Legitimate ways to get free stuff online (and tips to not get scammed in the process)
When I was a freshman in college, some of my roommates liked to tease me because of how much I loved free things.
If there was free food on campus, you’d better believe I was there. A free t-shirt advertising for some event? I had at least 10. There was even a time that I signed up for all the free samples I could (partly because I wanted mail. And mainly because it was free!)
There was one time that I had paid five dollars and gotten a t-shirt somewhere on campus. I remember coming home, and talking to my roommate, Christie. When I proudly showed her my shirt (which I admit, sounds so lame,) I told her:
“Look at this shirt I got for free, it was only five dollars!”
Obviously, it wasn’t a free shirt. I had paid for it. But I was so used to saying I got a free shirt, I accidentally said that. And from that point on, it become a roommate joke.
Over the years, I’ve gotten better at discerning where I can get free items legitimately. In my attempts, here are some tips on how to avoid scams, or even less-than-worth it deals.
MAKE SURE YOU JOIN OUR FREEBIES, DEALS, AND STEALS PAGE ON FACEBOOK!
Read the Fine Print
We’ve all seen those popups that say “You’ve won a 300 dollar gift card to McDonalds!” Right? Well, I’m sorry to break it to you, but those are not real! If you read the fine print, it will tell you to get your gift card, you have to complete several offers, and the highest one ends up costing a ton of money overall. And to even get to that point, you have to go through tons of pages of offers. Mainly, it’s just important to know what you are getting into before signing up for anything — even with legitimate websites and companies.
Asks for a Credit Card? No way!
Let’s just get this straight — if it asks for your credit card number, don’t do it! Unless you want to have some random charges popping up in a few weeks or so. Granted, there are a few exceptions. Sometimes, if there is a free trial of something, giving your credit card number is acceptable. I signed up for a free year of ShopRunner last year, and I had to put in my credit card number. It’s been worth it. But as I said before, make sure to read the fine print. If you do sign up for a free trial, make sure to put that date on your calendar, so you can make sure to cancel it. Believe me, that day can come and go pretty quickly, and you might find a not-so-welcome surprise in your bank account.
“TONS OF FREE PRODUCTS!”
On the side of my Facebook page, I often see ads for a website that apparently gives you tons of free baby products. This never happens. It usually ends up being a website that makes you sign up for emails from different companies, that may send you a coupon every now and then, but more likely, you’ll just get tons of emails that are just annoying.
In order to cut down on the amount of spam I get from signing up for free products, I have a spam email account! It makes it easier when there is some kind of requirement to register your email. I learned that the hard way, when I had to start a new email account for myself because the old one just got hundreds of spam emails a day.
My Favorite Free Product Websites
Follow Freebie Sites
Quite often, companies will have giveaways on their Facebook pages that are fairly easy to win. For instance, last year, Dominos gave away hundreds of thousands of free pizzas, and all you had to do was be close by when they announced it on their page — we got two! It can get kind of tricky trying to find all these, especially because they are pretty quick to end, so that’s why I recommend following a couple coupon and deal websites online.
Unlike most of the links, I’ll list below, you don’t have to do any reviews or social media shout-outs. Most of the time, you just have to sign up for an email list, answer a few questions, or like a page on Facebook. Super easy.
This is a fairly new website, and it’s pretty cool. Every Tuesday, they release several new samples that you can go and add to your box. There is no subscription fee attached (everything is even shipped free!) and all they ask is that you come back and share your opinion on the product. They have a variety of different samples — from food, to beauty products, to omega 3 pills. The only downside is you have to be quick! Samples get snatched up pretty quickly, so if you want to get them, be sure to be by your computer on Tuesday mornings!
This is a new one but one of the best! You get a BOX of free goodies – no credit card required and shipping is free. They have limited quantities so you want to make sure you get them while they last!
Influenster is really cool because they send you boxes full of full-sized products — no wimpy, 2-ounce bottles of shampoo! The picture at the beginning of this post features my most recent Influenster box. You do have to answer questions and share about your experiences on social networks, but it’s really not hard to do at all — a tweet here, an Instagram shot there. It’s a small price to pay for the awesome products you get!
