No Charge, Livin’ Large: A Guide to Freebies
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.