groups, you might never qualify to participate in their program. Given that, it’s a smart idea to apply to other product testing websites.
3. Pinecone Research (Nielsen)
Pinecone Research is another sub-brand that Nielsen operates. This site mainly focuses on product tests for items that haven’t been introduced to the general public.
Pinecone Research pays via points in exchange for completing questionnaires about the merchandise they send to you. Those points can be redeemed for cash or prizes. They offer a range of gift card options, including virtual Visa cards, and brand-name merchandise.
Although the company is reputable and clear about how they pay (flat-rate of $3 per survey), panel positions aren’t always open. If your household information doesn’t match what they’re looking for at the time, you’ll receive a notification that there are no openings available.
They’ll keep your information for a few weeks in case a spot opens up, but if it doesn’t, you may need to apply again in the future.
4. American Consumer Opinion
Another good site to start with is American Consumer Opinion (ACOP). ACOP has over 7 million users worldwide and have paid out over $30 million in incentives.
Surveys ask for opinions on things like advertising campaigns, the economy, ideas for new products, and more.
When you become a panel member, you can expect to participate in several surveys per year. Each survey typically takes around 10 minutes with short, easy-to-answer questions.
Every month or so you’ll be asked to take a screener survey so they know which opportunities to send your way.
For each survey you participate in, you’ll receive points that can be cashed out via PayPal. Registration is easy, and you can create an account with your Google or Facebook login.
They also offer:
- Text alerts: They offer text notifications about new opportunities.
- Donation options: Instead of cashing out through PayPal, you can donate your rewards to your favorite charities.
- Wide variety of topics: Snack food, tanning lotions, retailers – ACOP works with a wide array of Fortune 500 companies, so you never know what new product or service you may get to try.
If you’re feeling lucky, you can use your points to enter various sweepstakes for a chance to win cash and other prizes.
5. JJ Friends & Neighbors (Johnson & Johnson)
Almost everybody’s heard of Johnson & Johnson; they’re one of the biggest brands in the world. They own Aveeno, Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, Roc, and other brands you may have on your bathroom counter.
How to get paid to test makeup and other beauty products:
JJ Friends & Neighbors program allows you to test products for free and keep them before those products are launched in the market. That might mean smelling fragrances or trying makeup and other self-care products.
Their site is sparse on payment details, but prepaid Visa Gift Cards seem to be the standard.
Other opportunities include participating in online surveys, discussion groups and forums, focus groups, and various panels.
It’s an inclusive program, meaning anyone can join and they’ll email you if you’re eligible to participate in a test. Additionally, as a reputable company, you can expect to be treated professionally and fairly.
If you live in the NYC area, you may also be eligible to participate in “one of our dedicated sensory panels.”
6. McCormick & Company, Inc.
McCormick is widely known for their premium spices and seasonings. If the idea of testing food sounds appealing, this product testing panel might be a good fit for you.
To become a McCormick panelist, you need to apply. Once in the database, you should receive periodic emails recruiting for studies.
They say studies fill up quickly, so you’ll want to select a participation time as soon as the options land in your inbox.
Home tests run between 30 minutes to two hours and pay $10 to 15 each in the form of Amazon gift cards.
Some highlights of the McCormick program include:
- A unique twist: Most product testing companies only offer reviews for household items, but McCormick’s food and beverage products put a nice spin on user testing.
- Generous compensation: Depending on the length and compensation of the study, you could make up to $30 per hour.
McCormick also seeks out participants for in-facility testing at their location outside of Baltimore in Hunt Valley. These tests typically last between half an hour and two hours and pay between $30 to 100 each.
Website testing is critical for digital businesses. If you’re good at noticing little details that are off when visiting a website, you might have a future in product testing for websites.
To use UserTesting’s program, create an account, download their software, visit websites or apps, and answer questions about your experience. Tests take 20 minutes each and pay $10 each via PayPal.
Like any other market research company, how many websites you can product-test depends on how your demographic background lines up with the target user of the site.
For example, if Facebook is trying to test a new feature with 62-year-old men in Alaska and you’re a 31-year-old woman in Nebraska, you probably won’t see that test in your inbox.
You do need a few things beyond an internet connection to participate including a microphone, ability to download their software, and be able to concisely describe what you like and don’t like about the website. However, the rate of pay is a great return on investment and the site and its software are user-friendly, even if you’re not tech savvy.
8. Beta Testing
This site is very similar to UserTesting.com. Users are paid $10 per assessment and do similar work testing websites, apps, and tech products.
However, BetaTesting also tests for app and hardware bugs. They claim to have had more than 130,000 users and have been around since 2012.
How BetaTesting works:
After you sign up for an account, you can expect to be included in up to 5 tests per month. That figure may change depending on the demographics.
BetaTesting is very transparent about what users can expect. None of the opportunities on this list are meant to replace a work-from-home job, and they’re very upfront about that. They say you can expect to receive up to five or more opportunities per month, but some months you may not receive any.
However, BetaTesting prides itself on collecting quality feedback for the software companies that hire them. The higher quality your assessments, the more opportunities you’ll receive.
They do pay in cash within seven days of project completion, and those payments are dispensed quickly and electronically via PayPal.
See Also: 25 Legitimate Ways to Earn Money Online
You Can Get Paid to Test Products
Product testing is a fun way to make extra money on the side. You get rewarded for your opinion and have an influence on the products and services companies sell.
This is a good side hustle to do at home that doesn’t require special skills. According to some companies, you can make between $25 to $45 an hour testing products.
If you’re good at spotting website errors, enjoy trying new products and services, or are good at writing reviews, check out the opportunities above.
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