Frequently Asked Questions

General Information About Consumer Testing

What kinds of products will I be asked to test?

You could be asked to test just about anything from convenience foods to sport drinks to cosmetics to cleaning supplies. Virtually any product that is sold to consumers could be tested.

What is product testing like?

As a consumer panelist, you may be asked to participate in different types of product tests, including the following.

Home Testing

Some products are tested in your home as you would normally use them. We arrange to supply you with samples, and over a period of days or weeks you test them and complete occasional surveys. In some cases we may arrange to have our staff meet with you at your home so that we can observe how you use the product and ask you questions about it.

Group Testing

Other products need to be prepared or presented in a such a way that everyone gets the same experience. In these cases we'll ask you to come to a central location in your community at a certain time. You are given the samples to try and a questionnaire to fill out. These types of tests typically take between 20 minutes and an hour of your time at the testing site.

Focus Groups

When companies want more interaction with consumers and livelier feedback, they sometimes rely on focus groups. A focus group typically consists of around a dozen people and a facilitator who gather in a meeting room. The facilitator leads an open discussion about topics that are important to the company. As a focus group member, you may be asked to try a product or watch a video, or the facilitator might ask you for your insights about past service experiences or desired product characteristics.

Online Surveys

Most of our research involves the types of in-person testing described above, but we sometimes have simpler studies where you can complete an on-line questionnaire and be done!

Privacy

How will information about me be used?

The information we ask you is absolutely confidential. It will only be used to determine which testing opportunities will benefit most from your consumer perspective, and which tests you are most likely to qualify for. Information we gather when you participate in a study is provided blindly to the manufacturer whose products you are testing (no personally identifying information is included). There is no marketing or solicitation associated with our studies.

Participating in Consumer Testing

How much does it pay?

The amount of compensation depends on the study being done. Most in-person product testing assignments pay between $20 and $100. Compensation for online surveys is typically much less.

How often can I participate in studies?

The required length of time between tests varies from study to study, but you should not expect to participate more than once a month. We do our best to be sure that all of our consumer panelists have opportunities to contribute, and that testing is not monopolized by a small group of individuals.

How do I know if there's a study?

There are two ways to check for studies. You can log in on our website, and any studies you are eligible for will be listed on your Activity Menu in the upper right. Or, you can wait for us to send you an e-mail when we have a study that we think you might be interested in. When you get the e-mail, log in and look for the link on the right side of you Activity Menu to find out more about it.

How do I get into a study?

When you get a notice about a study, log in to your Activity Menu from our website. Look for the link on the right side of the page after you've logged in.

After you click the link you will probably be asked to complete a short screening questionnaire to qualify to participate in the study. If you qualify, you will be given additional information about the nature of the study, including the type of product, the duration of the test, and how much you will be compensated. You will then be able to pick from a list of the time slots that are available for testing.

We'll send you an email reminder the day before your session, and if things change you can log back in and pick a different time, or cancel out of the study. You can also choose to receive a text-message reminder the morning of your session.

On the day of the test, come in about 15 minutes before your scheduled time so we can get you signed in. When it's time to test you'll be given some product samples and asked questions about what you think of them. It's that simple!

My co-worker just got invited to a study. Why can’t I see the link when I log in to my Activity Page?

Each study we do has specific requirements for who should be tested. We use the information we already have about you to make sure that you only see the links for studies that you’re most likely to qualify for. We want to make sure that if we ask you to complete a screener, there’s a good chance you’ll be rewarded at the end!

On The Test Day

I cannot make my session but a friend can. Should I send her in my place?

Please DO NOT send friends or family members to test for you; your appointment is for you and you only. Your friend will NOT be allowed to test, and they will not be compensated in any way for having come in.

What should I do if I am unable to make my scheduled session?

You can change your scheduled time, or cancel your appointment completely by logging in on our website. Click the link for the study you are scheduled in. All open sessions will be shown, along with the session you are currently in. Pick a time that works, or if none fit your schedule, select the "cancel my appointment" choice.

