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How do companies afford to give out free products while you take surveys for money?
You'll encounter lots of opportunities after you sign up for paid surveys. You could earn cash while answering questions about pop culture or rewards while giving feedback about a marketing campaign. But there's another perk that many online survey respondents enjoy too.
When you sign up to take a product survey, you'll get free items sent directly to your home for you to test and provide an educated opinion about. Not only do you get to keep those products afterward, you'll get paid for using them and answering questions about your experience.
Does that sound too good to be true? Consumers receive cutting-edge products straight to their doors without paying a dime and even earn cash in the process. What's the catch?
Understanding product surveys
The catch is, it's actually in that company's best interest to send you a few free items and pay you just to hear your opinions. The information is that valuable. But why send a free product? Can't a business just ask for your thoughts in a survey without having to invest in sending its innovative items to your door step?
Sometimes, finding reliable, actionable data isn't that simple. Finding what people truly think about a product is easiest when they have an experience to work off of. Otherwise, businesses may receive answers from users that don't necessarily match up with actual future behaviors. It's a phenomenon that Forbes contributor Roger Dooley touched on while writing about faulty survey data.
"People are often incapable of articulating why they do things or how they would behave in the future," Dooley wrote. "Our behavior as humans is influenced by many, many factors, most of which aren't conscious or rational."
In other words, consumers often can't describe what draws them to their favorite products. Whether it's a beverage or a piece of tech, it can be hard to describe what makes the item stand out among the competition.
This can become an even more difficult fact to deal with when a survey respondent is offering an opinion about a hypothetical product. That potential buyer may think the price, appearance or utility of the item is the most important factor, but behaviors and buying trends may tell a different story.
Companies need you to test their products
The solution: measure those behaviors from the get-go. Oftentimes, the best data is discovered when companies distribute free products for testing so that consumers can make judgments based on experiences instead of best guesses on a survey. Finding the best data is critical. Companies are paying to distribute surveys in the first place, and if the insights offered don't tell the full story, that data can lead to a poor business decision that sacrifices even more money.
In the long run, the price of a few free items is worth the investment. A consumer could find a defect in the product or offer a suggestion that leads to a critical change in the item's design before it's mass produced. Identifying those details makes the products exponentially better, improving sales and the customer experience at the same time.
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