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  1. #1

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    Default People abusing free online samples?

    One thing that irks me is when people abuse the free sample system. In Canada, there is a website called redflagdeals.com. Basically you will find the cheapest people in the world in this website, whenever people find something free(i.e free sample), they will post it in the forum, everyone will fill out the forms and kill whatever quantity that company has allocated.

    So what do you feel guys feel about people who ask for samples and have no intention of buying even if they like it. They just want to smell nice for a couple occasions for free.

    Some examples of how cheap these people are.

    1) Most think cologne is a waste of money and all of them recommend to just shower.
    2) If you need to smell nice, just pop into the store, spray whatever you need and take off.
    3) Some of these people give samples away as gifts to there loved ones.
    4) Some people will takes these samples and sell them off for profit.
    5) If something was grossly mispriced and they know they cannot get it at this price because of a correction notice, they will try to pricematch with another company even if that company loses money doing it.
    6) they think most people that buy cologne do it because of Body odour.
    7) those that do buy cologne there will only buy 20 dollar fragrances and never bother with anything else.
    8) If they get a free samples that consists of a moistened toilette, they will complain how cheap the company is.
    Last edited by tajoh111; 7th May 2007 at 12:15 AM. Reason: Clarify

  2. #2
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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Are you having a bad day or something? Who cares! Are you personally losing money or something?

  3. #3

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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    People who actually cares about colognes and want to samples something prior to purchasing care I think might care.

    I think samples are meant for a target audience that are willing to buy, not just cheap people who want something for nothing. I might not lose money in all this but I might lose getting a chance to get a sample of something I might want to buy. I have already seen companies run out of samples because of cheap people taking advantage of the system. Some examples that come to mind is lacoste and Hugo Boss.

    Heck I think all companies would be far more willing to give samples, if people were not willing to take advantage of such a system.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    samples are given to salespeople first, by the case. SA's are next to distribute to their best customers, not browsers.
    if there's a website distributing samples I'd assume they were samples that couldn't be given away.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    During my years as a SA, we learned to "smell a rat" from a mile away.
    Serious enthusiasts can be destinguished from sample collectors from the very moment the verbal request for a sample is made.
    That being so, it was rare I would ever deny any request if I had samples to give. I know first hand how much a simple sample often means to your average Joe/Josephine. Ive heard every excuse under the sun from "hi im getting married and i want to sample lots of things so i can buy big bottles for my bridesmaids", to "hi, i have a sick mother in hospital who has several weeks to live...". The thing is, often these scenarios hold some truth. My sister's step-daughter died a few weeks ago at the age of 16 with cancer, but before she died, she was delighted to have recieved a few samples and minis to make her period of pallative care as enjoyable as possible. Often requests came from those whom I might have determined hadn't the money to spend on a full bottle... but it made me feel good that I could offer them something that they felt extremely unobtainable.

    Bottom line is: what some might assume is "being cheap" may actually mean something special to someone. Remember the world is as diverse as the people who live in it. Not all have the luxury of an expendable income, and if the gift of perfume can be given to enrich someones life (free sample or otherwise) - even for a day - why would we want to deny them that?

    I understand samples are designed to be used as a sales tool, however if you cant show some compassion when you work... its probably not the profession for you.
    Last edited by Sorcery of Scent; 6th May 2007 at 09:45 AM. Reason: typo

  6. #6

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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    I think the ones who irk me are the ones who think buying cologne is a waste of money. But when it is free they are all go.

    To those that cannot afford it, perhaps some sense of charity might be in order. But even this should be limited. When I went to the department store, on several different occasions i noticed a hobo come in, spray 40-50 times on himself and take off.

    I live in a city where it is easy to find a job and welfare programs are in place to ensure everybody is guarenteed a minimum standard of living, and anybody even the challenged which this person is not, can get a job. I thinks this hobos problem is the same as his application of cologne. You can't just hide stink, you have to find a real solution to the problem.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimitri View Post
    ...Bottom line is: what some might assume is "being cheap" may actually mean something special to someone. Remember the world is as diverse as the people who live in it. Not all have the luxury of an expendable income, and if the gift of perfume can be given to enrich someones life (free sample or otherwise) - even for a day - why would we want to deny them that?
    Oh, well said, Brother!! :bounce: Lighten up, Tajoh..
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  8. #8

    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Giving away samples are part of the industry. Sure you get a few leeches who want to do nothing but squirt away, but that's what the stuff is there fore. Most of the time the samples sit there for a long long time unused, and it's a way of advertising the product. It's part of the industry and its marketing campaigns. How else are the consumers going to know if they like something or not?

