Everywhere you turn in the blogging world lately you see another review of a sample box program. If you don't know about these yet these are services that you pay a monthly fee and each month you get a new themed sample box. (google them. Not gonna free advertise any since I never tried them) I love the idea. Who wouldn't honestly? What I don't like? PAYING. Why? 'Cause everything you see here was free.
Well some were given to me when I bought something. None of them were "free gift with purchase" though. I know that game and homie don't play that. They put the price point at a stupid level where you HAVE to get at least two products to get it. Nope. But many were given to me when I bought stuff and they were "gifts when you spend xx" But I never spend that amount.
I favor big department store like Barneys, Saks and Nordstrom. The main reason? They are more generous with their time and samples.
I am upfront. When someone says "would you like a makeover" I am honest and say "your products are amazing but a bit out of my price range" and you know what happens every single time? "Oh I think we can help you out" with a wink and a smile. I ALWAYS walk away with a handful of samples. In these stores I don't spend much but I try and visit the same sales people. If they recognize you and you are always polite they remember. They don't always remember you don't spend much but they remember you were always sweet and smiled and stopped and said hello. Sales people get brushed off so much that they remember the nice ones. I know I've been there! I brush people off often too. I get in a hermit funk and avoid eye contact.
I have had sales people MAIL me samples. I sign up for those mailing lists and put my name down for calls when special events are going on. I then stop by for some events and I always said hello. I spend $30 bucks every 6 months there but doesn't matter. Once I went to Chanel event. I spent $32 dollars and I left with a makeup bag, small bottle of perfume, mascara, lipgloss and $300 skin care samples!
I also sign up for any free "keytag" type promotions or loyalty cards. That is how I got all the tiny bottles of perfume from Sephora. Every single holdiday I send Dave all the emails and coupons and he cashes them in when and if he shops. I also try and get anything I need that Sephora sells from them to earn more points. Meaning if they carry a product I am in need of I make sure to get it there instead of somewhere that doesn't give points.
Sign up for those email lists. Dude those are sample gold mines! "bring this in on the 20th for free samples of XX" If they require you to buy I don't bite but if it says free I am all over it.
My biggest piece of advice in getting samples? ASK! Dude I am the shy. Wicked shy. It isn't always easy but that is why you bring a cute husband along. Poke him and tell him to go ask for something. Sales people love helping the "clueless guy" (they assume) Or if he is standing with you have him say "do you have a sample of this so she can try it out a few times and see if she has a reaction" Such a smart guy because often I do react! Nothing worse then if you spend money on something that gives you a headache.
I never have to pay for perfumes or skin care ever! (Doesn't mean I won't but you get me) and sorry no you can't have any. Go get your own! What is the worst that can happen? They say no? Try someplace else.
Places I find are uber generous. Nordstrom. Jo Malone. Chanel. Dior. (who cares if you can't afford it! They don't know that!)