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The Folly of Freebies

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We have come to expect things to be given to us. From the student looking for the easy “A” to the consumer searching for that free sample to the businessperson wanting that 0 down startup cost to their first million.

Trouble is, nothing is ever really free. Nothing worthwhile that is.

Most students earn that high mark by studying hard.

That free sample the consumer waits for turns out to be so tiny it wasn’t even worth the time to jot down their address.

And that businessperson learns several other numbers usually precede that 0.

As someone who makes bath & body products, I don’t expect to give them away. It took me years of practice to learn how to formulate my products, what colors would enable my soaps to shimmer brightly yet not run or fade. Choosing which fragrances worked well, wouldn’t disappear after a few weeks, and didn’t change the color of the product was another factor to consider. Then I had to decide which molds to use, wrap the soap, and choose a label. I enjoy making my unique products, yet it’s time consuming and costly – as is running any small business.

Yet, I open my email many a morning to find requests for free samples! This rudeness is indicative of the Internet. How many people will walk into a small restaurant and ask for, say, a pancake, to see if they want to order a stack of pancakes? Would a person walk into a garden supply store and try to finagle a package of flower seeds? Unlikely. The anonymity of the ’net does allow people to behave in ways that they wouldn’t in real life. They see a web site, not an actual storefront business. And because that website is a small, family-run enterprise, they attempt to devalue that establishment’s products by asking for freebies.

Granted, you can’t smell a bar of rose scented soap online. You can see a photo of it, a description might accompany the picture, but it’s not something you can touch or smell. However, many business people do offer sample sizes for a very small fee. Or they include a sample with every paid order.

The Internet is awash with plenty of sites to keep freebie hunters occupied. I prefer the free sample trolls to hang out there and not take away a small business owner’s time and attempt to devalue the product by a careless “gimme” attitude. It’s a wise idea for the potential free sample junkie to see if free samples are offered, and if not, then move on.

About the Author

Everything Shea Aromatic Creations [http://www.everythingshea.com] offers a fragrant selection of designer shea butter glycerin soaps, exclusive Whipped Shea Butter, & unique SoapCakes to personalize for gifts or promotions. Visit the Monthly Specials page to learn more about low cost samples.


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