If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
I can only think of one person who claims not to like samples. Said person gladly accepts ones I give him that he wants to try though. He will not accept any he’s never heard of or is not interested in trying, so a better way to word it is, he does not want to sample anything he has not first researched. There are people who feel the same way. What would you think if I told you not only can you research an item, but you can contact the company for a completely free sample. I am not referring to a gift with purchase, but I actually mean a free sample. You do not even pay for shipping.
People will tell you that there is no such thing as free, but that is not always true. My Free Samples Page provides more information on sample opportunities. Sometimes companies want test subjects to sample products and review them. It helps with product studies as well as free word of mouth advertising based on how many people see the review. Some of you may have already seen the article I wrote on the free Dr. Dennis Gross item I received for review purposes.
My fascination with Erno Laszlo continues to grow. A little over a year ago, I sampled a night cream in a foil a friend gave me. She has oily skin, and I have dry skin. Sometimes we trade samples. It is rare that you immediately fall in love with a product from a foil, but I did. I had just invested in a different skincare line before trying the sample, so I threw the sample away saying I would buy it later once I had worked my way through my stash. The problem is I forgot the name of the product after throwing it away, and my friend did not remember either. As products are expensive and I do not like to return things, I did not want to take a chance and buy the wrong one.
People starting getting a feel for my desire to explore the brand from posts I’ve made here and on Beautytalk. A Beautytalk member sent me a private message telling me I should reach out to Erno Laszlo to request free samples. She provided me with the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. I sent an email explaining my skincare needs. The next day, I received a response stating Erno Laszlo would gladly send me the samples. Just a few short days after receiving the email, I found a package from the brand in my mailbox. Fully expecting foils, I was pleasantly surprised to find four deluxe sized samples. Three were handmade, so I was even more impressed with the added touch. That means someone actually took the time to put this together for me.
There was a personalized note attached to the package telling me about the products, why they were selected and product inserts with ingredient information. I am not even a brand customer yet, and I already feel so welcomed. This is the kind of service I can get used to. As there were multiple samples, I really hope I have the lovely one I tried so long ago. If so, I have a good idea what my next night cream will be. The samples are: Formula 3-9 Repair Cream, Formula 3-9 Repair Balm, Hydraphel Intensive Night Cream, and Phelityl Night Cream.
In July 2015, two people tried to contact Erno Laszlo for samples. They’ve apparently changed their policy about providing samples without a purchase. While it may be harder or even impossible now, I am not going to delete this portion of the article. There are still retailers that send free samples, and it never hurts to ask any of them. If they say no, you can either wait until you obtain a sample another way or purchase from a retailer that does provide samples. A lot of companies claim they do not offer samples without a purchase because they have a liberal return policy. As someone who does not return things (seriously unless the item arrives damaged, I never return it), I do not care how liberal the return policy is. I am more likely to buy items I’ve sampled first.
After my success with Erno Laszlo, I decided to contact La Mer. It is a brand I’ve wanted to sample more of before investing in full sizes. Unfortunately, La Mer turned me down. I have only tried one La Mer product so far, and I love it. To try other items, I may eventually bite the bullet and buy full price things if I cannot get my hands on some samples first.
Another brand I had tried a few items from but looked forward to trying more of was Mario Badescu. Multiple people have said they filled out the Consulting link and were contacted the next day via email. A few months back, I tried that. I do not remember seeing an email the next day. Very recently, I decided to try again. I answered all of the questions and checked my email the next day. Sure enough, there was an email asking if it could send me ALL of the samples it recommended. All I had to do was click the button that agreed to let the samples be sent. Yes, please. Who would say no or not respond? That was an awesome email.
When the package arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see 7 samples and a beautiful product information card. Three of the samples are deluxe sized. What a fabulous touch. Six of the samples are new to me, so I was ecstatic. The samples are: Seaweed Night Cream, The Moisture Magnet, Hyaluronic Eye Cream, Flower & Tonic Mask, Orange Cleansing Soap, Strawberry Face Scrub, and Aloe Lotion.
Believe it or not, there are times when companies contact you and ask if you want to try a free sample. I have received a few emails over the past two years from my Neiman Marcus Lancome product specialist, Andrea. Emails ask if I would like a sample of whatever product they are promoting at the time. The only thing I have to do is respond to the email with my address, and the sample will be sent. Sometimes, they even send postcards for me to pick up completely free samples in person. Saks Fifth Avenue sends them as well.
This email asked if I wanted to try Lancome CILS XL. I adore CILS XL, so I decided to accept the sample. When I receive these emails, I never get a response to my reply. Within a month of receiving them, the product always shows up in my mailbox though. This sample will make its way into the giveaway. That way, the lucky recipient can experience why I love this product so much if s/he does not already love it, too. If you have not entered the giveaway yet, be sure to enter. This is just one of many great items I plan on including.
Anyone looking at the pictures will notice that the form letter included with the product is for a Visionnaire sample. While I did not receive a Visionnaire sample, I can overlook the incorrect letter in the package. It is nice that Neiman Marcus and its Lancome division take care of loyal customers.
These are the only companies I have contacted for free samples so far. Down the road, I may consider contacting more. I would suggest contacting any you want to try. The worst that can happen is the company will say no as was the case with La Mer. Have you contacted any? Which ones have sent you products?