Types of Products Available for Testing

Thinking about Taking Part in Product Testing?

The types of products available for testing are many and varied, and there are numerous websites offering the chance to test new and exciting products on a daily basis. Eligibility for testing a particular product can often rely upon you fitting a particular demographic, i.e. if you're a parent, a young adult, or a retired person; and in some cases, you could be chosen on the basis of your profession or occupation.

Product testing opportunities can often mean that you will be chosen randomly - for example, if you've taken part in a survey about a new or improved product. However, you can also sign up with specific product testing panels if you wish to test products within a particular category, say, skin care products or cosmetics. Each scenario is slightly different in terms of choice of products for testing. Random selection via a survey means that you will be testing a product relating to the survey you've just taken, but selection via a specific panel means that you will have some choice over which product tests to sign up to.

Are there any Specific Skills or Requirements Needed to Carry Out Product Tests?

The only requirement necessary to carry out successful product testing is your ability to pay attention to the instructions that come with each test and to see the task through to the end. Testing a product requires you to observe how well it performs and (in some cases) how it compares to a previous version, or a similar product from another brand. In other words, does the product do as it says on the tin? With this in mind, you will need to measure and evaluate the product's performance during the test period with a view to providing a set of conclusive answers at the end of the testing period.

What Types of Products are Available for Testing?

If you're new to the world of product testing and you're not sure about the types of products you may be asked to test, then the following guidelines may help you to make a decision as to which testing panels to sign up with.

Product Testing via Survey Companies

There are some excellent survey panels offering product testing, and whilst the products vary, they generally concentrate on the following:

- Foodstuffs
- Cleaning products
- Personal care products

Personal care products

Panels such as Ipsos, Valued Opinions and Toluna all have regular surveys that can often result in a product test. This type of product testing is particularly easy and convenient because everyone eats, drinks and uses household products - all you have to do is incorporate the products into your daily routine and spend a short amount of time recording your findings. It couldn't be simpler.

Product Testing via Group Panels

These panels are plentiful and have a particular buzz about them which makes them quite attractive to people who like to share their experiences and who don't mind getting involved in a group basis online. In some cases, this could include involving friends and family in the product test. These panels have regular tests for products such as:

- Pet foods
- Toiletries
- Laundry detergents

Pet foods

Panels such as SuperSavvy Me and The Insiders regularly run campaigns in the run up to a new product launch and are always looking for people to test products amongst their friends and families. The collective findings are usually published in a community forum where you can interact with other members of the panel.

Supersavvy Me is an excellent panel for people who really like to get involved in something which requires a joint or group effort and would suit all age groups, depending on the type of product being tested. Bzz Agent operate on a similar 'word of mouth' basis and this type of product testing can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Specific Product Trials

Products such as cosmetics and other personal care items tend to fall into this category and websites such as Clix Research, The Litmus Test and The Women Panel are specifically geared towards the following items:

- Skin care
- Sun protection
- Hair care
- Cosmetics
- Vitamins and supplements

These panels regularly recruit women of all ages and from all walks of life, to test various products aimed at their demographic. In some cases, you may receive a cash reward as well as being allowed to keep the products you test.

Passing Time, or Worthwhile Contribution?

Your input is very valuable to manufacturers when determining which products provide the best solutions or fill a certain need in the marketplace - and your feedback is always appreciated. As well as the satisfaction you feel in knowing that you are helping to shape the products that make it onto the shelves, you can feel part of a wider community who share your passion for new products. In some cases, your time is rewarded in cash or High Street vouchers, or by allowing you to keep the products you've tested. Whichever panel you choose, you will feel valued for doing something you can enjoy.