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Columbia Product Testing Guide: How To Get Free Samples

Columbia Product Testers

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Columbia Sportswear Co. manufactures and distributes outdoor clothing, including sportswear, footwear, and camping and ski apparel.

It operates through 13,000+ retailers and in more than 80 countries worldwide.

If you want to be part of how they come up with the best products, I’ll show you how in this Columbia Product Testing program guide.

About Columbia Sportswear Co.

The 84-year-old American sportswear company is one of the pioneers in the sports goods industry.

Founded in 1938, they continue to enjoy rapid sales growth to date, primarily through their breathable waterproof jackets, which also sport interchangeable liners and shells.

In 2001, they were the largest retailer of ski apparel in America (by gross revenue standards).

As of 2018, the sportswear brand has a revenue of 2.8 billion. They also have more than 8,000 employees (as of 2019).

I believe I have made my point clear as to why I’m very much interested in testing their products out.

If you’re like me and the thought of getting sample products from big brands like Columbia excites you, you’re going to enjoy this post.

Who Offers Columbia Product Testing?

Columbia has a specific page for anyone who would love to inquire about their products and be a product tester through its efforts. The form is user-friendly and easily understandable.

Part of Columbia’s testing program also involves traveling. Can you think of anything better than testing products and traveling for free?

Columbia appointed two testers on a six-month adventure that showcased the best of Columbia sportswear.

The said two outdoor enthusiasts help spotlight their products and convey the message that Columbia sportswear is there to help bring comfort regardless of context.

Columbia Product Testing also comes with a detailed guide, where prospective testers can cull almost all information about the program.

The program clarifies crucial components, including timelines, confidentiality, return of the product, and incentives you can expect.

How To Get Accepted Into the Product Testing Program

Given the information I mentioned, Columbia actively seeks various sportswear enthusiasts who can help test its products. 

Who knows? The next one could be you!

What’s impressive about Columbia’s testing team is its ability to recruit subjects from many places, including events, retail, trade shows, and social media.

Being part of the program is entirely voluntary.

That said, the easiest way to apply and become a tester is through its global performance testing website.

The first step is to fill out the initial application form.

You will then receive a notice that you have been accepted and may now take the eligibility test.

You will also need to answer a questionnaire asking which products you are interested in testing (apparel, footwear, or both).

The page then redirects to a two-page terms and conditions document, which you need to accept as part of an Adult Legal Agreement.

After everything is in place, the actual testing process begins.

You will first receive an invitation, which should be followed by your package not long after.

Then, you will be required to submit feedback, of course, and in most cases, to return the test product.

What Can You Expect From the Program?

After getting accepted as an active tester, your responsibilities include profile management and ensuring your contact information is accurate.

You also need to keep your availability status up to date.

Of course, the primary expectation is for a participant to test a wide array of fashion and outdoor products.

This will be done on an annual basis, as Columbia wishes to test their products vis-a-vis the intended activities, performance levels, and target demographic. 

Columbia also expects its testers to accept their invitations as soon as possible.

Early acceptance increases the chances of being included in the test.

Obviously, constant declines of invitations will negatively impact prospects of being a tester.  

The duration of the tests will vary.

It can be a one-day on-site testing program, such as those held in Beaverton, Oregon (a Columbia Sportswear site), or last for as long as a few months.

Note that the guide does not, in any way, stipulate that testers receive free products.

There will be a fixed test period for wearing the gear.

Columbia underscores that all test products must be returned on time so that they can examine the wear.

They further reiterate that all of the testing products are still their property.

What’s In It for Testers?

The main benefit of participating in any testing program is being able to wear the products ahead of everyone else.

Even if you must return them in the end, you will still get to wear them for extended periods.

Personally, I enjoy the fact that I’m able to use brand-new items, especially those that haven’t been released to the public yet.

There’s a certain pride there, of course.

Then, after wearing them for a set time, you’ll simply return them and hopefully get another set of products in the near future.

Aside from that, there’s no denying that product testing is fun.

There’s a sense of empowerment that comes with influencing the product design and development of your favorite brands.

I understand that most people participate in these programs to enjoy free samples. Because of that, I want to set your expectations.

The program may not give you the free sportswear samples you want. Still, you get to wear and test exceptional products and give crucial feedback.

Other Sources of Free Sportswear Samples

Columbia is not the only brand that offers product testing opportunities.

I personally recommend starting with my guide to free samples to get more information. 

There are also sampling aggregators, such as Sampler.io and Hometester Club, that feature similar opportunities.

In the meantime, you can check out these other places:

New Balance

New Balance, known for its athletic shoes, does product testing to help improve its offerings.

The company refers to it as the New Balance Wear Test program.

They have stricter requirements, wherein applicants accepted to test and wear adult-sized shoes must be at least 18 years old.

Shoe size ranges from six to 12 for women and eight to 14 for men. You can leave your email on their sign-up page to get started. 

Pros:

  • Reputable brand
  • Excellent quality products

Con:

  • Selective when it comes to their high-value product testers

Puma

Puma is another well-known shoe manufacturer with a product testing program. 

It even launched the Pumatrac app, downloadable through the Google Play Store or App Store. The application helps in the selection process.

Qualified applicants receive a pair of shoes, with the expectation that they share constant feedback in the form of surveys, photos, and videos.

Pros:

  • Reputable brand
  • Excellent quality products
  • Allows for convenient ways to give feedback

Con:

  • Selective when it comes to their high-value product testers

Stan’s Gigs

Of course, I wouldn’t overlook this opportunity to include Stan’s Gigs in this line-up. 

After all, I receive quality sportswear sampling opportunities regularly.

I only require one initial step to join—sign up for my newsletter. Doing so will guarantee first dibs on the latest offers.

The best thing is that you won’t be limited to just a single brand, like Columbia or Puma. 

Instead, you’ll have a chance to choose the brands you are most passionate about.

Pros:

  • Wide selection of different sportswear brands
  • Offers regular updates through a newsletter subscription

Con:

  • Availability and eligibility for opportunities will vary

Being a Columbia Product Tester

I’m not that much of a sporty person. I mean, you can probably already tell by my choice of profession.

Even so, it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy being active from time to time.

Here now lies my challenge: how do I choose from a wide selection of quality footwear without breaking my wallet?

The answer? By participating in product testing programs.

Now, I’m sharing the same privilege with you. I hope this guide helps you get your first free pair.

Good luck!

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