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*Expired* Freebie Tip: Be a Smarter Freebie Finder

by Freebies4Mom on January 7, 2009 7:07 am

The promise of freebies is exciting, but you need to use your own best judgment when requesting a free sample. I work hard to point you in the direction of the best free samples from major companies and retailers. But I want to teach you to be a smarter freebie finder because you are responsible for your own free sample requests. My job is to simply point you in the direction of offers that you might be interested in. Please take the time to learn how to be a smarter freebie finder.

1. Question the source of free samples
Who is offering the free sample? Is it being offered by a major retailer like Kroger, Walmart, or Costco? These are great free samples to request because they usually will arrive in your mailbox. Is the free sample being offered by the company that makes the products? You can find out by looking at the website for a link to the company’s home page and Privacy Policy. Look at the URL address and then back it out by deleting everything after the first “/” to see if it takes you to the home page. This doesn’t always work because many companies set-up a completely new website for promoting new products and free samples. Scam sites will set-up a page to look like it is official and that the free sample is being offered by the company that makes the product. They do this by using good images so don’t be fooled by looks! Look at all of the links, do they work? Look for a copyright and Privacy Policy. See any misspellings – that’s a red flag! Question everything. Every link that you click on at Freebies 4 Mom takes you to an external website. You are on your own as soon as you open up a new webpage, so be smart.

2. Don’t give out any information unless you want that information to be used
Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you never want to receive a phone call from a solicitor, then only give out your phone number to people you want to get phone calls from. If you never want to receive emails from companies promoting their products, then never give out your email address except to people you want to receive email from. If you never want to receive any advertisements in your mailbox, then never give out your mailing address except to companies who have a need to mail you.

So, how can you fill out free sample forms if you aren’t giving out your email address or phone number, and you’re being highly selective about who you give your mailing address to? The answer is simple, you give them a second email address and phone number you set-up specifically for free sample requests. You can create a free email address with Gmail (or investigate a second free email address with your current email provider). You can reate a a free phone number (accepts voicemail only). You should also put your phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry (thanks for the tip, Dawn).

You can carefully select what companies you will give your mailing address to. I recommend you read the Privacy Policy of every free sample form you find to learn how your information will be used before you fill out the form. If you ever receive unwanted catalogs in the mail, I recommend using Catalog Choice as the quickest way to stop most catalogs from being sent to your mailbox. If you would like to get free samples in the mail, you do need to give out your mailing address. Please be highly selective about who you give it to.

3. Free samples are 100% FREE, never pay for them
If you are ever asked to buy anything or “participate in a qualifying offer”, then just stop. Never give out your credit card number with the the promise of paying only shipping & handling. This is not a free sample, but a marketing ploy to get you to pay for the product in a different way. I also do not recommend mailing a self-addressed stamped envelope for a free sample. There are tons of legitimate free samples available to request, and I help you find them by writing new posts daily.

4. Don’t do free trials
If you see the word “trial” then stop. Just don’t do it! I don’t recommend doing any free trials, because a free trial means you will be billed. Yes, they say you can cancel at anytime but many things can happen which will result in you still getting a bill. You typically see free trials for magazines. Don’t do free trials, there are lots of free samples of magazines available.

5. Ignore Advertisements
You should ignore most advertisements, including the advertisements found on Freebies 4 Mom. It is true that I am able to select some ads to display that I think would be useful resources. But I am not able to review and approve every ad that is displayed, so therefore I do not endorse any of the advertising shown. The ads are shown because this is the only way that I can get paid for blogging about freebies. You will find other blogs that have absolutely no advertising on them, usually about different subjects than mine. I could delete all of my ads – but guess what? I would then be searching for a new job and Freebies 4 Mom would disappear. So, ignore the ads unless they genuinely interest you. Scrutinize any offer you find in an advertisement because you are responsible for any information you submit to any external website. Please read my Disclaimer, Disclosure, and Privacy Policies for more information.

6. Don’t fill out long surveys
It is common for companies to ask a handful of questions as part of a free sample offer. If you encounter a long survey you need to question further who is offering the survey and what you will get when you complete it. I rarely fill out surveys, and when I do it’s only for products I am interested in giving feedback on. I only fill out surveys if they are being offered directly from the company who makes the product.

This is my advice – but I’d love to hear yours! And always feel free to email me any time you find a free sample offer that you think sounds fishy – I’d be happy to give you my opinion.