We close the schedule some time before the test begins so we can prepare for you. If the schedule has been closed please call our office to let us know about the change in your plans.

What happens if the weather is bad?

Before you come in for any study, it’s a good idea to log in to your Activity Menu. The test status will be shown in messages window on the lower right. If the study has been cancelled you will see the message there.

Becoming a Consumer Panelist

How do I register to become consumer panelist?

There are three steps to registering:

  1. Click on the Join link on our website and provide your basic contact information.
  2. Complete all the profile questionnaires. These questionnaires, which take approximately 20 minutes to complete, help us identify consumers who will be eligible to participate in our product evaluations.
  3. Watch for an email from us. Click on the link in the email to confirm that you received it and that you're interested in participating.

Why do I have to answer so many questions when I complete my profile?

Every time we conduct a study the product manufacturer has specific requirements about the people they want to have testing. Instead of bugging you all the time with questions about studies you wouldn’t be interested in, we ask you to provide us with answers to a range of questions up front. Then we use that information to make sure that when we send you an invitation for a study there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be well suited for it. So it’s important that your profile is accurate and up-to-date or you might miss out on some opportunities!

I received an email asking me to "verify my email address". What is that about?

We want to make sure that the email address you entered is correct, that you actually want to get email from us, and that email from us isn't winding up in a spam folder. Therefore, any time you change your email address we will send a request that you verify it. If you don't verify it, we will not send email to you, and you will not be able to participate in our studies.

Why am I not receiving emails?

It is possible that our email is getting caught in a spam filter or junk mail folder. Make sure to add our domain to any approved sender lists you have. Check your junk mail folder and if you find an email there mark it as "not junk" or create a rule to have it delivered to your inbox.

If you use a "challenge-response" or "sender address verification" program, such as SpamArrest or PostFix, that requires anyone sending an email to verify that they are a real person, you may have trouble receiving email from us. Our email is automated and we rely on our email verification requests to ensure that we are not sending unwanted messages. Those verification requests will not pass through a challenge-response system unless you white-list our domain.

What happens if I forget My User ID or Pin?

If you have forgotten your login information, choose the Login option on our website. At the bottom of the Login page, click on the link “Forgot your ID or PIN?” you will then be prompted to enter some personal information to generate your login information.

Can I change my User ID?

Unfortunately we are not able to change your User ID. The system uses your primary phone number as the basis for your ID so that it's easy for you to remember. However, if you get a new phone number, you should continue to use your original ID. You can update your phone numbers in your profile, but that will not change your User ID.

Can I change my PIN?

You can change your PIN at anytime. Log in to your Activity Menu and select the “Change My PIN” option in the "Other Activities" section. You will then be prompted to enter a new PIN.

How do I refer my friends?

We are always looking for new panelists and we provide an easy tool for you to use to let your friends and family know about us. Log in to your profile and select the “Refer a friend or family member” option in the "Other Activities" section. Enter their full name and their email address. An email will be sent to them with a link to our website.

Fundraising Opportunities

How can my club or charity use product testing for fundraising?

Fundraising organizations can sign up to be partners using the registration form on our website. After we review and approve the organization's information it will be added to our partner list.

Then, get your members to register as consumer panelists and sign up for fundraising. Whenever they participate in product testing they can choose to donate their compensation to your group.

How often will my organization receive a check?

We typically pay organizations once a month. A letter will be attached to the check summarizing the members who have donated, the date of their participation, and the dollar amount earned.

How do I donate to my club?

Sign up for fundraising by logging in on our website and select the "Sign up for Fundraising" choice in the "Other Activities" section of you Activity Menu. You can add as many of our partner organizations as you like to your profile.

Each time you sign up for a test session, you will have the opportunity select one of your organizations to donate to, or you can choose to keep the compensation for yourself.


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