“Nothing is free in this world anymore.” That’s what people always say when they warn you to be cautious of products or services that are too good to be true or when you’re aggressively haggling for a product that’s already at half of its original price and the seller wants to remind you that, they themselves, did not get it for free.
Luckily, while this may be true for some situations, this isn’t always the case. Whether you’d like to believe it or not, there still are high quality products and services out there, in the Philippines or abroad, that you can get for – guess what – absolutely free.
- Don’t hesitate to try something new. Brands that have just been released into the market need all the exposure that they can get to reach a wider consumer base, so they’ll use different ways to get as many people as possible to try their products or services. Usually, this means offering samples of their products for free or selling them at a heavily discounted price.
- Let your voice be heard. Some companies run contests that will ask you to write short essays about your experience with using their products, how they have helped you, or how much do you think the public can benefit from them. Prizes for contests like these often include a wide array of items from household goods, gadgets and appliances, clothing and fashion accessories, grand vacations abroad, and sometimes even scholarships.
- Social networking sites are very popular these days, so take advantage of them. Some contest sponsors reward participants based on the number of people they were able to introduce their products or services to, so the wider your social network is the better. Sometimes leaving a comment, liking a post, following a page, or sharing a particular article is all you have to do to get your chance at getting that exclusive item for free.
- Be the first to join a sponsor’s contest. You may prefer to be fashionably late, but some contest sponsors restrict winners to a certain number of people and those that signed up first get the prize. This may involve anything from free shirts, VIP access to concert events, free membership to gyms, spas, and similar facilities.
- Push your luck. No, really. You may have never won any prizes before, but if joining the contest wouldn’t cost you anything, then why not? You’ll never know what’s going to happen until you’ve given it a try.
Words of Caution:
There are a lot of legitimate contests that give away freebies out there; however, there are also those shady ones. If you’re going to participate in a contest, you might want to take note of the following:
Promo Permit Number
Organizers of contests and similar promotional materials are usually required to secure a permit from the Department of Trade and Industry before they can start their promotional activities. If you have the Promo Permit Number, you can use it to verify the legitimacy of the contest with DTI.
Knowing who organized the contest is important because it will let you know who to communicate with should a problem comes up. Some pieces of information that may come in handy one day include the name of the company (if it’s sponsored by one), its office address, its official representative/s, and their contact numbers. Knowing the company’s profile, history, and list of clients might also help, although that may not be necessary.
Different organizers set different rules, so it’s important that you read the promo mechanics carefully before you participate in a contest no matter how excited to win the prize you may be. It would be a shame if you won a great prize but you weren’t able to get it because of some minor detail. Also, if the prize for the contest will cause more trouble than it’s worth, you might want to ask yourself if you really want to join.
Reputation of the Organizer
Not all contests and other promotional activities are required by the DTI to have a permit number, so for cases like those, you may have to rely on the reputation of the organizer. One way to do that is by checking the feedback they have received from people who have participated in their previous contests or people who have used/have been using their products or services; however, do note that those comments should only be used as a reference and not treated as an absolute truth.
So, there. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with playing on the safe side. Just make sure you don’t close yourself off to the possibilities in the process. If you’re having a hard time making up your mind, then do some research first. You’ll be amazed at the amount of information you’ll be able to find.