They still operate there today, and were one of the earliest pioneers of online surveys and feedback, even before the internet was available to the general public.
Beginning with their first client, a local radio station, they utilized a community bulletin board system known as the Twin Cities Community Network, or TCCN.
Doing so, they were able to provide near-immediate user feedback.
From there, they only gained more clients, including a fortune 500 company, and Product Testing Services was created.
Who Do they Serve?
PTS offers product quality testing services. Their website lists some pretty big names as past clients including Discovery Channel and Kraft.
What are Projects Like?
Other past projects are listed as simply “Smart Phones Panel” and “Under 30 Panel, fashion.” Presumably, these are self-explanatory.
Once you are a member of the panel, you are added to their email list with all of your demographic information. If you fit the bill for a current project, you will be sent an invite via email to join the panel.
The invitation will detail the project, including the time it is expected to take and the incentive to be received. You may choose to accept or decline the project.
All projects are on a voluntary basis, and they do not note that there is a penalty for declining. However, the terms and conditions state that you agree to participate.
This can be read to mean that if you never participate when invited, you could be removed.
Typically, you will be asked to try a product and complete a series of questions about your experience.
The sign-up process was pretty standard. They start with name and email and move up to other contact information and some pretty detail profile information about what electronics you own, if you have pets, etc.
Remember, thoroughly and honestly filling out all of the profile information increases your chances of being chosen to participate in a product test.
Children under 18 are encouraged to apply, as there are often opportunities for them, but they must have parental permission.
What Kind of Products do They Test?
In their early years, they stuck mostly to computer, software, and electronic type products.
Today, however, they offer testing for products ranging from breakfast bars to cosmetics and everything in between.
These vary by project. Depending on the value of the product to be tested, it may be that your incentive is getting to keep the product itself.
Other possibilities are cash or gift certificates, or a combination of keeping the product and a monetary incentive.
You will know what the incentive is and the time the project will take before you accept or decline.
Cash and cash equivalents are distributed 30 to 60 days after the project ends.
PTS also holds occasional drawings where one or more panelist may win a prize.
Winners of bonus prizes are notified via email.
I have not yet received an invitation to test a product, so I cannot speak to that. However, I was somewhat disappointed when I signed up.
They make it sound like you will be able to access current available studies and apply for them.
It is possible that there are no current studies open, which would be why I did not see this option. However, they listed several links under available studies that were only links to other survey panels.
I am already a member of most of the ones included on the list, but the concerning part was that it was presented as being open panels.
It would be easy to believe you were signing up for a product testing opportunity through PTS, when in truth these are just other survey sites that they probably have an affiliate relationship with.
It seemed kind of tricky to me, but I try to never fault a site for supplementing income with affiliate links.
It is a win-win situation, unless people are signing up and not understanding what they are actually signing up for.
In addition, in my welcome email from PTS, it was recommended that I sign up for Ipsos, another survey site.
There is no way to sign in to an account or a dashboard.
In fact, you can’t log in anywhere on the site that I can see. This is supported by the fact that once you sign up, you are told to bookmark the page, so you don’t sign up again.
Most sites will not let you sign up more than once because it flags your email address.
It is stated in the terms that you agree not to sign with more than one email address.
There isn’t any that I could find. There is no BBB file, the Facebook page hasn’t had a post since 2014, and I could not find anything in the way of reviews in a Google search.
Is Product Testing Services Legit or a Scam?
I honestly don’t think they are a scam, despite a lack of third-party information being available.
The thing is, if they were a scam, there would be tons of bad reviews all over the internet, including on the BBB.
I think possibly the adage “no news is good news” applies here. If panelists were unhappy, they would be saying so. It isn’t uncommon for those with no complaint to stay silent.
I can’t find anyone who has written about their product testing experience, but no one is saying they were scammed either.
Also, it costs nothing to sign up, nothing to participate in a panel, and they never ask for credit card information.
I think this is a legit product testing company. It just seems that perhaps opportunities are few and far between.
There is no reason not to sign up here. If you are ever invited to participate in a paid survey for a product, there is no reason to think the experience will not be positive.
If you are not already a member of the sites they recommend, go ahead and sign up for those too if you are interested. I didn’t see any that raised a red flag.