Thursday, October 8, 2009

Never Underestimate The Value Of A Sample

Receiving product samples is wonderful. Who doesn't like trying something for free? In our poor economy, businesses must scrabble to bring in and keep customers. This week while running my usual day-to-day errands – and just for walking into Kiehl's, a sales associate gave me samples of three new hair products to take home. It amounted to a full week's supply. Down the street at Godiva's – without even asking, I was handed two scrumptious gourmet truffles {at $44 a pound!} to try. 

 I've gotten a little spoiled because an introduction to an unknown luxury without opening a wallet is nice ... especially when the item costs a chunk of change. Trying before buying has made me a smarter consumer. By shopping with merchants, who dole out plenty of free samples, I've gotten good at figuring out what works for me, what is just a gimmick and what merchandize is worth its asking price. I don't waste money on goods I don't like once I get them home. And I don't clutter up my bathroom with one mistake after another. 

 Although the gourmet candies and snacks never see the light of day once in my hands, the trial sizes of shampoos, conditioners and moisturizers are perfect to take on overnight trips away from home. 

 Also retailers who offer lots of free samples tend to offer superior customer service and other shopping benefits like customer reward cards and free products with [and without] purchases. All worth considering to get the best deals. Naturally businesses are hoping if you try it, you'll like it. Meanwhile, you get to evaluate their goods risk-free. Go for it!

Extreme Sample Friendly Stores include:

For skin, hair and personal care products:
1} Aveda – They teach customers about skin care and wellness and give first rate massages and a "spot of tea" for free.
2} Bath And Body Works (sans make-up)
4} Kiehl's (sans make-up)
5} Origins
6} Sephora

For gormet chocolate and food:
7} Godiva – If you sign up for their rewards card, you get a free chocolate every month.
8} Lindt – Samples galore at their Fifth Avenue flagship store!
9} Williams-Sonoma – Especially on weekends and the weeks leading up to holidays
10} Zabars – For New Yorkers and visitors to NYC
Your local 11} delis, 12} gourmet, 13} grocery and 14} drug stores – Particularly on the weekends and near holidays

Even ladies' clothing:
15} Victoria's Secret - When you sign up for a store credit card, you receive free VS undergarments and toiletries 3-4 times a year.


  1. Oh, you can do well if you get medical samples too; sometimes you can avoid having to pay for an expensive prescription if your doctor has a few extra antibiotics or whatever.

  2. As usual , I enjoyed reading your blog.
    There are also perfume and cosmetic counters giving you free sprays of a new scent.

  3. I enjoyed reading your Blogs too! Sample give away is perfect for educated consumers.
    I look at like an engagement between man and a woman!
    Keep it up Debra!