    I don't subscribe to the opinion that the majority who take advantage of the offers are free-loaders. That's a bit extreme.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    First, on free samples: Now that I am a perfume nut, salespeople can just tell somehow, and often offer me samples without my asking.

    When I didn't know much about fragrance, a sample would have been used (used up, even)! If it worked, I might have bought it as my one bottle. A basket with samples in it would have made it less intimidating to try something, and I probably would have bought more - but reluctance to give out samples prevented me from trying many, and therefore from buying.

    Also... look at how many members basenotes has, and how many regular posters. Just because the culture on the website you mention means that certain people post doesn't mean other people aren't learning about samples and trying them out for reasons the company in question would be delighted with.

    Quote Originally Posted by tajoh111 View Post
    To those that cannot afford it, perhaps some sense of charity might be in order. But even this should be limited. When I went to the department store, on several different occasions i noticed a hobo come in, spray 40-50 times on himself and take off.

    I live in a city where it is easy to find a job and welfare programs are in place to ensure everybody is guarenteed a minimum standard of living, and anybody even the challenged which this person is not, can get a job. I thinks this hobos problem is the same as his application of cologne. You can't just hide stink, you have to find a real solution to the problem.
    As for your story above, the guy obviously has problems. What they are may not be apparent to you, but he does.

    I am not sure what province you live in, but in British Columbia and Ontario, for starters, welfare programs are not available to all and that 'minimum' standard of living is usually quite a bit below the poverty line. (Take BC - during a 5 year period, for at least 2 you won't be able to collect any welfare.) Any city where it is that easy to get a job (Calgary, say) there is a housing crisis that accompanies it. And for the homeless, finding a job is almost impossible.

    "You can't just hide stink, you have to find a real solution to the problem." True enough, but I think that is the society's problem more than this specific man's problem.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Samples are for sampling. I get more samples that I know I am not going to want to use because SA's try to push a fragrance on me then those I ask for with small intentions of ever purchasing a bottle. I think samples should be easier to get, if anything. SA's only want to give if they think the person may buy a bottle and some commission comes out of it. I like to collect samples as a reference for the scents that I don't own. I take what is given to me but I would like more...

  11. #11

    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Given the huge amount of knowledge and appreciation for fragrance on this board,I would actually question how useful samples are to the majority of it's members?How often do you hear comments like "it took me six months,but finally I get(insert name of fragrance here)".I think that for many here,a sample vial,or quick spray at the counter,is not nearly enough to determine how they feel about a fragrance.I think a lot of people here have discovered their love for a particular fragrance,by working their way through tens of ml's of a bottle.
    Granted,we all enjoy a "freebie",but the passion on this board runs far too deep for most of it's members to get their panties in a bunch over sample vials!In fact,despite my love for fragrance,I rarely post here,as I don't have nearly as much knowledge as many of it's members.However,I do visit here most days,as I find the posts of great interest and admire the enthusiasm.
    Last edited by silent_lucidity; 6th May 2007 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Edited for spelling(or lack thereof!)

  12. #12

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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Most the samples where you put in a name for are postcards anyways. It isn't like they are getting little vials.

    I never see any SA give out vials anymore actually, not for years.

    I always see vials on sale on eBay and always wonder where they get them from.

    For you American cheapos there is Fatwallet.net << great deal site.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Just to clarify things, I meant online free samples. Those that actually try to score samples through coming in actually make some effort to obtain it and somewhat deserve it. However as Dimitri described someone trying to score mass quantities of samples at once is wrong, however atleast most people aren't this bad.

    But onlines are the ones that get killed. I don't think any company can afford to mail cologne to every if even those not interested get cologne. E.g Someone posts in a deals website in the freebies section, get a free sample of cologne. As a result, way more cologne hits are received and the company runs out of samples much sooner than expected, and given to those that have no intent in buying their product.

    Some examples of this to me is hugo boss(from vials to moist toilettes and run out) and La Coste(run out) and to an extent frederick Malle(who ships smaller quantities now).

    I think the companies wanted to give samples to people who are actually searching for their product and wanted to find more information on it. Not someone on a deals forum trying to score a freebie.
    Last edited by tajoh111; 7th May 2007 at 12:12 AM.

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    Default Re: People abusing free online samples?

    Well a different deal site I frequent has already found and posted another Hugo sample. They send to Canada if you want one.

    http://www.hugofragrances.com/urbanr...?pageid=sample

    Maybe we should start a thread posting them here first?
    Last edited by steve_t; 7th May 2007 at 12:19 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: People abusing free online samples?

