Beware the “freebie”

these freebies aren’t necessarily free

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We all love things for free. We search for deals and steals on- line for free samples, free shipping, etc. What happens when being free isn’t so great? These are words we must beware when shopping for our best freebies.

1. When Freebies cause riots: When getting things for free or almost free come at the expense of others safety and health, it’s just not worth it. “Black Friday” sales, the sales the day after Thanksgiving this past year cost one Wal-Mart Greeter his life. When the doors were opened, the crowd trampled the poor greeter, stepping over his dead body and while the emergency personnel worked on him, the crowd continued to push the personnel. Another example is Oprah’s generous gift of free grilled chicken from KFC this past month for all American’s. All coupons had to be printed on the first day; confusing the crowd that they must be used that day, there were riots at KFC’s all over America, all for a free 2 piece chicken meal.

2. Risk Free: Risk free does not mean free. You pay a small amount, usually the shipping cost and try a product in your home for so many days. On the last day, if the product has not been shipped back, (and some times you must pay for this) you get charged for the product, whether you want it or not, or the rules on returns are not quite clear enough and they charge you and keep the product.

3. Monthly Memberships for free: There are places who allow you to have a “free membership”, which is actually an annual fee with a promise that “qualifying items” will be shipped to you for free. The truth is the $79 you pay to have things shipped to you for free isn’t exactly free is it?

4. Free Trials: The free trials you pay for on the internet are alot like the risk free products. You give a credit card number up front, and after so many days if you have not called the number that is always busy, you must pay. They do this because they usually get at least one month out of every person.

5. Buy One Get One: BOGO deals are not free either. You think you are getting a good deal until you learn that you must pay full price for the most expensive item and if your free item qualifies as free, then you get it. Many places. At the grocery store, this usually just means 50% off, and you can purchase one half off and not have to get another one, but this isn’t always the case at a retail store.

6. Free Shipping: Free shipping usually means free shipping, but in some cases it may be six to eight weeks before you get your package. Of course there are always options to pay more for your shipping to expedite it. When choosing a product based on the shipping, just have “buyer beware” on your mind and read all the fine print, unless you don’t mind waiting.

All of these freebies aren’t necessarily free and you should really search and beware when choosing these products.  Also, keep in mind that if getting something for free may put you or others at risk, maybe you should stay home and shop online!

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