ABC’s of Couponing: “F” is for Freebies & How to Avoid Freebie Scams!

Feb 28 2014
Posted by deidre 19 Comments
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cuckoo4freebiesPart of the ABC’s of Couponing Guide

*Re-posting this since it’s been a few years since I talked about this on my site

Completely free stuff comes around and I get all shaky and happy. I run and tell my husband about the freebie I’m getting and say “do you think it will come with some sick coupons??!?!” and he does this thing where he pretends he doesn’t know me. It’s our game really.  But if you don’t know how to tell legit freebies from fake ones, then you can lose out on the freebie game.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • How to determine legit freebies from spam.
  • Creating another email account.
  • Why companies giveaway freebies & why you want them!

In order to try to save you time from signing up for non-legit freebies, I have compiled a list of ways to tell the cuckoo freebies we love, from the spam we hate.  

  • First, I screen all offers posted on my site. I make sure they are from legit companies.  Be careful with other deal sites you use, not all of them screen the freebies they post.
  • Make sure the web URL in the address bar includes the name of the company or the brand of product.   The exception is StartSampling which I have used and gotten samples from before.  But most of the time, the URL will be the main company or brand name.
  • Any freebie where you have to sign up for other offers in order to get the freebie is spam and don’t waste your time.  There are too many real freebies out there; no need to do these ones.
  • Beware of trial offers for freebies. If they ask for a credit card number, even if they don’t charge now they will usually charge after 14 or 30 days.   As a rule of thumb I never enter my credit card number or social security number for a freebie! You usually have to enter mailing address and email info – but never more!  *An exception to this is when you are using a promotion code that drops the price of an item you are buying to free, you typically still have to enter CC info.  But that is when you are buying an item, not filling out a form to get a freebie. 
  • Have you seen this before? “This promotion is conducted exclusively by (whateversite.com) and is subject to participation terms and conditions.” Or “Must complete participating gold, silver or platinum offers to get this sample”.  That means it is spam.  Run away!  They are just fishing for your information and are wanting to sell your email address. Yes, people want to buy your email address and spam you.
  • Beware of who is running the site!    Once I saw a freebie that seemed legit, but after browsing the site I couldn’t find any contact information.  Companies want contacted by their customers, no contact info= fake company.  Also, the page you are on may look legit, but I usually browse around new sites I haven’t seen before and make sure it is current, and for example if the company sells a product you can go through the motions of ordering it.  I have seen “fake” freebies before for Gloves.  They said fill out the form to get free gloves.   The site was nice-looking and seemed alright, but if you clicked on any page but the freebie page and tried to order the gloves you couldn’t.  Huge sign of a non-legit spammer site!  Go to whois.com to see how long the website has been up – only for a few days, probably a quick setup trick to get your info then they’ll close down the site.
  • Speaking of spams, read my post on the horrible paypal scams I avoided!

Why would I create yet another email account or Free phone number?

  • Because for most freebies, even legit ones, they are going to ask you to sign up for their email newsletter list.   If you are scoring 5 freebies a day, as we often do, that adds up quickly to a lot of emails you don’t necessary want.  I have a separate email that I sign up for all freebies with and rarely bother checking that email account.  You can get a free email account at gmail.com or hotmail.com
  • Also, set up a free voice mail box online at Google Voice and leave that number as your contact number.
  • Many people have freebies sent to P.O. boxes, but beware as many freebies and deals state they will not ship to P.O. boxes.

Why do companies giveaway free samples?

Most companies spend millions on tv ads and other forms of getting the knowledge about their product into your heads.   Why not use some of that budget and just let you see for yourself? Put the product directly in your hands.   Most companies know if you like  a freebies, you are more likely to buy it later.

Why sign up for tiny free samples?

Many free samples also include high-value coupons.  This is particularly true of new products on the market.   And as cuckoo coupon shoppers we can turn that free sample with it’s attached coupon into a killer deal on a full size product!

Ready to start requesting your freebies?

Scroll through my category of freebie offers

This is part 6 of a 26 part “ABC’s of Couponing” series 

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  • julie rougeaux

    New to couponing on fixed income need tips cause Louisiana does not have too many double coupon stores

  • Rose Marie

    I would like to get started couponing, but do not know how to get started. Also where do I get coupons from other than Sun. newspaper. How do u you store coupons in binders, is there system to follow? Is there a site to get help, that explains how to start? Thank u any reply would be helpful. RoseMarie

  • Ipo

    I have four kids & need to start couponing but not sure where to start. I don’t know of any store in Hawaii that doubles on coupons or allows you to use so much coupons.

  • Kaelin

    Our family really needs to start couponing and we do not know how to start. I’m have a hard time understanding the site. We live in NY State. so we only have walmart,shop rite,Stop an Shop and a few others. Some of these other stores I have never even heard of. Can someone please help us.

  • Isabel

    I really am motivated to start couponing but like every one else need a little guidance as to how to know what is a good sale and where to get my coupons and how to know if what I am buying is a good deal.

  • mira hash

    We are a retired couple trying to survive on a single pension. We have all the time in the world and a dumpster in our park that has all the coupons anyone could ever want. Our dilema? We have no idea where to start, how to do it, how to get the most out of all this. It seems so confusing, no one ever tells just how to coupon the “right” way.

    Our ins. is out site, our meds take up a lot of our money. There is no savings.

    How or what are the ABC’s? In order 1,2,3,4, etc. From start to finish? Nothing left out, how do we start saving so we survive?

    Thank you!
    Mira

  • Amara

    Hello there. I had a question about the google voice that you had set up for your freebies. I am very interested in getting into the freebies but like you dont want all of these telemarketers calling me. I went through the process and it asked for another phone number. It says that both phones would ring. Is this right? I cancelled the process once I saw that. Please help! Appreciate it :)

    Amara

  • Gina

    hi
    I am in Ontario Canada and there isn’t a lot
    Of ways to get great deals and freebies. We dont have stores that double coupons.
    . Any tips of how to get more coupons ?

  • jazzyintexas

    In Houston/Galveston area there is only one store that will double and triple coupons and that is Randallls
    Kroger did away with that and only offers so much off on gasoline.

  • Tambra Coons

    LOVE the freebies

  • Catrina

    I love freebies for the coupons and have been signing up for them for ever… infact i’m disappointed if I get a freebee and there is no coupon :(

  • Catrina

    love freebies for the coupons and have been signing up for them for ever… infact i’m disappointed if I get a freebee and there is no coupon :(

  • Lisa Moffett

    Full size freebies are a favorite!

  • nicole

    can anyone tell me how to get started in fresno ca i have no clue were to start here please help me

  • free stuff by mail

    Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly the closing phase :) I deal with such information a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

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    ?Alguien sabe de que va eso? Eso no quita de que tu web sea un informativa para mi.

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