6 Places to Get Free Item for Review Without a Blog

Date Wed, September 24 2014

As a blogger, I get to work directly with brands and PR firms and sometimes am blessed with opportunities that you might not get if you’re not also a blogger. However, this doesn’t mean that your voice isn’t one that brands want to hear. You can review products through networks, typically known as word of mouth sites, like the following.

Word of Mouth Marketing Works for You

Word of Mouth Marketing Works for You


So here’s the great thing about PinchMe. You can get a few products in every box and reviewing the item is minimal. The site uses a very basic form where you rate the effectiveness of a product by itself and in comparison to other products on a scale of 1 to 5. In fact, I don’t think you have to type in anything, so the surveys are super quick.

What’s not so great about PinchMe? Literally everything else. Samples are released to everyone on Tuesdays at noon. Don’t ask me about the time zone. I have no idea. I’m rarely awake and remember to check for samples at noon in any American time zone. Oops!

If this Tuesday at noon thing works for you, rest assured that others are vicious and ready to snap up those samples. I’ve read dozens of accounts of people who logged in at noon and samples were already gone.  This leads to a flood of traffic, and the site will often remain broken for days at a time.

PinchMe used to send out alerts when products were posted, but they no longer do. This is part of the reason I haven’t seen anything from them in months. Also, you have either 10 days or 2 weeks to try products. Of course, there are many products that need more time than that to even tell if they work.


BzzAgent is probably the site I’ve been a member of the longest. I’ve talked about it before. In short, there’s a complex ranking system based on your social media following and whether you complete every activity for a given campaign. You’ll periodically take surveys to see if you qualify for products (and the brands’ requirements). I’ve reviewed website hosting, body wash, insoles, air fresheners, candy and more.

You generally don’t have to have a website, but most campaigns offer tasks for blogging. If you don’t blog, you don’t get the task and your rank won’t go up. But you can still qualify if you haveTwitter, Facebook, Instagram, et cetera.

Some campaigns come with the chance to win a product or coupons — there was one where you could save $50 off a popular printer brand. I didn’t have the need for a printer or the money to upgrade at the time, but it’s a decent option. I typically only participate in those that offer product in exchange for review because it also provides blog content.

More than once, someone else qualified for an opp and I never got the invite. It seemed like a perfect product but I missed out. One example was for an epilator. I would have loved that. Alas! According to my stats, I’ve participated in 3 campaigns this year and 3 last year. 2012 was my biggest year with 9 campaigns!

Notice: when you do receive a campaign invite, accept right away! I’ve missed out on a campaign or two because of my schedule.


Betabound is the newest site I’ve joined, and I’m still getting used to it. The focus is technology, so once you sign up you’ll add information about your devices including:

  • Cell phones
  • eReaders
  • Computers
  • Game Consoles
  • TVs

They’ll send out interest surveys. I get several per week. I respond to that ones where I match the criteria and I’m interested. These have included streaming TV devices and social commerce websites. Once you’re accepted, an entire control panel will be added to your BetaBound account.

Here you can file reports, see what others in the beta have to say and talk to project managers. Everything happens on the site and you don’t need a blog at all!

As far as I can tell, active members will be compensated — typically in the form of gift cards. I haven’t reached the end of a campaign so I’ll have to edit this later.


My relationship with Influenster has been love-hate. On the one hand, I’ve received some cool products. Im fact, my first box was packed with them. I’ve also received cool prizes for being active for campaigns. On the whole, opportunities are few and far between even though I have high scores in various categories on the site.

As you qualify for boxes, you can complete activities for points. You don’t need a blog, but you might not earn enough points for earn a brand badge if you don’t have a blog. Since the activities for each box are different, it’s hard to tell. When you do earn the badge, you’ll generally be entered to win additional gift cards or prizes. When I wrote my Rimmel review, I also won a handful of other products from the brand.

Infuenster’s site was also recently redesigned, and I’m not sure it’s an improvement. I always wind up clicking multiple times to find out how to participate in campaign/badge activities. I also just discovered Snaps, questions that add points to badges on the site and also helps narrow down the type of boxes you’d be great for.

One thing I’ve noticed is that more campaigns have become virtual. You don’t get actual prizes. You can earn gift cards after you do the work. And sometimes it’s pretty paltry. For example, they recently had campaigns where you could earn $25 to eBay for writing product guides. I’d expect payment to be at least twice that as a freelance writer.

Please let me know if you want an invitation. Leave a comment using the email address you’d like the invite mailed to!


I only joined this site last month, but I’ve already won Amazon gift cards and been able to review a product. Crowdtap is made up of actions that you do to earn points. For example, you can perform quick hits, which are short questions, to earn points for brands on the site. As you rack up points, you get entries into monthly giveaways from the brand. Amazon gift cards are often a prize.

The reviewing part comes if you reply to emails about sponsored discussions and missions. You have to complete a survey to see if you’re a good fit. The process requires that you share on social media with the intent of referring your friends to Crowdtap. For each campaign, you submit a report, which earns you more points and more chances to win prizes.

Crowdtap is fun. The Quickhits are a good way to waste time, and I was honestly shocked that I won anything my first month there! There are more in-depth challenges, in which you post photos and engage with brands and your social media followers. I don’t really do these because they’re more time consuming, but they’ll earn you more points for potential gifts.

Smiley 360

The last site on this list is one with which I’ve had little success, but other people have. Take surveys to qualify for missions. Some are social sharing. Others reward you with products. I’ve yet to qualify for a mission that has product available, but your milage may vary. It seems like parents will do better on this site. There’s no email when you receive a new mission survey, so you’ll want to check back often.


So do you use any of these sites? Or have any tips for using them? Let me know in the comments!

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