Free sample bliss

Kristine Gill

On nights when the homework just refuses to do itself, I often turn to the Internet. When no number of fruitless Facebook page refreshes can quench my thirst for a legitimate excuse to procrastinate, I resort to other means. But tearing myself away from my virtual social life isn’t easy, so the alternative has to be a good one.

That’s when I visit Wal-Mart’s free sample Web site. A friend and fellow free-sample connoisseur introduced me last year. Wal-Mart hooks you up with other Web sites that are giving out free stuff and all you have to do is fill out that form. I’ve got my college address down pat because of it.

It’s called taking advantage of a temporary address. And let me tell you, it’s a real rush stumbling upon an actual credible Web site with free samples. None of this, two gold, three silver offer stuff either. I’m talking fill out this form . wham, bam . we send you free stuff. It is a beautiful concept.

You just have to know where to look. I recommend privately owned Web sites that people use to advertise their products. Clicking on the flashing ads promising free iPods at the completion of a short survey will only end in heartache.

And you know when you order from Wal-Mart that it will actually come in the mail. They’re pretty speedy about it too. My only complaint is the packaging. Wal-Mart insists on conspicuously packaging its mail so that the entire world can wager a reasonable guess as to its contents.

When the folks at the McSweeney Hall desk disappear into the back room to retrieve my bounty, I wait, drumming my nails on the counter. It always turns out that I worried for no reason though. They aren’t judging me as they hand over the massive box with the Purina dog chow label.

And you know what? It’s totally worth having to answer telemarketer’s calls in the middle of my favorite show. I don’t mind being woken from my mid-afternoon nap by the annoying sound of our landline phone. These are the sacrifices we (including my roommates) must make.

And kids, if you’re looking for the good samples, you have to branch out from the safety and security of Wal-Mart and offer your private mailing information to those other shady sources. Unwise? Perhaps. Rewarding? Yes.

If I had a free sample for every time I typed out my address, why, I’d have a whole drawer full of great stuff! Things like Grandma’s Natural Stress Less Herbs, Olay Definity cream, a Tempur-Pedic mattress sample and informative VHS and my very own Bible on CD.

But don’t be selfish; share the love and samples with others! Type in the addresses of your friends and family for those samples you’re too embarrassed to pick up at the front desk yourself. You’ll benefit just as much as they do when you see how happy you’ve made them.

Nothing parallels the joy you feel upon witnessing your sister’s excitement turn to confusion as she opens the Wal-Mart box containing her free sample of Depends. Thank you Wal-Mart, for making this moment possible!

In closing, I would like to impart some wisdom from my new e-book Bible: Send and ye shall receive.

Kristine Gill is a freshman pre-journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].