10 Ways to get free stuff!

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Admit it – there’s nothing better than getting something for free! We’d all love to win a new iPod, receive a gift card to our favorite store, or get comped for a free meal at our beloved neighborhood restaurant. But did you know these free offers are everywhere? It’s not just luck or chance – companies are very willing to give you their products or services free of charge – if you approach them the right way or offer something in return. So go down this list of 10 places to get free stuff and enjoy!

Join Rewards programs
From airlines to hotels, stores to your favorite pizza parlor, almost every brand and service has a rewards program these days. You can easily find details on their website and once signed up, earn discounts, points toward free purchases, coupons, and other giveaways.

Follow social media pages
These days, most brands are a lot more active on their social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter than they are on their website or any other kind of marketing. By liking or following your favorite companies, you’ll see sporadic offers from free items, raffles, sweepstakes, 2-for-1 specials, and other treasures they don’t promote anywhere else.

Complain
The squeaky wheel gets greased, as they say, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you have a legitimate concern or had a bad experience with a company’s product. Emailing them, calling their customer service department, or sending them a nice Tweet usually works best. You don’t have to come off angry or money-grubbing, just explain that you are a loyal user but was disappointed this one time and would love to give them a chance to make it up to you with a free replacement or different product.

Take surveys
Companies have the constant need to assess the needs, opinions, and consumer behaviors of their target market – and you can help by participating in their surveys. Sometimes they conduct these surveys in-house, or they might have a third-party company handling the research for them, but either way they’ll reward you for your time with free products, gift cards, or generous special offers.

You can also find the actual companies who conduct surveys and sign up to help them. Ipsos and Survey Panel are just two of the many out there.

Write a letter
Sometimes the best way to get free stuff is simply to ask! Write a nice letter or email to the appropriate person at company headquarters. Explain that you love their products and always spread the word to your friends and family, and would love to try more of their goods. Ask if there were any new products or samples you could receive for free so you could become an even bigger customer.
 
Happy birthday to me
A lot of restaurants and service businesses are happy to give you something for free if it’s your birthday. Maybe it will just be a piece of cake with a candle in it, but they frequently also offer free drinks, appetizers, or other specials. Many companies have a loyal customer program where they have your birthday on file and will send you special offers on that day. But don’t try to get slick and claim every day is your birthday, because they will check your ID!

Start a blog and write product reviews
More than ever, consumers look for authentic, neutral opinions and advice before they make purchases. Start your own blog and review products or services that you use on a regular basis. Once you grow your audience and gain some credibility, you can contact a bunch of companies and ask if they’d like a positive review in your blog in exchange for some free samples or products.

Look for offers for free digital media
Free entertainment media is everywhere if you just look for it. Starbucks offers a free MP3 song of the month, bands often release their whole catalog on MP3 for a special occasion, and iTunes, Amazon, and other sites have special sections with free music, movies, apps, video games, and eBooks.

Dining out with kids and other restaurant giveaways
A slew of your favorite eateries have days where children eat free. There are also plenty of special days like National Donut Day, Spaghetti Day, Valentines Day, the first day of summer, etc. when national chains give away free donuts, pancakes, chocolate, and ice cream, among others.

Websites for freebies
How do you keep track of all these specials, offers, and giveaways in order to get the most free stuff? The good news is that people are already doing that for you. There are plenty of websites that track free giveaways, discount codes for free products, and survey opportunities. Many of them have whole communities where other freebie-lovers can teach you the tricks of the trade! Check out PINCHme.com, giveawayoftheday.com, totallyfreestuff.com, and thefreesite.com to get started.

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