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    Yesterday I had a message through my website asking for a free sample of my soap. The woman, who seemed very nice, even offered to PayPal me a dollar for postage. I was feeling magnanimous, and said that it was not necessary. Today I mailed a sliver of soap to her at my own expense - not much, just $1.50, which is 0.924746 GBP according to that XE site someone mentioned here. Then I emailed her that it was on it's way.

    Well for pete's sake, I now have four new requests for freebies - and no one has offered to pay postage. Surely it is just a coincidence?? Or do you think I am on a worldwide "here's a putz" list now?

    I am working on a tactful reply to these requests - I'll post it here later to see what anyone might think about it. And maybe some of you all will tell me how you handle this situation. And I will make a Policy Statement on my website about this. I am getting lots more traffic now that my husband bought me a google ad.

  • #2
    I think that the person who asked was so thrilled to get a freebie that she told a few friends. Perhaps you could do a 'sample' range at a nominal cost and offer an incentive if they return to purchase?
    Terry xxx
    You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
    Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy


    • #3
      I bought some soap online recently and with it I got a couple of free samples, but I wasnt expecting them and didnt ask for them, they were just a nice surprise when I opened the parcel.

      Dont know about free samples without the postage. Perhaps you could politely say that you are happy to send samples of the soap but would have to ask for postage, perhaps with a small discount if they order X$ of soap from you afterwards.
      Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars


      • #4
        Why don't you advertise on your site that you offer free samples to people who spend a certain amount or over in your shop? That way, people still feel they're getting something for free but you're getting sales as well.

        edit: Sorry, it seems I was typing while Diane posted and ended up suggesting a similar thing!
        Laura Lou xxx

        My Beaded Charms Shop - new 3d beaded charms added regularly!


        • #5
          Think about it!!! say you will send the stuff free but the postage is £10. When youve been in business as long as Ive been you will learn


          • #6
            Originally posted by urbtaf View Post
            Think about it!!! say you will send the stuff free but the postage is £10. When youve been in business as long as Ive been you will learn
            Gail x

            My Blog:


            • #7
              I always send out free samples with my soap orders, its a good way of introducing your customers to your other products,

              But if you are just sending samples without an order I suppose you will have to charge some sort of P&P, good luck with it all!


              • #8
                Oh I had something similar but mine was a repeat customer, who always pays late so my goodwill was in a see saw state. As the thing only cost £2 I made them pay for it - and the postage.
                The request made me feel cross, while with other people, if we've been having long talks about their projects, I'll happily include some free if it helps them make their mind up.
                A moody


                • #9
                  Was also going to say about sample size soap, but then i love sample size stuff and would rather have 5 samples than 1 big bar (think ice cube tray size) as they keep their colour and scent better and you can mix and match. But i wouldnt expect them for free.

                  Maybe you could do a sample size and charge a small amount per sample (but enough to make a small profit so people like me dont wipe out your business), postage on top at actual cost (dont know if you have a standard price but highish postage puts me off buying small items online) and then offer to knock the price of the sample off if they buy the full sized one.

                  They are def taking the mickey, she hasnt posted somewhere like moneysaving expert has she?
                  my website


                  • #10
                    Theres a lady in the US that i buy some of my charms and stuff from and she always puts in some other freebies in with the pack. They worked for me because iv always went back about bought them EVERY TIME! ha ha



                    • #11
                      free samples

                      PART I:

                      Well, I have read all the great replies, and given it a lot of thought…

                      Let’s say four requests a week - $1.40 postage, $1.25 worth of soap, and an envelope…let’s just say 10.80 a week, for the sake of conversation, so for a month that’s $43.20 (29.6888 GBP).

                      I kinda doubt they’d buy soap afterwards….just take the freebie and run. Call me cynical. Also, this may be a high estimate AND I may never get another freebie request! This may be a fluke.

                      Okay, let’s say they only have to pay postage – so a charge of around $1.40. But I’m still out some soap. AND envelope, label….ink….jees, it seems to snowball.

                      My favorite soap ingredients supplier always throws in a tiny sample of some fragrance oil – but I have just spent a ton of money on supplies, so it seems more "good business sense" somehow that they give out a tiny freebie, in appreciation, of something that I probably would never buy…it IS fun to get it, but I’d rather they gave me a small discount on my bill…but that won’t happen, I feel certain.


