I feel the need to write this "code of courtesy" when searching online for ways to make extra cash, gift cards, print coupons, request samples, free stuff, offer to host brand parties, and this also applies to couponing as well!
I have a hard time some days, when I am on Facebook, or when I see bloggers or page owners, post every single freebie available and some that are merely samples or freebies that are being offered to customers for a small business and even a Mary Kay consultant, an Avon lady, a direct seller of any kind. When you click the link, you are taken to a page for that specific consultant, and she is simply offering samples and trying to attract customers. I think it is pretty cruel, to say the least, when bloggers, and page owners share that link throughout their network, and tell everybody to go grab this freebie!
What would you do if you sold a product, offered a free hand cream sample that you personally are going to mail with a catalog, and you got hit with over 20,000 requests? Of course, you would know these people aren't going to come back and buy. Especially when they are from so far away, some from maybe even other countries! How do you weed out the freebie hunters from the real possible customers who may come back? AND what do you do with all of the bad mouthing and nasty emails you receive, once they realize they will never be receiving that sample, since you are a small business woman, and you sure can't afford to mail 20,000 samples, all for well, nothing?
The point I am trying to make, is, PLEASE, be courteous! Don't request free diaper samples and Poise pads, if you in fact do not have kids, or do not have a special need for Poise pads. ALWAYS ask yourself, will I use this? Will I ever buy this? Do I need this? Does anybody in my household need this? If the answer is NO, then don't request it!
Of course, you may know somebody who would like to have a sample or a freebie from a specific brand, so by all means, SHARE the link, email, post, let your friend know, "Hey, this may be something you might want to try!". of course, sometimes, for instance, my mom, is not online, so I did set up an email for her and I do request things she needs, wants, or would probably be interested in, and I get it sent to her house. But, I don't want the emails for something I will never buy!
The next thing I feel the need to discuss, is the deals and offers and especially the information you will get from my blogs and Facebook, Twitter, Google+. I do in fact, use the products I post ads for! I will of course share a deal on say, Papa John's pizza, On the Border, Sonic, even if I don't frequent those places, since they aren't near me. But, I will gladly share things and coupons and specials for places I am certain people will be interested in. I will not link up, or tell people to try a program that pays you to do surveys, if I never did it myself! Honesty is the best policy, and I will never stand behind a site that sends spammy emails nonstop, and never ends up paying you. I will be honest about these programs, and I am a member of some who do in fact send some spam, but they typically explain that at the bottom of your emails, or account. I always tell you to READ THE FINE PRINT!!
I will not post articles about a site that claims they will send you free products and you can test and keep them for free! I see this all the time, and it disappoints me, to see bloggers and page owners, share half true information. especially when they never tried it themselves, so how would they know? (Yes, I have asked several, only to hear, NO I have not tried this!)
There are tons of better, bigger and more seasoned bloggers then myself, I am almost a year old at this;), and I admire tons of them, a few in particular, and I owe it to them for helping me along this path.
At the same time, I have seen bloggers email newsletters, post freebies of all kinds, ridiculous stuff, things like a CA electric company was offering a free pack of light bulbs or a reading light, to people in that area who requested info to possibly change electric suppliers. Well, WHY would I be interested in this?? The people who are going to be interested in this will see this on their local channels or mailings.
I apologize for such a long and boring post, but there is a lot to cover and I am trying to make sure I touch on each part.
Couponing is fun and takes a LOT of work, and can be hugely beneficial! Please just simply don't hoard, cheat, lie, clear shelves, and make us all look bad. The Extreme Coupon shows and bloggers have practically ruined a lot for us regular couponers. Stores have changed their policies, and this affects us all. The government actually has a bill they will at some point get to, about coupons! Since it is actually illegal to buy, sell, and trade coupons, they could at some point enforce this. We really don't want this, so please, be courteous at the store!
I will always promote small businesses, crafters, direct sellers, vendors, SAHM businesses, etc. I love buying from them, the prices are better, the product is amazing and you can see all the hard work that was put into your purchases. Please always share your sales, deals, sites, blogs, pages, because we need to stand by these businesses and buy from them! I guarantee you will find outstanding customer service, excellent quality, and all on a personal level.
If a page runs a giveaway, of course take advantage of it! Share with your friends! This helps us all a great deal, and we are all more then grateful for your help!!
A nice thing to do, would be to recommend us to others, maybe come back and visit. Don't just take the giveaway and run. Share what you won, maybe come back once in a while.
I am very happy with my small fan and friend base, of course I would love to have lots more, and in time, I hope too. But for the most part, I am always delighted to see the people on my page, acting in a civil, respectful manner;) I appreciate your loyalty, and hope to get to know more of you and I hope to learn from you and share what I can with you all. I am still learning, as I always say;) so please, if you do ever have an issue with an advertiser or a sponsor, or a site that I promote, please bring it to my attention!!
Lastly, I just want to explain the ads, and sponsors on my pages and blogs. YES, I do shop at Kmart, and Target, and YES, I do love Superpoints and Swagbucks and Mypoints! I do post ads and coupons that I do earn a few cents from, if they get clicked and or sign ups! I spend a lot of time doing this, and I appreciate any clicks, printed coupons and sign ups! I dream of getting a bigger online presence and I am determined to do so! But, you do not have to click my referral links, I completely understand!
I also post things for Canvaspeople, places like this. YES, I get a small kickback, otherwise I couldn't spend the time and money that I do here, or offer giveaways! There are affiliates I refuse to post, because I do not like their product, or I had a hard time with something because of it, and even if it is a high clicker for that day or week, I just can't bring myself to post it for you. If I get an email that says, "Hey! Here is today's best deal" and it pays me $1 each time you sign up, and I check it out and it looks like a free trial that will end up costing you more in the long run, NO, you won't get that here!!
Another thing, if you apply to host a party, hand out coupons, samples, products for a company, please really do it!! Don't say you will and end up keeping it all! Start a mom group, or host a party, and hand out what they send you!! This is a fun and better way for a lot of companies to advertise, and we get a little something from it too! It is fun to host these parties, but you have to do what they ask!!
Lastly, I cannot express enough, how important it is to have manners and be pleasant when dealing with freebies and samples! If you do win a free pizza, say THANK YOU!!!! If you didn't win a free pizza, for goodness sakes, don't bash the page and company! They can't give it to everybody! Same for samples, maybe check back in with the company who sent it to you, give them a short review, let them know what you did or did not like about it, and offer suggestions! Maybe even, if you loved it, go back and make a purchase!
Let's keep being decent! Freebie bloggers and freebie hunters and people who enter giveaways are getting a bad rap across the internet! Stand up and prove them wrong! There are some of us who truly appreciate the gestures and we love being able to try before we buy, and get free gifts with purchases;)