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I am getting tons of sample requests from the people that I am trying to sell to.

Mercy J.Mercy J. subscriber Posts: 1 Member
I am getting tons of sample requests from the people that I am trying to sell to. However, I don't offer a samples. Just because my product is a USD 12.97 per 300ml and I don't have enough budget to create a sachet samples type. If I give samples for free, I am loosing a lot of money. So do you guys charge samples or give it for free? please help.


  • Ryan O'BlenessRyan O'Bleness administrator Posts: 1,137 Site Admin
    edited October 2017
    While giving samples away may cause you to lose money in the short term, the other way to look at it is that you're spending (likely) less money on the promotion of the product. If the consumers try it and like it, not only will they buy it, but they may recommend it to friends and spread the news via social media or word of mouth. That's free promotion. Of course, not everyone who tries it for free will end up buying it it talking about it, so understand the risk. 

    I would advise against charging for samples. Either don't give them out at all, increase the price of the product to make up for it or give it away for free and hope that by giving a small sample away, that will translate into more customers later You can kind of look at it as a return on your investment. 

    You mention milliliters and sachet samples. I take it the product is either perfume, lotion or shampoo/conditioner? 
    Ryan O'Bleness
    Community Manager
    StartupNation, LLC
  • MorethanMorethan subscriber Posts: 2 Member
    It depends on who those clients are, how well established you are, if you need the product in people's hands - so a few variables, lol.

    I'm currently selling cosmetics myself, and I'm offering it to friends and family at a heavily discounted, 'promotional' price, and they seem very happy with the arrangement. I've been able to build up some positive buzz within my circles, so my friends are selling other friends on the product.

    However, if I weren't selling to people who already know and trust me, I'd probably need to give them free samples. You want to remove as many hurdles to your customer as possible. Maybe, you might need to start marketing to wholesalers, so that your initial investment in free samples, could bring you great returns?
  • lantranhanalantranhana subscriber Posts: 1 Member
    edited October 2017
    How long before I stop receiving unsolicited marketing calls or faxes?
  • Tuah BaoTuah Bao subscriber Posts: 176 Silver Level Member
    Hi Mercy J,
    I would (personally) interpret "sample" as free item (to try before buying). Thus, some people may get confused when they are asked to pay for sample.

    You may try the following:
    1) Pack your own sample. For example: divide 300ml into 6 bottles or 50ml each to hand out. To keep your cost to minimal.

    2)  Re-allocate your marketing budget. You may want to stop other campaigns temporarily, if you have very limited funds. Giving out sample is actually an important marketing strategy. If you find giving out sample is a more effective way to build customer base. You may want to review your marketing strategy again.

    3) Change target market. Giving sample to retailers instead of end consumers. Retailers may be a larger customer (in the short run, at least).
    Tuah Bao
    100+ done for you courses to immediately start running your own profitable e-learning business

  • DarraghGeoDarraghGeo subscriber Posts: 1 Member
    Is offering samples something your competitors do? Is it a normal part of the buying process for your customers?

    If it's something your competitors do then you put yourself at risk by not offering samples. A sample request is a question of trust. Your prospects are asking if they can trust the quality of your product and service. If you can't prove that trust before asking for payment but your competitors can you'll typically be last choice for those who get samples from competitors.

    If you're speaking directly to customers (i.e. face to face or phone, not email or text) you have the opportunity to handle it as an objection, in which you understand what they're looking for and assure them with words that you can deliver (i.e. build the trust not with a sample but by explaining your experience, manufacturing process, etc.)

    If you're running marketing campaigns, are you building trust in those campaigns? Maybe look at including some real world "success" stories or customer feedback, links to reviews, etc.

    If your business is large enough you could also discuss that as a way to say "hey - we're reliable and X amount of customers trust us."

    How competitive is your market?

    If you're in a highly competitive market then your marketing needs to be able to win trust fast and get your name out there. Free samples can be a big opportunity, but there's often little immediate or visible ROI.

    Are your products sold individually or in bulk? Or a combination of both?

    If you sell in bulk then samples are generally required for anyone to make a large order. However, if you're only selling them individually your price is (presumably) reasonable and you should look back towards why the trust is not there.

    Do you generate most of your revenue from new customers or from repeat business?

    If you generate most of your revenue from new customers then offering samples doesn't sound like it'll ever be profitable. But if you understand what your average customer value is (i.e. how many purchases will a customer make over the course of a year? And how much revenue does that get you?) you may be able to justify offering samples.

    If you understand the cost of samples and what your average customer value would need to be (even if it's not there now) you can also look at strategies to increase that value to justify samples to increase new customers in future.

    Things to look at would be 
    • How customer-friendly is your ordering or deliver process? Can you streamline it to increase orders? (E.g. if you know a 30ml bottle will last 6 weeks on average you could offer to auto-ship a bottle every 6 weeks)
    • Can you increase average order size? E.g.Could you package different products together? Or offer the same product in different sizes?
    • Can you increase average order frequency? E.g. Can you run different seasonal promotions with urgency included?

    My advice at this stage would be to do the following:
    1. Understand why customers are asking for samples. Is there a common concern? Can you address that concern through your marketing / sales strategy?
    2. Understand how your competitors operate, and understand why they operate that way.
    3. Evaluate your average customer value, and consider different strategies to increase it, and understand what that number needs to be before you can offer samples
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