Jun 1, 2015

Fabulous Freebie Weekend: Free Stuff Tips and Tricks


I'm currently featuring free stuff. Everything that I'm giving away I've been given for free and the books we're reviewing are also freebies. The internet is a great place to get free stuff, but it's also a maze, something to easily get lost in. I'm going to tell you a bit more about the how, what and where. 

Searching

 If you're trying to find a good deal you can't type good deal as nothing useful will come up. If you search for two for the price of one chances are that you only see offers to get a free pizza. How do you navigate a search to get what you want? The key is to be as specific as possible, so if you're searching for a necklace specify what kind of necklace you are looking for. If you want to find a giveaway do the same thing. If there's an offer then you have a chance to find it. Something that also helps is to look at the pictures instead of the links when you search on google. It's a great way to find shops that carry exactly what you like. Be prepared to spend several hours behind your screen in that case as it's way too much fun to keep looking.

Budget shopping

If you are on a tight budget it's still possible to find some amazing items. The key is again to be specific. A lot of websites have the option to search on price. It might take you a bit of time, but there are always options, even for really small budgets. Sometimes when you buy something in an Etsy shop you'll get another item for free which is perfect for gift shopping. Another good tip for when you need to buy a lot of gifts at the same time is wholesale. Not every shop only delivers to resellers, some of them are welcoming orders from regular customers as well. It's a great way to buy your Christmas gifts. There are always deals somewhere and the key is to find them, invest some time looking for what you need and you will get there eventually.

Giveaways
 
There are a lot of online giveaways, especially via blogs it's possible to win all kinds of beautiful or practical items. Only, how do you find them? There are several ways. Of course you can do a regular search, but that might not lead you to the posts you want to see. If you follow blogs on Bloglovin it always shows you other blogs you might like. If you spend some time clicking you will find more and more blogs. If you follow them you get to see all the posts, which means also the giveaways.

There are websites where you can find great giveaways. A good example is Giveawaychest. The owner of this blog finds you great giveaways, so it saves you the search. You can become a member of a forum too, for example Loquax. Here you find many great giveaways and you can share them too.

A lot of shops, brands and authors are using giveaways as a way to get more followers, which means more potential customers. On Facebook you will find the most fantastic giveaways. Again you have to do some searching, but it isn't that difficult to find them. Like the pages you're interested in, that way you easily get to see when they're having giveaways. The same goes for Twitter. Often you have to follow someone and RT the giveaway post and you're in the draw. Nothing's easier than that. On Instagram it's the same, it's easy to enter and it doesn't take much time. It also means that these social media giveaways are popular, so there's only a small chance that you win, but you will win something eventually.

A lot of giveaways are working with a rafflecopter. It's a random draw system where you have to do something, like following or visiting a shop, or leaving a comment in exchange for points. The more points you gather the greater the chance to win a giveaway. I have some tips on how to enter them. One of them is don't cheat as a lot of blog owners check your entries and they won't be valid if you haven't done what you're supposed to do. It's taking you time and it won't get you a prize. 
The second thing you have to realize is that there are two ways to approach these things. You can either choose a small number of giveaways and come back to them every day to enter them. That way you increase your chances to win these particular giveaways. It takes time to do all the entries in the rafflecopter, but you have a greater chance to get a prize. If you do this regularly you will get prizes and lots of them. The other way is to do only the easy entry options and enter a lot of giveaways. Your chances to win a particular giveaway are smaller, but as you've entered so many there's a bigger chance to win one. If you enter just a few giveaways with only a few entries per giveaway your chances are really slim.

Entering giveaways takes time, but there is a reward and that is the prize. The more time you spend to enter them the bigger the reward. It is possible to win something every day if you play it smart. 

Free items in exchange for reviews

Reviewers often get free items and you don't always have to have a blog for it. If you blog you can request something and there's a possibility someone will send it to you. There are quite a few blogs that only do promotional posts. It's a way to get free items or to make a little money. It might not be the most fun or passionate way to blog, but it's something to get freebies with. 
People who love reading often leave reviews. I think most book bloggers have started because they love reading and not for the freebies. When I first started blogging I had no idea about the endless possibilities and I also didn't know that if you don't have a blog you can use them as well. On Goodreads you can enter to receive a free book in exchange for a review. You don't need a blog for this. On Netgalley you can request review books as well. The more followers you have the greater the chance you receive a book. That is one way to get books. If you're a reliable reviewer who leaves an Amazon and Goodreads review for every book you read you'll get more and more approvals. On Edelweiss you can do the same. If you leave a lot of reviews on Amazon there's a chance they will ask you to review for them as well, this goes for books as well as other items. There are many options to receive a free item, but remember to always return the kindness and write something nice or at least constructive and kind.

