How do I join?
You become a PTS Panel Member by simply filling out our brief registration questionnaire. After receiving a confirmation email and clicking on the enclosed link, you are a member. See Join
How does the process work?
First, you register to become a PTS Panel Member. Once you are accepted, we will send you email invitations to participate in product evaluations as projects arise which match your demographics (obtained during registration). These email invitations will spell out the various details about the project, i.e., the type of product, the estimated time involved, the time period, the incentives, etc. If you are qualified and willing, you are linked to a screening questionnaire. We select participants from among those who have completed the screener. If we have more qualified registrants than we need, we randomly select the participants.
Is participation voluntary?
Yes. By being a PTS Panel Member, you are not obligated to sign up for any project. We are only interested in people who feel they have the time and interest to participate in a particular project. Perhaps you qualify, but know you will be on vacation or are otherwise too busy to register. That is ok. It is all voluntary. However, once you register for a specific project and are selected, we expect you to follow through and complete the project. People who fail to will be removed from the PTS Panel.
What is an email invitation?
An email invitation is a letter sent to selected members of the PTS Panel inviting them to participate in a specific project. It will include vital information, such as: the type of product, the estimated time involved, the time period, the incentives, etc. It will also contain a link to a screener questionnaire. If you are interested in the invitation, you can click on the link, fill out the screener and become eligible for project consideration.
What happens to the personal information I share with PTS?
Confidentiality is a vital component of our process here. We never share personal identifiable information with anyone without your permission.
How often will I be asked to participate?
It is impossible to predict. It depends on the amount of client needs plus your demographics. When we send out email invitations, we first select by various criteria such as age, gender, geographic location, etc., for people who best match the client profile. Hence, if you do not match the preliminary demographic profile, you will not be sent an invitation for that particular project. We do on occasion help partner companies find panelists, which improves your likelihood of participation.
Do I have to participate in every project?
No. When you are a PTS Panel Member, it simply means you will be sent invitations to participate in various projects. You decide whether or not any particular product evaluation is of interest to you. There is no problem whatsoever for not registering. However, once you do register for a specific project and are selected, we expect you to fulfill your obligation. If you don't, you will be removed from the Panel.
How do I update my email address or other information?
Go to the Members section and fill out the appropriate form. Be sure and do this if you change your email address. You may also send us email stating both your old and new address.
By joining will it lead to irritating spam mail?
No. We feel the same way you do about spam (unsolicited email) and the Golden Rule rules here. We only send you email related to PTS or partner projects; or pertinent, related information. We only send email to you because by registering you have expressed a willingness to know about opportunities to test products or do surveys. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the cancel tab on the footer, or sending us email with the word REMOVE on the subject line.
Will this lead to irritating phone calls?
No. We do not ask for your telephone number in the registration. The only time we ask for a phone number is when you are registering for a specific product test, if it is relative to the project. We sometimes ask for it there because of the possible need to communicate with you by phone as is directly related to that project. Even then, it is rare that we use phone calls, since email is always so much more efficient. We will never solicit your participation other than by email.
What kind of products will I be testing?
In our early days we focused primarily on computer-related products, but now it could be most anything from breakfast cereal to pet food. Actually, in the case of pet food, your pet would test the food; but, since it is unlikely Fido can do web surveys, we would ask that you do that on his behalf. We do, however, suggest that you pat him on the head and say “Good Fido!”
How much time will be involved?
When sending out email invitations calling for participants, we will always give estimates of the time needed to evaluate a product and fill out the feedback questionnaire. The times can vary from 30 minutes to several hours. The value of incentives usually reflects time required. Again, if you don't feel you have the time, you don't need to register.
How long do I have to do a product evaluation?
When sending out email invitations calling for participants, we always give an estimated time. Generally, an average time frame is one to two weeks; but again, that can vary greatly depending on what is involved.
How often will I be selected?
It is impossible to predict how often you may be invited to participate. It depends a lot on client volume and needs. In addition, we sort by demographic information prior to sending out invitations and it is possible you are just not matching up with client requests.
Product testing requires fewer people than general surveys. As our panel size grows, it challenges us to keep everyone busy and happy. For this reason, we will sometimes send you email invitations for projects of partner companies.
Can people under 18 years of age participate?
Yes. We encourage young people to register. We do sometimes have projects for them, especially in the computer games area. However, people under 18 may be required to provide parental consent for certain types of products. This is something we obtain at the time of selections for specific projects.
What's in it for me? What kinds of incentives or rewards will I receive?
We recognize that your time is as valuable as ours or anyone else's, and that you shouldn't be asked to do something for nothing. Some type of remuneration is always offered. Depending on the actual value of the product tested, it may be in keeping the product itself. It may be cash, coupon or gift certificate. We also sometimes have a drawing in which one or several respondents have a chance at winning a substantial prize.
The exact incentive for each project is presented in the letter of invitation for a particular project.
What should I do if I encounter technical problems with a product I am evaluating? Usually, we will give you specific email addresses along with your product evaluation package. Generally, though, just contact us.
Do I need any particular computer hardware/software to participate?
Generally, no, other that whatever is needed to access the Internet. In the case of specific projects, sometimes yes. These specifications will be presented in the invitation letter.
What is Product Testing Services?
Product Testing Services (PTS) is a company which specializes in marketplace feedback via the Internet. Mostly, we do product placements; that is, placing a client's products in your home or business for you to use for a time, and then report your feedback into a web survey. We also do other types of projects as well, such as opinion surveys in which no actual product is evaluated.
How long have you been in business?
We have been in the on-line survey business since 1985. We began on-line surveys and product evaluations before the days of the Internet. At the time we were experimenting with the use of a local bulletin board system (or "message board,") in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, for the purpose of more efficiently obtaining audience feedback for a radio program we were doing. The benefits of immediate, electronic, audience feedback to the radio program producers were quite impressive. The program became highly successful. This eventually lead to projects with a large manufacturer (one of the radio show sponsors), who utilized this on-line process to obtain market reaction to their computer products.
What if I have a question which isn't answered in FAQ?
contact us. We will attempt to answer your question within three business days.