PatPat is a daily deals site, where they have AMAZING deals on products for babies, kids, and women. They have a free product available every day as well – it goes up at 6 AM PST and is available until it runs out. You can get it on the mobile app or the website. When you place your first order, use the code apCI13 to get 25% off (if you order more than the free item). It’s really an awesome website.
This is a survey site, but they also give out free coupons and free samples often to active members!
This is only available in certain states, but I LOVE it. Each month you fill out a survey, and participating companies can choose you to try out their products or services in exchange for an authentic post on one of your social media channels. You don’t have to be a blogger to do this, which is awesome!
I love this company! They offer better for your home and health cleaning/home products. Throughout the year they offer different freebies for trying them out. You can click here to see the latest offer. If it’s not available, they usually will give you some kind of freebie still 🙂
Free Baby Stuff
I’ve written about this extensively in my post The Best Pregnancy and Baby Freebies for Moms, but l thought I’d mentioned my favorites. These are free baby products (just pay shipping). For any of the following, you just have to enter the code C113D4 at checkout (unless otherwise noted)
Cute Hats – use code CLARKSESKIMO1
Hooded Towels – use code CLARKS35 (35% off)
Pregnancy Pillow – code gives you 35% off
I stumbled upon Gen Video a few months ago when I was trying to find free baby products. I wasn’t quite sure what it was at first, but within hours of signing up, I was asked to fill out a survey to see if I qualified for one of the Tryology product samples. I’m usually pretty skeptical when I find a new site that gives away free products, and I figured I wouldn’t be accepted. However, I was, and yesterday I got a big package of Huggies diapers, and a box of wipes. All you have to do is try the product, and then upload a two-minute video with your opinion. In the mean time while you are waiting for these types of offers, they ask you to review products you already own, and upload videos. These give you points, and in turn, increase the likelihood that you’ll get one.
Since my first campaign, I haven’t been accepted again. For some reason, none of the videos I uploaded have been accepted, and I think that has to do with it. However, I still fully endorse this website because it is legitimate, and there is a lot of opportunities to earn points to redeem toward rewards. To see current programs that are open, visit this link.
I think I heard about this when one of my cousins posted about it on Facebook, and I was hooked ever since. Like Smiley360, they send you products in exchange for distributing coupons and sharing your experience on social networks. I think they have better products though for the most part. I’ve been selected for three campaigns in the past few months — one for McCormick seasonings, one for Glade Expressions, one for a hydro silk razor, and also for carb master yogurt. Sometimes they send you coupons in the mail for free products that you have to redeem yourself, and sometimes the product is just sent directly to you. The coupons they send to distribute are also extremely high value, and quite often, the product will end up being free as well. You get more campaigns the higher your “bzz score” is, which can be improved by taking short surveys and sharing information on Facebook or Twitter.
This site basically sends you free products in exchange for hosting a party featuring them. I’ve only been selected for one — a Rice Krispie party — but they have so many different parties each year. I knew a few people who were selected for a Fisher Price party last year, and they received literally hundreds of dollars worth of free toys. It does take some effort to get selected — you’ve got to share it in Facebook or Twitter, and participate in discussions every now and then — but it’s totally worth it. Some of the parties I’ve seen recently have been for Soda Stream Makers, a movie projector, and for a bunch of Hasbro games. If you like to throw parties and want to get all the materials to throw one, this is definitely the site for you.
Smiley360 lets you “be the first to try exclusive new products, experiences, and offers.” If you qualify for a “mission,” they will send you products in the mail to use and talk about with your friends. You get “smileys” for sharing the product (or a coupon) with others, and then recording your experience. I haven’t always qualified for missions, but I have gotten a few fun products — most recently, infant Advil, which has been awesome for when Jack has been teething or had an ear infection. The more missions you do, the more likely you’ll get selected for one of the cooler ones. They also host a lot of fun promotional events online.
