If you’ve ever been curious about being a product tester, perhaps you’ve come across American Consumer Panels in your Internet travels. If not, you’re in the right place to learn more about how to get started with being a product tester. In this American Consumer Panels review, I’ll discuss how this works and if this particular company is worth joining.
What is American Consumer Panels?
American Consumer Panels is a consulting company that offers product testing and development. The company is headquartered in New York. They are listed on the BBB (Better Business Bureau) website but they are not accredited. They have an A- rating at the time of this review. According to my research, there is no information on who owns this company, who started the company or when.
They work with well-known companies such as Dyson, Tefal, Sony, Kenwood, FisherPrice, Paco Rabanne, Ray-Ban, HTC, Nespresso, BaByliss, and Apple.
Verified Member of FTC Guardian
They claim to be a “verified” member of FTC Guardian. But what does that actually mean? American Consumer Panels claims that because they are a member of FTC Guardian, they comply with the Federal Trade Commission regarding truth in advertising.
But FTC Guardian doesn’t make such a claim because that is not their function. Their main function is to provide online training so companies can comply with FTC regulations and GDPR compliance. The customized legal documents they provide help to keep websites protected from legal issues and intellectual property issues. If you click on the link at the bottom of the homepage, you’ll get a pop-up screen that simply verifies that American Consumer Panels is in good standing as a member of FTC Guardian. It does not claim that they are in compliance with any FTC rules or regulations.
How Does American Consumer Panels Work?
As a product tester, you will test all kinds of products that may include items such as iPads, baby products, kitchen appliances, computer games such as X-boxes and Playstations, TVs, and more.
To get started, you will need to complete a comprehensive questionnaire. This is to tailor products to your particular consumer lifestyle and demographics. Once you sign up, a representative contact you. Depending on where you are located, they may also pay a home visit to you. After that, you will be sent products.
How Do You Make Money With American Consumer Panels?
The way the product testing is supposed to work is that you are sent a product to test. The product will also include instructions. You may also be required to take pictures as you test the product as well as audio recordings and sometimes videos. You will also need to complete a product journal and write a review on the product.
Pros and Cons of American Consumer Panels
- Variety of Products to Test
There are many different product types to test so you won’t be bored. Keep in mind that the products you are asked to test are based on your demographics and your consumer profile. You’ll receive products that are most suitable for you to test.
- No Experience Necessary
You don’t need any experience for this job which is great for people who may be out of the workforce for a while or perhaps have never worked outside the home.
- Keep The Products
You won’t have to buy any products. In most cases, product testers get to keep the products they test.
- Great Pay
American Consumer Panels claims to pay product testers between $25 and $45 per hour. In-home testers are paid after each assignment. You can either expect a check in the mail or be paid through direct deposit.
- Only Available to U.S. residents
Product testing jobs are only available to U.S. residents. American Consumer Panels do not ship products outside the U.S.
- Only Part-Time Positions
While the pay may seem great, there are only part-time positions here. There’s also no guarantee as to how many products you will test in any given period.
- But Where Are All The Products?
One thing you should be aware of here is that there are many claims that once you sign up, you are redirected to sign up to survey sites instead that have nothing to do with product testing. If you’ve ever signed up for a survey site before, you know that you make peanuts.
- Are They Still In Business?
According to the BBB, mail was sent to both addresses in New York in July 2019 and it was returned. There’s an address and a phone number listed, but the BBB site lists them as: “believed to be out of business.”
- Here’s The Rub
In my research, I found that there are many claims from people who signed up to American Consumer Panels and were redirected to sign up to survey sites instead. So here’s the rub. American Consumer Panels receive a referral commission every time someone signs up to a survey site through them!
The other thing you need to be aware of is that in-home product testing is not very frequent. So while they claim to “guarantee” 15-20 hours per week, that may assume that you are completing market research surveys–not product testing. This is stated on their FAQ page.
Is American Consumer Panels A Scam?
I think you can see for yourself that this is a questionable “opportunity.” If this company exists, it’s very possible that you will basically end up doing online market research surveys instead of product testing. Survey sites, in general, don’t pay very well. Here’s a few reasons you should think twice about this company:
BBB Returned Mail
The biggest red flag is from the BBB website which clearly states that they believe the company is out of business.
No Owner Information
There is no information on who started this company or who currently owns it.
No Dates on Images
There are plenty of pictures of testers posing with the products they’ve tested but there are no dates on these pictures.
There’s no telling how old these pictures are. In fact, the website only has four pages.
Lots of people are looking for a way to make money online. The challenge is finding an opportunity that is legitimate–not a scam. In this case, there are simply too many red flags for this to be a decent way to make money online.
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