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Opinions Pay Off For Online Product Testers

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – Do you know what you like, and what you don’t like?  Rebecca Wallace does, and expressing those opinions is now earning her some extra cash.

“There are just tons of market research companies that need people to be opinionated and be eloquent, and express their thoughts,” she explained.

Wallace has made up to $800 a month by testing everything from new phone apps to teeth whitening products.  She’s also tested a number of websites.

“You try out websites and try different tasks and give feedback, and basically talk as you explore the website,” she explained.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Darrell Benatar, founder of UserTesting.com, said, “Very large websites have discovered that it’s valuable to put real users like their target customers in front of their websites, and watch people try and actually do the things they’re supposed to do on the website.”

Finding opinionated testers like Wallace can be costly and time consuming for companies.  “The solution we came up with was to build a panel of users who would record their screen and their voice as they use the website,” explained Benatar.

Testers get paid $10 for a 10-minute recording, and clients like Wal-mart, Cisco, and Google get valuable feedback.  Benatar said the average tester earns $100-$200 a month, all from their home computer.

Wallace has also found focus groups on sites like Craigslist which are willing to pay up to $150 for her to participate.

She says she often earns free products with the extra cash, but warns the money is not always consistent.  “There are great months where I am just making hundreds of dollars and I just have a focus group everyday, but those are extremely rare.”

There are some illegitimate companies out there, so you have to be cautious.  For example, don’t ever give out any credit card information.  Another warning sign is if they request your social security number.

Some companies, like UserTesting.com, will pay you through PayPal so you don’t have to disclose any personal information directly to the company.

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