Most of us aren’t bums who expect handouts at every turn but some of us would definitely love to try new products before we run out and purchase them. Whether it’s a candy bar or a new laundry detergent none of us like spending our money only to be disappointed in the product. That’s why many companies let you try their new products before you decide if you’ll purchase or not.
Be very careful when signing up for free trial offers, though, because many online free items end up costing plenty. Some sneaky companies will offer to let you, for example, check your credit report online for free. If you don’t read all the fine print you’ll be angry later when you receive a charge on your credit card for their services.
Upon reading the fine print you’ll notice that by accepting the free credit check you’re also signing up for a year’s worth of credit check services. Since some places ask for your credit card number to verify that you’re over 18 many folks get the bill never knowing it’s coming. Other places seem more convincing, since they don’t ask for your credit card information, but later send you a bill via postal service. Always be sure to read the fine print on at any free giveaway or free trial offer.
There are many reputable companies, such as Proctor & Gamble, Keebler, and Revlon who simply want potential customers to try their new products, therefore, they are willing to send a free sample. They are confident that once you’ve tried it you will become a steady customer which is often the case. Sometimes the sample is a full-size product but often it is a small taste or swatch of the product.
These same companies have lost some customers over the years, to new marketing ploys and products, and would like their previous customers to retry a product they’ve used in the past. The goal is to see if they can reunite former customers with products they’ve made for years. There is usually no fine print involved, just a form to fill out with your name, address, phone number (sometimes), age, and so forth. They ask these questions not only to send you the product but to find out what ages of people are interested in their products and how many of these people may have been previous customers. These requests for free samples sometimes require an email, sent after your request, in which a link is clicked on so that you verify you’re the one who signed up for the sample.
Some places, which are not major corporations, would also like certain people to try their products but “freebie hunters” get hold of the website information and pass it along to thousands of friends making it impossible for the company to hold to their promise of a free product. Usually these companies intended the free product to be only for a certain group of people and had only a couple hundred of a sample to begin with.
Be an honest consumer and don’t ask for a free sample from a site that offers a free product to only physicians or only teachers if you don’t qualify. Dishonest activity not only can cause the downfall of a good company but can also prevent anyone from getting samples. In addition, companies who learn from these mistakes will begin being more and more strict on who is eligible for samples. Some possible samples you can receive are candy, cereal, paper products, cosmetics, perfume and colognes, laundry products, dishwasher detergents, or health and beauty items. Type “freebies” into the search engine to discover thousands of places that list free items from merchants.
There are many online places that pay you in “points” or “tokens” to try products and services with various companies, then the points or tokens can be saved and spent at site stores. Some of these places, like MyPoints, are reputable and have lots of rewards from which to choose. It’s a great deal for those who like to try new offers but, unless you’re fairly active at these sites, it can take months and months to build up enough points to spend.
These places work by first asking you what types of products you’re interested in, during registration, then sending you emails that match your inquiries. Sometimes they send emails that may not interest you at all but if you click the link, they’ll still credit you some points just for going to look at the offer. Upon signing up to try the product the site will then give you a much larger amount of points to spend later. If the deal you signed up for is a trial offer for a service, such as discount internet shopping coupons, the fine print will generally specify that you will be billed for their services immediately following the trial’s end. In these cases there is normally a 1-800 number to call to cancel the service if you are not satisfied with it or see that it’s simply not for you. Make sure you know this number before you sign up for the service. Also write down the date you signed and for how long the trial offer is good. Be sure you get a confirmation number if you cancel the service. After you’ve acquired a certain amount of points this way you can go to the on-site store and purchase, with points, gift certificates to some of your local eateries, theaters or home improvement stores.
Be aware that there are hundreds of companies that offer these “points for trying products” and although many are reputable, some disappear like a thief in the night, leaving you no recourse to cash in the points you earned. If you decide to try some of these places it might be a wise idea to spend the points as quickly as possible rather than trying to save them up for a larger reward. To find these types of places type “MyPoints” into a search engine that features “similar sites” in its search results. Click on “similar sites” to find many sites that offer rewards for trying products and services. You can also type in “rewards for purchase”, “freebies”, or “free trial offers” to achieve results.
There are some poll sites that offer to let you try some of the products whose companies they represent in return for your opinion on the product. If a survey or poll site asks you to pay before joining it’s likely not reputable. Many of these poll sites are reputable but rarely offer the actual free product – only points or cash for your opinion on what products you purchase and where you shop. Harris Polls, Pinecone Research and E-Poll are some that might interest you.
There are forums that offer tremendous resources for those looking for trials and free items. The forums usually have categories such as “totally free products”, “try me free”, or “pay only shipping”. The forums usually have an explanation of the free product, what people qualify, and sometimes the hidden charges or other tricks associated with a particular company. Try “message board + freebies” or “freebie forum” in the search engine.
If you’re interested in free products for a particular interest, such as home school, you can find many resources. Type specifics into the search engine such as “free home school teacher resources” for sites and products being offered free to home school teachers. You can also search for a particular item you need such as “free pencils”. Or search a particular company’s resources by typing in “free Scott’s products” or “Hewlett Packard trial offer”.