Free books

There are a lot of freebies on Amazon. If an author has written a series there's a chance they will give away their first book. It's a great way to find out if you will actually like it before you buy all the books. Some publishers have freebies as well, you have to pay attention and follow them on twitter to see what they're offering. On Netgalley it's possible to download books without having to request them. There are just a few, but it does happen and if you search you will find them.
Be nice and pay for the books that aren't actually free. There are so many books you can read for free that you don't really need pirate websites and illegal copies. There are websites that show you the great offers and freebies. Sign up for one or two and you'll receive enough free books to read. Some publishers have apps, if you download them you get one or more free books.
Sign up for an unlimited book service. If you read a lot this is a good way to read for a low price. I have a Scribd account and I love it. They don't have all the books I want to read, but the selection is big enough to save me a lot of money. Plus they always have an offer to try their service for free for a while when you sign up, so you can see for yourself if it's for you.

Free items or coupons in exchange for filling out questionnaires

Filling out questionnaires is also a way to win things or to receive freebies. It will take you some time to answer the questions, but if you do this regularly it can be rewarding. As I've never done this I can't recommend you any websites, but it's easy to find them when you're doing a search. It might not make you rich, but if you need money for a present you can't actually afford or for something nice for yourself this is a good way to make life a little bit more fun.

Tips and tricks

1. If you have a giveaway only account on twitter it might help to post some regular tweets. There are bloggers who don't want to give their prizes to giveaway chasers and this way you've got that covered. 

2. Find some online friends who love giveaways as much as you do. Exchanging the links to great giveaways is the way to find them. Tag your friends on Facebook and they will tag you for example. If someone's good at finding giveaways follow them on social media. Other giveaway lover's accounts are usually a great source of freebie information.

3. Join groups. There are a lot of groups, for example on Facebook, dedicated to giveaways. Join them to exchange links and to find as many great giveaways as possible. 

4. Be nice and share those giveaways. The owners of blogs are getting more giveaways when they have more readers. This means good prizes and that's exactly what you want. Some people are keeping them hidden to increase their chances to win, this is a way to do things and it will maybe increase your chances to win a certain prize, but in the long run you won't really benefit from it. Someone has paid for these giveaways and you have a chance to receive a beautiful prize, show this person some kindness on social media as it makes them happy in return. 
Sharing on Facebook is an easy thing to do. It will definitely increase your chances as it's so much easier to draw a winner from the shared posts. Not everyone will do this of course, but there is a chance it will be done this way without you even knowing it. Sharing will definitely increase your chances. 

5. Realize that the prizes come from somewhere and there's always someone who has worked for them. Some are being given to promote, but there are also a lot of giveaways that are there for you to enter because someone has been kind. Show some kindness in return as the hosts of the giveaways will love that. And some kind comments might even bring you unexpected prizes. Don't do it just to win something though, but because you are genuinely grateful.

6. Spending will make you end up with extra freebies. If you have money to spend and you spend it at the right places you will receive freebies. Pay attention to where you buy something and to what you buy. If you're looking for freebies or for getting more items than you've paid for you should spend some time looking and you regularly have to check your favorite shops to see if they have any offers. You'll be surprised over and over again.

7. Be bold. It's a hard thing to do, but if you ask for something you might get a freebie. Some shops are working that way. You never know what you can receive before you've asked. It's something you have to learn and not everyone feels comfortable doing this, but bargaining does work, also online.

8. Before you buy something do a search to see if there are any discount codes or coupons. There are plenty of sites that are displaying them and some of the codes actually work. Don't be disappointed if you can't find one, but there is a chance you will and the reward is a lower price of your items or an extra freebie with your order.

9. If you share your tips someone else will share theirs. At first it might seem like it's a better idea to keep information as private as possible, but the opposite is true. Share and you will receive. What you will receive is going to be a lot more than what you shared.

10. Sign up for anything you can. Open a separate account for newsletters if you don't want them in your inbox. Newsletters often contain the latest offers, giveaways or chances to receive a freebie. Keep an eye on them as it will definitely worth it. Publishers often have special offer newsletters which are really handy to find great deals.

Time

Getting freebies takes time. You don't have to spend money to receive them, but you do have to be prepared to invest time. It takes a while to fill out those rafflecopters or to write a lot of Facebook comments, but if you're willing to give up some of your time you will certainly end up with freebies. The more time you are prepared to spend the more freebies you will receive. Good luck and have fun! 

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips really helpful :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not very good at searching for offers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why you have me to help you with it :P. x

      Delete
  3. This is a complete and thorough guide, thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the wonderful compliment.

      Delete
  4. I don't get many freebies, I don't think it's usual over here, but I do get a lot of free kindle books :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can totally imagine it's even nicer to get them online then :).

      Delete
  5. You really know your stuff! I enter giveaways a lot, but it can be very time-consuming. I also don't want to be one of those people who just follows a blog because of one of their giveaways, so I end up reading a lot of blogs along with entering a lot of giveaways along with keeping up with my blog haha.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's very nice tips, Suze. Thank you so much for sharing. I think I'm gonna try them all. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everything you said about giveaways is so true. Whenever I win something I sent a thank you note when it arrives.
    Thanks again for the advise, you are a wise women!

    ReplyDelete

Be an e-tailPR blogger