    Although I admit that I've asked for samples myself, deep down I really have little respect for the practice. I have a cousin who used to do that . . . she had something or other that she liked, and whenever she went into a store she requested samples of it rather than purchase it. Of course, she had money for something like five (5) trips to Germany while she was in college! You can probably tell that I do not like this particular cousin, and my attitude toward her is probably influencing my perception of the matter. SPRAY ON!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by tajoh111 View Post
    Just to clarify things, I meant online free samples. Those that actually try to score samples through coming in actually make some effort to obtain it and somewhat deserve it. However as Dimitri described someone trying to score mass quantities of samples at once is wrong, however atleast most people aren't this bad.

    But onlines are the ones that get killed. I don't think any company can afford to mail cologne to every if even those not interested get cologne. E.g Someone posts in a deals website in the freebies section, get a free sample of cologne. As a result, way more cologne hits are received and the company runs out of samples much sooner than expected, and given to those that have no intent in buying their product.
    So, do the people on this site mostly take advantage of free samples from companies like Armani and Hugo Boss? If so, big deal...not like those companies are short on cash and can't affort to make/send lots of samples.

    If, however, these people are ordering mass quantities of samples from, say, Divine or Tauer (who don't have the same production or distribution capabilities), it could be a problem, especially if they don't even care about the quality of these fragrances and have no intention of buying.

    The point about samples being very valuable and enjoyable to some people is well taken. Free sampling should not be stopped, and we shouldn't judge people for wanting a few free scents. But if these people can't tell the difference between a Malle and an Adidas, I hope they stick with the Adidas (if they'll be happy either way...) and don't ruin niche sampling for those of us who care enough to make purchases from time to time.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 7th May 2007 at 12:36 AM.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  17. #17

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    Default Re: People abusing free online samples?

    I would agree with with Dimitri and SnifferDog; the point of samples is to give them to those most likely to spend hard-earned money on fragrances. If a comapny cannot afford to do so, they don't make samples availahble; its that simple. If that person to whom they give a sample wants to give it away as a gift or just bathe their girlfriend's dog in it is no concern of the SA...or me, for that matter. But if a comapny is trying to shore up their bottom-line by denying prospective buyers a chance to experience their wares (and that is all they are; to place some sort of extra signifigance on good smelling juice is both folly and dishonesty) then let them reap what they sow. I've been enjoying my fragrant hobby for over two decades now, and if the marketing execs at these companies can't see their way clear to providing us with a snapshot of their latest offerings, then they can hardly blame us for not rushing lemming-like off the cliff towards their latest fragrance-du jour. I, for one, refuse to patronize cheapskate houses who are trying to fill their nest with my hard-earned dollars at the expense of not being able to try whatever swill they are tossing onto the market for another season of "Whatever we put out last year, but with a little more citrus this time, and in a nifty new bottle, too!."

    I've noticed that SAs are ever more stingy with samples; as a result, I go to those particular stores much more infrequently. Maybe they'll learn their lesson, or maybe not. Either way, I don't really care; there are several stores to which I may go, and I go where I get the best service; 'nuff said.

    CJ
    Last edited by CJ; 7th May 2007 at 01:03 AM.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: People abusing free online samples?

    I think because of the abusive system however companies that could afford to release samples have had to cheapen their samples because alot of people who have very little interest in cologne start gettting the samples because all it takes is filling out an address.
    This dramatically makes it more difficult to sample a scent in regards to making a purchase. E.g the postcard, a postcard makes it very hard to experience all the notes of a scent.

    Look at hugo boss for example, they used to give vials or atleast to the main application(not the friends), now its just post cards for everyone. I am actually happy about this because it makes cheapskates less satisfied for their actions and is way more sustainable for the company. If I am interested I might come in to the local shop, spray some on and sample it. Although it more effort on my part, it prevents cheap people from taking advantage of the system. And since my department store knows I am a good customer they will often give me a sample to take home(atleast now they do).

    I don't mind if samples are given to prospective buyers or even people who genuinely like scents and appreciate them. But its those who have money and would never spend a dime on cologne because they think it is a waste of money or those that even sell their samples on ebay. Look at ebay and and you will see someone selling a 5 mL sample of frederick malle bottles for sale(frederick malle doesn't sell 5mL samples). Its these that bother me, and there is alot more of these people than you think.



    Honestly, if someone put free 20 dollar cologne sample on a deals website and told them to fill out a form and posted a link to the frederick malle website. I know the deal would be dead in a couple months. The only thing saving it is the obscurity of the name to the general public.

