11 October 2011

How To: Sample Haul

We all do it - but it's true that it can feel pretty intimidating, asking for free samples at counters. You may feel like you're being a free-loader, or you might worry the staff may be a bit funny about you asking, or you may feel bad that you're not even buying anything but you want something to try.

But after a while, you get the hang of it and I thought I'd put in my 2 cents about why I go sample hauling, how I do it and how I manage my samples :)


Committing the Act

Right. It's NOT a crime to ask for them, samples are there for a reason, right? How many times have you seen 90% full foundations on blog sales, seen people return products, or heard about people being disappointed in skincare items because they broke them out - many times. Samples are there to prevent you from wasting money and in my eyes, creating unnecessary waste as well.

So we all know it's in our interest to have samples, but believe it or not it's in the interest of companies as well. If you think about it, anyone can buy a product for the first time and it will create some revenue for companies. But if that person doesn't like it, they have reason not only to say how bad a product was, but also that they wasted their money - never a good publicity for brands, considering many purchases result from testimonies from close friends and family!

Much of a brand's revenue lies in repeaters - it's in their interest for you to love a product and repurchase it for the rest of your life. So by giving you samples, they are saving stock for the people who have continued to purchase the brand's goods, or they're introducing you to a new product that you will repurchase in the future :)

In addition, by giving you samples they get a chance to show you how good their customer service can be. I'm not gonna lie - customer service really does impact how I feel about a brand - and I remember these things! The Dior woman at the House of Fraser in Leamington Spa, the LUSH lady in the South Molton Street store, Rosie from Clarins in the House of Fraser on Oxford Street and the Prettier Amy Winehouse from Origins in Peter Jones Sloane Square - I will, if practical, go back to those specific counters 99% of the time!

The Awkward Question

"Can I have a sample please?" sounds so easy in your head, but not so easy when you actually need to say it, especially when you haven't actually bought anything. You start wondering if it'll come across as cheap or cheeky, but it really is as simple as saying those 6 words. As long as you are polite, any interested sales assistant will do their best to help you. You shouldn't forget, they are also consumers and probably have a good few years up their sleeves of sampling products!

Everyone has a reason for wanting samples, and if you feel uncomfortable just straight out asking, just be honest! I always admit that some products are too expensive for me to buy and not like, or that I wouldn't want to waste the product if I don't like it, or that I want to go home and really test out the colour match and consistency with my own brushes/lighting. It's also important to know how it works on my skin over a few days. Honestly, I've never gotten a funny look from saying that, because who in their right mind likes wasting money?

Making the Most of Your Samples

Yes, they were free and yes they are tiny and easily get lost in our vast collection of make-up, but remember that they were given to you for a reason - to try! It may seem like, "Ooo I don't wanna use this yet because the actual thing is expensive!" but it wont seem as expensive to buy the full-sized product if you know you're gonna love it :)

Magazines are another great way to get samples of things you may not necessarily think about getting. The big difference about magazines is that they often include fragrances or even drugstore items that really have samples at the till. Another option for the drugstore, is the little travel-sized bottles of shampoo, lotion and other bits that they sell for around £1 of many different products - great way to try things out for cheap!

Like I said, samples are tiny so it's good to keep them where you know you'll use them. I personally use a box that I got in a Christmas set, and keep it where I do my make-up so in the mornings, I think about trying a product that day. Skincare stuff I usually try when I'm off to my boyfriend's for the night or on holiday - small and easy to carry :)

It's like a little mall in there! :P

I personally love sample hauling. You get to try things and really get a feel of the product you are about to invest in - can you imagine how much you can save by trying stuff out first? If you can try on clothes for free, why not make-up/skincare? It's also quite exciting to have so many things to try ;) Also like I said above, if you love the sample, the product that you thought was expensive at first, wont feel as expensive or as risky as it would if you'd never tried it. It's all worth it in the end, trust me! :)

So yea, that's my 2 cents about sample hauling - it's good for you, it's good for them, it's good for your wallet, so there's really nothing to be afraid of :) Hope that helped!

Do you sample haul?
What have you bought after trying a sample? :)

<3yu

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