Did you know that a lot of bloggers, YouTubers and social media influencers get review products for free (as well as free services)? Sometimes this is in the form of sponsored content, other times it’s simply due to an affiliate relationship where a company is happy to give you access to a service for free in exchange for your content marketing.
In this guide, I’m going to break down what you need to know as a complete beginner with 0 subscribers on how to get products for free to review products and tap into a companies budget for influencer marketing (and yes companies budget resources for this).
I want to emphasis first and foremost that there are no short-cuts. Companies don’t provide products and services for free without a calculated return on investment. That means you need to deliver actual results so don’t think that this is some way to be lazy and get free products without giving anything in return.
Last, you don’t need that big of a YouTube channel. You can get started with less than 1000 subscribers and get free stuff, but typically you’ll need to have a few thousands subscribers before companies reach out to you.
Step 1: Create review content and pay your dues
To start getting products and services for free to review on your YouTube channel you need to actually create good videos where you use and review products and services first. Yes, sometimes this means you need to break open the wallet and spend your own money. But again, you have to pay your dues and prove yourself first.
No company is going to provide you with a free product to review or give access to a service for free without knowing the potential results you can deliver. Too many simply want to skip over this because of a sense of entitlement and expect to be given things but it does not work like that.
Instead, prove yourself first. When I first started making tutorials for my YouTube channel I had to pay for various software services upfront in order to make different tutorials. Overtime, those video did well, my subscriber count grew and companies just started giving me free hosting accounts to make long form tutorials with.
Have a portfolio of content
You need to have a portfolio of videos first reviewing products and services and an actual track record of delivering results and driving sales. Companies are trusting you with their brand and reputation, no one can trust you if you’re an unknown so get busy making content.
That can be a helpful in-depth blog post or a great YouTube channel where an aspect is you breaking down the pros and the cons of specific products.
Last, don’t forget you need to deliver results. If a company gives you a product for free it’s because your review content will help generate more revenue than the cost of giving you the product as well as managing an influencer program in the first place.
Consider hiding your YouTube subscriber count if you’re under a few thousand
Within your YouTube creator studio account, simply navigate to your channel settings. Here you can toggle on or off “display the number of people subscribed to my channel.”
This is ideal if you have a smaller channel under 1000 subscribers. Most YouTubers have small channels and companies don’t particularly care about how many subscribers you have. They care about the long term results you can get.
With that said, it is in your interest to hide your subscriber count if you’re wanting to get products for free to review as you may appear untrustworthy with a tiny channel.
There is no need to hide your subscriber count once you’re over a few thousand subscribers.
Step 2: Reach out to companies for product review opportunities
When you have a small channel, you’ll first need to reach out to companies in order to get review products or services. When you have a larger, more established audience then companies will reach out to you.
First, take a step back and look at other YouTube channel in your niche and consider what content, products and services are they promoting. What kind of products or services make sense for your channel?
Companies budget for what they call “influencer marketing” and giving away products and services is part of that. That’s why you see camera review channels all reviewing the same new vlogging camera all at once.
Pay attention to advertisements and sponsors
When on YouTube, pay attention to what other channels in your niche are promoting. While you don’t want to be a copycat and promote the same exact product, it can give you an idea of what category of product may make sense for your vlog.
Also take note of any “this video is sponsored by” type introductions. Companies again have a budget for influencer marketing and if they are paying to sponsor a video, they could very well be open to letting you create some type of review content.
Search for companies giving products away for review
Notice other vloggers promoting a specific product category in a unique way? How can you promote the same or relevant product on your channel? Keep a list of these different companies and begin the process of email outreach.
Know the margins
A margin is how much profit a company can make by giving you a product or service for free. As such, it’s usually an easier for a company to give you a free account to a service you would normally need to pay for than to give you an expensive product.
My point here is to simply be aware of how much a product costs and the margins on it. Don’t ask for expensive products and waste everyone’s time if you can’t deliver.
Email outreach (or contacting companies via social media) is how you’re going to get in touch with companies. Look for any type of “press” or “affiliates” page on their website and reach out to them. At worst you may just need to send an email via the good old contact page.
But for email outreach to work you need to be aggressive and contact multiple companies. Not just one. Last, focus on the value you can provide. It’s not about you, it’s about how you can get results and drive sales for them.