                      • #12
                        free samples

                        PART II:

                        I reckon if I was a major producer/seller, I might be more altruistic here, and give out free samples. But I am pretty small potatoes, so I think I won’t do it. But I think if I called Evelyn & Crabtree, or Burt’s Bees (now owned by Clorox), or the makers of Yardley, I doubt they would say yes to sending me a free sample – but I could be wrong.

                        To me, a policy statement of “no free samples,” however tactfully put, seems off-putting, as does “no refunds,” which I have indeed stated because the last thing I want is someone sending me a used bar of soap. My soap is wonderful…there would be no reason for returning it. However, it’s a Barnum & Bailey world – I can see someone sending it back to me in a ziplock bag…blech. Even if someone sent back an unused bar I would toss it out, just of paranoia. I could never resell it or use it myself….

                        So, I think a simple approach would be to instigate my new idea that I had a few weeks ago. SMALLER BARS. They’re about 3.5 oz. now, and they never seem to go away – last forever. That’s great. But after a while, you get tired of looking at the mildly unattractive oval. So I thought, make them smaller to begin with and they’ll get used up faster and not be so annoyingly eternal. Then they’re also cheaper, and more “priced to sell.” I mean, if you don’t price to sell, there you sit, right?

                        I have cotton muslin bags with cotton drawstrings to which my daughter is applying my logo. I put soap scraps in them for use as a scrubby bag….so I could tout them as something to put your slivers in … so when the soap does wear down and you don’t like the look of it anymore, you can put it in the little pouch and scrub yourself with that! Looks cute, is useful…whatcha’ think? And yes, it's for people who do love something scrubby, not for the tactile-sensitive person. They actually work best for kids, to wash their hands. AH HA! A lightbulb just came on - Gardener Scrubs!! I like it! Hang it on the hose tap, at the ready for handwashing in the garden! YES! Okay, this is going on my etsy shop today...


                        • #13
                          How about adding a new product on your site which people could purchase along the lines of....

                          Sample pack
                          Receive a small sample (approx x grammes) of 3 soaps of your choice
                          Please choose from below
                          blah, blah, blah
                          blah, blah
                          Cost $3.50 including postage

                          Not sure if your website allows you to offer a product which includes shipping already but this way you could provide samples (and direct those enquiries to purchase a sample pack) and make sure you cover your cost.
                          Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies


                          • #14

                            I do often send out a sample/small gift with our orders.
                            I have been approached once, by email, through the website for a load of samples.

                            I replied that unfortunately we do not have sample sizes - ( I had just read on Martin Lewis's site that people were recommending approaching companies for samples.)

                            I sometimes think these people think we are M&S - but even they don't send samples.

                            Twitter JUSTSOAPS
                            Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties


                            • #15
                              free samples

                              Originally posted by nattynetty View Post

                              Not sure if your website allows you to offer a product which includes shipping already but this way you could provide samples (and direct those enquiries to purchase a sample pack) and make sure you cover your cost.
                              I have a sample set on my etsy which no one has ever purchased - three 1.5 oz bars each a different essential oil type. Sigh.

                              Okay, so I need to say, somewhere on my website, to check out my etsy shop for samples....

                              My husband linked my website gifts page to my etsy shop so I could/would do more of this stuff myself... and so that's where my samples are, but I guess maybe a single sample with price and shipping might be a good idea - that way, someone just looking for a freebie would not bother asking, but someone genuinely wanting to try the soap could easily do so...and then if they buy soap after that, I could include one of my cotton pouches with some soap scraps as a "consumer reward." That sounds reasonable - and a good use for scraps. I just listed my new pouch idea (above post) on my etsy shop, and am now proceeding to do a crayon design on the pouch, iron it, and get the photo taken!

                              I'm really enthusiastic today about my crafts - must be because I have been up since 3:30 this morning - we had to get our son to the airport...AND we got to bed late because of coyotes....thank heavens for our dogs!! Consequently I have had several cups of c-c-c-c-coffee....

                              Hey, this probably also explains my LONG posts! I'm definitely babbling! Sorry!

                              Okay, off to color...that should be calming....