Thursday, March 9, 2006

The $39 Free Sample Experiment

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

Via digg comes news of a noble experiment conducted by ordinary citizen Tom Locke. His goal was simple: send 100 letters to various companies to obtain free samples of products. The total cost of his experiment was just $39 in stamps (plus a few bucks for envelopes) and he has already received over $75 worth of stuff.

It’s interesting to see some of the samples that companies are willing to part with to an average person who writes in requesting one for no real reason. White Castle, for example, sent Tom a booklet of the best kind of coupons–ones for tons of free burgers with no purchase requirement. It’s also equally interesting to see which companies flat out refuse such a request. Office Max gave Tom a big fat “no” for his 39-cent efforts. Of course, his letter to Office Max was a little… yeah…

Dear Sir or Madam:
I recently started my own small business, and I was wondering if you would be so kind as to provide me with free samples of office supplies that I may need to help me get started. Rubber bands, paper clips, pens, staplers, staples. Anything that you think would help a budding entrepreneur to make it through the busy days! Thank you in advance,
Tom Locke, business enthusiast

Tom admits he had more fun with certain letters than others, and his website includes the full text of each letter sent. Anyone else out there willing to try an experiment like this? Tom initially limited his venture to businesses whose address he could find on products already in his home, so there are many companies he has yet to try. I might send out 100 letters of my own, but every single one of them would be going to Dunkin Donuts which sent Tom five bucks in gift certificates!

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.