In my first official post about coupons (see post Let’s Get This Party Started… ), I discussed how you can join up with companies that will allow you to receive samples to try and coupons for yourself and to pass onto others. The main one that I use is Vocalpoint (from Proctor & Gamble).
Vocalpoint is free and requires very little obligation (their Consumer Guidelines even state this). Probably at least once a month or every two months, I receive a sample mailing filled with a trial size of cereal or a snack bar or shampoo or a drink mix for me to try. They are always packaged really sharp, and often included is one really good coupon (sometimes for a free full-size item) for me as the panel member and numerous additional coupons for me to hand out to family and friends. All they are looking for is for you to try out the products, give your opinion via a survey, message board or online forum, and share your experience with others, which is really easy using the coupons they give you.
I also receive informational emails from Vocalpoint on a regular basis with good tips and product information. With Vocalpoint, basically the name of the game is, “Try and Tell.” If you are hoping to get into surveys, focus groups, product trials, and forums, this is a really easy way to get started and ease you into it with very little obligation (they even say that you are not obligated to tell others about the products you receive, but they hope that you like them enough that you can’t help but do so). I have been a member since 12/29/2005.
Another group that I have been a part of since 12/01/2004 is Start Sampling.
This is a group similar to Vocalpoint except that you can earn points (known as ‘Tryer Miles’) and it requires a little more work and obligation than the previous. I am trying to remember why I ended up liking Vocalpoint better than Start Sampling, and I think it is because Start Sampling requires you to request the samples you want versus getting them automatically as you do with Vocalpoint. Also, I do not think the prizes available when you redeem the points were very good and often any decent ones were immediately unavailable due to demand. Either way, it is worth checking out. To find out more about Start Sampling, please click on any of the linked Start Sampling words or graphics in this post or go to to their Registration Sign Up Page.
I hope that you will sign up for these resources, try them out, and let me know how it goes. And in case you were asking, Yes, both of these opportunities are completely free! Happy Sampling!