The idea of getting paid to test products from the comfort of home is appealing. Not just because of the freedom you could enjoy, but testing products could also be kinda fun.
But is this a real way to make money? You can make money testing products from home, there are legit companies that pay people to do this. But the term “in-home usage tester” is mostly associated with a site called American Consumer Panels, which is not a legitimate site and does not provide real product testing jobs.
Let’s take a closer look at what in-home usage testing entails, some scams to avoid and how you can properly get started testing products from home. I’ll then share my overall opinion on whether or not this is a worthwhile home job, to help you decide if it’s right for you.
What Is an In-Home Usage Tester (IHUT)?
An in-home usage tester (commonly referred to as IHUT) is a person that tests products at home, for companies who want real user feedback on their products.
This feedback helps companies in a range of ways.
Such as improving their existing products, coming up with new product ideas, and seeing how users react with brand new products, before they launch these into the market.
And as someone who is testing these products, you are helping these companies collect valuable market research data, that they can use to improve their company. Which is why they are happy to reward you with money, gift cards, or free products.
Yes, sometimes they’ll even let you keep the products you test when you’re done. 🙂
The types of products you can test range from electronics, tools and appliances, to food, clothing and furniture. In some cases, companies hire people to test digital products and services. Such as an application or subscription service of some kind.
When it comes to the hiring process, some companies will hire people directly to perform the testing. But most work with a third party company, who handles the logistics of hiring testers and collecting user feedback. Because it makes the market research process easier.
Not all product testing jobs are legit though.
There are some scam sites with fake in-home usage testing jobs. So before I show you how to get started testing products, let’s take a brief look at what to avoid.
American Consumer Panels (Fake IHUT Jobs)
American Consumer Panels (ACP) claims to be a consulting firm that hires in-home usage testers for $25 to $45 per hour. And that they guarantee you 15-20 hours per week of work.
However, after thoroughly reviewing American Consumer Panels, my conclusion is that it’s a scam. Because instead of connecting you with real home product testing jobs, they have you sign up to paid survey sites like LifePoints and Inbox Dollars, through their affiliate links.
LifePoints and Inbox Dollars aren’t scam sites, but neither of them provide real product testing jobs. They pay people a small amount of money to complete surveys.
Which is a legitimate way to make money, because you are still helping companies perform market research. But you’re not actually testing products, you’re just answering questions.
And it’s not a job that pays $25 to $45 per hour either.
You get paid per survey you complete. And when you do the math, on average, most people make less than $2-3 per hour at best. And the reason they do this, is because, if you join LifePoints or Inbox Dollars, they earn an affiliate commission (AKA kickback).
So ACP doesn’t give you any products to test. They’re just pretending, so you join sites they’re affiliated with, which earns them referral commissions. Check out my complete review of American Consumer Panels to learn more.
How to Make Money as an In-Home Usage Tester
There are many ways you can get paid to test products from home.
Some are better than others, but it ultimately comes down to your personal preference and circumstances, as to which option is going to be best for you.
With that being said, probably the fastest way to start making money as an in-home usage tester (AKA product tester) is to sign up with a legitimate website that provides product testing opportunities. So let’s start with some of these sites to get you rolling.
Get Started With These 5 Legit Product Testing Sites
In this section, we’ll look at 5 legit sites that pay you to test products.
Some of these sites do include paid survey opportunities, but they all provide opportunities to test digital and physical products in one way or another.
Also worth noting is that these sites are all free to join, and you don’t need any experience to get started. The only caveat is that in some cases, they only accept folks who reside in the US.
1. Pincone Research
Pinecone Research is a well established company that pays users to test beauty products, food, drinks and other products. They also provide paid survey opportunities which can be a good way to increase your overall earnings.
Users are paid in “points” which can then be redeemed for cash and in some cases, you can keep the products they send you to test. So this site is a good place to start.
Visit the Pinecone Research FAQ page to learn more.
UserTesting pays its “testers” to test websites and apps.
The way it works is you visit a designated website or app and record your experience on a screen recording, then answer some questions about your experience.
Testers are paid $10 for a 20 minute session and in some cases, you may be offered $60 if you’re willing to jump on a video conference call with the company to provide feedback. And you are paid via PayPal within 7 days of completing the test.
This is definitely a legit site, I’ve used it myself, but don’t expect to be making $1,000’s though. Because, even though the rates are good, the opportunities to earn are capped.
Visit the UserTesting FAQ page to learn more.
BzzAgent is a product testing site that allows people who reside in the US, Canada and UK, to test products from well known companies. The products you can test include food, cosmetics, home equipment, toiletries and more.
To get started, you first need to go to the site where you can sign up and answer some questions. This is so that they can establish your demographics, interests and so forth, to match you up with the best products to test.
From here, you receive an email with an invite to test out various products. And if you want to proceed, they send out the product(s) and you get 8 weeks to use and test them.
When you’re done, you need to provide some feedback on your experience and share your thoughts on social media. The more feedback and sharing you do, the more products they’ll send your way.
The downside is you don’t actually receive money.
However, you do get to keep whatever products they send you, which is cool if you’re getting innovative new products nobody else has. You could also potentially monetize this by starting a website or YouTube channel, where you review the products they send you, and promote these as an affiliate (more on this below).
4. Toluna Influencers
Toluna Influencers is a global survey site that rewards members for taking part in surveys. However, unlike many survey sites, Toluna is known to provide members with product samples to test, before completing some surveys.
The products you can test vary, but common product samples include bathroom and cosmetic products. And there are other ways you can earn such as by voting on sponsored polls, playing games and creating content. It’s a huge community with lots of earning gigs.
