Friday, November 23, 2012

Free Sample Frenzy

My Free Sample Experience

About one month ago, I read a yahoo news article about getting free samples.  If its free, its for me! I decided that it sounded like fun to get free samples in the mail, so I went to a few of the sites that the article suggested and began making requests.  Its surprising just how many freebies are out there! Since I discovered how easy it is to get samples, I have gotten really into it. In only a month, I've taken advantage of tons of freebie offers. Check out this picture of some of the samples I received so far:

Pictured is 5 days worth of L'Oreal Revitalift Moisturizer, Nescafe mocha and caramel coffee, Living Proof Prime Style Extender, Garnier Fructis Fall Fight Shampoo and Conditioner, and the items from my P&G sample box: travel-sized Secret deodorant, travel-sized Crest toothpaste, and a really cool little sparkly bag that contains pads, pantyliners, and tampons. I didn't pay a dime for any of these things!

Since then I've gotten even more items: Eucerin lotion, Anti-itch cream, Airborne, Maybelline BB Cream.  And since most companies ask you to allow 4-8 weeks for the sample to arrive, I have many more on the way!

My Tips for Getting Started With Samples    

There is no one site I use to find samples.  I usually just Google "free samples" and use the search tools to check posts made in the last hour. Believe it or not, there are many people who are hardcore samplers. (Who knew?)  Once a sample is released, they instantly share the links with other sample enthusiasts and some popular samples are gone within minutes! So I always check for the most up-to-date postings.

Many companies require that you like them on Facebook to get a sample, I don't mind doing that, but I do not participate in any samples, giveaways, or contests that make me involve my friends by sharing or posting things.  That's just me, but if you have friends that would like to hear about those types of offers, then you probably won't mind.  Some companies offer incentives for sharing with your friends.  Once you like a company, you can sometimes catch their posts on Facebook when they release a sample.  I've caught few that way so far.

I'm very wary of links posted on free sample sites.  I don't think its a big deal to give out my name, address and email in exchange for a free product sample, however, this is valuable information to companies who would like to sell your data.  I don't want to give my info away to some company that may spam me with sales offers I don't want. So instead of using the sample web page's link to the site, I go directly to the company's site which is giving out the sample. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I worry that the links are not secure.  Also, I tend to stick to established companies that I know.  If the sample is from a company I've never heard of, I like to check out their website and make sure it looks like an actual company, since I have encountered some fake-looking offers. Just check it out and use common sense when entering information.  If it seems too good to be true, or feels funny, just forget it!

Form fillers like Google Chrome offers are awesome! It only takes seconds to fill in all your info on a request page, so use it if you can.  

Check in every day, or thorough out the day, to see what's available.  It only takes a few minutes and its so much fun to get free stuff in the mail almost every day! 

Suggested Websites for Samples:

Proctor & Gamble is the company that makes many of the personal products you find in drugstores. If you create an account with them, they allow you to choose from a list of samples once every three months.  A few of the items in my picture came from their sample box. A lot of the samples I've been getting are packets, but the P&G samples were deluxe size and really nice! It takes awhile for them to mail it out, but its a fun box of free goodies that you can surely use. I can't wait to order again in January.  They also include a booklet of coupons for the trial products.

Walmart and Target sometimes offer samples, but not very often.  Target has a really nice beauty bag filled with samples that they send out occasionally. I have seen it offered twice in the past month or so, but its gone in minutes and I have not been quick enough to get it yet.

Allure has full-size beauty product giveaways. It is always good stuff.  Most giveaways are on Wednesdays at 12 p.m. They send a full-sized product to the first 500 people to sign up. They also have some larger beauty giveaway drawings listed that are more like sweepstakes.  I am currently waiting for a Maybelline mascara that I won from an Allure giveaway, so it is possible to get these.

If you love trying out new products, but don't have the patience to search the web for new samples, there are also sample subscriptions where you pay a monthly fee to have a collection of deluxe (and sometimes high-end) samples sent to you every month.  Some of the more popular and established services are Birchbox and Glam Bag. 

Well hope you found this informative, if you know any good sample sites or have any good tips, please share! 

And check back soon, I plan on doing some product reviews on the beauty samples I receive as well as a story on online sweepstakes, another new hobby of mine which grew out of my sample craze.  

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