How to Find Really Free Freebies
This article shares tips from the newest episode of Dealista, our podcast that'll help you get more for less.
Everybody loves free stuff, provided it’s actually at no cost to you. Finding it can be a challenge, however. We hook you up with a few great resources and some trustworthy tips for getting even more of the freebies you love!
What’s a Freebie?
In a nutshell, it’s something you get for nothing — with the exception of your time or energy. Some folks don’t want to take even a minute to try to get something free (their time is just too valuable). For the majority of us, however, as long as the value of the free item is well above what we would get paid to work for our time invested — it’s a great deal!
Freebies can be anything from a small, trial-sized product (like shampoo or medicine) to a full-sized item that you’d buy from a store (software or clothing, for instance). Most often provided as a way to promote a business offering, they can sometimes be adorned with the logos of companies. A true freebie, however, will cost you no money out of pocket and won’t ask for your personal financial information.
Where Can You Find Freebies?
Since I spend hours every week looking for freebies, I’ve come to learn that many websites feature the same offers. They share and they swipe, but a handful of sites is all you really need to find the bulk majority of the good ones. Here are the ones that I use daily for my own personal freebie needs.
Wise Bread’s Daily Deals — Hey! Of course, I love this one. With 3-4 good freebies listed each Monday-Friday, it’s a great stop to make every morning to keep your mailbox flowing with the good stuff. (You can even get a little shopping done, if you’re so inclined.)
Common Sense with Money — Not only is Mercedes (the blogger of the site) a great freebie-finder, but she does an excellent job of providing information that will help you determine if a freebie is right for you. Her daily finds include free stuff after purchase and a good variety of samples that can be gotten just by filling out forms. I check this site every morning.
DealNews — Known for bargains on technology and gadgets, DealNews isn’t the first place people think of for freebies. Scroll down the home page a bit towards the middle, however, and you’ll find a nice assortment of free photo print offers, iphone application downloads, and restaurant freebies. Rated for “hotness,” each offer lets you know if the community at large finds it to be valuable, as well. (DealNews is also pretty diligent about taking down offers as they expire or run out of supply.)
Walmart.com — This mega retailer has more going on than just shopping opportunities. By scanning the left-hand side of the home page, you will see a link to “In Stores Now.” Click it, and it will take you a special promotions page for in-store and free sample offers. The free sample offers require no more than your basic information and are a great way to try new products and stock up your cabinet with goodies. Recent offers include diapers, heartburn medication, and shampoo.
How to Tell the Good from the Bad
Some freebies are legit, and others are just a scam. How can you discern between them? Here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years.
Stay way from shady subdomains — It’s easy to see that an offer housed at www.tylenol.com is being handled by Tylenol itself, but sometimes other companies will fulfill offers on behalf of larger corporations. Familiarize yourself with how web addresses work, and see if it’s possible to access the home page from any offer you may have clicked on. If a link appears to be unsecured or from a website that doesn’t look reputable, walk away without your freebie.
Avoid additional offers — Many of the freebies that I encounter from even trustworthy sites are no more than money-making or affiliate schemes. If you are required to sign up for offers or start free-trial offers in exchange for your free items, the freebie may not be for you. (Usually, the freebie offerer gets a certain amount of money for each offer you complete. They end up making much more money off of you than you’ll ever get back for the freebie — if they send the freebie to you, at all.) Go ahead and let someone else make them money. You don’t need these kinds of strings-attached offers.
What to do with freebies? Some may think of them as a waste of time or a way to clutter up your medicine cabinet. I’ve known many well-meaning and successful freebie hunters who have helped to supplement their pantry or first aid kit with the fruits of their labor, however. You may also consider using your freebie hobby as a way to contribute much-needed supplies to homeless shelters and pet charities. They’d gladly take your unwanted freebies!
If you enjoyed these tips you can find more in our show's archive.