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Taking advantage of free offers online

By Jennifer Warnick - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Who doesn't like getting something for free? The internet makes sampling products before you buy them quite easy. We wanted to see how much loot we could rake in with no purchase necessary.

NBC12 gave video journalist Jennifer Warnick the task of finding available freebies. She soon discovered many web sites that do nothing but compile free offers from cyberspace. After about a month of plugging in information, this is the result.

We got items ranging from food to personal care, DVDs, magazines, detergent, pet food, even diapers. We didn't pay a cent for anything and it was shipped right to our door.

"I've got free dip, free cheese, bag of Sun Chips, Dr. Scholl's insoles," said Tiffany Cutts of Young Frugal in Virginia.

Cutts understands the value of a dollar. She created the coupon blog youngandfrugalinvirginia.blogspot.com  last November to pass along the freebies to you. She finds companies offering free merchandise and links them to her site.

"Very simple, just fill out your name address, email and they'll either send you a coupon, no gimmicks, no you have to pay this, do several things to get the item," she said.

There are some tricks to getting in on the deals. Some companies only give away a certain number of products, so you have to act quickly.

"I noticed that the beginning of the week is when they post a lot of their deals, sometimes around the beginning of the month," she said.

But avoid offers that seem to good to be true. Most sites only asking for an email address will require participation or make you fill out pages of surveys.

"Definitely try to avoid the ones where you have keep clicking on stuff, do a bunch of surveys, things that just seem real sketchy," Cutts said.

And always read the fine print. When offered a free trial, you can inadvertently sign up for more than you bargained. So why do these companies give it all away?

"Basically just to promote their items,without having to spend a lot on advertising," she said.

Patience is required when you get something for nothing.

"It usually takes about 3-4 weeks, sometimes there's such a high demand for it it'll take longer about a month or two," she said.

But in a months time, this is what we accumulated and tiffany actually enjoys her trip to get the mail.

"It's very exciting, I hate getting the bills so it's nice to go the mailbox and see a sample rather than a bill," Cutts said.

Tiffany recommends setting up a different email account so you don't get flooded with spam.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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