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How to Get Free Makeup Samples by Writing to Companies: An Experiment With Results

Updated on April 21, 2016
susi10 profile image

Susan is a free product geek and loves writing about her experiences with receiving free products. A tech nerd too.

This guide will teach you how to receive free products from cosmetics companies!
This guide will teach you how to receive free products from cosmetics companies! | Source

New Trends, New Ideas

A new trend is beginning to emerge in today's modern world, thanks to the Internet. This trend is beginning to show that people are beginning to write to companies for free products. Over the past few months, I have encountered "The 39 Dollar Experiment", and other websites and blogs that tell us of their results in writing to companies. Thousands of people are reporting great results by writing to companies, and learn that you don't have to participate in spammy surveys or websites to receive samples. You don't have to spend one penny on writing to them either.

As outrageous as this may seem, results tell us that it really does work. You simply write a letter or email to a company's customer service and they could possibly send you some samples. The chances of you receiving samples is relatively high, provided you know who to write to. I have written to many companies and some companies were pretty cross about me writing to them and refused rather bluntly but the rest sent free samples and full-sized products.

This kind of activity has always been kept a secret, only the lucky few knew that writing to companies for some free samples would get them results. I am here to expose the truths and how to best tackle the letter.

Based on the facts above, it is relatively easy to write to companies for free products. This guide will teach you how exactly to do so, how to write the email or letter, what companies to write to and the results to my experiment.

Why Do Companies Send Samples Anyway?

Most blogs and websites have reported that they have received the most free samples from cosmetics and makeup companies. Why is this?

  1. Manufacturing samples and even full-sized cosmetics is relatively cheap for the company so they can easily afford to send samples to those that ask.
  2. You may want to try out the latest product of theirs, but ask for a sample to 'try before you buy'. If you like the sample, chances are you will probably buy the product afterwards and maybe recommend it to family and friends. This will boost profits for the company and generate more sales.
  3. Cosmetic companies generally include samples of their latest products when you order online and purchase some items. These samples are stocked and ready to be shipped if someone writes to them asking to try out a couple of their products.

If you ever try writing to companies for free stuff, I would recommend writing to cosmetics/personal care companies because they are the most likely to send samples.

Potential Products You Can Receive

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source

What Kind Of Products Can I Receive?

"What's in it for me?", you may ask. "What can I receive?" Excellent question!

There is a huge variety of the kind of product samples you can receive depending on the company that you choose to write to. In the personal care area, you can write to so many companies wherever they lie on the spectrum.

Sometimes, companies may like your letter or email so much that they may even send you full-sized products, not just small 5ml pouches. It really depends, I have been sent full-sized products many times before. DermOrganic sent me "samples" when they were actually, 50 ml bottles.

Here are some of the products you can potentially receive by doing the method that will be taught in this guide.

Examples Of The Products You Can Receive

(click column header to sort results)
Category  
Examples of Companies  
What You Might Receive  
Skincare
Juara, REN, DermOrganic
Samples/full sized products of skincare products including moisturisers, cleansers or hand cream.
Makeup
Bare Minerals
Eye shadows, lipstick/lipgloss
Haircare
DermOrganic, Living Proof
Any haircare products including shampoo and conditioners, sample sized or full sized.

How To Begin?

The easiest and best way to receive free samples from companies is to write to them. You will find it surprisingly easy to do so because companies are very willing to send out samples. There is no need to fill out dodgy surveys or questionnaires, which usually amount to nothing and should be avoided. Here is a step by step overview to how to do so.

  1. Get your list of companies and addresses
  2. Write out your email/letter
  3. Send it and receive!

It's time to get researching company contact details. The best place to start is the internet, make sure to check out a company's website.
It's time to get researching company contact details. The best place to start is the internet, make sure to check out a company's website. | Source

1. Who To Write To

The first part of the writing and receiving process is to decide who to write to. There are literally hundreds of companies across the world that could potentially send you samples so don't feel limited. I have written to about 15 companies and I will be mentioning here who sent me free samples and who didn't, so you know that they may or may not send samples.

To get inspiration, take a look at some cosmetics or personal care products in your home. Or, take some ideas from this hub here. Some companies I recommend writing to are;

  • Carmex - Known to send samples in the U.S
  • Burts Bees - Can send samples in the U.S
  • DermOrganic - Send lots of samples
  • REN - Send samples
  • Juara - Can send samples sometimes

Once you have an idea of some of the companies you would like to write to, it is time to search for those address. The best way to do so is to enter their website, click on the "Contact Us" or "Help" or "About Us" links at the bottom or top of the page that usually contain all the details you need. Some companies may only have their email, others may have their address and some require you to fill out a form if you want to get in contact with customer service. Make sure to choose the correct email, some companies have different emails for different departments, eg: Tech Support.