Well, there you have it! Do you have any favorite sites that give out free products?
OTHER POSTS YOU WILL LOVE:
- The Best Survey Sites (That Pay Real $$)
- The 15 Best Birthday Freebies To Sign Up For
- 9 Apps To Save and Make Money With Your Smartphone
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
Ryan Thames says
Those look like great sites! Will have to check a few out.
One of my favorite freebie sites that isn’t on this list is: https://www.hotfreebees.com
I’ve actually received a few samples in the mail from them.
Amy Dowell says
I have heard good things about your site I’m so tired of scams could I get an invite please
chess sets says
Love your Blog. I’m recently retired, but on a fixed income. For sure I will try these sites out. Thank You for the info
Cindy Maudsley says
Thank you for checking us out!
Hi! Is the Influenster still open? If so, can you invite me? Thanks!
Samantha Lewis says
There are so many freebie sites now, its hard to tell what is fake and what is real lol, I always use http://www.fabfreesamples.co.uk/ and its great, I end up with a lot of freebies!
MICHAEL GOAD says
GREAT INFO THANKS
If you have any other invitation please send them to me thank you
Hello, I am living on a fixed income and tried to apply for some free products but I get nothing but scam emails, I read your blog and I would love to be a part of your world 🙂 can I get an invite to influenster or anything that can help me limit my overtime hrs at work. 🙂
Influester or pinchme would be great 🙂
Graciela Frausto says
Is it trues
If someone could invite me to influencter it would be much appreciated :)!
Love your Blog. I’m recently retired, but on a fixed income. For sure I will try these sites out.
Thank You for the info
I am glad you have found my blog helpful! Thanks for stopping by =)
I recently signed up for bzz and looking forward to my first campaign! Thank you for the tips.
I hope you enjoy it!
janet h says
I am not stupid but found myself going around in circles and not being able to finish Influenster or PinchMe. Very frustrating.
I’m sorry! Is there anything I can do to help you? What are you having trouble with?
Thanks so much for the info.. I love your page!! Please send me invite Influenster.?? Thank you!!!
Tina Dalasinski says
I am with all of these sites. Question though how do you find freebies in your area?
I think the best way to find freebies in your area is to find a hyper local blog that posts local deals and events. Where are you from? I might be able to give you some suggestions. Signing up for the email lists of stores, restaurants, etc. in your area is also a great way (or following them on social media.)
Tristan Denyer says
I wrote a blog post on how to get free products from Amazon Sellers to review: http://reviewercollective.com/how-to-get-free-products-to-review-on-amazon/ It’s a step-by-step guide on how to update your Amazon Profile so Amazon Sellers know to ask you if you would like to receive their products for free (or at a 99% discount) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Similar to influenster mentioned above, only all the products and reviews are on Amazon.
I have been asked well over 500 times, and have chosen to receive and review over 200 products.
Great site, thank for writing such a great article!
Thanks! I will check out your post!
I would love an invite as well if you are still able to invite people? The email I posted will be good to send to!
I just found your site and I love it. If there are any Influenster invites left, I would love to have one. Thanks so much.
I would love to get free stuff. Could you send me an invite? Cassrweese@aim.com
Question- I selected and followed items on influenster, but how do I get them to send things when I haven’t given my address? What I’m asking is, how do I get them to send things, how do I know when/if they’re going to send something, and do I have to wait by my computer to grab a deal for them to send a package?
They will typically send you an email saying something like, “You may qualify for an Influenster box!” and then you’ll fill out a survey. If they find that you are qualified, they’ll ask for your current address at that point 🙂
Hi, can you invite me to Influencer? I’m on a few freebie websites, but these all sound like great additions! My email addy is: email@example.com
Christine Morningstar says
This site is Awesome and Thank you for All the info!!Can you Please send me an invite as well to influenster as well.Take Care & God Bless
Also found you on pinterest 🙂
Do you still have the infulenster invites?!? i signed up so still trying to figure out how it works!
