Most consumers have tried samples, whether it’s a new cookie brand at the grocery store or a gift with purchase at a cosmetics counter. For some, however, samples are practically a way of life. If you’ve ever been dazzled by pictures of impressive sample stashes and bragging posts and wish you knew their secrets, now’s your chance! You can score the same great offers that the pros do by following the tips below. Use these suggestions to get completely free goodies from the generous companies that offer them.
Facebook for Freebies
Though all social media – Twitter, bookmarking sites, etc. – is a potential freebie source, Facebook has emerged as a marketing powerhouse. Following or “liking” your favorite brands will keep you informed about giveaways, samples and coupons before the general public. When selecting companies to follow, be sure to pick up not only the main manufacturer but individual sub brands as well; This will ensure you won’t miss a special freebie posting.
Special Tip: If you don’t want to clutter your personal Facebook with the signups, posts and likes that many companies require, consider making a second account. Benefits to this approach include twice the opportunity to snag account-specific free samples. The main drawback is that you’ll need to check this secondary account often to find the best offers.
Follow Those In The Know
Many blogs and accounts are devoted specifically to collecting and posting freebie offers every day, keeping their followers in a steady stream of offers. More than simply aggregate sites, these free sample gurus are often courted by manufacturers for free publicity. In return, bloggers are given samples and special discounts to pass on to their readers. Freebies are practically a culture of their own at this point, following on the heels of the extreme couponing craze. If you’re new to sample collecting, don’t hesitate to look to experts for guidance through their blogs, tweets, and yes – Facebook too.
Special Tip: Reviews have multiple benefits for companies, exposure and consumer feedback being two of the most obvious. If you’re handy with writing, starting your own blog is an excellent way to distinguish yourself through review programs like BzzAgent and Kraft’s First Taste. Be honest and forthright in your blogged opinions, and soon you could be enjoying complementary full sized products and generous coupons.
Play the Game: Literally
As more customers sign up for free samples, companies are requiring more engagement before they hand over free products. Limited sample numbers, unusual release times and mini games are common hurdles to clear in the quest for freebies. Dedicated sample chasers see this as an opportunity to weed out casual claimers, leaving more samples for the taking. To garner the biggest cache of samples, play the games, sign up for every mailing list up for grabs, and be prepared to click quickly when a new batch of sample signups goes live. Your persistence will be rewarded.
Special Tip: Installing a form-filling program in your browser can help cut back on lengthy fill-in times, which hurt your chances at getting samples from a limited release.
Retailer Treasure Troves
Companies want their product to get noticed, and tapping into shoppers that are ready to buy is a favorite technique. Large chains like Walmart and Target have actually added sample sign up pages on their websites to allow customers to request samples online. Members of warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club can cash in on special membership-specific free samples by visiting their store’s webpage as well.
Special Tip: Check store sample pages each day and you’ll likely start to notice a pattern. Make a note of what weekday or day of the month that new products tend to post and you’ll know the best time to scope new samples.