This is a perfect example of where to find those pesky contact us links, which are usually quite small.
This is a perfect example of where to find those pesky contact us links, which are usually quite small. | Source

Would you like to write to a cosmetic company, right now?

See results

2. Write An Email/Letter

The essential part of the process is to write an excellent letter which will make the company think, "Wow!" and send you free samples. It sounds difficult and can be if you don't have any template. Here is a template to writing an email or letter to the company of your choice. I believe in giving compliments to the company and then, asking for some free samples. That method usually works a lot better than the complaint route (unless you have a legit complaint with proof of purchase).

  1. Dear Sir/Madam, - A polite and formal greeting works best.
  2. Introduction - Say that you are writing to tell them what a great range of products they have. Give many compliments about their company, from how their products always work wonders on your skin to how their products deliver each time. I bet you love using one of their products whether it is your favourite cleanser or eye shadow so now is your chance to tell them what you think. They really do value our (the consumers) opinions. Tell them how much you enjoy using their products.
  3. Personal Experience - Add a short experience that you had with their cosmetics. It could be how glossy your hair is after using their shampoo or how their skin cream cleared up the dry skin on your hand. This adds more reality and personality to the letter.
  4. Ask for samples - Do not say it bluntly, it does not work. Mention that your hairdresser recommended their shampoo range or that you want to "try before you buy" and see which work best on you.
  5. Skin Type - Some skincare companies require you to tell them your skin type/condition so they know which samples to send.
  6. Address - Tell them your address.
  7. Gratitude - Say thank you for taking the time to read your letter and that you would be so grateful if they send you samples. Say that you are looking forward to their response.
  8. Sign off with; "Yours faithfully", "Kind Regards" or "Best Wishes".


Phrases To Stick In

If you are feeling a little stuck on what to write, here are some phrases you can use in each of the sections. You can alter the phrases by filling in the blanks or changing the words according to the product you are talking about.

Introduction:

  • I am writing to say how much I adore your skincare/makeup products.
  • I believe that ... are the creators of the finest hair/skin products in the world.
  • I am such a fan of your company!
  • It is nice to know that your products will always deliver every time.
  • My personal favourite is the ... which is my saviour! Thanks to this amazing product, my skin glows so radiantly!
  • I like the way that your company combines natural botanicals with science to create a truly powerful yet organic and natural product.

Personal Experience:

  • My friends and family always say how soft my hair is when I use your shampoo!
  • My skin is usually dull and dry but after using your cleanser, it regains its youthful self!
  • I use ... every day. Without it, I could not survive!

Asking For Samples:

  • My hairdresser recently recommended that I should try out your shampoo range because it works most effectively with my hair type. I would love to try some of the hair products in your range, just to try before I buy. Thank you!
  • I would love to sample some of your other products.
  • I would like to try out some of your products just to see which work best on my skin/hair.


Energy and Dynamics

Make sure to add dynamics and energy to your letter, that is very important.
Make sure to add dynamics and energy to your letter, that is very important. | Source

Sample Email

Here is a sample email to a fictional skincare company. You can use this template for any personal care company you write to, but make sure to change the parts accordingly.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am a dedicated fan of your company because I love the way that you combine such pure techniques with science to create such wonderful skin care products! I absolutely adore your products because they always deliver what I need, whether it is to give my skin more vitality or to cleanse. Each product always delivers, I value your experience in creating such stunning products each and every time.

I was recently recommended by a friend to try out some of your bath products and some of your skincare products. I would love to try some products out before I buy and see which work best on me and which I love using.

Could you please send me some samples of some of your products in the skin care or bath products ranges? I would be so grateful if you could. I would be very happy with any samples at all. My address is ... Thank you! I am looking forward to trying them out!

Yours faithfully,

Your Name.

3. Send It Off

The final step to complete is to send your letter or email to the company of your choice. Make sure to send it to the correct address and department. Emails or letters that are sent to the wrong department in customer service are more likely to be discarded than sent to the relevant department.

I would recommend that you wait for a couple of days for a response via email up to two weeks for your samples to be posted in the mail. Sometimes, it can take up to two months for any response at all so be patient. I usually give up waiting after a week, but it really varies on the company.

What To Expect?

