No doubt, you have received free stuff in the mail before. Maybe even a lot of it. Or maybe not.
Anyway, this short guide helps you to get more free samples and freebies, filling in fewer forms and spending less time doing it.
Why do companies send out free stuff?
The obvious explanation is they want to persuade you that their products are great. If you like their products, you possibly buy something in the future.
Or, when they provide a service, they send out pens, USB drives, notebooks, calendars, and other stationery. With a hope that you’ll remember about them when you need a website redesign, office cleaning, plumbing, or any other service.
The third explanation is to send you more advertising. A company send you a sample or freebie (like a sticker or a pen) and after some time bomb you with ads in the mail (“Remember the sticker we sent you? Well, we have a bullet-proof financial plan you can use to retire with a million bucks. It’s just $29.99, and you can read more in this letter…”). With fickle and fleeting attention online nowadays, this gimmick often gets results for them in the real world.
The last one is “there is no freebie.” These spammers collect your email address (and physical address), and you get tons of spammy-looking ads in your inbox (mostly online).
How to spot a fake freebie?
First thing you can do is to search for a company on Google. Do they give away a free sample from their official website? Or from their real Facebook page with lots of followers? If you don’t see a form to request a freebie on an official site, that probably means the form was created by spammers. Don’t submit anything.
To be 100% sure (I always do it) – call a company and ask. This way, you know from a source if they do really send out free stuff. Sometimes customer support people don’t know if they provide free samples or not. But if you tell them politely to ask a manager or someone in the know, they usually get you the needed answer. And you can use Google Voice to make free calls nationwide.
What personal information to give out?
To receive a sample, you have to give out your address, at least. Some companies don’t send anything to P.O. Boxes. Keep this in mind.
You can use your own name, I see no problem with that. They have your real address, so if they want to send you junk mail, they’ll send it anyway.
But, never use your real email address. Create a separate Gmail or AOL or whatever account specially created for freebie requests. Don’t use so-called “temporary” or “disposable” email services. Companies are not dumb, and they often ignore requests with such emails. This way, you protect yourself from boatloads of spam messages.
How long does it take to receive a free sample?
Now, you filled out a form and patiently waiting.
The most stuff arrives within 2-6 weeks.
A company may send freebies in batches (at the end of a week, for example, or even once a month). I personally got some free samples when I successfully forgot about them (after 10 months was the most extreme case).
So, following these simple rules, you’ll get more free stuff in your mailbox, get it more often, and spend much less time filling out the damned request forms.
Happy freebie hunting!