Hoping for a deluxe sample? Lower your expectations
Posted September 11, 2012
Offer after offer, freebies and samples.
You can find plenty of things online, but is the free stuff worth the work?
"Freebies are a great way to try new products. Just be aware that they're typically samples and many of them are travel-sized," said Jody Rohlena of Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports checked out dozens of offers, and so did we.
In Early June, 5 On Your Side sent off for 21 different products.
Three months later, we got nine items – all small samples or coupons. Among them, two different moisturizers, Prilosec and a sample of Breathe Right.
Consumer Reports found some companies give you a lot more than others.
Eucerin lotion came in a 4 ml packet. A sample of Simple Facial Wash Gel was 50 ml.
"This is a good-sized sample. It's enough to use the product a few times and decide if you like it," Rohlena said.
So where's the best place to find freebies?
Consumer Reports says check out websites that bundle things, such as Free-flys, Hunt-4-Freebies, and Hey-Its-Free.
"Facebook is a good place to find freebies,” Rohlena said. “If you 'like' a company or a brand, they may send you free samples."
Twitter is also worth checking out. Consumer Reports found an offer for a free organic energy bar, if you follow the company.
And companies such as Procter and Gamble make samples available on their website.
A caution though - they want some personal information.
"But don't give away too much, like your birth date or any health information," Rohlena said.
All freebie offers require an email address. So create one specifically for the effort to avoid clogging your inbox.
"When you are trying to score freebies, you have to be patient,” Rohlena said. “We ordered 44 items, and just about half had arrived after almost three months."
Consumer Reports says it took 10 weeks to receive this Rachael Ray Just 6 dog food, but when it arrived, they got a good-sized sample.