The majority would send free samples, since beauty and personal care have the most samples to give away and you are the most likely to be sent samples. A positive and well-written letter is the key to success. For an approximate number, I would say that 1 in 2 beauty cosmetics will send samples. Perfume companies usually always send sample of their perfumes. Try Lacoste, Boss and other perfumeries as they usually have plenty of samples to give away.

Results List

(click column header to sort results)
Company  
Response  
What They Sent  
DermOrganic
Yes!
Two sample boxes including their hair care range and skin care range worth $12. I also received a coupon too for 25% off my next purchase.
WeiEast
No
Nothing
REN
Yes!
 

An Experiment

Just to show and prove that this method actually works, I followed in the footsteps of the 39 Dollar Experiment and write to a few companies. I will showcase my results on what I received, complete with photos of all the samples.

DermOrganic: Talk about fantastic customer service! I wrote an email to them and after two hours, they replied immaediately and said they would send samples. They were also pretty happy about my compliments too. A few days later, I received samples from them including products from their hair care range and skin care range plus a coupon. Nice!

DermOrganic Samples

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These are the samples I received from DermOrganic. Talk about great customer service!
These are the samples I received from DermOrganic. Talk about great customer service!
These are the samples I received from DermOrganic. Talk about great customer service! | Source

More Samples From REN

These are the samples I received from Ren. Very nice!
These are the samples I received from Ren. Very nice! | Source

I hope that you enjoyed reading this guide and that it will encourage you to try it too. Just try for yourself and see what results you can reap.

I appreciate any comments or questions on this hub, thank you for reading!

© 2014 Susan W

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very handy hub Susi10, though I probably wouldn't be writing to cosmetic and personal care companies (well maybe Boss). It is good advice for writing for samples on any type of product though. Voted up.

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      John - Thank you so much for the great comments and the read, I appreciate you giving your thoughts on this hub. I recommend that you try writing to perfume companies that have a men's category (such as Boss, as you mentioned or Lacoste). Perfume companies are well known to send many samples of their perfumes so you should give it a try.

      Thanks again!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      This is a great way to try new products or to get travel sized products for brands you like. Way to go, Susan!

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Flourish - Thank you for the wonderful comments and for the read, I am glad that you liked reading this. :) I agree, it is definitely a good way to get travel sized products for any brands and to try out various products and see which you might buy again.

      I hope that many people will try this method, it isn't very popular but it should be in the future.

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 2 years ago from Northeast United States

      Voted useful and interesting :) I have sensitive skin and could use that in a letter to get that use before I buy, however if the products are expensive I would not ask for samples because it could tempt me to buy products that are not affordable. Love this hub, maybe will try it in the near future. Totally in when it comes to food products :) Have a wonderful week

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Carrie - Thank you so much for your kind and wonderful comments, I greatly appreciate them. Thank you for the votes too. :)

      Yes, you will get lots of samples if you state to the company that you have sensitive skin. I would recommend writing to DermOrganic and REN for samples, especially if you have sensitive skin. I just received more samples from REN today, I will be updating this hub today with pictures of what I received.

      Food companies are worth trying out, they love to send out samples and coupons so you could receive lots of products.

      Good luck on trying this out, if you have any questions, just ask me. Thanks again! Have a great day.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 2 years ago from Western NC

      This is really interesting! Actually, you gave me a great idea - I should write to some of the skincare companies to see if they have samples my husband could use: he has the driest skin, ever, and I'm always looking for that one "magical" product that will really alleviate his problem. Voted up and shared. :)

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 2 years ago from USA

      What a wonderful idea! I am going to bookmark this for future reference.

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Cyndi - Why thank you! I am very glad that you enjoyed reading this and that you have found use for it. You should definitely try to write to skincare companies for some samples, you would receive many! Companies always like to hear that you have a problem that you want to solve with their creams, your husband should get that "magical" product soon. Thanks for the share too!

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Nancy - Thank you so much for the great comments, I always appreciate them. I am glad that you are going to bookmark this too, hopefully you will find some good use for it. Best of luck on writing to some companies, I'm sure you'll be successful. :)

    • profile image

      Gigi 2 years ago

      WOW! What an amazing post. I used this and sent it to urban decay, clinique, estee lauder, e.l.f, and a bunch of other companies and got a free sample of urban decay's Naked 3 palette, got some free chubby sticks, free makeup brushes, and a bunch of other great products! This is a great way to expand my makeup collection and get some new skincare as well! Thanks so much for the article!

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Gigi- Thank you so much for the fantastic comments!

