I love surprises and subscription boxes. Unfortunately, $10 a month on products I may or may not like can add up pretty quickly. Luckily, I have a great alternative to the birchbox, ipsy, and wantable boxes of the world! Through this sampling program, I have gotten 3 Sinful Color nail polishes, name brand shampoo samples & mascara, and a ton of granola bars for free!
) is a very simple sampling program. Unlike other programs, you can choose the items you want and there are minimal activities. For example, if there is a hair oil product that you would never use, you don't have to put it in your sample box at all. I really appreciate the minimization of waste; it only makes sense. (With other boxes, I try to put aside and regift any items that don't work...still it's better to just get these items to people who really do want them).
To get the products, you need a complete a short profile on Pinchme about your demographics and likes/dislikes. When I signed up a half year ago, it was very minimal compared to Bzzagent's 1928392839233 pages about my life! Next step is waiting. When the company first started, Pinchme boxes came out every Tuesday at noon. Now, the boxes come out every month or so, but they have added more products (6-7 now vs 1-3 before). You could manually check the website every Tuesday to see when the new box is coming up, but I just mark the next date in my Google calendar at 11:45 with an alert to remember.
5 minutes before the time, make sure you are 100% logged in to the site with your correct address and ready to go. Once the page loads, JUMP! Prioritize your favorite products and don't get caught up in "oh maybe I would like this". YOU DON'T HAVE TIME!!!!! Seriously, I can't emphasize enough that you have maybe 20 seconds to choose. If you're not a nail polish girl, don't think about colors of nail polish you might get! Put the items you are thinking of getting in your cart and ruthlessly ignore the rest of the freebies.
Give your cart a once over and check out immediately. I know it says you have 20 minutes but you really don't have time. I've had the entire website crash twice while items were in my cart...when the website is back, the items are no longer in your cart. Sad, but true.
Then it's a few weeks until the items are shipped to your house. Some people have had issues with the boxes arriving, but I haven't any trouble so far. Unlike a lot of other sites, Pinchme basically wants your general opinion of the products in your sample box. Did you like it? Would you buy it again?
There is some kind of tier system in place that you get 'rewarded' for these reviews and/or referrals. Honestly, I have received 90% of the available boxes, and my points are barely more than someone who just joined the site. You probably don't "need" to do the feedback, but it is good karma. Sites like this cannot exist unless people review and give feedback on the samples! So, pay it forward, take the 5-10 seconds to rate each item.
Overall, I think Pinchme is fun to get a few freebies, especially if you have a relatively quick internet connection!