Here is my email address, I’d love to use Influenster.
I found this post from Frugal Friday Link Up Party. I love free stuff but I am often bombarded with spam. I love the tip for using an email just for spam… brilliant! Thanks for sharing.
It made my email box so much less spammy when I realized I should do that!
please add me to influenster email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, did you ever get on Influenster? If so, would you please send me an invitation?
Salenia Moore says
Thank you for the tips on how to get legitimate freebies. I am a newbie at this and love that you have gave some wonderful tips. Thanks. Would love an invite to influenster if there is still one available. Email address is email@example.com. Thanks again.
Veronica Martines says
I know it’s been a while but do you still have the invitation for influenster?
Sumpto.com has freebies for college students, and the more points you get from social media, the better prizes you can earn! You have to have a university email address to sign up. 🙂
I’ve never heard of that one! Thank you!
Alyssa Schafsnitz says
Thank you! I’ve been looking for freebie sites for a while now. The only one I previously knew about was getitfree.us It’s a good site but you only get samples and most of the good freebies are first come first serve. So thank you!
I’m so glad this was useful for you! Good luck! 🙂
Danielle Merritt says
As a wife and mother of 5, I’ve had my share of signing up for free samples. But the idea of getting free full oz bottles sounds great! If you still have invites to use for Influenster please send me one firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
It really is so nice to actually get full size samples! Just sent you an invite 🙂
Selina Manche says
I really would love to do influenster, if you could send me an invite??
Hi! It said you already have an invitation or are registered for Influenster 🙂
If you have any other invitation please send them to me thank you
It said you are already in their system 🙂
Mitch Seidman says
This page is AWESOME. I would also like to try Influenster. Thank you so much for these sites. I just finished the PINCHme profile setup and received 1000 points.
Great! I’m so glad you found this helpful. I’ll send you an invite ASAP!
I loved this, I love how detailed this was. If you have another invitation mind sending me one? Ciociolao@Gmail.com thank you
Just invited you!
Thank you for all the great information!! May I please get an invite to Influenster still?
Amber Duffer says
I am a member of Julep, which is a monthly subscription box service. They have nail polish, makeup and skincare products. (wonderful stuff!!)..It is normally $19.99 a month, but if you use my link to sign up now & use the code: FREEBOX at checkout, your first box is FREE! you do have to pay $3.99 for shipping, but you get $40 worth of products!! After you receive you box you can cancel if you want to. You really have nothing to lose!!! (I know you will LOVE their products!!):
That’s awesome! I’ll have to try that out.
Amber Duffer says
Two other sites I have heard are really good are http://www.trymbl.com/, & sirclesamples.com, but you have to be invited to them. I have been waiting a while – if anyone here can invite me I would really appreciate it!!
Hello 🙂 I’ve been enjoying your posts and loved this one. do you still have a invitation left for the influenster page? Thanks!
I sure do! What email should I send it to?
Yay! Thank you my email is email@example.com
Just sent! Enjoy 🙂
Would you add me also? Simpletruce@gmail.com
Hello! I tried sending you one, but it said your email already exists in their database.
I would love to get invited to influencster I think your post is awesome also check out twisted branches.com they have some pretty good freebies as well you rock Katie 🙂
I just sent you an invite! I’ll definitely check out branches.com 🙂
Love this thanks
Katelyn F says
I am going to have to sign up for some of these! I really haven’t done much with trying to get free stuff, mostly because of scams and things, and the time involved, but for BIG, quality products, it just might be worth it!
There definitely are a ton of scams (and time suckers), but I think when you get a full-size product for a relatively cheap price, it’s definitely worth it!
Christie Boswell says
I just came across this blog post and laughed my head off as I relived the “Look at this shirt I got for free, it was only five dollars!” Haha such good memories! This is a fun blog to read! I hope your sweet family is doing well!
Haha! I’m so glad you found that post 🙂 Thanks for reading a long. We are doing great and enjoying our summer. Hope to see you when we get back!!