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Freebies Abound in the Mail. Here’s How to Snag Them

There are several ways to get free products, from razors to magazines

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Whoever said nothing in life is free hasn’t taken advantage of what you can get in the mail without paying a penny. In some instances you have to be a brand ambassador; in other cases you’re required to provide personal information, fill out lengthy surveys and/or test products. But if you’re willing to give up some of your time and privacy, freebies by mail abound. ​

With that in mind, here’s how to snag them and what you’ll have to give up in return. 

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Razors​

There are several ways consumers can get razors and/or blades for free. The easiest is to sign up for email alerts and promotions from your favorite razor manufacturers. Philips, Gillette, Bic and Schick run promotions from time to time that include free razors and blades, which you won’t know about unless you’re a registered customer. You can also track your favorite brands on social media to learn about freebies that will come in the mail. ​

The razor companies aim to please and seek feedback from consumers when developing new products and services. They run focus groups and conduct surveys online, in person and over the phone. Through these programs you not only test products but get to keep them. To take part you sign up online and complete a survey, and the company will mail you products to test that fit your profile. With Philips’ product tester program you have to provide feedback and submit a review to keep the product. 

If you’re loyal to one brand and sign up for a subscription, you’ll often receive a free razor and blades. With Gillette’s program you get a free razor kit. All you’re on tap for is $4 in shipping. ​

What you give up: Most of the time you’re giving up your name, address and email. If you become a product tester, the company may ask you more in-depth questions about your likes and dislikes and shopping habits. ​

Magazines​

Whether you prefer to read magazines online or on paper, there are ways to get free subscriptions. In return, you have to take part in weekly online surveys that cover topics from fashion to politics. The more surveys you complete, the more rewards you rack up. The points can be redeemed for magazine subscriptions. ​

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If you prefer digital copies of magazines, ValueMags is a popular resource. It’s similar to RewardSurvey; you click on the magazine you want to subscribe to, take a survey, and the magazine will be available on the ValueMags website. 

What you give up: time and personal information. The surveys are designed to help improve products and services and tend to include a lot of personal questions. You also have to provide your name and email address to become a member and/or redeem rewards. A big red flag is if the website asks for credit card information: The free ones will never require a payment method to provide access to free magazines.

Beauty items ​

Focus groups are common in the beauty industry, with companies testing all manner of cosmetics and perfume. They seek a constant stream of feedback and rely on third parties to gather that for them. That’s where PinkPanel comes in. The popular beauty and personal care consumer panel finds beauty enthusiasts to take surveys, review samples and test products. In return they get to keep the products and in some cases get paid. ​

What you give up: To join the PinkPanel you have to fill out an application online. In addition to providing identifying information including name, address and email, you have to answer a series of questions about your beauty habits. The company says it never sells or shares your personal information. ​

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Consumer staples & food ​

Free samples are aplenty on the internet and don’t require too much work. Take PinchMe for starters. This website gives you access to free samples and only asks for an honest review in return. The company represents a lot of household brands — Kraft, P&G, L'Oréal and Clorox, to name a few. Recent samples include moisturizers, peanut butter and gummy bears. 

Freesamples.org is another option. You can search for and request free samples in several categories including baby, food, pet, health and beauty. Freesamples.org also runs an email list. Sign up and you’ll get notified of special freebies and promos.  

Freeflys is yet another aggregator of free samples. Its list of samples is updated regularly and includes the same categories as the others. Freeflys also has a special page dedicated solely to freebies you get in the mail.​

What you give up: The websites and vendors offering free samples get your email address and home address. ​

When it comes to getting freebies in the mail, patience is required. There’s a lot of demand for these freebies; as a result it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to get your sample. Also,  if you’re worried about spam clogging up your primary email account after you sign up, consider creating a separate email account just for your freebies. And remember, all good things come to those who wait. That couldn’t be truer when it comes to freebies in the mail.