You take a car for a test drive before you buy it. Even Ron Popeil gives you a free trial with the Veg-O-Matic. So why should cosmetics be any different?
At the prices you’re paying for cosmetics, it’s important to know if they work for you before you hand over your hard-earned cash. The secret is in the samples.
There are three main sources of cosmetic samples: the cosmetic company’s web site, the beauty counter at the department store and other internet sites that specialize in cosmetic samples.
The Cosmetic Company Web Site
Samples fulfill three purposes as far as the cosmetic company is concerned: to promote the sampled product, to help promote a different product (as in a free gift with purchase), and to get you signed up for a mailing list or an email newsletter. The company web site will of course combine these motives, but the reward for you is a free sample of a product you’d like to try without having to buy. Here are some tips for navigating through a cosmetic company site and coming out with some free stuff:
Look for new product launches
If you’ve been wanting to try a new kind of product, keep an eye out for companies that are just launching their version of it. If it’s new and they’re giving any of it away, you usually won’t have to search too hard to find the freebie.
Create a secondary email account
The Beauty Counter
Just like the nice people in the aisles at Costco and Sam’s Club, the cosmetic counter at your favorite department store is loaded with samples. The difference is that they’re a little harder to see and, for the most part, you’ve got to ask for them. There are a few pointers to keep in mind here too.
You’re asking for something for free, so there’s no entitlement here. The person behind the counter is not obligated to give you anything, but a smile can certainly convince her to do so.
Be a Good Customer
If you want something for free, it helps to have been a faithful patron. They want you to keep coming back, so if they know you’re already a loyal customer, giving you samples when you ask for them is less of a risk and more of an insurance policy.
Ask for only one or two samples at a time. You’ll be more likely to get them and less likely to be perceived as someone just out to get her beauty products for free.
The Internet Freebie Sites
A quick online search for “cosmetic samples” will give you dozens of hits for sites offering you free samples of everything under the sun. These sites can range from legitimate businesses to scams to hobby sites and forums.
The key here is to use common sense before giving out personal information to these “unofficial sites.” One thought to bear in mind is that if these sites (who aren’t affiliated with the cosmetic companies in any way) can get these free samples, then you probably can too – either through the official company web site or at the beauty counter.