Free Sample Sites
I'm sure you've seen them, the free sample sites. Sign up today and get free samples from brands you LOVE. Once you get the free samples you are meant to show your loot on your social platforms and review the products. Sounds easy enough, right? Sounds a bit too good to be true, right? What do you really have to do to get free samples and are these sites even legit?
I'm sure there are a TON more out there but for the purposes of this post I'm going to discuss Influenster, Crowdtap, BzzAgent and PinchMe. I'm not being compensated in any way for this post from any of these sites, the thoughts expressed here are my own based off of my interactions and experiences.
This site offers great content, they share articles about new items in a wide variety of categories and on their site real people leave reviews from products they've tried in their life, not necessarily products they were given for free. When you make your account you are awarded points for "impact" that are based on different things; having their badge on your website (see my homepage), the number of Twitter followers, Instagram followers and Facebook friends. It states right on your "impact" page that the "higher your score, the more likely you'll be chosen for a VoxBox". A VoxBox is their box of free samples they send to participants. You can also earn badges for leaving reviews for products on their site; "Pet Lover", "Beauty Junkie", and "Mega Parent" are badges you can earn based on the type of products you review.
I have yet to receive a VoxBox based off of my score. I have however, won a Twitter party that they hosted. At least once a week you'll find a Twitter party over at @InfluensterVox. Parties hosted are an open discussion about products that have recently been sent out in samples to people and this party gives away five of the boxes to people who may not have received one.
I will say this though, there was a mixup in the prizing for the party I won as the tweets during the party stated we were going to win a specific set of items and what we received was very different (not even the correct brand).
This site is my favorite. They provide free samples from companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Revlon and more and the way you receive samples is to apply to receive them. Try as I might, I have not yet been accepted into a sampling program.
So then why is this site my favorite? Aside from the free samples they also allow you to earn Amazon gift cards. When you create an account you are given a goal of X amount of points, when you earn those points you receive your $5 gift card to Amazon. This is legit, I've actually received two, $5 gift cards so far.
How do you earn points? By answering questions that are worth anywhere from 2 points each to 20 points each. It can be as simple as, "do you own a pet?" to a little more complex like "tell us about your experience with (fill the the blank)" here you will need to type out a few sentences. They also offer you points when you share certain things to your own social platforms. I have found it is super easy to rack up points and earn gift cards, I just have not been able to crack the code on getting sample kits, yet.
BzzAgent, like Influenster gives you a score, a "BzzScore" if you will, based on your interactions with the site. How do you raise your "BzzScore" if you are selected to receive free samples, complete the campaign tasks, connect your social accounts and answer survey questions. These survey questions are also said to help pair you with a Bzz campaign.
Exciting news, I received an email about a week ago saying I was selected to participate in a Bzz campaign (my first), so as soon as I receive my samples I will be sure to let you know about my experience with completing their tasks.
About twice a month, on Tuesdays, PinchMe offers new samples. I'm still trying to figure out the workings of this site as last month I was offered free samples and I accepted but this month I was not offered anything. To get a "guaranteed box" you can complete surveys via QWIZme, linked directly from their site and receive tokens. 500 tokens equals a box. However, there is no token tracker (like there is so clearly on CrowdTap) that allows you to see how near or far you are from the 500 tokens.
As mentioned, I am allegedly receiving free samples from this site soon. So as soon as I do I will be sure to share my experience.
So are they legit? The sites mentioned above seem to be legit in the sense that I've seen social posts of people receiving free samples, even if I haven't yet. If I receive my samples from BzzAgent and PinchMe that would give me samples from three out of the four sites, two from whichever algorithms they use and one from just dumb luck.
The only word of caution is to just be careful when answering survey questions. I always skip ones that try to get too personal; needing my full birthdate not just the month or year, wanting to know the annual household income and other financial questions. Maybe skipping these questions hinders me getting samples but I want to keep some information private and if I have to forgo the samples maybe that's okay.