If you’ve got a sustainable mindset, you won’t be surprised as to why I personally hate gifts with purchase. And I’m sure that you’re likely to feel the same way. So where did this wasteful practice begin…and why?
The History of Free Samples
Estee Lauder was the first company to begin offering gifts with purchase just after World War II. To entice consumers to visit their local department store and use their expendable cash at a time when money was scarce. A free sample will make you feel like you are receiving more bang for your buck. Without detracting from the perceived value like a discount might.
Women in particular are prone to the marketing tactic of gifts with purchase, which is why the beauty industry is rife with them. Many large brands such as a Sephora and FabFitFun consistently offer gifts to their loyal customers. Although this is a year-round occurrence, it seems to pick up momentum around the fourth quarter of the year: holiday season.
Free samples are an easy way for consumers to justify spending their money－after all, it is a better deal if you’re getting it free!
But are free samples truly better?
Not only do gifts with purchase cause excessive clutter in your home. They’re wasteful in general; from natural resources to superfluous packaging. There’s two ways that companies are going about it: trying to get rid of excess stock or offering a sample size of their “best-seller” they’ll hope you fall in love with, and subsequently purchase in the future.
Companies are preying on your ability to use self-discipline!
Avoiding gifts with purchase is exceptionally easy.
You need to be aware of the marketing tactics. Lucky for you, I’ve just provided a brief overview. But if you’re curious, Racked has an in-depth article on the history of freebies.
Because you’re here, I know that you have an interest in living a more sustainable lifestyle and a passion for protecting our resources. I have a post outlining 6 questions to ask yourself to become a conscious consumer. Which will be a great way for you to begin analyzing your purchases.
Companies are notorious for offering freebies, but you can opt out.
Take one of my absolute favourite websites: Well.ca. If you spend a certain dollar amount, they offer you sample sizes of products ranging from beauty to food. You don’t have to take advantage of these offerings. Especially if the products don’t interest you to begin with.
I encourage you to scrutinize every free item you are being offered and figure out if it is something you truly need to take advantage of. You’re here to be a conscious consumer and I believe in you. Go forth and reject the free samples you don’t need!