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Readers: PINCHme sent me this package of samples to review. I do not guarantee product reviews to many companies. In all honesty, I get some weird, sketchy, sticky requests and PINCHme was certainly not one of them. And I’ve posted about them without any sample boxes to review before, so I figured it was a good fit to review. Read on to learn how PINCHme works, what was in the box, can you trust them and more. Last updated: 8/11/2021.
PINCHme is tempting folks with something everyone loves on this website – free samples. With over 10 million samples distributed to over 2.3 million happy PINCHers nationwide, it looks like PINCHme is staying true to giving away free samples. However, since 2020 and beyond, PINCHme has been adding numerous surveys that sell your information if you are a new or existing user. It’s becoming a worse and worse experience and it seems less and less folks are getting any samples, but many still are who are committed to taking surveys and jumping through the extra hoops required. Still worth a shot but it is getting sketchier and I’d suggest Sampler.io or Home Tester Club instead if I had to pick one in 2021.
Let’s explore how PINCHme works their magic. Read on to see how this free sample service works.
What is PINCHme?
PINCHme is a monthly subscription site that doesn’t cost a cent and let’s you try products from leading brands, absolutely free. Members of this subscription site, called PINCHers, have gotten trial sizes of products like Katy Perry perfume, Gevalia coffee or Olay face cream.
Every month, an amazing amount of free samples are released on “Sample Tuesday” for members to claim from big brands like Kraft, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble. With samples ranging from personal care, home & family, food & drink, pets and more everyone gets a free sample they will love each month. This sounds too good to be true, so there must be a catch right? Not really, there are a few steps you do need to take to start getting free samples however. Read on to see how it works.
How does PINCHme Work?
The first step is signing up, then you must complete a member profile to be eligible to receive free samples. At least once a month, PINCHers get to claim free samples that they are matched with.
PINCHme doesn’t want to send out samples of diaper cream to a pet lover, so having a complete profile is vital for you and the brands sending the free samples. If have children, you may qualify for baby samples like diaper cream, baby shampoo and so on depending on which samples are being offered each month. Got pets? You may qualify for dog or cat food. So how hard is the sign up process? Here is a visual example below.
PINCHme Sign Up Process
Once you sign up and confirm your email address, you’ll see the steps to complete your profile. There were 4 surveys at the time of this writing that you need to complete to finish your profile. Each survey was about 10 questions each, nothing too painful at all.
Once you have a complete profile, PINCHme let’s you know if you qualify for any products to fill your free sample box at least once per month. Sometimes you may not qualify for any products at all or they run out of the samples quickly. Once you get your first sample box, you need to give feedback and review the products so you can remain eligible for future samples. For the sake of honesty and managing your expectations, the PINCHme box pictured throughout this review is the “Blogger Box” which is larger than a normal PINCHme box. The box was given to myself to show everyone the samples you could receive from PINCHme. So what was in the actual box? Read on to find out.
Lately from 2018-2019, they have had more samples in between the Sample Tuesday event as well. This is a nice addition.
What’s in the PINCHme box?
In my box I got the following 10 samples, your free sample mileage may vary:
- Truvia Natural Sweetener, 2 packets.
- Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash, 1 trial size.
- Nexcare Waterproof Bandages, 1 bandage.
- Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid Completely Clean, 1 trial size.
- Dentek Comfort Clean Floss Picks, 2 picks.
- Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion, 1 trial size.
- Act Advanced Care Plaque Guard Mouthwash, 1 trial size.
- Scotch-Brite Extreme Scrub Sponge, 1 sponge.
- Kashi GoLean Peanut Hemp Crunch Plant Powered Bar, 1 full size bar.
- SinfulColors SinfulShine 2-Step Manicure, 1 full size set.
I really needed the sponge and we had no food in the fridge after the large snow storm so this was like a survival sample kit. Luckly, there was no need to try the bandages. I floss daily and so does my girlfriend so we used those right away (and the mouthwash). For the rest of the samples, I didn’t get a chance to sample the rest as my girlfriend stole the entire box right after I took photos of it.
Can you trust PINCHme to be around for longer than your first sample box?
PINCHMe makes money by listening to you! In business terms, that is consumer research, reviews & surveys. I estimate they make maybe $1 to $10 or more per survey would be my rough estimate based on affiliate offer pricing. With expensive shipping for the boxes and free products all it takes is for one or two surveys to break even, so that looks like a healthy business model. Longeveity and trust points plus one. They raised $10 million dollars to get started from Australian Capital Equity which is an ample start for most companies. They are also still hiring employees and growing sample box subscribers from their start in 2012. I predict they will be around for the long term as there is almost demand to get new product samples in the hands of consumers like us and companies don’t have a way to get a post-sample survey very easily. But it’ll take an economic downturn and consumer-product companies to tighten their belts to see if they can truly stick around for decades.
They don’t deliver to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Canada or internationally sadly.
So far they’ve discontinued reward points, and now only offer samples seem to be just once per month instead of every other Tuesday. So, that “Sample Tuesday” can seem far away if you just missed it with little else to do on the website besides polish up your profile more. So if you are a hardcore reward point earning freebie hunter, the lack of things to do in between “Sample Tuesday” may frustrate you.
A recent downfall brought to my attention by multiple readers is the failures of shipping samples to those notified that they were receiving samples. A family member of mine who signed up waited about 3 months to get a sample box from the date they were assigned a box to give an example. My understanding from these reader complaints is that customer support also goes silent frequently about this issue.
Another complaint but also positive for some is the new survey/quiz points system where you can earn samples for taking surveys. Some hate it and some love it. If you aren’t as dedicated at taking surveys and daily login bonuses and such, you likely will not like this feature and you will miss out on more samples. On the other hand, if you are a hardcore daily freebie hunter, this is a good feature for you. This one is a mixed bag so not officially a downfall in my book.
Another downfall is the reviewing “loop” – you must keep reviewing to keep getting samples for the most part. No reviews, no samples. Like other review sites, once you are seen as a reliable reviewer, you’ll get more samples. It can be hard to keep up with the reviews if you are a busy person. Thanks Dana for mentioning this point!
The biggest downfall I found from other users was for all the information they gave to PINCHme, sometimes they don’t get the free samples or that month they don’t quality for free samples. That being said, they have well over 2 million members so it seems reasonable to limit samples. As their chairmen Jeremy Reid said before “Brands want to cut out the waste so they’re only offering their products to customers who are interested in them, and fit within their target market.” With that in mind, it seems these downfalls are a necessary evil.
If you can keep your expectations within reason for PINCHme and see PINCHme for what it is, I think you’ll see a shiny new free sample box a number of times throughout the year, maybe just not every month.
Ready to give PINCHme a shot? The next “Sample Tuesday” is around the corner. Sign up with PINCHme here.
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