Everyone has heard the old expression “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” The idea of getting something for free online automatically has any one with the slightest bit of skepticism asking what the catch is. Is it really possible to get stuff for free online without giving over any billing information at all? The short answer is yes, it is possible. You really can get free samples of shampoo, makeup, toothpaste, soap and virtually anything the average person uses. Many times large brand name companies will run legitimate free sample offers on their websites. To request a sample you only need to fill in your information and hit submit. They will have a designated number of free samples to distribute and it will be first come first serve. They wont charge for shipping, and will send you free samples of their products in the mail.
What’s the catch?
The catch is that you can never truly be sure if a sample you request will actually show up. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. There are several factors that play into if a free sample will actually be sent to you. The first and most important factor is supply. Companies have a limited supply of free samples to give out so when they reach that number there might be thousands of people who still haven’t gotten their sample. Also another factor that will play into whether or not a sample will arrive is location. The cost of shipping gets higher for the companies giving out the samples the further away they have to ship them. So, almost every free sample offer is limited to a certain geographic region (mostly North America).
Scams, fake offers, SPAM, call it what you will the end result is the same. There are sites that claim something is free and either by cleverly worded fine print or straight out lying never really send anything to anyone for free. Spotting scam freebies at first can be tricky but once you learn the things to look for it’s really just common sense. How much does the product being offered cost? If it’s more than a few dollars chances are that it’s fake. There is no such thing as a free iPod or laptop. Also, look at the homepage of the site offering the free sample. What business are they in, does it make sense for their company to have samples of the product they are offering? For example: if a site about ringtones is offering free shampoo it’s most likely a scam. But if it’s an online cosmetics store that’s offering small samples of their cheapest lip gloss there’s a better chance that it’s real. Also ask yourself if the information the site is asking for makes sense. Are they saying they are going to mail you something but not asking for your address? There are exceptions but generally most real free samples will ask for your email address, name, mailing address, and phone number.
Avoiding Junk mail
Another thing to keep in mind is spam and junk mail. Unfortunately it’s unavoidable when attempting to get freebies. Even legitimate free samples will still keep you on their mailing lists long after they send your sample. In fact in most cases it’s the reason they offer something free in the first place. But this is easy to manage if you know how. First set up a separate e-mail address that you will only use for requesting free samples. You can’t give a fake e-mail address because you will have to click links in confirmation e-mails before they will mail to you. Next, think up a pseudonym and use it as your name when you are requesting freebies. The fake name is helpful because it makes sorting junk mail easy, and keeps your real name off those pesky commercial mailing lists.
Where to look
Now that you know the basics of how real free samples work, it’s time to cover how to find them. There are many different sites that all serve the same purpose, finding real free samples and letting their visitors know where they are. It is important to understand that these freebie sites are not the party actually offering the free samples. The websites you will become familiar with will actually be more like the yellow pages making the freebies easy to find. How do they find the freebies for their site you might ask? By checking out what the other freebie sites are linking to. What this means is that real freebies spread very very quickly. One freebie site will find a sample and post a link to it. Then 2 more freebie sites will see that link and put one on their own site, then 4 more from there, and so on until it’s on every freebie site. There really is no ONE freebie site that you should use. But rather you should get familiar with them and pick out 2-3 freebie sites to check regularly for new samples to request. Finding these sites is as easy as doing a Google search for ‘free samples’, ‘freebies’, ‘free stuff’, etc…
Playing the numbers game
On average no less than 80% of the free samples you try to request will never show up for one of the reasons listed above. This means that requesting only one or two freebies wont be enough to swing the odds in your favor. Instead visit your favorite freebie sites every day and request every single new freebie you see. On average there are no more than 7-10 new freebies available daily. This may sound very time consuming but there is a great trick to automate requesting free samples. All you need to do is download and install Google toolbar. It’s virus free and wont mess up your computer. Once you have Google toolbar installed go into it’s options then go to the the “auto-fill” tab. There you will be able to type in your fake name from earlier, your real address, and your separate e-mail address and save all of it.
Then when you are on a website asking for that information you only need to click the auto-fill button on Google toolbar and the request form will be filled out for you automatically! This means that without auto-fill it may take over an hour to request 10 free samples, but with it that same amount of request could take under 5 mins. Then it’s just a matter of setting aside 5-10 mins every day to request every new sample you see. If you are consistent about it you will have more than enough requests to swing the odds in your favor. Then your daily visits to your mail box will be like an exciting free sample lottery. Some days you’ll win and there will be a freebie for you. Other days there will be nothing. But it’s always exciting and you never know what you are going to get!