Let’s face it: samples are freebies and freebies are nice, right? But are they REALLY free?
My experience has shown that samples are much easier to coax out of your local product specialists after you’ve made a purchase or two or thirty and proven your ‘purchasing power’. 😍
Would I expect a load of free samples of the most expensive frags on my first ever visit to a counter or boutique? Probably not. But when that counter or boutique becomes the new employment of a person I’ve followed through 3 different niche companies over the years and they know I’ll buy, I can pretty much get samples of whatever I want because they know I will buy and am a loyal customer.
They know that samples aren’t just little perks for me to play with or give away. They are the bait for my next purchase. And knowing that I am a fragrance collector they know there WILL be a next purchase.
But really, what are samples for in the first place? They’re a way to try before you buy and it becomes a lot more apparent of how important that is when you’re thinking about purchasing a $300 bottle of juice vs a $40 bottle. It becomes imperative!
There’s no way I would commit to buying a high end frag over $100 without wearing it for a day or half a day at least. I need to see how the frag transforms on my skin over the course of a day. A spritz on a piece of paper only gives an idea of what the frag smells like but it cannot show you how it will perform with your body chemistry.
‘Joy’ by Jean Patou, smelled amazing on the test card and on my SA,but after I wore it for a day it was clear that it didn’t work at all with my chemistry because I smelled like very sour musks. If I had bought that bottle because of how much I liked it on the paper I would have been out a couple hundred bucks. Not that I won’t revisit it sometime in the future and give it another shot one day but I digress.
I don’t ask for samples haphazardly either. I give each sample a bare minimum of half a day to wear and try out so I only request the ones that are within my preference parameter. I don’t want to waste my time on sampling frags I know I’ll never buy. For example, I’m not a big fan of dark spicy balsamic frags so rarely do I request a sample of one.
Samples are not truly free. They DID cost the house money to manufacture and package after all. But a company that has confidence their products usually have no reserves on supplying samples to potential customers. And I would be hesitant to buy without them. So it does the company favor to offer them.
And it becomes apparent over time that the more you buy the easier it becomes to score samples. The more you become acquainted with the shop employees, the more samples you can get. There’s a trust that develops because they know you are requesting samples to truly help you decide what your next purchase will be and not just getting them to turn around and sell online.
But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still fun to get! After spending a few hours at the boutique counter and sniffing frags and coffee beans til my nose can take no more, it’s always great to get a handful more to take home and try out after my nose has cleared. And honestly, who doesn’t like free gifts, even if they ARE ‘free’ – with purchase. 😉