It’s also similar to Pinecone Research in that you earn points, which can then be redeemed for cash. The more active you are and the more effort you put into your feedback, the more rewards you are likely to earn.
You can learn more on Toluna’s FAQ page.
BetaTesting.com is similar to UserTesting.com in that members earn money for testing apps and websites. Except with BetaTesting, you also get to test hardware.
The amount of money you can earn is between $10 to $20 per test and they give you a maximum of 5 tests per month. So you can potentially earn $50 to $100 per month.
The downside is that some of the tests require a more advanced skillset, because you’re not just testing for user experience like UserTesting, you’re testing for bugs and so forth.
This page on the BetaTesting website has lots of useful info about becoming a tester.
Other Product Testing and Paid Survey Sites Worth Considering
JJ Friends & Neighbors: This program is run by Johnson & Johnson and allows you to test and keep products from brands like Neutrogena, Aveeno, Clean & Clear and many others. There’s no cash on the table, but this is cool if you’re into beauty products.
National Consumer Panel (NCP): This company has an app you can use to scan products you normally buy. The idea is to scan the barcode on whatever you buy, share with NCP, and answer some questions, to receive gift cards and points to redeem for merchandise. The more you scan and share, the more rewards you can earn.
OneOpinion: This site mostly focusses on providing members with paid survey gigs, but there are product testing opportunities and it’s a legit company. So it’s worth a look.
American Consumer Opinion: This company has paid out over $30 million to 7 million plus members who complete surveys and test products. Members have the opportunity to test new and existing products, as well as packaging designs, to help companies do better.
VIP Voice: Similar to OneOpinion, VIP Voice provides mostly survey gigs but also provides users with the opportunity to test some products as part of the survey process.
Other Ways to Find Product Testing Gigs
Other than joining a site that provides a broad range of product testing and survey taking opportunities, there are other ways you can make money in this space.
Test Products for Individual Companies
There are literally thousands of companies across the globe who are looking for people to. help them test their products and services. Most people flock to the sites I’ve mentioned above, because that’s kind of the obvious and easiest thing to do.
But a little extra research can go a long way here.
Because (for example) you could do product testing for companies like Nike, L’Oreal and Reebok, by applying directly on their site. They send new products to people to test all the time.
And they do this because they want real user feedback on their products, so they know what they’re doing right and how they can improve. You probably won’t earn money in most cases, but you often get to keep the products, which is cool.
Focus on Specific Product Types
Another way to find lots of product testing opportunities is to focus on a specific industry.
So rather than joining a product testing site, or working with one specific company, you could use Google to search for product testing opportunities within a given industry.
I’m being serious. All three of these are real ways you can earn money testing stuff that you probably never even thought was possible. And if choose something that you’re personally interested in, you may end up with a fun and rewarding product testing gig.
Start a Review Blog or YouTube Channel
Another interesting way to earn money testing products is to become a product reviewer.
In a nutshell, the idea is to setup a simple website or YouTube channel where you publish product reviews, comparisons, unbox products and so forth. When you do this right, you’ll get visitors to your site/ channel and you can promote these products as an affiliate.
So when people read your review for example, you could link to the place you bought it from with your unique affiliate link, and if that person clicks the link and buys, you earn a commission. This is a process called affiliate marketing and it’s actually how I earn a living.
The plus side of this method is that it can be more lucrative than the previous methods I’ve mentioned. And it’s a business so you’re not just trading your time for dollars. In other words, it can give you a higher level of flexibility with your time once you get it running.
The downside is, it takes a fair amount of time and effort to make a business like this profitable. You won’t just start making profit in your first few weeks or even months.
It could also cost you some money to get your business into profit. Especially if you’re going to be buying every product you test.
With that being said, companies want to get their products in front of your audience. So as you become more established, some of them will actually give you products to test for free.
How Much Can You Earn Testing Products at Home?
How much money you can make as an in-home usage tester/ product tester, really depends on how you go about it.
For example, if you join a regular product testing website, you’ll probably earn a very average amount of money, some cool rewards, and some free products.
That’s just how these sites are. You end up spending lots of time completing surveys, testing products, and providing feedback, for a very modest overall reward.
However, some of the other methods I’ve mentioned could be more lucrative.
Such as testing products in specific industries that pay higher amounts. Or by learning how to do affiliate marketing, where you test and review products for a commission.
Another factor in determining how much you can earn testing products from home, is your demographic and consumer profile. As in, your age, location and interests for example.
Companies who want feedback from users are really looking for feedback from their ideal target audience, not just any random person. So this can have a big impact on how many product testing opportunities you get over time and how much you can potentially earn.
My Final Opinion About In-Home Usage Testing
As we’ve discussed in this article, you can make money testing products as an in-home usage tester. There are lots of legitimate companies willing to pay people for genuine feedback on their products and services.
However, there are some scam sites that operate in this space that are looking to take advantage of people. Like American Consumer Panels for example, that pretends to provide In-Home Usage Testing jobs, when they’re really just promoting paid survey sites.
Personally, I don’t feel that product testing is a very lucrative way to work at home. Even if you do sign up with legit companies.
I mean, it could be fun and you could definitely earn some extra cash. Not to mention, get a bunch of great free products you like.
But I just don’t feel that it’s something for people who are interested in earning real money online. Because it can end up costing you a lot of time for very little overall reward.
So if you’re hoping to make this a full-time gig, maybe give it a miss. But as a way to earn some extra cash and score some free products, it could be a great side hustle.