Free Samples & Gifts

(This page describes how to get free samples. If you arrived at this page looking for actual samples then see The Free Samples & Gifts Directory, Free Sample Feeds, and Free Sample Blog Posts.)

Giving away free samples is a proven form of marketing. Big names like Gillette and Jell-O got started by giving away free samples. The idea is to gain customer interest in the product. The company giving away the sample is hoping that the customer will like it enough to start buying it on a regular basis. However, freebie seekers who are firm in their resolve to avoid spending money should not have a problem accepting free samples. Other types of gifts such as books, booklets, DVDs, and paraphernalia are promotional items that draw attention and even acquire loyalty towards the organization.

When you see a new product on the market that you’re interested in trying, and if it can be delivered in small packaging, then consider trying to get a free sample of it before buying. You should not have to risk your money on a product that you may not like. These products may include any food product, over the counter drug, dietary supplement, cosmetics, personal hygiene products, cleaners, powders, creams, gels, adhesives, or anything that comes in a plastic wrapper, box, bottle, or can. Write down the name of the product, the company that makes it and the company’s contact information. If any of this information is missing on the label (which is rare) then it can usually be found with a simple Google search. Then try contacting the company’s Consumer Affairs or Consumer Relations department either by phone, mail or email and ask for a sample. Keep your communication professional and polite. They are not obligated to send you anything, yet they will likely be pleased to find out that you’re taking interest in their products. Requesting free samples will require that you reveal your address so that they can send the sample to you. Legitimate companies are expected to have privacy policies that limit their use of your contact information to that singular exchange. However there is no guarantee that you will not be put on a frequent contact list.

Requesting free samples and gifts directly from companies by mail was masterfully demonstrated and documented at The author called it the “$39 Experiment” because he sent requests to 100 companies and stamps cost 39 cents at the time (100 x 39 cents = $39). He actually spent a little over $50 for stamps, paper and envelopes. Out of the 100 companies that he contacted, 33 granted him free samples and gifts which he estimated to be worth $273. The book Absolutely Free discusses the effectiveness of requesting free samples by mail and lists companies that have responded well to free sample requests. The book Free Stuff Everyday also goes into detail about requesting free samples and even suggests going a step further by offering services for gifts. This is discussed further on the Blogging & Performing Other Services for Freebies page. For example, bloggers may be able to get free products by offering to review, describe and advertise products on their blogs. A few other services that can be performed for freebies are Mystery Shopping, hosting a House Party, Human Billboard Advertising, and Car Wrap Advertising.

Two ways to avoid mailing costs are to request free samples online or receive free samples in person. Most grocery stores have free samples on display at one time or another. Costco and Trader Joe’s are two retailers that offer free samples almost on a daily basis. Some retailers and department stores like Walmart maintain a calendar of events on their websites indicating when free samples will be given away in the store. Medical and dental offices are usually loaded with free samples and some offices will dispense these samples even if you’re not a patient there. There are multiple websites online with continually updating free sample feeds. Many of them are listed in the Free Samples & Gifts Directory and some can be accessed directly on the Actually Free Samples page. When requesting freebies online, it’s a good idea to use a separate and distinct email address to avoid spam in your personal email account. The forms for requesting free samples should have a check box for you to indicate whether you would like to be contacted about future deals and discounts. If you indicate that you would like to be contacted, then every once in a while they’ll send coupons or more free samples, but most of the time it will be advertisements. If you don’t want to receive this communication, then pay attention to how that check box is worded. If it says, “yes, I would like to be contacted” then make sure it is unchecked, because it will probably be checked already as a default on the form. If it says, “no thank you, please do not send me future deals and discounts,” then make sure it is checked because it will probably not be checked as a default on the form.

Beyond free samples, some companies and organizations offer promotional items, such as hats, T-shirts, stickers, magnets, branded binders, pens, mouse pads, note pads, other office supplies, bags, coffee mugs, buttons, booklets, pamphlets, books, DVDs, and others. While free samples attempt to get customers interested in a product, promotional gifts attempt to gain loyalty towards the company or organization. Many of these “gifts” are blatant advertisements, such as when Disney offers to send you a free vacation planning DVD. Obviously the DVD wouldn’t be worth much unless you’re planning a vacation to a Disney-owned attraction, where you’ll be spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on Disney services and products.

However some promotional gifts may be of value, especially if you are a fan or member of the organization producing them. Bags that are given away, which are branded with a company logo, are usually very similar to the reusable bags that are sold at grocery stores. Why pay a dollar to “go green” when you can get a reusable bag as a promotional gift? Receiving promotional gifts is one of the best ways to get free T-shirts. A T-shirt is a T-shirt; it’s a free article of clothing as long as you don’t care or actually like what is on the T-shirt. Quite a few people are fans of Coca-Cola. For them it would be fun to send a letter to Coca-Cola and get a free T-shirt in the mail, or magnet, or any Coke memorabilia. Do you have a favorite sports team? There are many sports teams that will send a “Fan Pack” to fans by request. The contents of a fan pack vary by team; some are loaded with hats, T-shirts, calendars, and other fun items while others may just be a letter and a certificate, or a picture of the team. You can contact any sports team by going to their website or looking them up in the phone book and request a fan pack. Your favorite team may not send one, but then again, they might. For a list of successful fan pack requests, see Scott’s Fan Pack Success.

Probably the best day of the year to get free samples and gifts is your very own birthday. Read more about Birthday Freebies and see the list.

Some excellent and common resources for finding free samples and gifts include Churches, Political Campaigns, Sports Events, Banks, Plasma Donation, Trade Shows, Conferences, Fairs and similar events where they give away “SWAG” or “Stuff We All Get”. On one occasion I walked into my bank to make a deposit and found that they were giving away T-shirts. The T-shirts didn’t even have the bank’s name on them; they were branded with the logo of a major league baseball team. The bank was a sponsor of the team and they were giving away the T-shirts to new clients who were opening accounts. I already had an account, but I explained to the teller that my dad and I were going to the game that night, so she went over to the table and got a T-shirt for each of us. It never hurts to ask. The worst they could do is say “no.” Many more resources for finding free samples and gifts are included in the Free Samples and Gifts Directory.

Free Samples & Gifts Directory:

  • Tons of free samples & gifts by category
  • Religious gifts, political campaigns, sports team fan packs and more.
  • Retailers that are known to offer free samples
  • Companies that have responded to free sample requests
  • Find Trade Shows that are open to the public
  • Other sites that list free samples

Related Pages:

  • Actually Free Samples
  • How to Get Freebies With Coupons
  • Extreme Couponing
  • Free After Rebate
  • Sweepstakes, Contests & Prizes
  • AF Videos: Free Samples & Gifts
  • AF Articles: Free Samples & Gifts
  • Free Food

External Pages:

  • How to get companies to send you free stuff


Get Free Samples Directory from Actually Free

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