Add a PO Box to your about page on YouTube or website
As your channel grows, your about page and contact email will grow in importance. Once you have a collection of review videos and a few thousand subscribers it’s time to add a PO Box so companies can send you products to review:
Please be as detailed as possible as to the expectations of any products send to you. Will you send products back that you review or do you expect to keep them? Would you prefer a company to first reach out to you by email before sending anything over?
Do you leave it to your discretion as to what products to review, even if a company sends it to you for free? Be upfront, detailed and honest.
Create a Professional Email
While you can use a Gmail account, it is a good idea to setup a professional email. Something like “email@example.com.” To get started you’ll need to get a domain name at Namecheap, then I suggest checking my helpful, step by step tutorial on YouTube of how redirect emails from a domain name to GMail.
With a domain name at Namecheap you can redirect emails from your professional email to a standard Gmail account. Then in Gmail you setup an alias to reply to emails as.
If this sounds a bit to complicated then at a minimum get a professional sounding GMail. NameofWebsiteMedia@gmail.com sounds a lot better than LinseyBunny871 at hotmail.
The other way is to purchase dedicated email hosting that provides storage, security, ease of use and so forth. Checkout my breakdown on the best options here:
Don’t be a sell out
A sellout is someone who reviews anything for money. They take no consideration as to the quality of the product, the fact that their audience may make a purchase decision based on what they say or even the relevance of the product to their channel.
Your personal brand and integrity are your most valuable asset. Don’t review crappy products and say they are amazing and don’t review products just for the money or because you got it for free.
You end up becoming a sellout which long term damages your ability to engage in influencer marketing. Sometimes the best answer to irrelevant products is no thanks.
Know what you’re talking about
This may seem like common sense, but I need to lay it out clearly for beginners. No one of any intelligence is going to believe your hyperbolic language that “xyz” product is amazing, life changing and omg you need to get it right now.
Unprofessional reviews that leverage emotion and try to manipulate their audience, or worse, flat out lie about a product are a disservice to your audience. The best product reviews are honest and upfront about the pros and cons of a specific item. They explain the various uses, who should get it and who should not get it.
For example, in my SiteGround review video, I layout the real positives and downsides of that hosting company as well as the ideal customer and who should look for a different alternative. I can advise on this from actual experience of using SiteGround for well over a year.
YouTube SEO – Rank your reviews
YouTube actually has multiple algorithms. One for shorts, one for search another for recommended videos. Getting your review video to rank is not only a good way to drive affiliate sales long term, it’s also good for getting the attention of companies who are looking for influencers.
While YouTube works best with click bait thumbnails and titles, paying attention to rankings is a good strategy for a review product. Maybe you’re reviewing a diving watch as a travel vlogger.
A good blog post would be: “Name of diving watch review – 6 stunning things you’ll love.”
On YouTube you need to make it a bit more attention grabbing. Something like: “I can’t believe this watch only cost $60.”
Next, you’ll want to write out a detailed description of the product and your review. Your detailed description does help with your videos performance and more importantly, it helps people who find your video make a purchase decision.
Remember, even though you’re getting products for free, focus on being honest and helpful first.
Companies to get review products from
Next up, there are a wide range of companies that have influencer programs or programs or product testing services you can be apart of. Here are my top choices.
Amazon is the most popular ecommerce website in the United States. They are built on trust, quality, and high customer service.
Amazon is known for leading the way with creative marketing initiatives. From the Amazon Associates program (which has become one of the, if not the most successful, affiliate programs in the world) to developing various influencer marketing programs.
The first is the Amazon Vine program, an invitation-only program where Amazon selects the most insightful reviewers to work as a Vine voice.
If you’re a regular buyer of stuff off Amazon and leave helpful reviews, you could be selected and receive free products. These free products you can also use for content for your platforms. Be it a blog, YouTube channel or social media profile.
The next is the influencer program, whereby you post a video review of a product and then earn a commission if someone watches your review video and the purchases.
The influencer program also allows you to build a custom storefront to share your recommended products with your audience. The storefront is great if you have a big personal brand.
This extension of the associate’s program is reserved for actual influencers with a social media presence. Many influencers hire people to review products via video and then post those video reviews to Amazon.
You could offer a gig service on Fiverr where you can create product review videos. Someone buys the product for you and in return you create a video review for them.
Shop for rebates on Amazon! It’s an odd offer, so let me explain. Rebaid is a cashback website that will reimburse some or all of the purchase price if you choose to review a product.
