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Thread: Why sample?

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  1. #1

    Default Why sample?

    People always say, don't blind buy bottles, always sample.

    But here is my issue with that. Lets say I want to sample something that my local stores don't carry. I have to purchase online... Usually for your average designer it's like $3-5 for a small vial. But then you have to pay shipping which is usually $5-6. And then you talk yourself into buying a bunch more samples that you don't need to "make the shipping worth it"... So you end up being out anywhere between $8 to $15 for a few ml of samples.

    Instead, you could just buy the full bottle, get all excited with anticipation, open the box like its Christmas morning, sniff it. And if you really hate it, just sell it at near full price, and depends on how much you paid for it, you may be out a few bucks to shipping. In the end, you probably waste more money sampling than you do buying/selling full bottles.

    Though if you are too lazy to sell bottles you don't like, then yea go ahead and sample. But sampling is just soooo uneconomical IMO. Especially if the full bottles you buy is under $40 and you are paying up to $10 just to sample it.

    I don't know if anyone else share this sentiment.

    I will say this though. I have purchased samples of creeds and other expensive fragrances when I know I don't plan on buying fb of them. And when there is some free shipping deal. I just can't bring myself to buy samples online under normal circumstances, just to sample before I buy.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    I dont agree.
    Not all people will go through the effort of trying to sell their bottles if they blind buy and end up not liking it.
    Plus, we all know most people low ball you for your brand new fragrance that you may have just sprayed once or twice.
    So its not really a matter of losing a few bucks, you might end up losing half of what you paid for the bottle with shipping charges etc.. its just pain in the butt. I made that mistake once and never I again will I buy a fragrance without at least trying it out a couple of wears. Do you live in the states? if you do, you can sample from these sites and pay only $3 for shipping. Thats what I pay at least. most designer fragrances are $2.50. I m not sure what your shipping would be if you live outside u.s though

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    Last edited by Attila; 7th May 2013 at 03:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    It is entirely dependent on what kind of person you are. If you are willing to drop the cash on a full bottle and hope for the best, more power to you. But, the way I look at it, I'd rather get a bunch of wearings from a sample and then see if I want a full bottle to have for the rest of my collecting days.

    I agree that there is some form of excitement from blind buying, but I rarely do it (unless the price is unbeatable). Plus, you can get a bunch of samples for not that much money. I remember I got 4 or 5 samples of Amouage (2mL) a while back for $20.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    Purchasing a full bottle and purchasing samples are sunk costs. You will not get that specific amount of money back unless returns are accepted. Shipping costs for a full bottle compared to a few samples is much more expensive due to weight. I agree with you to an extent, I would much rather purchase a full bottle under $40 than buy a sample of it. But for the most part sampling is much more economical if you're looking to acquire niche or expensive designer bottles because you generally won't get your full amount of money back for the bottle you sell.

    Why would someone buy a full bottle from you compared to a reputable shop that sells fragrances for the same price? That's why you have to sell it at a lower cost thus losing your original sunk cost.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Why sample?

    You said spend 8 to 15 for samples and I assume postage is 8. That's around $25.

    If the perfume bottle costs that much and you're comfortable blind buying that perfume dollar amont, then yes don't sample.

    Keep in mind that people sometimes already have an arsenal of 50 to 150 full perfume bottles. So sampling is a must and not only for th sake or money but at that point, that perfume may never be used again because it wasn't nice (to the person who bought it). Another thing is some perfumes cost $300 for 50ml.
    for swap/sale:



  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    I'd really only advocate sampling for the more expensive fragrances as there you'll save yourself money in the end, in my opinion. I sampled 9 different by Kilian scents and only liked 2/3, and then finally bought just one but now I know what to avoid in the future from the line so I won't be tempted when I look at it again.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    Totally disagree with you. My lack of interest in e-bay has absolutely nothing to do with laziness. And I certainly wouldn't take a risk there on perfumes that are inexpensive (your under $40 example) and readily available. Sampling can help tremendously with the learning process- not merely the acquiring of bottles but true understanding of perfume appreciation.
    The nose wants what it wants!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why sample?