      I'm thrilled that you received so many free makeup products. Free chubby sticks? Free brushes? Wow, congrats to you! :-)

    • profile image

      Annoyed1 2 years ago

      You may want to caution people about "Cutting and Pasting". I work for a company that provides free samples to almost anybody who asks. But when I get two identical messages 2 hours apart, lifted directly from this website, I am much less inclined to send samples. Please be aware that asking politely is far more effective than trying to sell me a story.

      Email 1-

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      I am a dedicated fan of your company because I love the way that you combine such pure techniques with science to create such wonderful products! I absolutely adore your products. Each product always delivers, I value your experience in creating such stunning products each and every time.

      I was recently recommended by a friend to try out some of your other products. I would love to try some products out before I buy and see which work best on my dog.

      Could you please send me some samples of some of your products? I would be so grateful if you could. I would be very happy with any samples at all. My address is XXXXXXXXX Thank you! I am looking forward to trying them out!

      Yours faithfully,

      XXXXXX

      Email 2- 2 hrs later, different sender

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      I am a dedicated fan of your company because I love the way that you combine such pure techniques with science to create such wonderful dog care products!

      I absolutely adore your products because they always deliver what I need, whether it is to give my dogs more vitality or to cleanse. Each product always delivers, I value your experience in creating such stunning products each and every time.

      I was recently recommended by a friend to try out some of your dog care products. I would love to try some products out before I buy and see which work best on me and which I love using.

      Could you please send me some samples of some of your products in the dog care or bath products ranges? I would be so grateful if you could. I would be very happy with any samples at all. My address isXXXXX Thank you! I am looking forward to trying them out!

      Just a thought.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great tips once again, Susan W. I would give it a go sometime this spring. Thanks for sharing and voted up!

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Thanks for the fab comments and the vote up, Kristen! I'm really glad that you enjoyed reading this, after all - who doesn't love getting free makeup samples?

    • profile image

      nikyla 22 months ago

      what other companies gives out samples? also do they give out samples in england ? and what kind of things did you get from makeup comapanies?

      thank you so much

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 22 months ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Nikyla - Yeah, they give out samples in England (I'm pretty sure). I got samples such as 50ml samples, makeup testers and dispensable products. You should definitely give it a go!

    • profile image

      nikyla 22 months ago

      hi what makeup companys give out samples? mac? benefit? and do they email you back if they are giving you samples and do they ask for your address?

    • profile image

      Jalenchapin 21 months ago

      If I email them I hope u get free samples/full size makeup cosmetics

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 18 months ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Hi Krista! Thanks for trying it out, and for linking us to your blog. It looks great so far! Good luck and I'll be checking your blog regularly for more!

    • profile image

      Kayla14 14 months ago

      Hey Susi10

      Great article! Except I am still confused on what departments I should look at addressing my letters to. Can you give some tips on what (typical) departments I should address when writing a letter. In short how do I discover who the decision makers are when it comes to getting free samples?

      Thanks!

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 14 months ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Hi Kayla,

      Thanks for your fantastic comments. You should address the letters to the Customer Care department. In fact, any regular address to a company automatically leads to the Customer Care department anyways. They look after giving out samples/complaints, etc. So just address to their regular address and they will respond!

    • WhiteOak profile image

      Eva Thomas 14 months ago from Georgia

      Very good hub, thank you for writing it!

    • profile image

      Crystal 12 months ago

      Does this still work if you live in the UK?

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 12 months ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Crystal - Yep, it works in the UK too. Many UK companies give out free samples. Good luck!

    • profile image

      Darla 11 months ago

      I think Dermorganic doesn't send anymore. They might have been overwhelmed by requests

    • profile image

      Hannah 9 months ago

      It's very nice of you to share this information to the public. It's really a great help. Do you me asking if these companies delivers it worldwide?

    • profile image

      Salina 9 months ago

      This is great! I was wondering though as I am from the Caribbean, would I be likely to receive free samples?

    • profile image

      Mia Garza 9 months ago

      What email did you use to acces the bare minerals samples?

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 9 months ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Yes, you might be able to get samples worldwide. Thanks for asking! If you need more help, just ask!

    • profile image

      PnkLover 9 months ago

      Hi.. So i wanted to share my results with everyone. I wrote my own personal email to numerous companies, i followed your advice. Some of the companies I asked were BareMinerals, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, Juice Beauty, Too Faced, Tata Harper, Carols Daughter, Anne Marie Gianni, Ocean Mist, Murad, and a couple others. I mostly received a response email back and every single answer was no. I did not just come out and ask for samples either..i am a really good writer too so I know how to write. I spent allot of time on the letters. I just wanted to let everyone know that its most likely a waste of your time!

