If you’re a fan of review blogs, you’re probably amazed and a bit jealous of the amount of products these bloggers get to use, review, and even keep. While companies automatically send out new products to big-shot bloggers, here’s good news for non-bloggers out there: this isn’t the only way to get paid to test products.
The unboxing videos on YouTube, for example, are a hit because people are smart buyers now and want to check out if the item they wish to buy is worth it or not.
This is a legitimate gig called product testing, which earns the tester either cash, gift certificates, or the actual products to test.
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Companies do this as part of their market research, often before launching a product completely into the market.
With paid product testing, companies receive much-needed feedback whether good or bad.
This helps them decide to go ahead with their plans, scale-back production, or improve the product first before launch.
How to Become a Paid Product Tester
In the real world, you’d have to be connected to a marketing firm, so you’d be notified when paid product testing gigs become available.
Online, it’s a totally different ball game.
Join Product-Testing Sites
The first thing you have to do is register with product-testing websites.
If you join two or more, it’s better to create a new e-mail address for this purpose since updates and gig emails will fill up your personal e-mail quick.
Like everything in the make-money-online world, there are scam and legitimate product testing sites in the world. (Check below for the ones I recommend)
Note that joining these sites do not automatically mean you’ll receive products for every testing posted. Imagine being one tester among thousands of users and only a dozen dermarolling kits available to test.
Since you provide basic demographic information when signing up, these market research firms group you based on all these personal data.
They Choose You. You Choose the Project.
You’ll receive an e-mail notifying you about any product testing opportunity that fits your demo (age, gender, product preferences, and so on).
In most cases, you’ll need to answer a qualifying survey when accepting the gig.
If you qualify, you get paid to test products that are sent to your home with instructions.
Use it. Review It.
When you receive the product, make sure you use it within the time period given. You usually have a couple of days to several weeks for testing products.
Check your e-mail for another survey or questionnaire, which you should fill up before the testing period ends.
This is the feedback companies pay you for, so make it count.
You’ll be paid with either cash or rewards, but expect to be able to keep the products you’ve tested (well, at least around 90% of the time).
I’ve broken down this list into two categories:
- 21 Market Research Firms: These are research companies that will pay you to work with a number of different brands to try new things
- 14 Companies Offering Free Products: These are big name companies that give you their products in exchange for answering questions
Sign up for as many of these companies as you can.
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Join these 21 Product-Testing Websites
Only a few companies advertise product-testing opportunities. Instead, companies prefer to let market research firms handle the entire process (from finding testers to recording results) for them.
These 21 tried-and-tested product-testing websites are the online counterpart to market research firms:
This Paris-based company helps brands that require buzz for their products reach influencers across the world to test products.
Anyone can register a free Toluna account, but you have to apply to test products before you can actually participate.
If you are chosen to test the product, you’ll receive the item/s and complete the job by answering the survey included in the assignment.
Toluna regularly has cosmetics and bathroom products to test. What’s great is that every test assignment includes about 200 to 500 products, which means you have a good chance of participating with these gigs even if testers are chosen randomly.
OneOpinion is a relatively new survey site making big splashes in the scene.
You will be working with big companies directly to help them improve their product offerings.
Just fill out their automated application here, answer a few questions, and you can get started right away.
Payouts include Visa gift cards, Amazon cards, and direct deposit to your Paypal account.
This market research firm is well-trusted and is one of the oldest ones on this list.
Pinecone Research is known to having the best rates for product testing.
Common products tested here are food, drinks and beauty products, among others.
Pinecone pays in points, which you can redeem for cash via Paypal or check.
Product Testing USA works a little different than other testing sites.
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They offer big name and expensive products for free, but you enter your name into the pool to see if you will be randomly selected as a product tester.
Previous testers have been given Dyson Vacuums, Xbox Ones, and even iPad Pros.
You only need to enter your name and email address for a chance to be selected. Follow their Facebook page to see previous and upcoming product testing opportunities.
At Survey Junkie, you work with brands directly as an influencer to help them shape their products.
You can also get paid to give feedback on services.
Members earn bonus points for every activity completed. They can then redeem these points for gift cards or straight cash via Paypal.
