Thursday, June 4, 2015

PINCHme Product Sampling Program - Can you actually get something for nothing?

Well....yes and no.  PINCHme is a product sampling program that sends samples based on a profile you complete when signing up. PINCHme was started in Australia a little over two years ago.  The concept took hold and they expanded the program to the U.S.  The idea is to provide an interactive platform that connects brands with consumers.  Free samples are provided to members, who must then provide feedback on those samples before being eligible for the next round.  

The nice thing is that no money changes hands.  You don't have to provide a credit card to sign up. What IS required is a bit of your time and jumping through a bunch of hoops, some of which don't seem to make a lot of sense. PINCHme samples are typically made available on Tuesdays.  If you're signed up, you'll receive an e-mail letting you know when to pounce. These samples go VERY quickly; you must act immediately or everything will be gone.

Here's what a PINCHme box looks like:

Since there isn't a lot in each box, I combined the contents of two recent boxes for this review to give an idea about the variety you can expect to get.  Keep in mind that these samples are based on preferences I indicated and may vary considerably from what you might receive.

The BEST item I've ever received in a PINCHme box is this 3 oz. seasoned and grated parmesan cheese from Kraft.  This is truly something I'll use and routinely do purchase in the full size.

Here's a sample of Pour 'n Stir Sweet Tea from Luzianne...just pour this pouch in a pitcher, add water and it makes a half gallon of tea.  Great concept but since I don't like sweetened tea, I'll be gifting this.

This two part pack contains a Superfruit Complex 10-in-1 Renewal System Shampoo from Shea Moisture on one side and the corresponding Hair Masque on the other side.  This is the type of sample I was hoping to receive!

I've noticed that there are often Gold Bond samples available on the site.  I've received two so far, "Strength & Resilience" cream with proteins and lipids and "Healing" which contains aloe.  At .75 oz. each, these are decently sized samples.

My kitty Lili was thrilled to receive this two-portion serving of "Soft Loaf" from Perfect Portions. These are salmon and chicken, which she loves.  They also included a Buy One, Get One Free coupon.

There is a pretty good sized sample (12 LiquiCaps) of ZzzQuil, which is a night-time sleep aid. I probably got this because at some point, I indicated in my profile that I have occasional problems with insomnia. I haven't tried this product so it was a good fit for my sample box.

Both of the boxes included in this review contained two individual serve samples of Pure Via sweetener plus a card with a $1.00 coupon and a delicious-looking recipe for a Raspberry Smoothie.

I hate to even show this card because it requires you to spend a minimum of $160 at to take advantage of this $100 voucher.  I guess that's o.k. if you drink a lot of wine but in general, I don't appreciate discount cards that require a big purchase.  Also, this particular card has showed up in just about every subscription box...I'm sick of seeing them.

This $3.00 discount on a Method laundry product is worthwhile, in my opinion.  On the back, they have three lift up tabs that let you smell each of their laundry detergent scents--spring garden, ginger mango, fresh clover and beach sage.  

That's the combined total of what I received in two PINCHme boxes.  It isn't a lot but it also cost me nothing in terms of dollars.  In order to continue receiving samples, you must participate in their product review program.  You are given a considerable amount of time (several months, at least) to complete reviews on samples you have received.  I would say the review obligation has amounted to about 5 to 10 minutes of my time per box.  (If you're a slow typist, it could to take quite a bit longer!)  

Just so we're're not going to get full size products through PINCHme. You're also not going to get a box crammed full of samples every week.  If you are patient and persistent with the review process, you will probably receive a box with 3 or 4 worthwhile samples a couple of times per month...more frequently, if you really stay on top of it.  

So, does PINCHme give you something for nothing?  That depends on how you value your time.  If you blow through the review process in just a few minutes per box, this really does amount to a fun freebie.  But, if you get distracted on the site (easy to do) and lost in various other promotions, you'll definitely be paying a price.

Thanks for reading,


P.S.  I can't emphasize enough how important it is to respond IMMEDIATELY when you get the PINCHme e-mail notice of available samples. Your luck will be better if you stalk their Facebook page.  I don't care about it enough to do that myself but if you want this effort to pay off, you have to be vigilant.

Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone Star Shopper. Post does not contain referral or affiliate links.

No comments: