I recently stumbled across a site called American Consumer Panels, which claims to hook you up with real work at home “product tester” jobs.
According to the website, you can earn $25 to $45 per hour testing products from the comfort of your own home.
Sounds good, but is it legit or just another scam?
American Consumer Panels is a scam, they don’t provide real product testing jobs, or any home jobs for that matter. They just refer people to survey sites they are affiliated with, in order to earn commissions when you signup. The entire application process is fake.
I don’t expect you to just take my word for it though. So in this review, I’ll show you what this site is about, how it works and explain why I personally feel it’s a scam.
American Consumer Panels – Exposing the Scam
I stumbled across American Consumer Panels (ACP) while I was doing some research on a job search site called CareerBliss. Which had the following job listing:
As you can see, ACP is using this job search website to advertise part-time in-home usage tester (IHUT) jobs that pay up to $45 per hour.
This would no doubt appeal to you if you you’re looking for a legit way to work from home. After all, the idea of testing products sounds kinda cool and $25 to $45 per hour isn’t bad.
Especially when you don’t need any experience and you can work from the comfort of your own home.
I personally wasn’t interested in this because I already work from home doing something else. But I review stuff on this site to help others find legit opportunities.
So I clicked on the advertisement to take a closer look and see what it was all about. Which is when I landed on the ACP website, and was asked to select a job opening to continue:
From here, I clicked on the “In-Home Usage Tester” job opening. And was immediately taken to a page that explains the job in more detail:
This page says you are guaranteed to get 15-20 hours per week of work as a product tester. Which to be honest sounds a bit too good to be true when you consider how you don’t even need any experience. So I was skeptical at this point.
Anyway from there, you can click on the link to start your application at the bottom of the page. Which takes you to a short 5 question “questionnaire” to see if you qualify:
I’m confident that practically everyone will get these questions right, since they’re simple yes and no answers to very simple questions. So having your application approved is almost guaranteed.
Anyway, once I got past these questions, the real red flags started to appear.
Let me explain…
There Are No Product Testing Jobs
Once I got past the point of answering the questionnaire, my application was apparently complete, and I was taken to the following page:
On this page, I was asked to complete 2 steps before I could get started. Because apparently, they need to “establish my consumer profile and demographics” first.
Here are the 2 steps you need to take before you can get started:
- Step 1: Join LifePoints Consumer Panel
- Step 2: Join InboxDollars Consumer Panel
Apparently, you must complete these steps so that ACP can verify you live in the United States, and that you’re a match for the position they’re offering. They say that only after completing these steps, can they guarantee you continuous work each week.
This was the moment I realized there is no job.
Because neither Inbox Dollars, nor LifePoints, have anything to do with American Consumer Panels. These are completely separate paid survey websites where you can earn a small amount of money completing surveys.
Read my review of each site here to learn more:
They are not verifying anything with ACP with respects to your demographics and consumer profile. So the only logical reason that ACP is linking to these sites, is because they want to earn a referral commission off of you.
They say that after you join LifePoints and Inbox Dollars that they’ll contact successful applicants about testing products. But nobody is ever contacted to test products.
Once you join the sites they recommend, they earn a referral commission, and that’s the last you hear from them. There is no job, the whole thing is fake.
What Is American Consumer Panels (Really) About?
According to the American Consumer Panels website:
American Consumer Panels® is a consulting firm that specializes in product testing and product development work. We design and conduct In-Home Usage Testing (IHUT) locally and nationally to provide actual user feedback to evaluate your products, packaging, related product instructions and more.Source: https://american-consumer-panels.com/about-us8536601
So basically they claim to connect large companies with “home product testers” (AKA In-Home Usage Testers) within the United States. In order to help these companies perform consumer research and create better products for their target audience.
Sounds legitimate enough (at a glance).
And there are lots of real companies that do pay individuals to test their products within the home environment. So that they can obtain real user feedback and improve their products.
For example, I found this article on DollarSprout that lists 8 sites that pay you to test products.
In any case, ACP doesn’t provide you with any real product testing jobs, nor do they connect you with companies that send you products to test from home. They simply connect you with paid survey sites, in order to earn affiliate commissions when you join.
As mentioned, LifePoints and Inbox Dollars are the survey sites they connect you with.
The good news is, it may be possible to earn a small amount of money from these sites. The bad news is, you won’t be testing products and the income is typically very low. It is certainly nowhere near $25 to $45 per hour, it’s more like less than $2 per hour on average.
ACP Is All About Promoting Survey Sites They’re Affiliated With
The way American Consumer Panels works is by tricking you into joining paid survey sites that they’re affiliated with, in order to earn commissions off of you.
And they do this by advertising a fake home based product testing job.
As mentioned earlier, I found ACP through a job search website that looks fairly legit. Which led me to the ACP website where I found a job listing, completed an application and eventually wound up on a page where they asked me to join LifePoints and Inbox Dollars.
Which are not product testing websites. And they do not help ACP verify that you are located within the United Stated, or that your demographic profile matches up.
The whole thing is fake.
The way this works is similar to a site I reviewed called AOJ Work at Home Jobs. That pretends to hook you up with a home based job, when it’s really about joining survey sites.
Anyways, the good news is that you can make money completing surveys, and the sites they recommend are legit. So it’s not exactly a scam in that respect.
The bad news is that the income potential is very low. Most people are lucky to be making within the realms of $1-2 per hour at best completing surveys (at best).
Either way, instead of testing products, you will be answering a bunch of surveys for pennies. And in the process of all of this, you’ll probably end up getting lots of annoying spam emails from ACP, asking you to join other sites they’re affiliated with.
And you don’t need to join ACP to make money doing online surveys.
You can easily join these sites on your own, just by visiting them directly. Which is probably a safer idea when you consider what I’m now going to share with you.
Who’s Behind This Scam?
The second major red flag I found was when I started researching who’s actually running American Consumer Panels.
Because despite searching the website high and low, there is no information about the actual people running this company. Even the ‘about’ page of the site sidesteps this completely and avoids revealing who’s really running ACP.
Innovation Consulting LLC (“Innovation Consulting”) owns and operates this american-consumer-panels.com website business.Source: american-consumer-panels.com/privacy-policy8597260
So the company behind ACP is apparently Innovation Consulting LLC. But after doing some research, I was unable to find any information that proves if this is a real company. Which is strange for a company that claims to be working with large, well known, trusted brands.
So no information about the people running this website, and the company information could possibly be fake. What about the address they list?
Well, here is the address this company claims to be operating at One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton Street, Suite 8500, New York:
After doing some research, I found that this is not a real company headquarters at all. It’s just a virtual office run through a company called ServCorp:
What this means is that they don’t have their own office. They are renting shared office space that they can use to collect mail and have the occasional meeting. That’s it.
That doesn’t make them a scam but when you start to look at all of these elements together, as an overall picture, it doesn’t look very legit.
One other point I want to bring out here, is that these same people run two other sites (that I found). One is called Canadian Consumer Panels and the other is called Australian Consumer Panels. These sites operate in the same manner.
As for who is running any of these sites, nobody really knows for sure.
Subtle Attempts to Look Legit
Another red flag I found was how ACP tries to gain peoples trust and boost its credibility, by registering with certain organisations and paying for press releases.
For example, on the site’s FAQ page, they attempt to “prove” that they’re not a scam, because they are registered with the “FTC Guardian”. Which is a bit misleading in my view.
Because the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is not the same thing as the FTC Guardian, yet this is what they are probably hoping people believe, to look more legit.
The FTC Guardian is just a private organisation that anyone can join. In no way does this mean a company is legitimate or that it has a real FTC endorsement.
Second, the site claims to be legitimate because they are getting “press coverage”. As if real unbiased news media outlets are talking about ACP:
This is basically fake news.
Because the only “news coverage” this site has, is on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And the company who published it is called AB Newswire, which publishes paid press releases as a business.
So this is nothing more than a way to build “instant credibility” with people. As in, credibility that you can buy. Which to me, just raises more red flags.
What Are Other People Saying?
Throughout my research I found a number of complaints about American Consumer Panels. And the complaints I found tend to reinforce my skepticism of this site.
There were some positive reviews, but most of them are complaints.
Many of the people who shared their experience with American Consumer Panels, say that the company doesn’t give them any products to test. And that they have been unable to contact anyone who works for the company.
For example, the following are some reviews I found on GlassDoor.com to show you what I mean. This first one is a complaint from someone who clearly isn’t happy:
Now here’s a positive review from another person:
Oddly, almost none of the “positive reviews” I found list any “cons”. Every company has pros and cons (even the legit ones), so the lack of cons is a red flag in and of itself. They’re also very short and don’t provide much detail as to why they say it’s legit.
And when you consider how easy it is to buy fake reviews, I am suspicious of this.
Not to mention, when you look the positive comment above that talks about how nice the “atmosphere” is when working… that is clearly fake. Since we’ve already established that there is no real office that staff can actually work in. And product testers work at home.
Why I Believe American Consumer Panels Is a Scam
I believe American Consumer Panels is a scam because there are no home product testing jobs. The whole thing is fake and designed to refer you to paid survey sites.
And I simply don’t trust this site, given some of the other red flags I mentioned earlier.
I guess you could argue that since they are not selling anything, they are not really scamming you. And (to the best of my knowledge) the survey sites they are linking to are legitimate.
So in that respect, it’s not an outright scam.
But I feel it’s a bit misleading when you think about what they’re doing and the way they’re doing it. As in, pretending to give you a product testing job, just to earn commissions when you join paid survey sites they’re affiliated with.
This is just plain unethical no matter which way you look at it.
My Final Thoughts
American Consumer Panels looks like a legit way to work at home testing products. But based on what I’ve seen, I’m not so sure it’s the real deal.
It seems to me that what they’re really doing, is using unethical marketing tactics to get you to join survey sites they are affiliate with. All so that they can earn a sneaky commission in the process.
And generally speaking, paid survey sites pay very little. Which means you’re not going to be earning $25 to $45 per hour. You’d be lucky to earn a couple bucks per hour. And you don’t need to go through ACP to join these sites anyway.
What’s worse, if you follow the steps on the ACP website, you’ll be giving these people your email address. Which will probably result in lots of annoying spam emails.
So I feel as though the entire ACP website is a waste of time. And that the only people really benefiting from the site, are those who are running it. Whoever they are.