The most common freebies (and where to find them), are listed here.
Samples – Generally offered as a small trial size portion of a product. Sometimes you will receive a coupon for a full sized product, and rarely you will receive the full sized product mailed directly to your home.
- Ongoing programs – Some companies offer sampling programs that continue to be available online for very long periods of time. Often you are able to request these samples yearly but it can vary greatly depending on the company.
- Limited time offers – These sampling programs are generally available online for a short period of time, often in limited quantities. Don’t wait to take advantage of these offers! If you do, they will probably be gone by the time you get around to it. When you see a post that says “HURRY!” or “GO, GO, GO!” do just that, but please be considerate of others and sign up only if it is an offer that interests you!
- Sampling events – Some manufacturers and businesses will offer sampling in-store. This is a popular way to promote food products. There are grocery stores that regularly offer sampling opportunities, and you can often get your hands on rare coupons at these sampling tables as well.
- Review panels – There are several review panels that offer products for members to try out at home. If you are subscribed to these programs they will send you an email when a new opportunity is launched. You can then sign up for the chance to participate. While a limited number of members is chosen for each review panel, it is possible to receive full sized products to try out at home. In return you are expected to submit a review of the product.
Mail-in-rebates – Although they often look like a coupon, mail-in-rebates cannot be submitted in-store. You are required to purchase the product, and then mail in the form ALONG WITH RECEIPT and PRODUCT UPC. While these offers are a great opportunity to get something for free (especially if you are using a coupon when buying the item!), please be aware that there are usually two different dates marked on each rebate form: the date by which you need to buy the product, and the date by which the rebate form needs to be received by the manufacturer. I highly suggest sending in your rebate form as soon as possible after making your purchase so that you don’t miss out on getting your money back!
Birthday Freebies – There are a wide variety of businesses that offer birthday promotions for their customers and there are several different ways that these gifts can be offered:
- Email sign-up: When you are subscribed to certain mailing lists they will send you an e-mail around the time of your birthday containing a printable coupon that you can redeem for a short period of time.
- Loyalty programs: Some loyalty programs (such as Starbucks rewards) will send a free product coupon by mail.
- In-store/Restaurants: While some require email sign up to access their birthday offers, there are others that will give you a freebie when you visit on your birthday. Once in a while, these offers will be honoured if you visit within a few days of your actual birth date. Bring valid ID, as it is often requested to prove your date of birth.
Free trials – Many services will offer a free trial period upon sign up, but be very cautious of offers that require you to input your credit card information! If you don’t cancel in time you will end up paying for a subscription that you don’t want.