Deals Episodes

Home Testing Products

From an iPod Nano to a $120 baby exercise toy, one mom is collecting tons of stuff that she got for free!

"All of these products in the store would cost me about $2,000 but as a product reviewer it didn't cost me any money, just a little time," says blogger mom, Lisa Johnston.

Blogger and work at home mom Lisa Johnston gets *free* items in the mail all the time! But how?!

"You can either pitch a company -- you send them an email, give them a call and ask them if they can test their products," said Lisa, "One of the best products I've reviewed is the Dyson bladeless fan. I actually reached out to Dyson to attend an event and they asked me if I wanted to review this fan, DIDN'T COST me a dime. In the store it would cost you about $200. But for me, all I did was write a review on it on my blog and post it on Facebook and Twitter."

In the store, you'll spend about $100 bucks on a Soda stream machine.

"Just think about how much money you spend on soda," said Lisa, "This soda machine is a fraction of the cost compared to what you would spend at the store. I reached out to soda stream to ask if I could review the product. They asked me how many viewers I had on my blog and they sent me a soda stream to review on my blog. This is real simple to do. You fill the water to the line. You put the bottle under here and you push this button three times and it carbonates the water. After that you add your flavor and you have coke!"

Lisa also received a Hoover steam mop.

"It costs around $120 if you buy it online or in the store and all I had to do is post three quick reviews -- one on Amazon, one to Target and one to Hoover," said Lisa, "The Hoover steams your floors. It steams and disinfects your carpet."

Another pricey home helper, the Rowenta iron and steamer.

"It's about $200 in stores or online," said Lisa.

Lisa also received various Fisher Price toys - all for free.

"The good thing about reviewing products is you always have something new in your home and you don't have to go buy them," said Lisa.

But, it's not just products.

"I also review entertainment spots. We've done a dinner cruise, I've done Disney, I've gone zip lining, I've actually taken a dolphin cruise and we also review restaurants."

So how does she do it? And how can you get started?

"If you are a soccer mom, baseball mom or active in the PTA they love these kind of moms because you are the one that's going to go out there and tell them about the product you've tested."

So, how can you get in on the free action? First, get busy online.

"There are many websites out there you can choose from. There's bzz agent. You can go to that site and apply for that product. They actually give you coupons to hand out to people as you are creating a buzz about the product," said Lisa. " is great because if you are influential on Twitter or Facebook they will send you products and you just review it and you can tell people about it."

"If you are a mother of small children and you are looking for product reviews or to get in on product testing sassy baby is a good place to get in. You don't always get chosen for the product but they will put you on a list and when something comes up that fits your family they will send you a product."

If you have a blog or are really involved in social media, there are even more opportunities to review products.

"If you are starting out as a blogger there is a website called They actually have an entire list of companies that are looking for product reviewers and you just go on that site and apply for a product. They will send you a product and you will write a review on your blog, you post to Facebook and you post to Twitter."

"A few of the websites that are specifically for bloggers that would like to review products are places like they will actually send you full size products and oftentimes they will pay you in gift cards to review as well. They will ask you to post a review on your blog or on Amazon or on the store website."

Lisa says believe it or not, companies *want* to give away their products.

"What the companies get out of the product reviewers is real life reviews. Real life interaction with the products. It's a form of advertising for the company. They send us the product, or the cost of the product and the cost of shipping and they normally don't have to pay anything else. They don't have to pay TV spots, magazine spots," said Lisa. "If a consumer comes to my blog and reads that I really like this product and sees cute pictures of my kids playing with the products they are going to think - oh, well my three year, my five year old might like that product."

"Anyone can do this. You can do this whether you are a blogger - not a blogger, a stay at home mom, a work at home or you are a work out of home mom. But the end result is wonderful because you have all these products to show for that you didn't have to spend money for. It just took a little time."

Websites mentioned in this story:

Follow Lisa's boards at Pinterest!


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