Although, I love that PINCHme keeps sending me free magazine redemption codes, it disappoints to see it is not as easy as it once was to get free samples. It has been so long since I’ve purchased a magazine subscription yet thanks to companies like this, I always get them. My guess is the magazine industry (at least in print form will be non-existent in the next five to ten years). I do most of my reading online anyway, so I will not miss print magazines once they are officially a thing of the past. Companies must adapt over time to grow (unless they have a niche market on lock), so I do not begrudge PINCHme for the changes. Nevertheless, I would be amiss to continue reviewing items without noting them.
Instead of setting samples aside based on profiles and people who complete product reviews after sampling a product, certain users are now given priority. This leaves those who jump through less hoops with less samples. In 2018, I barely received any free samples thanks to these changes. People who refer 10 people get an automatic box. When I started writing about this service, a referral link did not even exist. That was my preference, but I get it. PINCHme wants more members. The problem is I am unsure it is really worth joining under the new terms unless you like free magazines or do not mind the extra tasks to get boxes. You can use my link if you want, but keep reading before you do to see if it is even worth your time.
Another issue is I will get notifications that I have free samples, but the site keeps glitching before I can successfully check out with them. This has happened almost every time I’ve tried in 2018. It will not let me get to the free samples page and keeps defaulting to the digital samples page, even when I manually change the link. I signed up for physical samples, not digital samples. That makes this glitch is particularly frustrating. Even when I can load my cart with samples, the items from my cart just disappear before I can checkout. Only once when that happened was I persistent enough to keep trying (on multiple browsers). A process that used to take no more than 2-3 minutes ends up taking over 30 and/or requires constant refreshing and trying again later. By the time you try again later, those who were more persistent than you have taken some or all the samples, because there are never enough to go around to everyone invited. When it takes that much effort to even checkout with my free samples, it is typically not worth my time.
The site also gives preferential treatment to those who complete surveys. I get completing a general survey on your personal preferences so it can tailor samples to you or even the follow-up survey to tell PINCHme what you thought of the product. That is not what these surveys are. They are the surveys that most sites award you points or money for. Yet, the only thing you get if you complete enough of them is the chance to grab a free box of samples that you used to get free without completing these surveys. Notice I said the chance, because you can complete all the surveys on the site and still miss the samples if you get glitches and others don’t or they are more persistent and keep trying after you give up. At least with Swagbucks and MyPoints, I get points that I can redeem for gift cards when I compete surveys. Even then, I do not complete them often. Completing surveys to possibly qualify for samples I may not even want or might be so incredibly small is a colossal waste of time, and I refuse to do it.
If getting free samples remains this difficult, I will probably stop requesting them. The reason I signed up and recommended this service for so long was because of how easy it was to get free samples. That changed in 2018, and I am unsure it is worth the time anymore. I’ve always shared articles to let you know about the service, bit PINCHme does not require it. I did this long before the referral link was even a thing. Now that the referral link is a thing, I think the benefits of the service have reduced. Now, that I have sufficiently ranted, I will review the items I received this round. Assuming this is my second to last article on PINCHme, you officially know why! My latest order arrived yesterday, so I will have at least one more article if I choose to write one.
PINCHme is a free sampling service. Complete your profile where you answer questions about your household and shopping habits. On select Tuesdays at 9am PST when new samples release, you can order any available that match your profile. The better samples tend to run out quickly, so log in as early as possible. Once you’ve tried the samples, you complete a short survey. As long as you complete your surveys in a timely manner, you are eligible to receive future samples. No social sharing or blog posts necessary. I always post these articles to share the service with you.
The number of samples available varies. Unless you complete extra tasks, you will find 0 samples available on most sample days. It will send you an invite if you qualify for any though. I ordered four samples on 09/17/18. Shipping usually takes 4-6 weeks. This order shipped on 10/19/18. The survey deadline was not available when I checked and had already passed by the time I checked again.
Vermont’s Original Bag Balm – This has the consistency of Vaseline, which I expected. There is petroleum in this with a few other ingredients. Unlike Vaseline, I feel it does more than trap moisture into my skin. On my hands, it is a little too greasy. I love it on my knees, elbows, and heels. All three areas felt great up to 24 hours after I applied it. Egyptian Magic is better on all three areas, but this is a lot cheaper. That makes this a great alternative to that for anyone looking to get a similar effect while saving some money. The cream disappeared pretty fast on my lips and I do not particularly like the taste, so I do not prefer this as a lip balm. Though I would apply this to my nose and lips (as the product was intended) in really cold weather, I would apply something else in regular weather to prevent my pores from getting clogged. Textures this rich can clog pores even when they claim they are noncomedogenic.
RXBAR Kids Double Chocolate – I had everyone in my family taste this. My kids hated it and refused to take more than one bite. Even though my husband usually likes things like this, he said it was not good. While I do not think it is anywhere near as good as a Greens plusbar Energy Chocolate, it has a similar taste. It has those raw vibes, so this protein bar is not too sweet or too bitter. If I was given this bar for free again, I would eat it. When there are plenty of bars I prefer over this, I would not consider purchasing this one. This is a kids bar, but I sincerely doubt the average kid would enjoy something like this. It is certainly for a niche market of kids who are already used to very healthy snacks.
1850 Brand Coffee – I dislike coffee, so I gave this to my husband. He thinks it will damage his Keurig due to its distorted shape. It got beat up in transit. Whenever I ask him when he plans to try it, he tells me he will eventually open it and prepare it a different way. Then, he tells me cheap coffee always sucks. His line of thinking is whether he rushes to taste it or drinks it when he feels like it, he already knows he will not enjoy it. If anyone has tried this, please leave your review below.
L’Oreal Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Charcoal Mask – This reminded me of the GLAMGLOW SuperMud mask. It goes on with almost the exact charcoal color and lightens as it dries down. SuperMud lightens so much that you can always tell when it is dry. L’Oreal stays dark in some places and lightens in others. I find that really odd and am curious to know why. Like SuperMud, L’Oreal leaves little holes near the pores it cleans out. Unlike SuperMud, there are less little holes and the size of the holes are a lot smaller. When I rinsed my face, it looked about the same as when I rinse off SuperMud. My guess is this is a great alternative to SuperMud. Bonus points that this does not have the uncomfortable tingling I get in the early minutes with SuperMud nor does it have the outrageous price tag. I’d like to explore this more, but my nieces and nephews always grab it when I get samples. Time to purchase a full-size and tell them it’s mine!
The surveys take 1-2 minutes to complete. Because I missed them, I cannot share what they look like in this article, but a sample of what they look like appear in other articles I’ve written.
They also want a quick follow-up down the road to see if you purchased any of the items. That is even shorter than the survey above, so it is relatively painless.
Once you’ve completed the survey(s), you’re done and ready to order samples on the next release. You can also review the products on the brand’s website, but that is not necessary. If you really love or hate something, it is probably a good thing to do. It takes very little time all together (as long as you are not completing surveys outside of ones for products you’ve received). Learn more about PINCHme or any of the other free sampling programs I trust. The next sample giveaway will be January 15, 2019, at 9am PST. It is possible to join today and receive samples next time. If you want to join or have already joined, make sure your profile is up to date. Samples are available based on answers to your profile questions, so you should have all answers ready to go before the next arrival.
What do you think about my September 2018 PINCHme box? Let me know below. See all PINCHme articles. Subscribe to the blog to get updates on all posts. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Referral links
I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.