Free Samples By Mail – How Does it Work? Is it Really Free?

Signing up for and getting free samples in the mail is definitely not a new phenomenon. In fact, this has been around for over 100 years. You could sign up to get free catalogs for far away shops and often these would come with little packets of “trial size” items. Long ago this might have been something as simple as a specific grind of pepper or flavor of extract.

Fast forward fifty years and this evolved into people, usually housewives, signing up for free samples at local businesses or through newspaper and magazine ads. Much of this has remained unchanged but one major thing has created a portal to this free sample network. The Internet. Finding companies offering free samples even 20 years ago basically consisted of knowing people, scouring magazines and newspapers or keeping a pen handy for radio and TV advertisements. Today if you want a free sample of basically anything, you can just visit a website and sign up.

Finding a Company with Free Samples

You might be just getting into the free sample world and have no idea where to begin. You know your friends are getting neat stuff but you don’t exactly know how. The first thing you need to do is decide what you actually want a free sample of. This can literally be anything imaginable from dog food to baby formula. Odds are there is some company willing to give it to you at no cost in a trial size.

Some companies you might be able to get samples from right now are Suave, Tampax, Kellogg’s, Colgate, Folgers, Listerine, Trojan, Kashi, American Spirit and literally hundreds more. The offer available from any company will change, often dramatically, every couple of weeks or months. You could get a full box of Kashi cereal for free not long ago, now you may get a cereal bar or “on the go” snack. American Spirit used to give out $20 gift certificates for their cigarettes then it dropped to $10 and could be something totally different tomorrow. Makeup companies can give you anything from full-size products to tiny, travel sized versions.

The best thing to do is simply find companies you like, have heard of or maybe even don’t like very much, maybe they’ve changed since you tried them last. Make a little list and visit each of their sites. Sometimes, you can find a site that will link you to current free sample offers or have some sort of sign-up area to keep you updated on not just free samples but also one-of-a kind special deals that you should check out. Bonobo gave away free pants not long ago but you had to be signed up on a certain site to get them. Bonobo pants retail for $150 so it was quite an amazing giveaway.

Signing Up For Free Samples

Signing up is extremely easy to do and if you use a browser with “autofill” enabled, it’s even easier. You simply visit the website of the company you want a free sample from and fill out the form to receive it by mail. This usually consists of your name, address, e-mail address, phone number and sometimes some basic info like your sex and age. If you fill out one form and have “autofill” enabled, any other form you fill out should automatically add that information. This could save you a tremendous amount of time if you plan to sign up for tons of things at once. This is actually a hobby for some people and can be quite fun too.

Things to Consider Before Signing Up For That Sample

Unfortunately, not all companies maintain a rigid code of conduct and some sites can claim to give you a bunch of neat stuff but end up just adding you to a bunch of weird e-mail subscription lists that you don’t really want anything to do with. It can be difficult if not impossible to get off these lists. Generally, you should stick with large, well-known companies or small ones that you recognize by name or products. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is so be wary of some “free sample” that just doesn’t seem right. You can always check around to see if people around the net have posted results of dealing with these companies too.

When getting any kind of free sample or trial offer, you should expect it in your mailbox between 2- 8 weeks depending on the product. Most companies are pretty quick these days so waiting over a couple weeks is pretty rare.