No Charge, Livin’ Large: A Guide to Free­bies

The Washington Post Sunday - - Sunday Source -

HAVE CHILD, WILL GET STUFF. Ev­ery­one loves ba­bies, but man­u­fac­tur­ers love mom­mies and dad­dies even more. Af­ter all, it’s not baby who de­cides to buy Luvs over Pam­pers di­a­pers. Most mak­ers of baby prod­ucts work to gain brand loy­alty by of­fer­ing free sam­ples and other pro­mo­tions. To get them, all you re­ally need to do is have a baby, which usu­ally re­sults in a flood of free­bies (of­ten be­fore you even leave the hospi­tal).

You can also seek out free prod­ucts. Proc­ter & Gam­ble’s Pam­pers brand lists pro­mo­tions at us.pam­pers.com (click on Pro­mo­tions), and you can reg­is­ter to find out about free sam­ples from the com­pany’s Luvs brand at www.luvs.com. Hug­gies ( www.hug­gies­babynet­work.com) also of­fers coupons and prod­uct sam­ples for those who join its clubs, as do for­mula mak­ers Sim­i­lac ( www.wel­comead­di­tion. com) and En­famil ( www.en­famil.com). DIS­COVER THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A FREE LUNCH. Sign up to be a mys­tery shop­per, and you can get re­im­bursed for pur­chases that range from fast food to pizza to high-end restau­rant meals, plus some re­tail items and ser­vices.

Even bet­ter, you’ll prob­a­bly earn a com­mis­sion of $10 to $20, says Brad Hold­greve, vice pres­i­dent of sales for Find­lay, Ohio-based Cor­po­rate Re­search In­ter­na­tional, which re­cruits shop­pers through its Web site, www. mys­teryshops.com. Shop­pers reg­is­ter, go through on­line train­ing and then choose from a list of prod­ucts and ser­vices they want to shop for, get­ting re­im­bursed by di­rect de­posit.

For more se­cret-shop­per com­pa­nies, try the Mys­tery Shop­ping Providers As­so­ci­a­tion ( www.mys­teryshop.org), whose mem­bers fol­low a code of ethics that in­cludes prom­ises not to mis­lead mys­tery shop­pers or charge them a fee.

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