How To Get Companies To Send You Free Stuff With No Catches

326585558 da60cfdd6c   How To Get Companies To Send You Free Stuff With No CatchesOne of the most often repeated sayings that I heard from my parents when I was growing was,”Nothing in life is free.”

So, as I grew up I was shocked to learn that my parents were wrong – you really can get free stuff with no catches! I remember, in college, being offered a free T-shirt just for signing an application for a credit card.  A very good college friend of mine who was working as a movie theater manager once handed my girlfriend and I complimentary movie tickets for absolutely free.

Then a few years later, we stayed at a Howard Johnson’s Hotel, had a miserable time, complained and ended up with a free hotel stay.  Oh yes, some things in life really are free.

Get a Free Hotel Stay With Very Little Effort

The way the story goes, we asked the hotel for a crib and then upon arriving at the hotel, discovered that there wasn’t one reserved for us. We were furious, of course, and we were awake all night trying to make sure the baby didn’t roll her way right off the edge of the bed. We slept in shifts, trying to keep her between us. The next morning, with bloodshot eyes and a huge coffee in hand, I cornered the hotel manager and yelled at him for ten straight minutes. The next day I hopped online and fired off one of the most carefully crafted letters condemning Howard Johnson’s and vowing not only never to stay there again, but also to inform everyone I knew how horrible the hotel chain was. To my surprise, in less than two weeks after sending my letter, we received an envelope from Howard Johnson’s corporate headquarters with an apology and a voucher for a free hotel stay.

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Every major hotel chain has a customer service section where you can submit comments about your recent stay. I would never advise anyone to become a habitual complainer – in fact, I’ve heard of folks getting banned from staying at a hotel chain because they complained dozens of times in a row. However, be aware of every nuance of your stay, and if anything is significantly wrong with your room or your stay, complain to the hotel staff (ask for and note their names), and if it’s not resolved, submit your politely written complaint, and you’re almost guaranteed to receive a free hotel stay for your efforts.

Earlier, James offered some great methods to find the best hotel deals. Of course, another perfect way to get a free hotel stay is by choosing a favorite chain and sticking with them to earn loyalty “points.” These work just like frequent flier miles, and they add up quickly. Every now and then, just for electing to stay at the same hotel chain, you’ll build up enough points to stay a night at the hotel for free. One of my favorite rewards programs is GoldPointsPlus.

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If you use the system often enough, you get an “Elite” status, which means more points per stay, and more free rooms more often. It’s true – just stay loyal to a hotel chain, and eventually you get a free hotel room with no catch. Now that’s sweet.

You Can Get Lots of Free Stuff With No Catches – But Free Groceries?

Think about it – what’s the one area where families usually spend the most money every week? That’s right – groceries. Now, what if you could start eating out for free, or getting groceries without paying a dime? Sound too good to be true? While you probably can’t get all your groceries for free, what you can do is cut down significantly on your grocery bill by getting some of the more expensive items for free. A few of the best sites for this includes the constantly updated free sample page at the Kroger store website.

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And of course, you can’t talk cheap without talking about Wal-Mart, which also has it’s own free sample section on the Wal-Mart website.

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Yes, I know – for some reason the free samples are often of “women’s products,” but hey – women need free stuff too, right? And don’t forget to use all of those awesome grocery coupon websites I wrote about earlier to save even more on the groceries you do have to buy.

Eat out for free

Oh, and remember what I said earlier about eating out for free? Okay, it’s really true – you can get a free entree or appetizer at most restaurants on your birthday if you sign up for either a newsletter or for a free loyalty “club” membership, such as the deal from Red Lobster where you get a free “gift” (it’s a free appetizer) on your birthday for joining the “Seafood Lovers Club.”

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Just search the web for your favorite restaurants and sign up for their “club” memberships (almost always free), and on your birthday you could eat breakfast, lunch and supper for absolutely free!

Becoming a Free-aholic – It Really Is An Addiction

One of the worst things about getting started down the “free stuff” road is that once you realize you can get stuff for free, it’s easy to become obsessed with looking for “free stuff” opportunities. Trust me, they are everywhere. Unfortunately, the web is also overrun with “freebie” scams and adware/malware filled websites that offer free stuff. MakeUseOf offers a long list of great options for bargains and coupons, like Aibek’s review of Freshbargains,  or the MUO reviews of RetailMeNot and WoW-Coupons. But if you’re looking for not only cheap stuff, but free stuff with no catches, then you’ll need a good selection of valid freebie sites. One of the only directories I check out often is TheFreeSite.

