Mike Essex, author of Free Stuff Everyday talk about how to obtain freebies from companies in exchange for reviews and save money in the process. Includes a video interview with Mike.
Free stuff can be a great way to save money and try new things. Best of all free stuff isn’t always just tiny product samples. With a little bit of creative thinking and searching, it’s possible to get everything from books to video games, bags to furniture without spending any money.
In this article I compile some of my favourite freebies based on the tactics in my book “Free Stuff Everyday”, that can be easily achieved.
This is one of my favourite strategies and one of the easiest to do. All you need is a few friends and a spare evening every month. Find likeminded friends who enjoy books and arrange for a book club meeting once a month. When you have been doing this a few months, approach book companies and ask them to suggest a book for you to read. Often you will get a free book as organiser of the club, although I’ve seen cases where everyone gets the book for free, if a publisher has stock they are about to get rid off.
Free video games
Aside from getting in to video game journalism, the best way of getting free video games is to join Beta programs which give you early access in return for product feedback. These are run by big publishers including – the Microsoft Beta Program and Nintendo Tester Program – as well as smaller sites such as File Planet which compiles a list of free Beta’s.
Free baby stuff
One of the best ways to get free stuff for babies is to friend other parents, who will give you their hand me downs when they no longer need them. I wouldn’t recommend this for anything that should be kept hygienic, but for toys and furniture it works great. You can repeat this cycle by doing the same when your children grow up.
This example can be applied to petty much any product, but I wanted to highlight how simple Google searches can help uncover a lot of freebies. If you want to find a free product – in this case bags – I’d recommend trying the following searches in speech-marks.
- “Free Bags”
- “Bag Freebies”
- “Free Bags Samples”
- “Free Gift Bags”
- “Free Handbags”
I’d still recommend you apply common sense to this and make sure that any sites you get freebies from are well known online. By searching for the website name and reading stories from others you can be sure it’s a safe place to use.
Classified adverts are an exceptionally good way to get larger items for free, including furniture and white goods. I’d recommend the following five websites to get started http://www.snaffleup.co.uk, http://www.freecycle.org , http://www.recycle.co.uk, http://www.preloved.co.uk and http://www.gumtree.com/. As long as you pick up the item it’s amazing what you can find.
Free cinema tickets
There are so many ways to get free cinema tickets I’m amazed how often people pay full price. For example you can get cinema tickets for free directly from Vue and Picture House Cinemas. You can also get tickets in magazines, newspapers and via free ticket websites like Show Film First. I’ve compiled 20 ways in this blog post which is a good place to get started.