    I hardly buy samples. There are boards where you can systematically look up for someone offering a vial of the fragrance you are curious about. And then you can swap, using the samples you have amassed. It then just costs the postage.

    If you are so eager to blind buy, then purchase a bottle here in the market place section, from someone who couldn't resist and is now left with his unloved bottle.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    I'm in the camp that I don't want to mess with selling my failed blind buys. I actually give them away to friends rather than go through the hassle. I have friends that love Craigslist/ebay, but even they admit to the hassles that can come up. More power to them, but that's not me.

    I also give away my samples that I don't finish (usually feminine scents, so they go to lady friends). I much prefer sampling. Out of maybe 300 frags I've sampled in the last 1.5 years, I've only found maybe a dozen that have struck me as worth my money to get a full bottle. I usually just use up the samples. In the end, I've also broadened my experiences with the other 288 frags.

    In a way, I'd turn it around and say going with blind buys is the lazy route. My sampling process/notetaking takes effort.

    I also don't play the lottery, so...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Why sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumedLady View Post
    ...Sampling can help tremendously with the learning process- not merely the acquiring of bottles but true understanding of perfume appreciation.
    Good point, PL.
    Sampling for its own sake is helpful in establishing reference points; familiarising oneself with genres / notes / accords / perfumers; broadening one's olfactory palette.
    .

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    The problem is that when you go to resell the bottle, you will have to pay shipping costs and you'll say yourself, I could have sampled anyway.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtheory8 View Post
    People always say, don't blind buy bottles, always sample.

    But here is my issue with that. Lets say I want to sample something that my local stores don't carry. I have to purchase online... Usually for your average designer it's like $3-5 for a small vial. But then you have to pay shipping which is usually $5-6. And then you talk yourself into buying a bunch more samples that you don't need to "make the shipping worth it"... So you end up being out anywhere between $8 to $15 for a few ml of samples.

    Instead, you could just buy the full bottle, get all excited with anticipation, open the box like its Christmas morning, sniff it. And if you really hate it, just sell it at near full price, and depends on how much you paid for it, you may be out a few bucks to shipping. In the end, you probably waste more money sampling than you do buying/selling full bottles.

    Though if you are too lazy to sell bottles you don't like, then yea go ahead and sample. But sampling is just soooo uneconomical IMO. Especially if the full bottles you buy is under $40 and you are paying up to $10 just to sample it.

    I don't know if anyone else share this sentiment.

    I will say this though. I have purchased samples of creeds and other expensive fragrances when I know I don't plan on buying fb of them. And when there is some free shipping deal. I just can't bring myself to buy samples online under normal circumstances, just to sample before I buy.
    I totally understand your point and have felt the same way. I am just so impatient I rather just buy the bottle and return it if I don't like it. I used FragranceX and they take it back no questions ask and cover shipping. I have started to try to have more patients and do samples. There are just some bottles I can not afford right now so I pick up samples. So I do understand both sides to the argument.
    Smelling Good on a Budget!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Why sample?

    Of niche stuff it's nice to get a range of samples from a house, so you can really get into their style and sometimes I have found stuff that I like even more than the frag I was interested in the first place.

    Nothing better than getting a range of wacky samples and getting a few good wears from each to discover what they're all about, how they progress etc. Even if you'd never buy a FB, and not even like a frag much, it's all a beautiful experience.
    Well, it's cheaper than therapy... edit: No it's not...

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why sample?

    So I want to blindbuy Midnight in Paris EDT for ~$32
    A 2ml sample for $8 shipped. If I buy a bottle and don't like it, I can sell it close to what I pay for it, and it does not cost $8 to ship it. So lets say I sell the bottle for a $2 loss and I pay $6 in shipping, I'm out $8 that way also.

    But, if I do like the sample, I have to spend another $32 in buying the bottle, after spending $8 on the sample. So basically here are the four scenarios:

    Costs:
    Buy Sample, Like it: $40
    Buy Sample, Dont Like it: $8
    Buy Bottle, Like it: $32
    Buy Bottle, Don't like it: $8

    so bottom line? the average cost of buying sample no matter what is more than buying the bottle.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtheory8 View Post
    So I want to blindbuy Midnight in Paris EDT for ~$32
    A 2ml sample for $8 shipped. If I buy a bottle and don't like it, I can sell it close to what I pay for it, and it does not cost $8 to ship it. So lets say I sell the bottle for a $2 loss and I pay $6 in shipping, I'm out $8 that way also.

