So Mimi How To: Getting the BEST free stuff online!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 So Mimi 0 Comments



How To Get The Most Amazing Free Stuff!


Happy February loves!

Everybody Loves Free Stuff. 

Show me a person who doesn't like to get free stuff, and I'll show you a person who's always broke! Kidding! But seriously, anybody can find and take advantage of all the neat free stuff that's available on the interwebz, if you know where to find it! And heads up, I'm intentionally writing this post in plain language so that readers from all walks of life can benefit from the information. 

Today's requested post is dedicated to helping my readers source fantastic free stuff you may have seen featured on my Instagram posts.  (Psst...if you're not following me on the 'Gram, then you're missing out. It's cool, just search Instagram for @thats.so.mimi)

Before I get all the way into the goods, let me give a little backstory...let's go wayyy back into time, circa year 2000. Hop in my time machine and wax nostalgic with me? I'm even gonna to spice up this post with some old-school style cheesy clip art, just for fun :)





Years ago, I'd moved into my first place of my own and had just recently gotten my first desktop PC (Gateway). The computer itself was actually my first freebie ever!  Back then, we relied on word of mouth advertising - a friend told me about a sweet grant program where you could get a free computer with all the bells and whistles, just by calling a special phone number. I've no idea if this program still exists, but its worth a Google. I'm sure if it does its matured to something much grander in scale and with more stringent qualifications. Let me know if you find out in the comments!

Back to the story, when my brand spanking new PC showed up on my doorstep, I was so excited. I'd never owned a computer before and had only a basic working knowledge of how to use and install it, much less connect to the internet.  I figured it out (kinda) in about two days, and it started me on a geeky journey, driven by a lasting love for technology in various formats. 

Those were the dial up days when AOL was king.

9 Reasons To Be Nostalgic About the Early Internet

Once I got internet connectivity down pat, browsing the web became a fave pastime. There wasn't as much to do online then as their is now, but once I got bored with chat rooms, I began randomly searching keywords. Out of sheer happenstance, I ended up on a freebie directory page.

After clicking around a bit, I realized that by simply clicking links to fill out online forms, I could easily request free stuff from companies to be sent to me by mail, often with no catch! Those that did want something in return, just wanted to keep in touch via email. Fine and OK!

In no time my mailbox was stuffed with items I had requested.  Some of it was purely promotional items, like 3D glasses, some really useful, like T-shirts, But whoa, when I realized that fashion and beauty companies needed product feedback and sent out free samples, that was all it took! Because the one thing Mimi likes more than geek stuff is beauty goods and fresh fash, for sho!

I became an early internet adoptin' freebie seeker; little did I know the best was yet to come.

For what limitations Web 1.0 presented, the Y2K phenomenon begat a newer, sleeker, safer internet that would make communicating online a breeze...including locating more, and better freebies!

Ain't life grand!

So here we are in present times, where online freebies are a bounty (sometimes). 
As previously stated, anybody can get free stuff online by mail, given they have the basic tools:

1.  A verifiable, physical mailing address (doesn't matter if your mailbox is managed by USPS or UPS) 
2. Internet access (duh) because its gonna take a little research. Not much, a click here and there. 
3. An investment of free time.  You may have to respond to emails and similar actions. 
4. Basic business to business writing skills to present yourself professionally (learn it here)

And that's about it!

Now that that's out of the way, on to the art finding the free stuff.

Its important to mention there's different types of free stuff. There are free samples, which are generally new products, being trial sized and promotional in nature. Then there's "freebies" aka "giveaways" which is what you get when a brand decides that they want to give a limited number of something they sell or produce to the general public. Also under this umbrella we can count "contests, and sweepstakes" but as the name implies, the recipients of goods may or may not be randomly picked. For the sake of time I'm limiting this post to the first two types "freebies" and "samples". 

The simplest way to find free stuff is to just type the keyword "freebies" into your search bar and go to any of the myriad websites that pop up and see what's up for grabs, as posted by those sites. The internet is jam packed with sites that offer tips and links to get free stuff, but not everything free is a "freebie"! This term has actually drawn some disdain. More on that later.

Another way is to directly contact companies that interest you with a short, professional email (all companies have a contact email address published on their website. Check their "Contact Us" link.
You don't know if you don't ask! There's actually a running list of companies who'll reply and send stuff to you, even via snail mail. The list has been tried and tested many times over.

The more in depth method of receiving free stuff is by being what's  referred to as a reputable "brand influencer" or "brand ambassador. This requires a little more dedication, and is more labor intensive but highly worth it, due to the exclusiveness of the brands/goods involved. Some of the items sent to you may not yet be on the market. You'll also need to start a blog for this to be truly effective, and it would be wise to register some social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram just for the purpose of having direct lines of communication between yourself or your "brand" as an influencer, and the companies who need your feedback.

You don't have to, but this method is extremely effective and pulls in the more valuable, rare, buzz worthy swag.  The flip side:  Reviewing the products sent to you, completing surveys and managing email correspondence are part of the deal. Some companies may ask you to enter contracts with them if you gain a large social media following, or make you a "spokesperson", if you are a person of note, but that's up to you. "Free" doesn't always equal quick and easy, for what its worth. You should view the situation as both you and the company provide one another with a needed service, so do what it takes to be professional in branding yourself. If you're gonna start a blog, do it for the love of writing, and not for free stuff. 

I'd be doing you a big disservice if I pretended these methods or any of the information I present here are set in stone. I encourage you to figure out what works for you and take what you will from this.
But I will say, that I know for sure it works, because I've been going about these methods 15+ years.

That being said, I'll gladly share with your some links to sites where you can get free products.


For general free stuff seekers

Or search here:

Click here for The Freebie Directory's searchable free stuff!

Here's seven great sites that will send free products. Do register for an account:

PinchMe

BzzAgent

Crowdtap

Smiley360

Swaggable

Social Nature

Influenster

Good Luck! Feel free to hit me up in the comments below with any questions!

Happpy Hunting,



Mimi.



*Disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate or sponsor links

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