    I feel like everybody at basenotes can appreciate the stuff as it is our addiction and hobby. But its cheap deal websites that kill the deal for people that can really appreciate this stuff.
    Last edited by tajoh111; 7th May 2007 at 03:54 AM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by EnvYuS View Post
    SA's only want to give if they think the person may buy a bottle and some commission comes out of it.
    tsk tsk EnvYuS, you werent paying attention to my post

    Tajoh111, if its online sampling that youre referring to... I know for a fact that the motivation for companies to do so is purely to serve 2 purposes:
    1. Primarily to collect email addresses/shipping info for their customer database, and
    2. Secondarily to promote the scent.

    When companies such as Boss do this, they have an enormous quantity of samples in stock. The samples shipped to the stores and the samples kept or online promotions dont overlap - there is a finite number set aside for each. This isnt to say that all companies do the same, but Boss and Ralph Lauren do fall into this sampling scheme.

  20. #20

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    Cool Re: People abusing free online samples?

    What is the free sample system? Is there anything systematic about it, and how should it work? All I know is, in principle there are samples of every scent available. Sometimes they hand me samples, and it is usually campaign frags. When I would really need a sample ( for whatever reason I may find it interesting enough to spend more time on it) I usually do not get it ( they always have just run out of the popular ones, and who really carries those which are 5 -10 years old, and not Chanel?).

    What is abusive in collecting samples offered for free? Who are cheap people? If people cannot afford the scents they want (who can?), and live on samples instead - why should they not have that little bit of sunshine for free? Even free samples are paid samples, just as stolen testers will ultimately be paid for. Someone does, and in all likelihood it's the person who buys the bottle! While I can remember that a few samples have really drawn me into a purchase, most samples simply help to avoid gross errors. Even if I bought a cologne after sample testing, it was not automatically from the place which gave the sample. Should I feel guilty? I don't!

    Instead: I would be happy to pay 50c or 1$ for any sample of my choice if they were readily available at perfume counters. I would save a lot of money if, say, Comme des Garcons samples came in little bags of a dozen ea. I could then really fine tune my search for the ultimate incense frag!
    Last edited by narcus; 7th May 2007 at 08:25 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  21. #21

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    Default Re: People abusing free online samples?

    I kind of agree, I would not mind paying a dollar for samples and them take away free samples altogether. As long as I could pick the samples I want and have them shipped to me rather then getting random samples altogether. I think this is a good solution. Even the very poor could afford a dollar or two if they can afford a computer.

    Although I couldn't organize it. I wouldn't mind if their was a club where we paid 5 dollars a month. Where a group somehow organized a network where we could sample any scents and have I guess a yearly limit(maybe 50-60) on how much we could request so people wouldn't over abuse(also no repeats requests). The person requesting the sample would still have to pay shipping, but I would like to join such a group. I can imagine it being the only solution as no companies going gather such a large network of samples other then the people that own them. The biggest giver away of samples would collect part of that 5 dollar membership base and even smaller ones would in some form of collection percentage.
    Last edited by tajoh111; 7th May 2007 at 10:47 AM.

  22. #22

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    Default Re: People abusing free online samples?

    I wouldn't mind paying a dollar or two for a vial. The ebayers charge like 5 bucks.

  23. #23

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    Default Re: People abusing free samples?

    Quote Originally Posted by tajoh111 View Post
    Just to clarify things, I meant online free samples ...

    But onlines are the ones that get killed. I don't think any company can afford to mail cologne to every if even those not interested get cologne ...

    I think the companies wanted to give samples to people who are actually searching for their product and wanted to find more information on it. Not someone on a deals forum trying to score a freebie.
    Hmm...you sure appear to be passionate about this particular issue, which is typically a good thing (to be passionate about something, that is). Do you happen to have a vested interest that you've not told us about yet?

    How do you feel about the vast universe of other on-line freebies that are out there? Dish detergent, Post-it Notes, magazines, foodstuffs, clothing and makeup, among thousands of other sample items, are all out there on-line for free. There's a catch for most of these however, including scent samples, that you've failed to mention.

    By signing up to receive something free the recipient has to fill out some personal information. The reality is often less about the free sample and more about building a valuable corporate mailing list; a list that the company can then sell many times over for much more revenue than the cost of procuring and distributing the free sample. The engine of capitalism, in large part, depends on the availability of at least this type of information on the population. Take, for instance, the omnipresence and power of the three major credit corporations, implications of the Patriot Act and Dept. of Homeland Security for our personal financial privacy, etc. So, in short, by registering to receive a sample of just about anything, the requestor is adding something of value back to the sponsor (company), the market, and the economy. Thus, the intent of a private citizen requesting a sample is largely irrelevant.
    Last edited by wicozani; 7th May 2007 at 04:00 PM.

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