    But, if I do like the sample, I have to spend another $32 in buying the bottle, after spending $8 on the sample. So basically here are the four scenarios:

    Costs:
    Buy Sample, Like it: $40
    Buy Sample, Dont Like it: $8
    Buy Bottle, Like it: $32
    Buy Bottle, Don't like it: $8

    so bottom line? the average cost of buying sample no matter what is more than buying the bottle.
    Yes, but that's based on buying one sample. The calculations change quite a bit if you're buying a few and discovering what you do like and what you don't.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Why sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtheory8 View Post
    so bottom line? the average cost of buying sample no matter what is more than buying the bottle.
    Really? Sure that may work for a $32 bottle, but wouldn't you agree that when considering buying a $300 bottle it makes sense to spend a few bucks on a sample?
    Last edited by JiveHippo; 4th March 2013 at 07:55 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    It could be argued that the opportunity cost of offering the unwanted frag, processing the sale, and packing/shipping. Would be larger than that of buying samples.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    Buying a whole bottle of Niche is stupid imo especially stuff thats over $200. If it's a designer then I understand.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    It's a personal preference. Some buy samples. I would never. I only buy large bottles. Simple as that.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Why sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveHippo View Post
    Really? Sure that may work for a $32 bottle, but wouldn't you agree that when considering buying a $300 bottle it makes sense to spend a few bucks on a sample?
    yes, if the bottle I'm buying is $100+ then I will probably buy a sample just because the ml/$ is not nearly as bad as a cheaper designer bottle.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Why sample?

    There are a lot of variables here. For instance, here in Chicago, there isn't much that can't be sampled designer or niche. So if its available to you, just go visit a shop.

    Then you have to take into consideration the price of the bottle. If its $50 and under, i agree with the OP statement. But anything more expensive, you really should sample before you buy. Especially once you get past the $100 mark.
    Last samples i got were some Amouage stuff, because they were a bit difficult to find at the time.

    I always give the bottle away if i don't like it anymore.

    Having said that, i think i would rather sample than do decants. I know theres a lot of folks that love buying decants, but i can't get into it. Its not like its cheap, and you're stuck without the real bottle.
    I guess this is good if you just want a little taste. Which is not something i'm into, because if i like something, i want it all!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by aphexacid View Post
    There are a lot of variables here. For instance, here in Chicago, there isn't much that can't be sampled designer or niche. So if its available to you, just go visit a shop.
    The same can be said for NY. But, having a sample means you get a lot more time with one specific scent than you would sampling a few per day in sephora/Nordstrom/Macy's, etc. And, in respect to NY, you're also adding in traveling 'fees', which just went up.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Why sample?

    i love samples because I am a collector of scents, there is no possible way I can buy every scent I want, but I'll be dam if I can't own 10MLs of everything.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Why sample?

    I love samples, so I have them for curiosity and then use them to swap or play games with. I don't actually want too many more FB's otherwise I would need a huge museum...lol. Time is the other thing. I wouldn't have time to keep selling them on.

    Having said that, I will accept any frag, in any shape, in any form, or any size. I just want to know them, even if I loathe them.
    Currently wearing: Montecristo by Masque

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtheory8 View Post
    So I want to blindbuy Midnight in Paris EDT for ~$32
    A 2ml sample for $8 shipped. If I buy a bottle and don't like it, I can sell it close to what I pay for it, and it does not cost $8 to ship it. So lets say I sell the bottle for a $2 loss and I pay $6 in shipping, I'm out $8 that way also.
    2 points:

    1. Nobody buys from you or eBay just to save $2 not when it's worthwhile to low ball. So that's a huge unrealistic assumption on your part.

    2. Nobody buys ONE sample at a time. Most will shortlist a number of fragrances to try before ordering online. So that's another flaw in your argument.

