Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Undercover" Samples Results

Well, I've gotten responses from the majority of the companies I solicited for samples and promotional materials. Out of the companies I solicited I received 2 samples in the mail.


I got one sample from my midwives.


And I probably got around 10 physical coupons as well as online promo codes.


The coldest email I received was from a lingerie company ("We only interact with retailers."). The warmest were the several thorough and helpful emails from cloth diaper companies.

Several larger companies only send samples closer to your expected due date, so we'll see if that happens or if they're lying and there's some kind of point system in place (and me not playing) that would prevent me from receiving anything from them.

I blame this sorry situation on several factors:
  1. Freebie sites have ruined this for the rest of us (which really sucks because after checking them, I realized the majority of the "freebies" are those market participation gimmicks). In short, I hate them.
  2. Enterprising women who did this before and then compiled and sold books of their success have ruined this for the rest of us. They thought they were helping...maybe. Maybe they just thought there was another "free" opportunity to make a buck instead of a sample. Either way...I hate them. Seriously.
  3. I may have written a stupid sample request letter. While I believe my writing abilities are top notch in many ways, I may have missed the boat on the right wording or even the proper way to contact them. I don't know. I cannot prove or disprove this notion completely.
  4. I may have contacted the wrong companies. There is something that makes me think I should have contacted retailers regarding their promotional materials to entice us preggo ladies into their stores and encourage us to shop there from now on (major life changes are accompanied by changing shopping habits).
I still may contact some retailers. I haven't entirely given up this venture, though I'm certain I won't be researching the manufacturers any longer (unless I catch wind of someone doing something awesome). The only other alternatives for mommies-to-be to rack up products and samples are to go through giveaways.

Giveaways have their own strings attached (though not as many as those goofy market participation gimmicks). Sometimes they're pretty self-explanatory. Other times you can earn more entries by doing more things. Since I began my research, I put my name in for a number of giveaways and have come away with....nothing. I would rather get a coupon or a one use sample from a bunch of places than nothing at all, but I guess companies and retailers figure the dopamine drive is enough to spur most women's participation in such things.

In any case, I hope you will take my experience with a grain of salt and not be swayed by the enterprising trying to sell you something, or dangling a carrot while they ask you to sign up for who knows what. There are lots of deals out there if you look and there are plenty of contests etc that take a minute of your time and who knows? You may win something. Maybe. Out of the 20,000,000 women who enter. You might get the Graco or the J&J package. It is possible.

But I'd still sign up for those products on your registry if I were you.

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