Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finding Coupons: Request Free Samples!

One of the common questions I have gotten when polling various coupon newbies is, "Where do you find those coupons?" Once you start couponing, you will notice that coupons can literally be found everywhere and anywhere! You just have to know where to look for them, so the Finding Coupons segments will be devoted to telling you specific places that are tried and true coupon homes.

So, I decided to share a tip on finding coupons that may turn out to be a little obvious if you check my site often, but a great way to get really good coupons is by requesting samples. And by requesting samples, I mean any and all samples you can find. Most of the time, the sample will also come with a coupon to try the full sized product :)

Where do you request samples?
This one could be easier said than done if you were going it alone, but luckily there are lots and lots of coupons blogs out there to help you out! I always try to post any of the free samples I find online with links to them on my blog and many other coupon bloggers do the same. Usually these freebies are only for the first certain number of people who request them, so you need to be quick and follow the links as soon as you see them so you have a better chance.

What if I don't want to give the company my info?
This is a question I hear a lot, and I unfortunately don't have any good news for you if this is a concern you have. The companies require certain info from you in order to request the samples. This helps them by showing what demographics are interested in their products so they know who to gear their marketing towards. My sister has been taking several business and advertising classes lately, and she actually worded it that you are essentially selling your info to the company and being paid with the sample. So, even though I'm not a fan of all these places knowing my phone number, I can honestly say that I haven't received any more junk mail or automated calls than I did before I started requesting samples. If you are hesitant due to a fear of getting lots of spam in your email, make a free email account on Google or Yahoo and use that as your dedicated sample email. This way you can still supply an email address for the giveaways, but you don't have to see all the company ads mixed in with your day to day messages you need to read.

Do I have to have a Facebook account?
This is another one that seems to be a sticking point for many. With the rise in the social media movement, Facebook has definitely taken the lead and held it for a long time. Companies know that most people have a Facebook account and that they can also use it to get the information they need about you. If you have an account, you will notice that most of the time when you try to enter a giveaway or free sample on Facebook, they make you agree to allow the company to use your info - this is very common and normal (and kind of to be expected).

So, if you have been on the fence about getting a Facebook account, I would tell you to take the plunge if only for the free stuff it can bring. Most of the time, the Facebook giveaways are for larger items and have a higher value than any other normal free samples. Just to give you an idea, I have gotten all of these high value items off of Facebook:
  • Full size bottle of Tide Stain Release Spray
  • Full size bottle of Mr. Clean with Scent of Gain
  • Coupon for Free Herbal Essences Product
  • Coupon for Free Pantene Product
  • Coupon for Free Aussie Product
  • 10 pack of Tide Stain Release
  • Pack of Extra Dessert Delights Gum
  • Clif Bar Cookie
  • Luna Bar
  • Several 1 Load Pouches of Tide and Downy
  • Bobby Brown Lip Gloss
  • Full Size Milani Lip Stick
This is just a small list of the things I can think of off the top of my head. Facebook is a very valuable asset for any coupon user or fan of Free things :) So, even if you just set up a private account with as little info as you can get away with, it is totally worth it.

What about sweepstakes? Can you actually win?
The answer to this one is ABSOLUTELY! I used to be someone who always said I never win anything, but since I started couponing, that is a false statement. I have entered any and all giveaways, sweepstakes, etc that I am eligible for and have time to fill out and I really have won quite a few items :) When you take into account the number of other people who are entering along with me, it seems like you would never have a chance, but I am here to tell you that you do! I even won a free Toaster Strudel for a month several months back when at least 10 other people I know were trying for the same thing. I was the only one who won :) So, it's definitely the luck of the draw, but that's what makes it fun!

Make sure you use your samples!
Anyway, hopefully this has imparted to you how valuable samples can be :) I went through my stock pile recently and got all of my like-items together and I had easily enough shampoo and conditioner samples to fill a bottle of each if I wanted to combine them. They are all different types, so I wouldn't do that, but hey - that's one less bottle I have to buy in a year. This can be a great way to save money over time as long as you incorporate the samples into what you already use. Keep them in a place that you can see them any time you go to your store of stuff and if you need to get out another of an item ,reach for the sample and use it first :)

So, now you see why I always post the good freebies on my site! Make sure to check often to snag the good ones as they tend to go quickly. I promise you won't regret it!

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