Best product testing websites
Do you want to get sent products to test, keep them and earn money for reviewing them? Of course you do!
The kitchen cupboards are empty, your purse is feeling rather light, and it's months until you receive your next student loan instalment.
We've all been there, and if you don't fancy robbing a bank, you'll probably think that you have no option but to look for a part-time job.
But if you don't want to venture into the world of regular employment just yet, check out this guide to the best product testing companies who often pay for your opinions.
Guide to product testing:
There are companies out there who are willing to pay you decent money for giving your opinions and reviewing their stuff.
They'll sometimes send products free of charge in exchange for your feedback (which you could sell online), or they might just pay you cold, hard cash for your views. Sounds great, doesn't it?
We've already shared some great ways to make money, but this nifty guide will teach you everything you need to know about making money specifically from product testing. From assessing the benefits to finding the best (and legit) sites, we've got the essentials covered! Read on...
Let's get down to business. Are the rewards really worth the time and effort? Well, yes, often they are. Rewards differ from site to site, but there's sure to be something that floats your boat.
We've seen some of the following freebies up for grabs:
- Vouchers for stores such as Debenhams and Amazon
- Gadgets and technology, like Apple iPads and Samsung smartphones
- Food items (sometimes limited edition)
- Books and magazines
- Clothing and footwear
And, to prove that product testing can work for students too, we took to our student deals Facebook group to see what Save the Student readers have managed to bag for themselves. Here's just a couple of responses that show the range of goods (and value of goods!) on offer with product testing:
One of the things I received and got to keep was a bottle of one of the Lynx Signature Aftershaves - the best thing was that I received it a few days before they were available in shops (along with some other single-use samples to pass onto friends to generate the buzz). - Dale
Recently we even came across an opportunity to test a brand new luxury mattress. Not only was the mattress yours to keep, but you also got to keep a new Fitbit, and you got paid £600 for the privilege!
Of course, not all product testing companies are the same. Some might send you stuff to test, whereas others will simply pay you for giving your opinion on items you already have, or are considering buying. Check out our reviews of the best product testing sites below to find out more about each one.
If you want to get involved with product testing, you'll obviously need to know which websites offer the best deals.
There are more popping up all the time, but there are a select few with great reputations that you can be sure will deliver what they promise. After testing a whole range of sites ourselves we have come up with a list of the most trusted product testing sites below.
We say: Toluna is pretty much the best site out there when it comes to getting free products and rewards for your views. You simply sign up for a free account (click here), then you can choose to start testing products or select various polls to answer.
How it works: To receive free products for testing, you can visit the 'testing' area of the site (under rewards), and apply to test products. If you are chosen to test the product then it will be sent out to you.
You get to the keep the items, in exchange for filling in a short survey about what you thought of the product.
Example testing items: The goods on offer change all the time, but often include shower gel, toothpaste and cosmetics.
Likelihood of receiving products: Toluna generally have around 200-500 of each product to test and testers are chosen at random each time.
We say: UserTesting is awesome because it lets you test websites for money. Although you won't be testing products it's really fun and the range of sites you get to test keeps you entertained.
How it works: You sign up and complete a test review. If that all goes well you are then sent sites to review from time to time.
You then get paid $10 to your PayPal for every review you do and they only take around 20 minutes.
Example testing items: Just websites (which you don't get to keep)...
Likelihood of receiving products: It's a trusted site and only 1% of reviews get declined.
We say: Pinecone is an excellent and well trusted survey and product testing site, and one of the best paying too.
The only problem with them is that invites are hard to come by and we only get them every now and then (check via the link below).
How it works: You can sign up to Pinecone to answer surveys and from time to time you might be asked to test a product.
Example testing items: Beauty products, food, drink & more.
Likelihood of receiving products: The Pinecone products are a little more limited than other sites but you have less users to contend with, so the chances of getting a product are actually higher.
We say: i-Say is one of the UK's leading market research companies, and they are more than happy to reward you for your opinions.
How it works: It's simply a case of filling in surveys and letting them know what you think about certain products, or what your typical buying habits are.
Sometimes the surveys require i-Say to send you a product to test.
Example testing items: N/A
Likelihood of receiving products: We're yet to be sent any products from i-Say but have earned a lot through answering their surveys, so it's still well worth signing up.
We say: Crowdville is the new kid on the product testing block - in the UK, at least. They're already well-established in Italy, and have a unique spin on product testing: apps. If you love discovering the latest and greatest smartphone apps, you should definitely consider getting paid for it.
How it works: Once you've signed up to Crowdville and completed your profile, you need to join a 'mission' (a product test, to you and me). They'll send you all the details from there!
They even have a step-by-step guide showing you how to test the apps - how to take screenshots, report a bug, fill in a survey, and all the rest.
Example testing items: Apps.
Likelihood of receiving products: As Crowdville are so new, we can't quite say how often you'll be selected for tests. Still, there's no harm in signing up and finding out, right?
You may also want to try the website BzzAgent - the service that Save the Student reader Dale was referring to above. Dale did a pretty good job of explaining how it works on our Facebook group, so we'll leave this one to him:
BzzAgent is quite a good company. You can get all sorts from toiletries to food to gadgets etc., and they send you products to keep in exchange for small things - for example an honest review, or a post on Instagram or Twitter about it. You've gotta stay active on it though, otherwise your score drops and businesses won't find you!
When I tested the aftershave, all they asked in return was that I posted an unbiased review on the product. Then, for me to get a higher 'BzzScore' (a higher BzzScore improves the chance of companies approaching you in future), they also asked me to post a photo on Instagram, Twitter etc. to generate more buzz! - Dale
Keep an eye out for 'supermarket home panels' too, and sign up to fashion magazine newsletters (they sometimes feature product testing opportunities). Just note that these product tests are very rare and hard to get on to, so we wouldn't advise investing too much time here.
Know your odds
It would be easy to assume that just because you've signed up to test a product, you'll automatically receive it. Unfortunately this is often not the case!
Most companies set aside around £5,000 - £10,000 of products every month to test, and because most of these sites have 1000s of users, they can't send a product to everyone.
It's best to think of it as entering a competition each time you apply to test a product!
Be selective about the products you choose
It's easy to get carried away and sign up for every free product you can find, but you're just wasting your own time.
If you have no real interest in receiving the latest copy of a baby and parenting magazine, don't fill in the form!
Always follow up with the company
Never forget that these companies are giving you free stuff because they want to know what you think of them. If you forget to send your reviews, they probably won't send you anything again.
It usually only takes a few minutes to give your feedback, so make sure you do it.
Don't give up after one day
If you sign up to a product testing website then never return, you're not likely to receive anything. Make sure you check back on a regular basis to see what's available.
On sites such as Toluna, you can even chat with fellow testers. If you prove that you're reliable, have a fully updated profile and that you plan to stick around, you're more likely to receive the best products.
Set up a "testing" email
If you don't want your personal emails to get in the way of your testing emails (meaning that you might miss out on an opportunity) then we recommend setting up a testing email account.
The good news is that you can also use this email for competitions, survey sites and any other times you're unsure about handing over your personal email.
It might seem a bit too good to be true, but the product testing sites reviewed in this guide really are genuine and, if you stick with it, you're likely to get a least a few freebies out of them.
And if you've got the bug for getting rewarded for your opinions, check out our guide to paid online survey sites.
Have you ever used any of these sites? Did they work for you? Leave your thoughts and any of your own advice in the comments below!