Survey Junkie is free to join and the points never expire, so it’s worth spending free time here.
Opinion Outpost is another highly reputable market research group and they are looking for people to take short surveys on upcoming products.
Payments are made via Paypal (cash), Amazon gift cards, or iTunes gift cards.
Their goal is to keep their surveys as short as possible, maximizing the amount of money you can earn per hour.
Our rating: MUST JOIN.
Panda Research is one of the oldest market research firms online and they have paid out over $2.2 million to their users.
Big brands like Disney and Walmart use Panda to gain feedback on upcoming products and services.
Plus, they offer even more ways to make money.
8. Pinch Me
Once a month, Pince Me will release out a box of free samples from tons of big named companies and they will ship it directly to your door.
You’ll be tasked to provide feedback for the products you received.
Complete that and you’ll be well on your way to receiving another box of freebies.
This website doesn’t have traditional product testing.
Instead, UserTesting is focused on digital businesses and its members test websites or apps for money.
There’s no specialization needed to become a tester here. However, you should be good at noticing small details that affect your visit on a particular website. For example, the search bar is hard to find, or the app crashes every time you save data.
Every test takes only 20 minutes with 99% accepted by UserTesting.
Tests pay $10 via PayPal.
Unfortunately, you can’t participate in all of them since your demo background should line up with specific test requirements.
Similar to UserTesting, BetaTesting is focused on testing apps, websites and hardware.
It’s been around since 2012 and has over 130k users to date.
While the product testing opportunity seem hard to regular folks, since some require checking for bugs on sites, these tests do not call for much requirements.
BetaTesting, however, rewards comprehensive assessment with more work, so those with higher quality feedback receive more opportunities.
FYI, you can receive 0 to 5 product tests per month.
Payment for each assessment is $10 and sent via PayPal seven days after project completion.
BzzAgent is a younger company, but it’s one of the few that focuses exclusively on product testing. Most of the companies here include surveys, focus groups and so on.
Anyone (from USA, Canada & the UK) can join BzzAgent by simply completing a profile and answering a questionnaire with a few surveys to determine your demo, interests and areas of expertise.
If you are sent a paid product trial gig via e-mail, you are given 8 weeks to test the product, share your results to social media, and submit feedback to BzzAgent.
BzzAgent sends out a wide range of products, including gadgets, toiletries, cosmetics, home equipment, and more.
The company used to pay cash, but now just gives the products that members test out. Those who promote the products on Instagram, Facebook, or other online platforms receive more testing invitations in the future.
Like many of the newer websites, you won’t get paid to test products with cash, but you get to keep all the products Influenster send you.
There’s extra ways to earn on Influenster. Plus, you can perform activities that could increase your chances of receiving the monthly “VoxBox” (box full of products).
This UK-based company focuses exclusively on apps instead of products.
So anyone who loves checking out new apps should join, review them and actually get paid for it.
Unlike other product-testing sites that match your demo with the brand’s requirements, Crowdville members have to apply for a “mission” (or the test) to participate.
14-21. Other similar sites worth noting include:
- CrowdTap (no cash, but full-sized product samples)
- The Pink Panel (beauty products and tools, plus gift certificates from $25-$100 at the end of the testing)
- Vogue Insiders (from Vogue magazine, receive full-sized beauty products. No need to review after)
- InStyle Trendsetters (similar to Glamour Glam Spotters and Vogue Insiders, but you earn an entry to sweepstakes and a chance to win $25k worth of prizes)
- SheSpeaks (For women only; products range from kitchen items to skincare products and cosmetics)
- HomeSchool (Apply to join the testing program and receive school supplies if accepted)
- Smiley360 (Get full-sized toiletries and beauty products)
- Sephora (No need to buy anything, but choose 3 beauty products per department)
14 Specific Companies that Offer Free Product Testing
Compared to the websites above that make testers review different brands, the following companies have their our product-testing programs:
22. Brooks Running
“Wear testers” are given a chance to test running gear (including running shoes and apparel) from Brooks.
Testers must be 18+ years old and live in the US.
Nike regularly mails out new products, like shoes and apparel, to their product testers.
