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Thrifty Living: how to get free stuff
In the words of Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson, the best things in life are free. And while they were talking about being in a happy relationship, they could equally have been talking about getting a free iPhone or a year’s supply of dog food. So, we thought we’d break down how to get free stuff. We’ll go through where to look for free things, how to get free stuff, and some clever tricks you can do to get things for (pretty much) free.
Because, after all, there are few things better than getting free stuff.
Technique #1: Start in the obvious places
If you’re wondering how to get stuff for free – or you’ve never dipped your toe in the world of online bargain hunting before – the best place to start is the obvious places; websites dedicated to finding, listing and linking to freebies.
Money Saving Expert: Money Saving Expert has a great page broken down by category, from baby equipment and nappies to eye tests and free Wi-Fi. If you’re just learning how to get stuff for free – or you’re after something specific – that’s a great place to start.
Save the Student: Now, this site is only for students, but if you’re studying and have student ID, it’s a gold mine. Free KFC, gym membership and photo prints.
Gumtree: Head to the ‘Freebies’ section on Gumtree and search by your postcode to see all of the free stuff available in your area. Mostly you’ll find sofas, wood and appliances – but keep your eyes peeled and it’s not uncommon to find TVs and phones.
Technique #2: Get social
This is a pretty easy way to get free stuff, actually: just follow your favourite brands on social media. Of course, you’re going to be knee-deep in free stuff immediately, but you’d be surprised how often brands do social giveaways, competitions (another great way to get stuff for free) or – best of all – a postage-only deal.
This deal – where you pay for the postage, but not the actual product – is a common marketing technique for brands who want to build their email list to market to you in the future. If you’re fine paying slightly over-priced postage for free stuff, then keep your eyes peeled.
Also, if you’re on Twitter, check out this guide on how to get stuff for free on Twitter.
An alternative approach on how to get free stuff on social media is to become a social media influencer (aka, somebody with a lot of followers). If you’re interested in a certain type of product – and hope to get them for free someday – then starting an Instagram account dedicated to it and posting regularly can result in getting sent free swag. It’s not a sure-fire technique, but it’s pretty successful – lots of people get sent free stuff from big brands with followings of just a few thousand people.
If you’re interested, here’s a guide on how to get stuff for free by building a social media following.
Technique #3: Become a product reviewer
When a new product comes out, the brand behind it needs to know it works as promised, build word-of-mouth buzz and get customer feedback – so it’s pretty easy to see why brands are more than happy to send out freebies in exchange for a review. (Some brands pay you, too.)
Now, becoming a product tester can be a tricky nut to crack – it’s the favourite hobby of frugal people across the internet.
For example, lots of the sites listed on the Money Saving Expert site aren’t looking for new testers because they’re booked up. (They’re still worth checking out, though, just in case.)
During our research, we found a slightly less well-known approach to becoming a product reviewer – the Amazon Vine programme.
This programme chooses the ‘most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions. Amazon invites customers to become Vine Voices based on their reviewer rank, which is a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other Amazon customers. Amazon provides Vine members with free products that have been submitted to the programme by participating vendors.’
In other words, if you start reviewing everything you buy on Amazon – and making sure that you give fair, well-written reviews – then you could be invited to join the Amazon Vine programme and get sent lots of free stuff, including new products that haven’t even been released yet.
Do you know a clever way to snag yourself some freebies? A hidden technique for how to get stuff for free? We’d love to hear it! Let us know in the comments below or on social media. Or, you can check out some more money saving articles.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 13 August 2018