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Free stuff, samples and where to find them online

freeFreebies – who doesn’t love them? I’m partial to a giveaway and will regularly cross town for a complimentary glass of wine. I wouldn’t say no to a two-for-one or BOGOF deal and am very happy to accept a free sample, especially of the Aperol variety.

As my experience of such generosity is limited to the high street, I was intrigued to discover various websites dedicated to the distribution of free stuff. Surely this is too good to be true? I’ve had a little nose around and here are the results of my research.

My first port of call was www.latestfreestuff.co.uk. I’ve met the guys who run the website so I know it’s not a scam. It’s a crazy hotch-potch of, well, freebies. The team, and their search engines, compile a massive list of the available offers for you to peruse. The free stuff ranges (this week) from pet food to Carolina Herrera Good Girl Perfume samples to Christmas cards.

I clicked on the perfume offer which was totally valid. But when it came to filling in my postal address, I decided I couldn’t be bothered. This information, of course, is completely necessary to get the samples delivered to you. I however had visions of my snail mail and email inboxes being swamped with beauty marketing material for eternity. The old adage that there’s no such thing as a free lunch is true here. Freebies are designed as a way to harvest customer contacts. So unless you’re happy to give out your personal information, or you’re determined to get the particular freebie, my advice is to think twice before you sign up.

After more clicking on rival sites www.magicfreebiesuk.co.uk and www.wowfreestuff.co.uk, I also realised that some of the listed freebies weren’t free as such, just prizes in a competition. Again, I wasn’t prepared to reveal my details for a one in 10,000 chance to win a whizzy Robo Vac (someone else will have to hoover Minted HQ).

While samples and competitions didn’t float my boat, I was interested by the opportunities some firms were offering to become a tester. You have to complete a questionnaire first and, if you pass it, you get to test a product which you can keep afterwards. (The website www.testitkeepitnow.co.uk is dedicated to this process.) When I volunteered my testing services to adidas as a twice-weekly hobbyist badminton player, I was a little surprised they turned me down, although a sports-mad teenager or student might be more attractive. I did look really hard for free champagne too. So far, no luck, but I have signed up to the alerts just in case.

See our SMM guide to being safe online here.

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Thursday, 13 December 2018