Everyone loves a freebie. But nothing in life is free.
Or is it?
Among its many savings applications, the Internet has a plethora of places to find something for nothing. Product makers and marketers are clamoring to give away free samples, to grow their brand and in hopes that you’ll enjoy the product and become a paying customer.
Just like anything else online, though, you have to be able to trust your sources and know a legit offer from a scam.
Never give personal, bank account or credit card information for a free offer. You shouldn’t have to provide anything more than your name and contact info. Avoid freebies which come with a free trial and then require you to cancel. Be suspicious of free offers for full-sized products; most free offers are for trial sizes, single servings and so on. Usually, if a deal sounds like it’s too good to be true, there’s a good chance that it is.
Here are some tried and true sites where you’ll find legitimate free offers:
P&G Brand Sampler features free Procter & Gamble products and coupons you can request quarterly. Every three months P&G will send you a package with trial sizes of a handful of different P&G products, like Charmin, Duracell, Tide, Bounty, Pantene, Venus, Gillete, Crest, Pampers and more. On this site, you can also add e-coupons to your grocery store bonus card, and get product news and expert advice from P&G.
Buxr.com has a section with collected free offers, populated by users, from all over the Internet. You can sort freebies by store and category, and see comments and “hot or not” ratings from other users, so you’ll have a good idea about whether a freebie is worth requesting or not. The user collaboration also helps to protect you from scams and bogus offers, too.
The famous grocery-saving CouponMom has devoted an area of her website to free samples and coupons, too. Here you’ll find CouponMom-approved online deals and printable coupons for free products, food, samples, books and more.
Major retailers like Walmart and Target have freebie sections, where you can request coupons, freebies and samples of new and existing products. The offerings change frequently, so bookmark these sites and check back often.
A note of caution: Never use your primary e-mail address to sign up for freebies. Just about every retailer and manufacturer you provide your e-mail address to will add you to its mailing list, and you’ll be inundated with newsletters, sales alerts and special offer e-mails. To counter the junk mail, designate an old e-mail account, or create a new one, that you’ll use just for signing up for freebies. Make sure to keep the log in information handy for the junk mail account, though, because some offers require you to confirm your request or verify your e-mail before they’ll be submitted.