    You seem to get excited over blindbuys and I totally get that. Perhaps that's where you should have focused your argument on.
    Currently wearing: 31 rue Cambon by Chanel

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    I will always sample.

    The main reason I sample is because I DON'T like most of what I'm sampling. And I only need 1 ml to feel I have sampled adequately. I don't buy extras. Many deals on ebay have free shipping...even for one carded samples. Even luckyscent.com has free shipping if you subscribe to their monthly newsletter and have their monthly code.
    Last edited by RedRaider430; 5th March 2013 at 06:12 PM.
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    Offsite sales: By Kilian Straight to Heaven, Heeley Coccobello, Vintage Tabarome, Selection Verte, Citrus Bigarrade), Tom Ford Noir de Noir, By Kilian Prelude to Love, Bond No. 9 Hamptons, Heeley Oranges & Lemons, L'Essence de Cerruti, Balenciaga Ho Hang Club, Reyane Insurrection, numerous popular SAMPLES! http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=260 and http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=626

  27. #27

    Default Re: Why sample?

    When I'm buying a fragrance off of an individual second-hand, even if that fragrance is near brand new and 99.9% full, I still expect a pretty big discount in price (at least $20). That's just how it is. Again, what would be the point of going through the trouble to buy off of someone else when I can go to a store? Besides, finding someone who wants to buy your bottle in the first place isn't all that easy, which is another reason why the price must be lowered.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Why sample?

    90% of my paid samples came from Aedes & MinNy. That's 7 samples for $20 shipped and 5 for $17 shipped. I get others for free from in stores and also emailing companies; some from STC, Luckyscent & eBay. Then I sample swap my leftovers to get samples that aren't easily accessible to me. If you're smart about it you won't be spending a lot.

    And you never know how your blind buys stack up against other fragrances out there. How does A compare to B, C, D, E, F...Z fragrances? You'll never know until you try them. By sampling you can be sure you've chosen your favorites.

    In the long run you save a ton of time and hassle by sampling.
    Last edited by Ryan1411; 5th March 2013 at 09:12 AM.

  29. #29
    Super Member Miket's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    Some of your points make sense. Even if the numbers don't tally completely, but here's my take.

    For someone new to fragrance with no real frame of reference and a vast world to explore one of the best ways to get a firm foothold on that vast world is to sample simply because you can examine so many more fragrances than if you purchased full bottles. You could spray at stores instead, but this can be problematic in that there are many things they may not offer, and you will have SAs trying to sell to you based on their own agenda and the olfactory noise of a perfume department generally means you can only make one good skin sample per visit (spray it on, leave and see where it goes)

    For someone who has been buying for a while chances are they have something of a collection already. In many cases this might amount to hundreds or thousands of bottles. They may already own every inexpensive fragrance they want. Some have a jaded olfactory palette and can only enjoy or appreciate things that are truly sensational to them.

    I for one rarely, in fact almost never, sample. However I collect somewhat obsessively and buy things I wish to own for various reasons regardless of whether or not I'm going to get a lot of wear out of them. Though generally given enough time I 'come around,' and learn to appreciate almost anything, to find a place for it.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Why sample?

    This assumes you will like most of what is well-reviewed, and that you don't have any weird personal issues of skin chemistry or just plain disliking certain things A LOT.

    I spent about $200 on samples last year. (Maybe more. I don't like to think about it.) Out of all of those, I liked only one thing enough to buy a bottle. I outright hated most of them, and was severely allergic/reactive to half a dozen.

    $200 would have bought me, what, a bottle and a half, maybe? And then I'd have to deal with the stupid Canadian fragrance shipping regulations if I wanted to sell my failures? Sign me up!

    Yeah, sampling is most definitely not a waste of either time or money for me, although I could maybe spend some of that cash on a day trip to Toronto and sample in person. Even then, though, I wouldn't buy something on the basis of a single spray in a shop. I need to live with something for a few wears before I know I like it.

    Honestly, the idea that anyone could blind buy -- or give -- a perfume with any expectation that it will be liked unsniffed is absolutely bizarre to me.
    Last edited by CompassRose; 5th March 2013 at 01:22 PM.

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