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Is being a Beauty Bible Tester a bit of a con?

(12 Posts)
Gingefringe Mon 07-Mar-11 17:42:19

Has anyone else been a beauty bible tester?

I have done it a few times, and was 'invited' to be a tester again recently. Whilst you normally do get a few nice things to test out (mind you, I have never subsequently gone ahead and purchased anything I've tested) I do think that the £30 'administration fee' is a bit of a con.

This fee covers postage and administration. The last package I got cost about £12 in postage and was falling open as the postman put it through my door!

However, with 2,000 women paying £30 each this amounts to £60,000!! Not bad for the writers of the book as presumably the cosmetics are donated. I understand they have some admin staff to deal with the reviews etc but surely they must be paid from the profits of the book? The books must be profitable because they keep making new editions.

What really annoys me though is even though you've gone through all the work of writing the review they don't even offer you a discount on the book when it comes out!!

Con or what?

BlackBag Mon 07-Mar-11 20:51:20

I've just done the last lot of testing:

AGE-SPOT TREATMENT Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Ageing Retinoid Solution and Pads
ANTI-AGEING EYE TREATMENT Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream
ANTI-AGEING HAIR MASK Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment
BODY SUNCARE Avéne Eau Thermale Moderate Protection Spray SPF 20
BODY WASH Weleda Pomegranate Creamy Body Wash
BUST TREATMENT Lierac Bust Lift Tensor Spray
FACIAL SUNCARE Healthspan Nurture Daily Face Protector SPF 30
FOOT TREAT Vie Cosy Toes Intensive Foot Treatment Balm
HAIR SHINE SPRAY Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine Spray
LIP GLOSS New Cid i-slick Luxurious Lip Colour (silk)

When I addded it up that an RRP of £325.00 and yes the package was falling apart as it came through the door.

It's filled my shelves with shit I would never buy, foot & bust treatment honestly, but standing back not having 'paid' for the products does mean I'm pretty ruthless about them.

Philosophy's £65.00 pot of face wipes - if I'd paid that I would sooo want to think they worked but actually they don't.

Surprisingly the lip gloss and the sunscreen, I'd have never have bought them, outside my comfort zone but love 'em.

So a good reminder as to the advertising & science-ie shit that the cosmetic industry peddle and lets face it with an aging arse and whinging kids I'm vulnerable to their charms.

mippy Tue 08-Mar-11 16:32:48

Honestly, I'd rather read bloggers or MakeUpAlley if I want to know if something works. I'd bet my left cheek that half the stuff magazines featured isn't bought by mist of the population - bust lift spray?

Jofairley Wed 09-Mar-11 08:51:09

I would like to comment as the co-author of The Beauty Bible series of books and co-editor of

We have to employ three full-time people on this research project - recruiting and co-ordinating up to 2500 testers per book, packing, unpacking, logging products, sending out forms, recycling packaging, chasing forms, getting product details of winning products etc., which is why we have to charge what we do. The postage is frequently £18, due to weight of parcels, so we have to account for that. £6 of the £30 fee goes straight to the VATman!

We work incredibly hard on each of these books, which take two years to complete. We are rigorous in our testing and truly appreciate the involvement of testers, and we would love to offer a 'personal' discount to testers. However, by the time we've paid the publisher for our books and mailed them to testers, the end price would come to more than you would pay for buying a book through Amazon or through Victoria Health. So it would not be an advantage to our testers to buy them via us, which is why we don't do it.

We will have a word with our couriers about the packages 'falling apart' when they come through the door. This is not satisfactory and they are very secure when they leave here.

We work incredibly hard on this and we make no money out of the testing element at all - and that is most certainly not why we do it!

Can I take this opportunity to thank all those testers who take part diligently in this project: your comments are hugely valuable when it comes to helping other women take a short-cut to products that really work.

V. best

Jo Fairley

1234ThumbWar Wed 09-Mar-11 09:16:21

Would you like any more testers Jo?

BlackBag Wed 09-Mar-11 10:56:17

As I sit here with one perky, bust-enhanced, glittery breast and one sad, droopy sack can I just say I have enjoyed the testing and would do it again.

I don't feel ripped off by the admin charge because lets face it £30 at a make up counter is n't going to get you much. Having removed the 'lots of money equals great product' factor means I will be focused on whether the product works.

It is far removed from bunging the glossy magazine a box of freebies and combining advertising spend with editorial.

Sorry Jo if I was n't supposed to list the products in public blush but I'm looking forward to seeing what others thought. (The Philosophy stuff is pants though)

PipCarrier Wed 09-Mar-11 12:47:11

I did this years ago and can't remember if I had to pay or not actually...the only thing I found was that the products weren't matched to me in any way. So it was fairly pointless and unhelpful having me, in my very early 20's testing and reviewing an anti-aging neck serum!

Jofairley Sun 13-Mar-11 09:00:29

Again, I need to comment, as author of the Beauty Bible. The anti-ageing neck serum must have been some kind of anomaly. I personally put together EVERY SINGLE TEAM of testers and choose every single product for testers, matching them to skintype, skintone, hairtype, age, and 15 other criteria. (Thank heavens for the 'sort' feature in Excel!) So when the products go out I have absolute confidence that they will stand the best chance of being tested by the most appropriate audience. This, again, is very labour-intensive, but it is on this basis that brands trust us to give products their 'best shot'.

We have smartened up our act considerably over the 15 years that this has been done, and have naturally excluded anyone under 35 from testing for The Anti-ageing Beauty Bible.


Jo Fairley

Emo76 Sun 13-Mar-11 09:59:36

Jo, could you charge for the first £30 P&P rather than admin fee and then not be liable for VAT? Or does that attract it too. Yes I know this isn't the accountancy message board!!

aramo Sun 29-Jan-12 22:05:29

Hi I have recently been chosen to test for the new Anti-Ageing bible and I think it is a fantastic opportunity, yes it cost £30 postage but I did get 10 full-size products. These are products I may not have bought myself but for £3 per products I am given this chance, those that complain knew what they were letting themselves into when they signed up. I personally think it is good, but then I do buy the books anyway.

alwaysrunninginheels Sun 29-Jan-12 22:59:49

How do you get chosen in the first place???

lisap4123 Fri 27-May-16 20:00:58

i have done beauty bible product testing twice before and really enjoyed the experience and products. However this time I have had a bad experience as I paid the £30 fee in Feb and didn't receive any products. Every time I queried this I was told the parcels will be sent soon but no specific info about my parcel to my address.I don't know if it was sent and lost in the post or never sent (as despite asking I didn't get a response other than vague its coming soon generic responses or no replies at all). I don't know why my experience this time has been so bad. But I am very disappointed to have paid £30 and waited 3 months to not receive any products at all and get just vague email responses when I ask whats going on.

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