What is a Product Tester?
Product testing is a flexible and rewarding freelance job, with many opportunities available for people living in South Africa. A product tester helps companies test and evaluate the quality of their products and many companies based in South Africa and around the world require testers to report on the pros and cons of specific products, relating their own experiences through objective and unbiased feedback.
Testing products can often be worked into your daily routine, and it's important for a company to receive an honest report. Although a product tester may have personal opinions about the items they test, companies need objective information about the overall quality of the product, and how well it performs under normal circumstances. If there is an issue, then informing the company will help them to improve their products for consumers.
How Product Testing Works
After signing up for product testing with a company, you'll be required to give some details regarding what kind of products you and your family use. This allows companies to tailor their product tests to your specific needs, to ensure you test products that you personally find useful and enjoy in everyday life in order to produce relevant feedback.
After you have received a few products for testing purposes, a company will instruct you on how to use them, and also how long to test them before you report back. If you're testing a new hair shampoo for instance, they may require you to stop using your regular brand whilst you test the new product in order that they can receive more accurate and useful data.
It's also likely that a company will want you to keep records of your reactions to their products, either each time you use the product, or maybe just once a week. You may have to answer a questionnaire online or install a computer program to record your experiences with the product. This enables the company to collect information quickly, so make sure your computer's security software is updated regularly for safety reasons.
What Type of Products are Tested?
When you begin testing products, it's very likely you'll be testing a variety of consumable goods that you might use regularly during a normal week. Sometimes you'll be required to compare products with their rivals, such as washing powder or soap, and other times you will need to use a product on its own to the exclusion of other brands.
After you've gained the trust of a number of companies, they might require you to test products of a higher value, such as electronic goods or clothes and shoes. However, it's generally unlikely you'll be allowed to keep these more expensive items once the test is over.
Finally, you may be required to test specific services provided by websites or phone companies. A company will want their website to have a user friendly interface and helpful support services, and this type of testing is becoming increasingly commonplace.
What Qualifications Does a Product Tester Need?
Although you probably won't require any formal qualifications to become a freelance product tester, you will need to have good communication and written skills in order to record and summarise your responses accurately. You should also be familiar with a wide range of products that are already incorporated into your lifestyle for the purposes of comparison.
Companies also prefer their testers to give specific and straightforward opinions related to their products. Honesty is essential for becoming a successful product tester. By voicing your opinions, you can have your say about how good a product actually is.
Subsequently, you'll contribute to any changes and improvements a company might make to their products in the future - and this can be very rewarding. Companies need good publicity, therefore allowing consumers to share their opinions is becoming increasingly valuable to ensure they maximise productivity and public support.
How to Apply for Product Testing Jobs
In order to apply for product testing, you may need to write a resume which specifies any abilities and experience you have that could be applied to this role. If you have good communication skills and can record your results concisely, then this will be a great asset to any company requiring a product tester.
Specifically, companies want to test their products in the real world with ordinary people to obtain the most accurate information. As previously stated, it's unlikely that you will need any formal qualifications, as many people from all walks of life register with popular product testing websites such as Toluna and Enlighten.
It's also worth bearing in mind that if you or a household family member works in marketing, or with the specific product that you want to test, then you won't be allowed to test the product for that company. This is to ensure that all of the results are fair and not biased or inaccurately recorded.
What you can Earn as a Product Tester
As you will be product testing on a freelance basis, you probably won't often receive money for your efforts. Instead, you may be allowed to keep the products you test, which in themselves could save you a lot of money, especially if you usually buy these products on a weekly basis. As you gain more experience as a product tester, you will gradually build a level of trust with the companies you work for, so they might send you some more expensive products to test.
Some product testers are paid for writing reviews for various products, either in cash or with vouchers for some online stores. The products companies supply will often be worth a fair amount of money collectively, which again could save on some of your regular expenses.
Essentially, product testing is a useful freelance home job in South Africa. Although you won't always be paid in cash for your efforts, you'll often be able to use and keep many of the products you test, which could save you money, whilst providing your opinions will help improve the experiences of consumers and companies alike.