Freebie Tips teach you to be a smarter freebie finder
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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Rehmy April 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Prior to clicking any links on a blog or on Facebook, read the comments. Chances are, if it’s a scam or a catch, someone would have discovered it and commented about it.

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Anonymous April 7, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Great tip!

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Rcdavis70 April 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I do surveys from known, reputable companies, but as you probably know, we have no way of k owing who the client is. I found it interesting that some of the info I found on Spokeo came from there. Beware that even known survey companies, who haave good reputations, are working for paying clients. Do these companies assure you that your info will be kept confidential? Even basic info can find its way into the wrong places, such as Spokeo. You are asked for household income, age, phow many, ageand sex of kids, marital status, etc.

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Anonymous April 7, 2011 at 2:38 am

Here’s another tip from Laura that she left on my Facebook Fan page: “To spot a scam when signing up for freebies, before entering ANY information on the form, hit Enter or Submit first. If the form goes through and you get confirmation, despite not having put ANY information in there, it is most likely a scam. If you get an error stating there are required fields that need filled out, it is more likely to be legit. Hope this helps. Happy freebie hunting”

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Anonymous April 7, 2011 at 2:38 am

Here’s another tip from Laura that she left on my Facebook Fan page: “To spot a scam when signing up for freebies, before entering ANY information on the form, hit Enter or Submit first. If the form goes through and you get confirmation, despite not having put ANY information in there, it is most likely a scam. If you get an error stating there are required fields that need filled out, it is more likely to be legit. Hope this helps. Happy freebie hunting”

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Gwen October 26, 2009 at 10:39 am

I'm embarrassed to say my husband just insisted on trying Cleanwhites and Dazzle. Now I'm left with trying to cancel. Anyone have any ideas on smooth cancel other than canceling my credit card? They refuse to take any returned product without their label but are not too kind.Thanks.PS: The hubby is no longer allowed to order anything!

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Melinda Clifft October 26, 2009 at 9:06 am

Restaurant.com is having an 80% off sale thru Halloween. Type in the coupon code TREATS to get a $25certificate for $2. Hope that helps!

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Dee July 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Although you posted this some time ago it has not lost its value.Great tips.

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Kathryn June 29, 2009 at 5:42 pm

For the restaurant.com question, I called their 1-800 number and asked to be put on their emailing list to receive their incentive codes via email. They usually send out 1 per week which gets me 50-80% off the restaurant.com price.

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Anonymous June 16, 2009 at 11:31 am

I was wondering if anyone knows how to get codes for restaurant.com to purchase cheaper certificates – usually $2.00? I stumbled on an offer one time and would like to get more.

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♥Piper♥ May 9, 2009 at 6:14 am

Hey Heather,On the free phone number with voice mail only, have you ever used that to register at paid survey sites? If not, what are your thoughts on this? Thanks for your time, your blog is totally awesome, I’ve been reading all around it like crazy. I appreciate what you’re doing, I know it takes a lot of work, I’ve been a web master for over 6 years. Blessings to you and please get back with me here.

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Anonymous February 15, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Thanks for the tips it helps me be a smarter Freebie mom user 🙂

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Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Thank you!This helped ALOT.

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Anonymous January 13, 2009 at 7:10 am

Thank you, Heather, this is really good information.

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Vineeth January 8, 2009 at 1:51 am

Microsoft offers hotmail.com and msn.com as free email domains but there are ways by which you can have yourname@live.com, live.fr etc. Find out more at http://www.vineeth.co.cc/tips_and_tricks/register_free_live_or_msn_email_address.html

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Dawn Rae January 7, 2009 at 10:43 am

Register your phone number on the do not call list. It will stay on there forever and it all but eliminates telemarketer calls…or ones from companies.

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marybeth at www.babygoodbuys.com January 7, 2009 at 7:47 am

Well said! Thanks for the information. Many vulnerable people are lured in by the prospect of freebies–I’m sure lots of readers will benefit from this helpful information!

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Anonymous January 7, 2009 at 7:24 am

THANK YOU for your information it has been a HUGE HELP!!! I am new to the website and I have been sooooo lost. If there is any other information you have to share please do. I keep hitting the Surveys, and the ones that ask for a credit card. Now I would never give that information out, but like I said I am LOST!! This is a wonderful site and I am sure I will learn Thank You..Esther

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