Long before they appeared online, I’ve enjoyed free stuff everywhere -from gratis coffee at Surfers Paradise in Oz to exotic soup in Kuala Lumpur, melt-in-the-mouth chocolate on Deutsche Bahn and free energy drink in Boulder, CO. Freebies were welcome then and they are welcome now. The most spectacular freebie I’ve received was recharge worth about US$ 30 for my prepaid mobile in Dubai- given by a newly launched service provider.
Why do companies give away freebies?
Companies give freebies for several reasons: To promote a brand or develop loyalty. Freebies are doled to entice whole populations to vote for someone or attract more traffic to some website. Some give away stuff to draw attention to their product which otherwise would have rotted on shelves.
Yet others give stuff as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility or to create brand awareness or encourage people to take surveys. Reasons for giving freebies are several. Freebies are given away at superstores and malls for brand development. Companies have more to gain by giving you some free stuff.
Understanding types of online freebies
Freebies offered online come in all forms- as free service or product and sometimes, discount vouchers and if lucky, free cash. They are given away by subscribing to newsletters or simply clicking on a button and submitting your name and delivery address. Others are offered through sweepstakes where lucky winners are drawn.
That freebies are immensely popular is exhibited by online dating services that send free bouquets on behalf of paid clients. Stores encourage people to purchase more through buy-one-get-one-free schemes. At least Leading American news channel gives away vouchers or donates to a charity of your choice for taking a survey.
Getting free stuff online for thrift
They may sound incredulous but an increasing number of websites now offer stuff we use daily for free. Anyone with a computer or smart-phone connected to the Internet can save at least 20 to 30 percent of their household expenses by getting free stuff online. A search on the Internet will reveal scores of websites that offer freebies or provide links to companies from where you can get free stuff.
Watch out for scammers
Getting free stuff is great. Dozens of websites will gladly enroll you as member once you submit your name, email and delivery details. But some will never send any free stuff. Instead, loads of spam will land in your email account. Verify the credentials of every website that offers freebies. Reading user reviews about the website gives a correct picture of its reliability.
Free stuff available online
Depends on who you are, where you live and what you want. Free stuff offered online ranges from baby diapers to cosmetics, vouchers for free meals and birthday parties for kids. Companies want to know who you are because they look for specific targets to give free stuff. Where you live is important since laws about free stuff varies by state. And you decide what you want- it saves time and money when looking for useful free stuff.
College/ university freebies
Membership to gyms, free bikes for use and other freebies are given to students by various universities and colleges. To avail these, you need to enroll and reserve the free stuff online. Use of these facilities is governed by rules and regulations of that educational institute.
Free newspapers, magazines and books
A vast treasure trove of newspapers, magazines and books are available online. Religious organizations give away holy book and publications for free. Some newspapers that are otherwise bought, offer free trials for limited periods. Free stuff also includes magazines given away as trial subscriptions or without cost to promote their popularity and attract readership.
The ultimate freebie: cash
Cash is also available free online. Yes, it is. But you need to tap the right, legitimate sources to get Free money. Doing online surveys and reviewing products is a great way to earn cash. A few companies will eagerly mail you samples of their product and pay you to test and review it.
The cost of free stuff
Nothing really comes for free. Firms that offer free samples may approach you for an honest review. Others can ask you to suggest more friends and relatives who can be sent the free stuff. Some ask you for delivery charges. Others keep you waiting because you are entered in a draw. And those who offer everything sans any strings attached, stand to gain through your loyalty to the brand or service. They expect you would continue to patronize the brand.
More free stuff that goes unnoticed
Loyalty programs are a great way of getting free stuff. With competition stiffening, banks, airlines, car rental agencies, hotel chains are all giving away free stuff. Such freebies are offered through loyalty programs. Most people miss out on this free stuff due to lack of awareness or general disinterest. Earning points on your credit or debit cards or loyalty card of a store can fetch you very attractive freebies. Frequent flyer programs give miles that can be redeemed for air tickets or hotel accommodation. This free stuff can also be availed online.
Where to look for free stuff
Internet is the single-largest place to search for free stuff online. With some ingenuity you can find loads of interesting and useful freebies. Boxes of cereals and crackers advertise freebies they offer by enrolling yourself online. Soft drink bottlers frequently conduct promotions offering free stuff. You need to enter the manufacturer’s website and key in some words or phrases to win freebies. The same holds true for chocolate and confectionary wrappers. Cosmetics and beauty products, baby care items and almost every conceivable consumer goods manufacturer offers free stuff. They do so to ensure continued, consistent brand loyalty, gauge customer satisfaction or test a new variant before commercial launch.
Online coupons and vouchers are a great source
At major tourist destinations, restaurants, hotels, car rental companies, travel agents, curios sellers and other traders combine to offer freebies to travelers. These are offered as online coupons and vouchers. You are required to print these to avail the freebie which may include anything from a welcome drink to a pizza portion or late check-out facility at a hotel.
A final word for freebie hunters
Free stuff available is governed by laws. Companies offering freebies bear the tax burden. It is advisable to shun free stuff that can harm your health. Also, find whether stuff you are offered free conforms to local laws. When you consent to using free stuff, you pawn your rights to legal recourse should any contraindications arise from usage.