All you need to do is apply to become a tester, and you’ll start receiving free stuff in the mail. You’ll be tasked to answer a few questions regarding the product you receive after a few days of testing.
Nike requires you return the products after you’ve finished testing.
If you’re 18 and from the US, physically-active, and is more than OK with the sport/activity you volunteer in, then you get to try on new Reebok gear.
You need to apply to become one of Reebok’s product testers though.
Continuing with our shoe theme, up next we have adidas.
They have a similar policy to Nike. You’ll be testing products over the course of a few weeks and then you’ll submit your answers to a survey.
After testing has ended, you’ll be required to send the products back to adidas.
Imagine how many J&J products you can get if you become a part of its JJ Friends & Neighbors program.
Just to show you how big J&J is, here’s a list of brands under Johnsons & Johnsons: Neutrogena, Aveeno, BeBe, Clean & Clear, and a whole lot more.
And you get to test J&J products before launch. Plus, you are paid with Prepaid Visa Gift Cards after finishing the review.
As its name suggest, the Mead4Teachers program is exclusive for teachers.
You get to receive free Mead products in exchange for an honest review.
Apply to become a McCormick panelist and get a chance to receive emails about various product testing opportunities.
Of course, you’d get to test seasonings, spices and other premium food products.
Most of the home-based testing can take you around an hour to complete and pay $10 to $15 worth of Amazon gift cards. In some studies, you may even get paid up to $30 per hour.
29. Marie Claire
Love cosmetics? Join the Marie Claire Velvet Rope Club and be first to try free makeup like mascara and lipstick, as well as other products like handbags.
No reviews after testing them out too!
Here’s another chance to receive beauty, skincare, hair care and makeup products.
This time from L’Oreal and its other products like Lancome, Garnier and more.
31. Success Rice
Can’t get enough of rice?
Make sure you get the best kind by joining Success’s “Riceipe Club” and test products before they launch.
You’ll need to answer a survey after testing the product.
32. Summer Infant
Summer Infant produces a wide range of products for moms-to-be, and families with children aged 0-3.
You can sign up to become a product tester, participate in focus groups, take surveys, or baby photoshoots. You pick and choose what you want to do.
Philips makes products for every room in your house. You no doubt have a few Philips products at home already.
Sign up to be notified of new tests. If selected, you’ll test out new and upcoming products.
When the test is done, you get to keep whatever Philips sent.
34. Red Robin
Red Robin has a specific panel for taste testers and focus groups. You’ll get to try new menu items before they hit the stores.
You are basically getting paid to eat burgers. Tests run for approximately one hour.
Snuggles features their Bear Den Community which grants you full access to their upcoming line of products.
Sign up to receive free Snuggle products like fabric softener and air fresheners.
Get Paid to Test Products: Cash vs. Product-Only
Companies do pay people cash for their opinions about old or new products. I bet you’re interested how much, though.
The thing is… companies pay differently.
Some in cash, others only with the products you’re going to test, and some pay with both cash and kind.
Once the product is sent and tested, it’s yours to give away or sell online.
If it’s something you like, then lucky you! You get to keep the product and test it to your heart’s content.
The products you get to test depend largely on which site you joined, but it can be anything under the sun, including:
- Clothes and shoes
- Food and drinks
- Makeup and other skin, hair and beauty items
- Gadgets and other tech products (powerbanks, phones, and so on)
Comparing the pros and cons between hard cash and products isn’t really practical, since what’s beneficial to you might not be something another tester would want.
And if the product is more expensive than cash rewards, wouldn’t you want the product instead?
In some cases, companies exchange your opinion for vouchers to online stores like Amazon.
Can You Work as a Product Tester Full-Time?
It’s cool that you get paid to test products as a side gig, or whenever you find something you’d like to dip your fingers into.
Even receiving not-yet-launched products can be exciting.
However, joining product-testing panels do not guarantee that you’ll be chosen every time.
You also don’t know when new opportunities will come.
As such, make sure you don’t turn this into a full-time job because you’d surely be disappointed.
The best thing to do about product-testing income is to consider it as extra cash for gifts during Christmas, birthday and other holidays (those Amazon gift cards can add up if you do this on the side for several months).