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What do you ask testers?

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digit

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I made up a list of questions for potential testers to fill out. It helps me choose who to ask to test different products.

I asked about known allergies, medications and conditions. Skin types and any other problems such as eczema. I do not want to give them something with an oil known to aggrivate certain skin conditions.

I do not personally want to get in their business, but I do not want to waste time and product sending it to someone who can not use the product. I explain that I use some essential oils, so if they have ragweed allergies, I will not send chamomile, or that rosemary is not good for folks with high blood pressure and so on. Most say they had no idea!

I ask what scents they like and which make them hurl. What commercial products do they like, which have they had problems with. And I always tell them to do a skin test first.

When I ask for testers, there is a resounding YES. But when I ask them to fill out the questionaire, most balk and do not do it. I do tell them why I ask. In order for me to decide on base formulas, I would like to have input from different age groups and locations (environments).

Soooo......what do you ask your testers? :roll: It seems I ask too many personal questions and have lost several potential testers.

Digit
 

IanT

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Im just like...what are your opinions on the soap...what would you change or add?
 

Lane

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I ask more about product development. I went to vista print and ordered the free large sized post cards. I designed them like questionnaires. The front of the post card has my general business info, product info, so on... and on the other side, I have generall questions:
1. what did you like about the product?
2. what would you change about the product?
And so on....

I have a "Test Panel" and monthly, or every other week, I will put together packets with a new product and a questionnaire. I ALWAYS offer a 25% discount on their next order for returning the post card. I even started offering an online questionnaire, and people seem to respond better to that.

But I have ALWAYS gotten more info and responses from family. And believe me, they tend to really tell how it is. :lol: When I first started making conditioner, my sister did not hesitate to tell me it was crap... Now after a year of developing a formula, it's the only thing she will use. But because of her valued input, she also never has to buy conditioner from me. I send her a new bottle, in a new sent whenever she needs one and she always gives me feedback.
 

digit

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Lane said:
I have a "Test Panel" and monthly, or every other week, I will put together packets with a new product and a questionnaire.

But I have ALWAYS gotten more info and responses from family. And believe me, they tend to really tell how it is. :lol:
I am still trying to build the test panel.

I ask that they be totally honest in feedback. Otherwise, it does me no good. In return, they get a favored full sized product in their choice of scent. This is for helping me to make better selections of base formulas.

I guess I worry that I give someone a cream or lotion and it interacts with a med, causes a skin condition to worsen, or an allergic reaction, then they claim I made this problem for them. This would only generate useless feedback and potentially cause problems. I have seen people who avoid any product by a company when they had a reaction to a single product.

Reckon I just take it too far. They are adults and should be proactive in understanding what they should or should not use. The label lists all ingredients. How am I supposed to know they are allergic to something or have a condition that negates the use of certain essential oils? :roll:

I was surprised to learn about latex and shea a few months ago while researching the butter. Not something I would have guessed. I have eczema and recently discovered that certain oils can aggravate it. If I lose a friend or aquaintance because they did not do a skin patch test, is it worth it? I do not know.

Digit
 

Lane

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digit said:
I was surprised to learn about latex and shea a few months ago while researching the butter. Not something I would have guessed. I have eczema and recently discovered that certain oils can aggravate it. If I lose a friend or aquaintance because they did not do a skin patch test, is it worth it? I do not know.

Digit
I was surprised by the shea / latex too! I am VERY allergic to latex, but I use unrefined and refined shea over my entire body every day!
 

IanT

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oooh I feel bad for you...allergic to latex???
 

pepperi27

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My testers are co-workers and they love to try my stuff! LOL
 

digit

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Lane said:
I was surprised by the shea / latex too! I am VERY allergic to latex, but I use unrefined and refined shea over my entire body every day!
I am also allergic to latex. I was looking for something to help with my eczema when I found shea butter. (Part of the journey that led me to soapmaking) Since it is a small amount and people's sensitivities vary, I decided to try it out. The unrefined (to me very stinky) did wonders for my face!!! I was excited. About a week later, I got up one morning and my face was all bloated. The affair was over.

I can use refined and unrefined from the neck down with no problems. For my face, I use it only for 2 or so days, dotting it on patches of eczema. Thankfully, it is only really an issue for me in the winter.

Then throw in avocados (popular in creams, lotions, soap making), bananas, kiwi.....and gee whiz!! http://foodallergens.ifr.ac.uk/clinical ... ted_food=4

I know that many people do not investigate products like that. Example - some one says they love chamomile, but can only use company X's stuff. When I ask more questions, I find that she has terrible ragweed allergies. It is actually the scent (an FO) that she loves and the formulation of that soap was good for her skin. Whereas she contributed the "feel good" qualities to the chamomile. If I gave her a cream with chamomile extract and she reacted to it, her feedback would be negative for the cream, although it would actually be her allergies. This could lead to reluctance to test other products or a more biased opinion based on one experience. This only one of several encounters I have had.

I have drawn the conclusion that I angst waayyyy too much over this in my desire to make good products. I wonder, if instead, I asked them to sign an agreement not to sue me over any reactions they may encounter, I would have ANY testers. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Digit
 

thenaturalway

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Lane, that is a great idea about the postcards. I was working on a questionnaire for each of my products. I'll look into ordering those from vistaprint.

The 25% off for returning the card is a BIG plus. Everyone loves a discount. Especially if all they have to do is fill out a card. Saves them $$ and provides you the info you need.

Good going Lane!! :lol: :lol:
 

PixieWick

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This is a great thread .. i would hope more soap makers put on their lables .. made with nut oil or in the same pots as products made with nut oil ..

one person i purchased from didnt put that she made it in the same pot but used a differant oil base .. an my daughter broke out in hives from the almond oil , started to breath funny .. took her to the er an they said she was exposed to almond oil in one way or another ..

I contacted the person who made it an she told me .. she didnt use the same type but used the same pot to make it .. well guess what .. thats pretty much the SAME THING when you have people who are fatelly allergic to things .. even trace minute amounts will effect an allergenic person
 

lollil

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I was surprised at how many people are allergic to aloe. After I started asking customers how they liked my products that came up alot. We started putting a form for the customer to fill out in each box of soap or lotion they purchased to either mail or return to us for a discount on a future purchase. We learned sooo much like that and made a lot of changes because of it.
 

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