Get a free Laptop! Get a free MacBook! Get a free IPhone! Get a free IPad! Get a free X Box 360! Get a free Playstation 3! Get a free Wii! Get a free Nintendo 3ds!
You see these websites pop up all the time, screaming a deal that’s literally too good to be true. Just enter in some information and that free MacBook is yours!
A scam. It has to be.
Only it’s not a scam. It’s totally legit. Millions of people do it and millions of people get their stuff.
But there is a hitch.
These companies basically are paid to advertise certain offers, trials or deals. And the more people they get to sign up for these deals, the more money they earn. So places like Netflix, Blockbuster, and freecreditreport.com will pay these websites to offer trials of their services. In exchange, these websites are able to give people these goods or even the cash equivalent if you don’t want the item to those people good enough to sign up for these deals.
That’s the easy part.
The hard part, and the part that really makes these people money is referrals. In other words, if you want that free Xbox 360, all you have to do is sign up for the required number of deals. And then get a few of your buddies to do the same under your referral number. After you’ve done that, your get your goodie in the mail.
This is where people give up. It’s virtually impossible for people to convince their loved ones to do this, because their loved ones think these are scams. Still, it can be done. You can get referrals. But we’ll get to that later.
First let us discuss the basics on how to get your freebies.
First: Find a freebie site that might have some swag you would like to have. There are plenty of sites out there that offer freebies.
You have to sign up for the site.
This seems obvious, but there it is. The rub is you have to be honest with the info you give. Valid phone number, valid email address, valid address. Be upfront with them, or you’ll get your account canceled for fraud. Once you sign up for your account, you’ll get a referral link that you can give all your buddies or family members to sign up under.
Next, it’s time to do an offer or two. Depending on the site you pick and the prize you pick, you may have to do one or several offers. Some of these offers are signing up for things, some are discounted trials of services, and some are free. You need to complete the required number of offers to go green on the site. Going green simply means that you have met your obligations to get a credit (or more credits) that the site requires you to have to get your gift.
When completing the offers, I would be very careful about reading the terms of the offers. Some require you to keep the trial membership for x amount of days before you can cancel. If you don’t meet their requirements, you will not get credit or credit will be revoked and your green will go away. So be very careful about meeting the requirements. The requirements are spelled out very clearly for you when you click (or hover your mouse over) an offer.
Be organized. If you are signing up for a free trial or something you intend on cancelling before you have to pay (or pay more), I suggest you keep a spreadsheet or even a good old fashioned notebook handy to write down what offer you completed, the day you completed it and the requirements or terms of conditions. If you have a 7 day trial for a credit report site and you have to keep it for 5 days, write that down in the book. If you forget, your credit card can and will be charged extra money when the trial expires.
I myself would try to do offers that you have a genuine interest in. I love movies. I signed up for a Blockbuster online trial that I will actually use. I love to read, I’ve signed up for book clubs and gotten some very cool books very cheap. If it’s something you would pay money for anyway, all the better.
In fact, a way to offset the cost of a book club membership is to pick a couple of books you really like and grab another two or three new books from hot authors and sell them on eBay. I did this and ended up getting twice what I paid for the initial membership plus shipping.
When going to complete the offers, same rules apply for signing up for a freebie site. Be honest. Give true information, or once again, the credit can be revoked. They do look at these types of things as fraud if you put in a bum street address or phone number. To them that means you are not interested in the trial. You need to at least act like you’re showing a legitimate interest. Your credit card number will be as safe as entering it in any online merchant account. The offers are generally presented by truly legit and well known companies that aren’t in it to steal your identity.
When you go to complete an offer, it is recommended that you use Firefox as your browser. Turn your pop up blocker off and turn your cookies on. Before you click on an offer, clear your cache, history and cookies to make sure the crediting goes through. It is highly suggested that you repeat this procedure between each offer you complete. When you are done with an offer, let the landing page (the “congratulations, you are signed up!” page) sit for a few minutes before closing it out to ensure the credit goes through to the freebie site. Trust me, there’s nothing more frustrating than completing an offer and not getting credit because you didn’t take a few precautions to protect yourself.
Just be careful and be honest when completing your offers and you should go green with little problem.
Going green is the easy part.
Getting others to go green for you under your referral link is the challenge.
As I said, getting referrals is what you really need to concentrate on to get your new Nintendo Wii (or Xbox, or Playstation 3). How does one go about getting them?
*Ask friends and family. The trick is, it can’t be someone in your household. Using the same computer or phone number or street address is forbidden. This is considered fraud in the freebie world. Find a cousin or an aunt or uncle or good buddy who would be willing to go under your referral link (make sure they sign up as soon as they go through your link if you want it to count) and do an offer or two for you. Offer to comp ‘em that 4.99 it takes to sign up for a month of Blockbuster. That’s small potatoes when you consider the IPad you want goes for hundreds of dollars.
*Put your referral link in your email or forum signature. Don’t spam it, just have it there so when people at a web forum you frequent see your signature, they may click on it and be interested in what the freebie site is all about.
*Write a Facebook note or MySpace blog about it. Explain what it is you’re doing and ask whoever’s reading to do you a solid and sign up under your link.
*Make a blog post. If you have a blog, write a post about your freebie and ask for referrals that way.
*I’ve heard of people making flyers and passing them out with their referral link on it.
*Trade something for them. If you have a couple of DVDs you don’t watch anymore, post them on craigslist and don’t sell them for money, sell them for a referral or two.
*Join a freebie forum. There are a few forums out there full of folks who do this as a part time living. You can find people to trade referrals with and some will actually pay you to do offers under their referral link for them.
That’s just a few suggestions. Get creative and get referrals!