Free Gifts With Purchase: How To Get Your Money’s Worth

It’s that time of year when it seems like every cosmetic line is promising you something for free. And of course they’re called free gifts, so we desperately want them. But before you reach for that credit card, here are a few tips to help you get the most for your money.

Be Sure it’s Worth the Purchase

There’s always a minimum purchase price – and it’s almost certainly more than you were planning to spend – so be sure that the free gift is worth it. If you’re getting sample sizes of products you already use or, better yet, products you’ve been meaning to try, then it’s a good deal. You’re getting cosmetics you would have eventually bought anyway – for free. And if you find that you don’t love that new shade you’ve been eyeing after all or your skin doesn’t respond well to that new miracle cream, your pocketbook is no worse for wear.

However, if all you’re walking away with another free cosmetics case, take a moment to consider whether or not you need it (or at least whether or not you really want it). Depending on what the complimentary item is, you might also want to take a look at how it’s made (they’re giving it away for free, remember). More than one cosmetic company has endured some bad press for giving away free gifts that broke or fell apart quickly and easily. Also, be conscious of the product that earns you the freebies but costs you money. Many companies offer a refillable compact that seems like a good buy until they change the shape of the insert leaving you with nothing but a drawer full of useless shades of free lipstick and an empty compact.

Maximize your Exposure to the Freebies

Chances are that more than one store within a reasonable driving distance of your home or office carries your favorite line. In fact, there are probably five or more cosmetic counters in your area that carry the products you use. Find these places, get on their mailing lists and sign up for their email alerts. With promotions going on frequently – especially during the holiday season – this strategy can really pay off. With just a little research on your part, you can maximize your chance of hitting a giveaway day from your favorite line.

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If you’re especially savvy and you time it right, you might just be able to ride the wave of giveaways. For example, buy a cleanser, and get samples of mascara, blush, and eyeshadow (and maybe that nifty makeup bag too). It’s possible – probable even – that by the time those samples run out, another store in your area (or even the same store) will be giving away another round of mascara, eyeshadow, and blush, with the purchase of a different product or simply with another minimum purchase. Be aware, this method of stocking your makeup case is for the brave. You never know which free shade you’ll be wearing next.

Free stuff is fun, no doubt about it. So shop smart and enjoy!