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While the site itself isn’t the prettiest design in the world, it really does the trick. There are categories from “Fun Freebies,” to “Family Freebies,” to “Seasonal Freebies,” and everything in between. The offers throughout the site are legitimate and real. Now if you like the idea of getting items for free from folks in your local community who simply don’t want their stuff anymore (there are surprisingly many people like that), then two of the hottest sites you’ll want to check out are GumTree, a popular U.K. based free classifieds site with a huge “freebies” section.

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And there’s also the ever-popular FreeCycle.org, where millions of folks across the world are just trading stuff for free every single day.

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FreeCycle.org has really developed a worldwide cult following, and if you join up you’ll quickly see why. There’s nothing so cool as being part of a community where folks want to give you something for absolutely free just to keep it out of the world’s landfills. After a while, you’ll find yourself giving stuff that you don’t want away for free too!

Do you have any favorite freebie websites? What are your tricks for getting free stuff? Share your opinions in the comment section below.

Image credit: Adrian Purser

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13 Comments -

Jusy

There are two types of free which you describe in your intro. I don’t consider the T-Shirt “free” like the complimentary movie tickets were free. I consider free to be something given without asking for something in return. Your movie tickets were free. The T-Shirt was not.

The products offered free on Kroger and Walmart want your email info so they can spam you. Everyone wants you to sign up so you can receive more junk in your email box or snail mail box.

Now, Freecycle is a great idea. It’s a great way to recycle stuff before it reaches the landfill.

laur

I have a “generic email” for post responding, and for coupon/offer sites. Set up the account with your individually set up security preferences, filtering the good from the non requested is easy…. well worth the free and discounted stuff you get from folks want to have you use and buy products later.
The glass is 1/2 full if you want it to be!

Julie

Sorry to the commenter above…but I get free samples all the time from Walmart and they never spam me.

herb

Must be slow season at the MUO office. There is absolutely nothing here that a Google search wouldn’t unearth in 5 seconds straight….

besucher

What about Europe? Are there any companies which send stuff free to the old continent?

Matt

I’ve seen an iPhone application that is touting free offers. Free Stuff App is the name. Seem to be building a community around free offers on the iPhone/iPod platform. Has a presence on Facebook/Twitter as well for offers.

Cora

I agree that the movie tickets are “free” where the t-shirt wasn’t completely free, since you had to do something to get the t-shirt (mostly free though).

But the samples, even though they ask for an email, ARE free. I have been doing them for a long time now. I created a free email account specifically for the free samples, so I never have to worry about getting spammed in exchange. So they are indeed still free. (so far I don’t think I’ve ever been spammed from the free Wal-mart samples).

And I’ve been using Freecycle for over a year now. It’s amazing. It’s a great way to let go of things that are still useful as well as pick up things you may not be able to just go out and purchase. I’ve even got valuable free advice!

I did write to companies, to let them know about my disappointment, when they didn’t meet my expectations. And I was given something for my trouble. For example, I purchased a package of light bulbs that claimed 1000 hours of use. When one burned out in only 100 hours I wrote to them about it and they sent me a box full of light bulbs. I have been very happy with that company ever since.

You can complain too much. But you shouldn’t hold back a polite concern. ^_^

And, I have work in customer service for many years now. You tend to get more, when you express your concerns politely. If your rude, the bare minimum is usually done and sometimes nothing at all. “Bad customers” are not always considered a loss, they usually are considered an expense. So I suggest keeping your concerns polite, if your hoping for something for free. And most places I have work, we are given a certain something we are allowed to offer for free, to dissatisfied customers, but most people in customer service won’t offer that to you, if you’re rude to them.

I love all the advice here. I have tried most of it and it does indeed work! I grew up being told that nothing was free too. I love proving that isn’t true. I consider myself a “free stuff” magnet. ^_^

fred

I always get my Free Grocery Store Coupon from this webpage: yourfreeforyou.info I’ve always had great luck with them. I suggest trying it. Great Dig though!

laur

My friends all know to call me if they are looking for coupons or free stuff! I paid full price the other day for a lunch out… that was really weird!

asda

prizerebel.com/index.php?r=1550703

asda

It is easy and legal

SSHOCKEDDAKOTA

I CANT BELEIVE IT DIDNT WORK

Curt N

These are good ways, I know a person who wrote a letter to panasonic and complained about his old camcorder not working, they sent him a brand new dvd camcorder for free, it definitely works!