They offer quite a few products found on Amazon but the selection is limited. Overally, this is a great way to get Amazon products for free or close to free though it does take some work and luck to find a product you want or need.
Once you create your account:
- Select the product you want.
- Buy it from Amazon.
- Get a cashback rebate.
Typically you’ll get reimbursed the remaining balance or the total amount (if the offer was for the product’s total price) through your chosen payment method.
Rebaid has an internal program similar to Amazon Vine, asking customers to leave honest product feedback. However, reviewing products is optional and not required when making purchases through the platform.
Daily Goodie Box
If you’re a resident of the US, you can sign up for Daily Goodie Box, a site that lets you test products entirely for free. You can be selected as a product tester just by signing up and creating an account.
This website also gives its members a chance to receive a free sample box every day, with no requirement for you to pay for shipping costs.
The website selects product testers based on their demographic information, website engagement history, and the quality of their past product reviews. So this is not for lazy people who want free stuff while giving nothing in return.
To increase your chances of being selected, post on Daily Goodie Boxes’ social media accounts (Twitter and Instagram are here).
This website has partnered with over 300 brands and provides free shipping for their products. In return, testers must provide truthful reviews to help brands improve their products.
Influenster is a product testing app for both IOS and Android. Signing up is easy, just download the Influenster app to answer brief questions and post reviews.
From beauty products, personal care items, electronics, and toys, there is something to cater to everyone’s content needs. Members can also win a Voxbox containing samples and review products on the website to improve their chances of getting picked.
To improve your chances of winning a Voxbox, complete your profile with as much detail as possible. This makes it easier for Influenster to match you with the appropriate products based on your demographic.
Additionally, consider following Influenster on social media and engaging with their posts through comments. This increases your chances of receiving a complimentary Voxbox like being chosen on Goodie Box.
Snagshout is a website that connects Amazon customers with sellers. To access deals on various products, including home decor, books, clothing, and jewelry, you must register on the platform and link your Amazon account.
To get a product at a discount, click the “Snag It” button after finding a free or discounted item you need. Snagshout reimburses members for the discount by depositing the saved amount into their PayPal account, helping them save money.
One of the benefits of this platform is that you can purchase Amazon products without being required to leave a review. Nonetheless, it is still possible to support Amazon sellers by giving truthful reviews and taking advantage of excellent product deals.
BzzAgent is a company that conducts product testing and connects users with opportunities to test products. It has collaborated with popular global brands who seek feedback on their products.
To receive campaign invites from BzzAgent that align with your interests and preferences, keep your profile updated and check your email regularly. You’ll need to answer some questions to participate in a campaign, but if selected, you can try new products.
BzzAgent testers must follow specific posting instructions that differ depending on the product to share their product reviews. Testers need to mention BzzAgent in their social media posts. Utilizing this site is an excellent opportunity for those looking to begin their career as an influencer due to its social review features.
If you want to try products and give feedback, consider checking out PINCHme. This website partners with well-known brands to offer free samples to specific groups of consumers. You can sample items related to personal care, pets, food, and family products.
To get started, sign up and fill out your profile so the website can create sample boxes tailored to your needs. Additionally, they often send out bonus questions that can increase your chances of receiving free samples.
To participate in PINCHme’s Sample Tuesdays, held monthly, you must RSVP on their Facebook event to be notified when the samples will be released. The great thing about PINCHme is that you can customize your sample box with products you are interested in at no cost.
Giving thorough and truthful feedback on the products you receive can increase your chances of obtaining more free products in the future. You’re getting the products for free for a reason.
How to Get Review Products – Conclusion
That’s it for my guide on how to get review products for free. It all comes down to building trust and authority with an audience.
If you grow a large following on a social media platform, YouTube channel, or blog, companies reach out to contact you to offer their products and services for free to use and create content about. Don’t forget you can reach out as well when starting out with a small following. It will take work and a little luck but it is possible.
Even with product testing platforms, you have to put in the work and engage with them on their media and show you’re a good bet for sending review products too. But you’ll have long-term success if you’re consistent and put out high-quality reviews.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
How to Write a Blog Post that Ranks and Converts!
Learn how to write a blog that ranks well in search engines and converts organic traffic into subscribers and more. Click here to learn more.
How To Make a Sales Page (Avoid These Beginner Mistakes)
Come learn how to make a sales page that converts your visitors into buyers by avoiding these common beginner mistakes.