    • profile image

      hi 7 months ago

      do they deliver outside the home country like frOM UK TO tunisia

    • profile image

      Ashleigh 7 months ago

      I wrote to every company explaining I'm allergic to makeup and I wanted to purchase a full face of makeup,to let them know they could potentially have my business. (urban decay, este Lauder, Lancome,too faced,Mac,bennifit,smash box,Clinique,Chanel,bare minerals,Ysl,tarte,Kate Somerville,Anastasia Beverly Hills,and makeup forever!) and bare minerals is the only one sending me samples, I believe it's a serum.most of the companies replied saying they're not a storefront and can't send out samples,but if I purchase something I can get samples that way. I really feel like these high end makeup companies don't need my money!if they can send samples if I buy something why can't they send me some without a purchase?

    • profile image

      audi_tayy 7 months ago

      Hello, my aspersion in life is to become a makeup artist, can you please help me. I need help writing the message to the company's

    • profile image

      Taiga Rogue 6 months ago

      This was the most useful thing that i read so far until the end. Thanks for taking your time in writing this! Truly breathtaking:)

    • profile image

      Jessica Landa 6 months ago

      Thank You for Posting this Article!!! Their still nice people on this World!!! God Bless :)

    • profile image

      Isha 6 months ago

      Hey, this is exactly what I was looking for.. Crisp, sweet, sharp and up to the mark .

      Brilliant!!!

    • profile image

      nada 6 months ago

      that was really helpfull thank you alot but would they send it for another countries because i live in egypt and i really want to try to send them the letters but i dont know if they gonna accept

    • profile image

      AK Advisor 6 months ago

      The problem with this is that companies receiving this generic e-mail cut and paste from hundreds of customers view it immediately as "sample hunters" and not genuine. As soon as I see this I know someone is sending it to every company around.. Free samples? NO !

    • profile image

      jasminholmes 5 months ago

      yall have really great products and thx for everything very interesting :)

    • profile image

      Cinthia 4 months ago

      Thanks for taking the time to explained this to us....i have receive coupons from a stored i love and i was like wait free lol so. I wanted to see if i can get more coupons or products this time i didnt know it was possible i love products and writting so i guess its good for me since my budget its tight... so now that i see this article and you well explained im going to give it a try .....thank you !!!!

    • profile image

      veronica Fox 4 months ago

      It. Will. be. Nice. if. you. Can. teach. people. what. to. say. to. get. Free. Clothes. and. Shoes.

    • profile image

      Pizzagirl 4 months ago

      To Susi10

      I love your format. But what company I should send a letter to? I want to try Maybelline, if that's possible. Is it?

    • profile image

      Bethcsweet 2 months ago

      Hello!What makeup brands do you think would be able to send samples?

    • profile image

      Miranda Wilkins 2 months ago

      I think it is an Awesome Idea!!!

    • profile image

      Amanda 4 weeks ago

      Definitely going to give it a shot.

      Very excited to have ran across this thread across ND now on my way to email a few companies. Thank you so so much for your time in trying to help others across nods myself.

    • profile image

      Madison 4 weeks ago

      This sounds so fun! Thank you for sharing your experience and giving us a templet! I am going to try it out for sure !

    • profile image

      Adrienne McGinley 3 weeks ago

      I thought I thought I read that you wrote to about 15 companies??? Are these the only samples you received??? REN and DermOrganic??? I was hoping to see a stockpile of things that had been sent and a list of some more companies to write too!!! Anyway, great article and advice, I am in the beauty industry and this is a great way to sample products to add to my arsenal for clients!!! Thank you much for the info Susan!!! X

    • profile image

      Lena west 3 weeks ago

      I wood like it

    • profile image

      Jennifer C Mack 2 weeks ago

      I am needing information to write companies to get samples for my sorority yearly convention. I need at least 1,000 samples. I want companies that these women may not have uses before. I like trying new products also. A lot of women are "natural" and we need products that are great for our hear. Thanks for reading this message. Hope to hear from you soon.

      Yours truly,

      Jennifer C. Mack

    • susi10 profile image
      Author

      Susan W 2 weeks ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Hi Jennifer C. Mack,

      Thank you for your comment! You can use the phrases above and tell the company about how you want to promote their products to your convention. Also, check out www.helpareporter.com and you can send out a bulletin to lots of companies saying that you would like to promote their products at your convention in exchange for free samples. The main issue is to say the size of your convention, ie: how many people are attending and give reasons as to why they should send you samples.

      If you have any questions, let me know. :-)

      Thanks,

      Susan.

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