Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Couponing for Beginners Part 7: Product Testing Pays Off!

Photo Courtesy Of:  http://www.randomoriginal.com
 When you start to request free samples regularly, inevitably most people start to look into product testing companies to try and increase the amount of “free items” they receive.  I have signed up for every product testing company I could find through the years and I LOVE how the sheer amount of companies that are available for product testing have expanded.  The downside is that the amount of people who sign up for these product testing outfits has risen significantly too, so if you DO sign up for these, be sure to link them to an e-mail you check regularly or you will miss out on some deals.

Bzzagent.com (http://www.bzzagent.com)

If you have a lot of time to spare, this company might be a viable option for you to sign up for.  Bzzagent.com is made up of thousands of “word of mouth” volunteers who test products and then go out and spread the word about the products they tested.  The company has offered okay products in the past.  The biggest problem I find with this company is the sheer amount of work involved.  You have to watch your inbox constantly for new offers, as the good full sized product offers go very quickly.  There are also tons of “hoops to jump through” to get from one level to another, thus making it too involved for me to participate for long and the amount of junk mail you receive from their bonus points system will drive you batty.  I was not offered many things in my two years with Bzzagent.com and got disheartened with the company quickly.

Vocalpoint.com (http://www.vocalpoint.com)

This is one of my favorite product testing companies.  Vocalpoint offers free products to their “reviewers” either by you requesting them OR by sending them out to all members themselves.  Once you try a product you are given a decent amount of time (usually about a month) to submit a review on the product and the reviews are completely voluntary (that is you do not have to submit a review to get another product to review later...they just appreciate the feedback).  The surveys to review said products are usually short, no more than 10 questions, and are easy to fill out.  Sometimes you just have to submit a comment on what you thought of a product and why.  The samples you receive in the mail 99% of the time come with high value coupons (and a lot of time you get full sized products to try on top of that) that can later be used to your advantage or you can give them to family and friends to try the product (which is actually what Vocalpoint is hoping you’ll do with them).

SheSpeaks.com (http://www.shespeaks.com)

SheSpeaks.com is a product testing outfit that can definitely pay off for you, but you'd better be prepared to check their site a lot because a lot of offers do NOT come in your inbox.  I was disheartened when I first joined SheSpeaks because I thought I never got any offers to try, but then someone pointed out to me to hit their site more often and loe and behold I've tried two products just in the last six months or so for them.  So, this is one that you just need to keep on top of.

Smiley (http://smiley360.com/)

Smiley is quickly becoming a personal favorite of mine just because the products they offer to test are so across the board, it is open to men AND women and they send you e-mails to let you know a deal is available, give you ample opportunity to do the exit surveys and you can earn points just by sharing on Facebook and Twitter what you thought of the product AND they send you coupons to share with friends and family on top of all of that.  In the past I've tried tea, Country Crock, Gum Flossers and other products.  I've been super happy with them since I've joined them.

All You Reality Checkers (http://www.allyou.com)

I have been super disappointed in All You Reality Checkers so far.  My biggest problem is that sign up for offers is VERY limited so they tend to go fast and I'm always missing the boat (they're usually gone by about 8:00 am our time).  I've only been able to sign up to try two products.  I tried oatmeal for them and they sent me one microwave pouch of oatmeal, so it was sort of hard to do a review on the oatmeal from that (since I got three bites after sharing it with the kids) and then I was supposed to try Borden Cheese slices, but got the coupon in the mail the day AFTER it expired (for all the good that did me).  So, yeah, if you're up really early and check the site frequently this outfit might work for you.  So far they haven't been a good "fit" with me.

Kraft First Taste (http://www.kraftfirsttaste.com)

Kraft First Taste is one of those sites I tell people if they like food it's definitely a good one to sign up with.  Kraft First Taste is run by, surprise surprise, Kraft Foods and they put out offers about 4 times a year for you to try free products (sometimes more).  They used to be terrible to try and get in on the offers because they were very limited in number and everyone would slam the site and the offers would be gone quickly, but it seems now a days they have started offering the coupon offers in "blocks" where one week a bunch of people will get the deal, another bunch of people will get it the next week and so on.  The big thing to note here is that when you first sign up you are NOT going to get an offer for a free product, but you'll get high value coupons instead.  I encourage you to do the reviews of those products with the high value coupons or you're not going to get up to the point where you're going to get free product coupons (you have to prove you have staying power).  I had to do two reviews on different products before I got an offer for a free product and YES it is so worth it to do it!

And there you go folks.  Just a "slice of the pie" of product testing companies out there.  Go forth, sign up, and start reaping the benefits :).


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