Becoming an Amazon product tester sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Free products, just for your opinion. But what’s really involved, what kind of products are involved, and most importantly, is it worth your time?
I am a big Amazon fan. I actually bought some books for uni from them, back when they only sold books. It doesn’t seem possible now, especially when you consider how much they actually sell. Including market place sellers, it’s estimated that there are over 353 million products to choose from!
But recently, I heard rumours about becoming a product tester, which sounded great. As a family of five, with several animals, there are plenty of things we need and I’m always happy to receive a freebie.
Now, I’ve done a fair bit of testing before through a couple of survey sites. Both i-Say and Panelbase have allowed me to try a variety of products including chocolate bars, alcohol, soft drinks, kitchen rolls, and even a vacuum cleaner. That’s right, I got a brand new Shark vacuum that I tested for several months. Although I did have to give it back. Usually though, you get to keep what you test and get paid too.
My searching on Amazon was pretty fruitless though when it came to testing and it was actually a Facebook advert that pointed me in the right direction.
Why are product reviews important?
In some ways, we are very lucky. Look for a product and you’ll find dozens of options to choose from, sometimes more. The difficulty is, finding the best item and the best value. You could, of course, look at the manufacturers website, but what will that tell you? Does a vacuum cleaner with 125,000 RPM really perform much better than one with 100,000?
That’s why we often turn to see what other people say. Who better to ask than people who have actually used the product? They’re not going to confuse with strange terminology and tell you just about the benefits. They will tell you the downsides too.
Taking reviews with a pinch of salt
Although reviews are a useful indicator, you don’t want to take them all at face value. I’m sure we’re all aware that we’re far more likely to tell everyone when we’ve had a bad experience but keep it to ourselves when things have gone smoothly. I am certainly guilty of that.
And not all reviewers seem to fully understand the process. I have seen bad reviews for products because Amazon sent the wrong order – why would that make a product poor? I have even seen people reviewing a completely different product!
How to write a good product review
People have a habit of leaving just a few words in their reviews, which leave little information for others. To write a good review, you need to consider the following points:
- Your first impressions of the product (such as was it well packaged and secure).
- How you got on with actually using the product (good quality and easy to use?)
- Say who you think the item is aimed at and suitable for.
- List all the negatives and positives.
- Discuss how long you think you will keep it for.
- List any possible alternatives.
- Include photos of the product – especially if they give a better view compared to the seller’s page.
- If possible, add some videos.
How do you become a product tester for Amazon?
Amazon runs a programme called Vine. But to become a ‘Vine Voice’ you must provide decent reviews that other customers deem as helpful. Once selected, Amazon will send you products to review, some of which aren’t available to the general public. You are then asked to leave your honest thoughts in a written review. It’s important to note that you do not get paid for participating in Amazon Vine.
There is another scheme available called the Early Reviewer Programme. Customers who purchase an item that has few reviews are selected at random to share their opinions. And for doing so, they’ll receive a small reward (£1-£5 Amazon gift card).
Of course, these opportunities are only available to a select group and with millions of Amazon customers, the chances of you being chosen are slim. But there are other ways to test products available.
How to get free products to review on Amazon
There are plenty of sites out there that claim to want your opinion on certain products. The deal is generally the same:
- Purchase the product from Amazon
- Leave a review
- Claim the refund
- Keep the product
The four main sites offering free Amazon products are:
Are these genuine product testing sites?
I joined all four of the above sites over the last year to see if they were a genuine way to test products. My strong feeling is that they are not really interested in your opinion. The main goal of these sites is to boost profiles of their products on Amazon by attracting positive reviews.
Although the sites had plenty of products available, most of them seem to originate from China. That’s not to say they were bad quality though, as some of the products I tested were very good.
And all of the sites refunded my money (or at least the majority of money) promptly.
But, the sites were happy with very short reviews of their products, which should tell you that they’re not really interested in your opinion.
So, what’s the harm?
Is there any real issue with you leaving reviews in return for free items?
Well, Amazon forbids the exchange of free items for reviews. The retailer has realised that there is an ever-increasing number of fake reviews, which has been unfairly swaying customer’s purchase decisions. This article shows that one man alone had reviewed £15,000 worth of products in just one month… and then went on to sell many of them on eBay.
If Amazon finds out that you are leaving reviews in return for a freebie, they will ban you from being able to share your opinion. Although this might not seem like the end of the world, it’s important to consider how much importance you put in Amazon customer reviews when choosing between items.
How would you feel if you chose product A over product B, but then found out A was actually terrible quality and all the positive reviews were paid for?
Which is the best way to become an Amazon product tester?
Unfortunately, the best way is through hard work. And nobody likes that. When you buy a product through Amazon, make sure you leave thorough reviews that will provide help for other potential buyers. That way, you might be invited to the Vine programme.
*Please note that this post contains affiliate links.