What if you could have some of the perks of being rich and famous, without the effort?
Sadly, we’re not talking about the mansions – but just like a celebrity, you can get companies to send you free products to try, and use your opinions to influence brands.
Product testing in New Zealand seems to good to be true, but there really are companies who are eager to send you products to try in exchange for your thoughts.
You give them your details, fill in some personal information – and then wait for your free items!
Here are some great options for Kiwis who have opinions to share and don’t mind getting some free stuff.
What is product testing?
There are plenty of ideas that seem great in a boardroom, but don’t work when they get released to the public.
There is a long list of development, quality, and marketing checks that a product needs to go through before it hits the shelves – but none of that matters if no one actually buys it!
At different stages through the process, you can get involved with giving your opinion on things like whether the packaging appeals to you, how much you would be willing to pay, and whether you’d buy the product.
There are plenty of sites dedicated to getting your opinion during these stages.
The final stage is sending the final product out to be tried by potential future customers.
The trial participants will send through their thoughts, influencing the final stages of marketing – companies sometimes even gather direct quotes to use in their marketing materials.
You’re unlikely to get rewards or additional payments for product testing.
Normally, the product itself is the reward. But it’s still a pretty good deal.
You try a product and say what you think of it, the company gets feedback and some free marketing when you tell your friends and family – it’s win-win!
Who can become a product tester?
Generally, anyone can join product testing sites.
They’re geared towards the person who makes household purchases, and some have special groups to target – mums are a big one.
But in general, if you’re an adult who has some influence on what products your household uses, you’re in with a chance.
You’ll need to fill out your profile information first, as it’s how they decide who is the best fit to receive a product.
They might be after a specific group or looking for a broad cross-section of the population, so the more information you give the more likely you’ll be included.
You should get involved in as many as possible to increase your chances.
There’s no guarantee of what you’ll get or how much, but for free products to try (and the associated savings), it’s worth signing up.
The Best Product Testing Sites for New Zealanders
Here are some of the best product trial opportunities for New Zealanders to try:
Social Soup specialise in product trials, with a large panel of “soupers” signed up to receive goods and give their opinions.
Signing up is as easy as downloading the app on either Android or iPhone, completing your profile, and waiting to be selected.
If you’re big on social media, you might sign up as a Creator – in exchange for featuring products on your posts, you’ll receive different items to try.
While it has an Australian web address, Mouths of Mums is actively looking for mums to complete product testing NZ-wide.
A site dedicated to reviewing parenting products, Mouths of Mums teams up with brands related to raising kids, and sends samples to members.
You can sign up online, and then get reviewing.
If you like to share your experiences, Black Box is for you.
In addition to a site for members to share about any products that stand out to them, there is an option to sign up to potentially receive a box of free items to try and then review.
There is a free option with no guarantees, or you could choose to pay $38 per year to guarantee you will receive one box and be at the top of the list for any others you might qualify for.
The Home Tester Club emphasises honest opinions – they really want to hear what you think, and will publish your thoughts regardless of whether you loved or hated a product.
Sign up is easy. The Club offers weekly prizes and incentives to keep reviewing, and you could find products showing up in your letterbox to try.
Instead of the products coming to you, with Prime Research you’ll go to them.
Specialising in focus groups and sensory/ product testing, you could be invited to a hosted event to get your opinions for a brand or product.
It will typically take between 30 – 90 minutes of your time, but you’ll be compensated for the extra effort – most studies pay between $50-$150.
A thriving community of parents who come for the reviews, giveaways and articles, Kidspot also offer product trials for families who like to try new things.
The sign-up form is found on their website, and while you’re waiting you can try your luck at a competition or engage with the community.
While they’re primarily a survey-based market research group, Pureprofile also offer the occasional product trial for their members.
You’ll be selected based on your demographics – which means as always, it’s very important to keep your profile information up to date.
You can focus on earning points to turn into rewards as an extra way to get some perks, in addition to any product trials you might be invited to.
True to their name, Valued Opinions are all about getting consumer feedback on products they use.
Members earn points for their opinions by completing surveys, watching ads, and other tasks within the site. They also offer product trials, but there’s no guarantee when or if you’ll be invited to participate.
Signing up is easy – complete the online form, verify your email address, and you can start earning.
Product trial participants will be selected based on their profile information, so it’s important to keep it up to date.
Valued Opinions also offer surveys, and rate highly on our list of top New Zealand survey sites.
If you love health and beauty products, this is the site for you.
Sign up is free, and instead of waiting for free products to arrive, you can earn them – reviewing products and being active on the site will earn you points.
10 points equal to $1 off a product from the Beauty Vault which opens periodically to allow members to spend their points, so you can select your own free products.
You can also join the Expert Review Panel, which is where the product trials come in.
Anyone can apply to join, and if accepted you’ll be receiving free beauty products to trial, just in exchange for a review.
Making the Most of Product Testing
Product testing offers a lot of great opportunities to try different items for free – but invitations are not likely to be very frequent.
It’s best to maximise your chances by keeping your details up to date, staying active in the community, and making 100% sure that you submit great reviews on time so you’re considered for the next round.
It does sound too good to be true, but as the thousands of Kiwi mums who are receiving free products in the mail can agree – for a small amount of time and effort, it’s a simple way to find yourself on the fun side of market research.