I’ve always loved free stuff. I remember when I was kid, I would check out a book from the library called Free Stuff for Kids, and I would send away for stuff like a Louisville Slugger pen, animal stickers, and a Disney pencil.
And then I got older and liked getting samples when I stopped by stores. When I got into the world of blogging, and found Freebies4Mom, I fell in love all over again with the fabulous world of freebies.
It didn’t take long before my infatuation with freebies lead me to be a willing product tester.
There are a few things you should know about being a product tester. First off, you have to like trying new things. You have to be able to abandon all preconceived ideas about a product. You have to be outspoken and be able to contribute constructive criticism. And you have to be able to follow instructions. It can be fun, but it can also be time consuming, too. I usually find the experience to be worth it.
Here are some examples of companies that periodically look for product testers:
Global Opinion Panel. They pay you for surveys and periodic product tests. This is the company that gave me the super nice toilet paper to try(I’m pretty sure it wasn’t frugal stuff!)
MySurvey.com. Another great survey company that pays you cash for surveys. I was thrilled to receive a jumbo pack of Huggies Diapers in the mail to use on my sons.
SheSpeaks. This one is a lot of fun (and it has some street cred: it’s been featured on Good Morning America.). I got to try the Garnier Nutrioniste Eye Roller and Ore Ida Steam-n-Mash potatoes (and I got $10 in coupons and a potato masher!).
I’ve signed up to test products for several other companies, but haven’t been selected to sample anything yet. Here are some you may want to check out:
Vocal Point: Even though I haven’t gotten to sample anything yet, they e-mail great coupons.
McCormick. The spice company has both in-person and online testing opportunities.
Kraft First Taste We could really use some free cheese in this house, so I hope I get contacted!
Mills Advisory Panel. Evaluate General Mills products and earn points toward gift cards and more.
I enjoy doing product tests because the free stuff helps me stretch my budget. I’ve done product tests on everything from toilet paper (6 rolls in my mailbox!) to diapers to deodorant.
I also enjoy the process because it reminds me how hard companies work to persuade consumers to use their products. It has taught me to examine the marketing tactics of companies more closely and to scrutinize their product. It has taught me to be careful not to get caught up in the advertising hype. It also gives me a voice in the marketplace.
In the end, I hope my participation results in better products on the market. I know it has helped make me a better consumer.