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.
As Product Elf has grown in popularity so quickly, they have over 40,000 reviewers, discount codes can disappear quickly. New offers are uploaded on a daily basis as sellers are launching new products all the time.
Ever wanted to be sent books or products for free? Sure, who doesn’t? Getting free products to review happens quite often on Amazon, and most authors/companies/sellers simply ask that you write ‘an honest review’ in exchange for that book/product.
In the list below you will find only the companies that I have either used myself (some for a few years!) or personally vetted via email phone. Most noteworthy is that many if not all require you to sign up with an email (sometimes a phone number as well) and also ask for your public Amazon Profile URL or blog address. While many work with ebay Sellers and Amazon Sellers to get full products and product samples out to Reviewers and influencers, some are in-house product testing programs, or ‘super user programs’ that are run by a company to promote only their brand.
A lot of the comments here show ignorance of the processes and motivation behind what reviewers do and say (especially in regards to Vine). First of all, Vine items aren’t “free” in a sense that Amazon issues a W-2 to reviewers. The item’s fair market value is the “income” and you have to pay taxes on it. Essentially, you pay your income tax rate on the total fair market value of the items. That is no small amount of money, especially when the fair market values on some items are oddly calculated (sometimes above the sale price – there seems to be no rhyme or reason). Most people will be paying 10-25% of the FMV for their Vine products.
I’m not sure how long the requests will continue to come in, and for now I will continue for as long as I am enjoying it, although I find that I am having to dedicate 1- 2 days per week at the moment solely to write the reviews which I don’t mind at all and find has been great as I took a career break a couple of years ago to stay at home so having a informal but “work like” structure a couple of days a week has been very enjoyable for me.
When the final list is complete, our reviewers reach out to manufacturers in search of no-strings-attached samples or products available on loan. Side note: Most manufactures are happy to provide samples – never mind the possibility of a bad review – because they believe in the quality of their products and look forward to the free press – good, or bad. In some instances, when a product sample is not available, we head to the store and shell out the cash to pick it up just like you would.
Amazon Vine is an invitation-only program. Vine Voices are selected based on several criteria, but primarily on the helpfulness of their reviews as judged by all other customers and by their demonstrated interest in the types of products that are featured in the program. Customers who consistently write helpful reviews and develop a reputation for expertise in specific product categories are most likely to be invited into the program.
BQool provides detailed review statistics by listing and date. Analyze trends to catch recurring issues before they have a chance to escalate. You can also download the report for offline sorting and analysis.
Do you think this is okay for me to say? I don’t want to blow my first shot at a review, but I don’t want to commit to misleading anyone either. Fortunately, the product has a bunch of good reviews as of now, and it’s inexpensive. So for the price, I’m sure there will be redeeming qualities. But still….
For example, returns and long-term use aren’t part of the evaluation. When you get something for free, you’re less likely to follow up on breakage concerns or customer service issues. Additionally, if the reviewer didn’t actually buy the product, that person doesn’t take the purchase and shipping processes into consideration.
House Party and ChatterBox: Throw a house party and invite all your friends to help you try new products and review them. ChatterBox works the same way but they’re only for you, so need to throw a party.
Knowing that, you can expect that background checks are minimal or (most likely) completely non-existent. BUT, if any manufacturer sends out a bunch of product and gets an abysmal response of people writing reviews, you can expect that the next time that manufacturer will likely do some more checks first.
You may have noticed that some of our reviews and rankings are slow to update. That could be because very little has changed in a particular product group. For example, stand mixers have not changed much in 20 years, so until something better than the Kitchen Aid comes along, you might not see an update to our review in 12 months – or until the new models arrive.
So grateful for the Pinecone link. I’ve tried twice to get in and was rejected because they didn’t need my demographic. Now I’m in!!! Funny, I’ve done surveys for about half the companies listed here for about three months and only remember getting one request to review products. Next time, I must say YES. I am in a tough demographic — I get screened out of 50-100% of surveys depending on the products, because I’m old (68), retired, have a low income, have no kids, don’t drive, don’t smoke or drink, don’t own a house, etc. But I have opinions, too!
I dislike those reviewers who would make good micro managers, focusing on things like repeated word usage and misspelled words INSTEAD OF focusing on the big picture. As a reviewer I would be looking for signs of genius.
Of course I would not be getting paid to review products, and certainly this big player’s lawyers have determined that this is not in violation of the this big player’s Amazon reviews for free/discounted products contract terms. So participating in this favorable or unfavorable for the review community?