Another way to save a little money besides coupons is testing out products. Companies always need consumer feedback on new products or changes they are making to existing ones. It’s quite easy to do, you can do it from your own home, and not only will you get paid but it will cut down on your grocery and household products bills because you will be getting some items sent to you for free.
How much can I realistically make doing this?
Some people get very excited when they find out that they can get paid to test out products at home, but the reality is this will not be a replacement for a full time job. This is a great way to earn a little extra income on the side, especially if you are at home a lot as most of us are these days. Even if you sign up for a lot of different programs, you will probably only get a few different products a month to test out. On average you get paid $10-$15 per product review, although some go as high as $50. When you factor in that you need to actually use the product (sometimes a couple of times) and then go through the review process it’s not a great hourly pay. But I look at it as a supplement to using coupons, it’s a way to shave a few more dollars off each trip to the store with the free products and as a bonus I also get paid for doing the reviews. If you do a few reviews a month it could be a very small side hustle for you, but you definitely won’t be living off your review money. However if you are one of those people working towards getting out of debt, financial independence, or you just like to see how low you can get your monthly budget down this can be one small part of your strategy.
How do I get started?
There are several different product research companies you can sign up with, make sure you do some research on the company first to make sure they are legitimate. Just do a quick Google search for their name plus ‘review’ and you should find at least a few blog posts about working with them. You can also check them out on the Better Business Bureau website, again just search their name plus ‘BBB’ and it should come up. You can and should apply with more than one market research company as that will increase the number of products you will be eligible for. Some companies also offer doing paid surveys about your consumer behaviour, if you are interested in doing that as well. Some are shorter and take about 10-15 minutes to complete, and some are longer and take around an hour. Some companies also have a new user sign-up bonus, that you can access once you reach the minimum payout threshold.
Once you’ve found a few companies that you would like to work with you can set up your profiles with them. This will take a little while as you will have to answer many questions, but you only have to do it once and it determines which market research studies you will be eligible for. A lot of studies are targeting specific demographics, so they need to make sure they are sending the products to the right type of consumer.
How do I get paid?
Many of the survey companies operate on a points system, so you earn points for completing actions like taking a survey or reviewing a product. Some just want to track what you are buying via a scanning app, you just scan the barcode of every product that you purchase. Once you reach a certain amount the points can be cashed in, sometimes for actual cash, many time you can use them for gift cards and free merchandise. I usually take the cash-out in the form of Visa gift cards if they have them available, that way I can use them for anything and it’s pretty much like getting paid in cash. Sometimes I will also take gift cards for grocery stores, or a Wal-Mart gift card since I shop at those stores frequently. If they pay out in actual cash, it’s usually via PayPal so you will need an account and there is typically higher payout threshold than for the gift cards. If you don’t have one already it’s free to set up, and you can transfer any money you earn to your bank account from there.
Have fun trying new things!
Remember the companies do want your honest feedback on the products, don’t feel like you have to say the product was great just because they sent it to you for free. You do need to say something though, this isn’t about you just getting free items! I personally like being a product tester for more than just the little bit of income, for me it’s a great way to try out products that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s exciting each month to see what will arrive in the mail!