Who doesn’t love free stuff? I assume quite a number of us have taken advantage of freebies and giveaways over time. After all, there’s nothing like getting something in exchange for nothing. However, the concept of “free” isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be because more often than not, the giver gets a value in return which isn’t necessarily monetary or any other material thing for that matter.
A personal example: I visited a hotel swimming pool sometime ago on a Friday with a friend. Now every Friday, entry is absolutely free for ladies while the men had to shell out the standard 1000naira. It felt really good to just breeze in while my male friend paid to enter. But then, it occurred to me that there must a catch to it, after all, the hotel is not a charity organization and must remain in business.
Then it hit me! Free entry for ladies meant a lot of ladies came around, and a larger number of guys too turned out. It almost seemed like the ladies served as bait to attract more guys because truth be told, TGIF is much more fun when there are ladies in the pool to ogle. So basically, the larger the turn out of ladies, there would be more guys who would pay entry fee to access and use the pool, and most likely buy drinks and snacks while at it. Therefore, the hotel gets its money’s worth plus some more both directly and indirectly.
(Disclaimer : This is my own opinion on this, it’s very much debatable. And I am not claiming that ALL the guys who show up are there to ogle girls.)
In addition, the free offer is definitely attractive, so more ladies came out to swim, and surely, some might decide to come on other weekdays in which they have to pay with the added probability that they would come with their friends too who would pay. Talk about converting them to paying customers. Win-Win!
Now, don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad thing to get value back for what you’ve given out. Both sides could definitely benefit from the gifting process. Sometimes, it’s just the good feeling and fulfilment you get from having done something for someone else. I know I get this whenever I volunteer or dash stuff out, knowing I’ve added value by making myself useful. Sometimes too, value is gotten in other forms like:
1. Information : Have you ever wondered how targeted Google ads and email marketing work? Nowadays I find myself wondering why I get large amounts of mail everyday, even from brands and individuals I don’t recognize. But then I remember that as an informaniac, I often drop my email address to access free PDF tutorial guides, worksheets, courses, and web pages. To the givers, I’m a potential paying client, so by offering these, they get my email address to which they send newsletters and updates on other products and services they offer which might interest me. Also, from using “free” internet, my browsing habits provide information which are used for specific advertisements.
It works in similar ways when opening zero deposit bank accounts, through the details you provide, they most likely are getting information which is worth way more than the freebie you are getting. It’s all good, as long as it’s helping the brand serve you better through improved customer service, needs anticipation, targeted special offers, etc.
2. Free Publicity : You should be able to relate to this if you take part in Instagram giveaways often. Most times, you are required to follow, repost, like and tag others to do the same to stand a winning chance. While you get the free stuff for seemingly no price at all, you’ve also helped push the brand by sharing to your own networks and sometimes giving reviews. You get your freebie and the giver gets free publicity. Everybody is happy. Perfect!
Personally, I barely repost because I always want to be very sure it won’t affect my personal brand negatively.
Generally, most freebies and giveaways are good but first ensure you cover all bases before you grab them. Some things you should consider include :
1. Terms and conditions: Make sure you read the terms and conditions attached well so you don’t end up getting more than you bargained for, in a bad way. Some require you to arrange for shipping and delivery or pick up the stuff yourself, plus some require certain criteria for use. Consider the time and energy required to claim it, also, the small change here and there you end up spending and make sure that it’s not more expensive at the end of the day when compared to actually paying for the stuff. If it’s worth the whole journey, and you’d be able to use it well, then go on and claim it. If not, please ignore the offer.
2. Use and Maintenance : It seems OK to accumulate freebies but ask yourself if you really need them or you only want them just because they are free. If they would end up taking up space unnecessarily and/or require a lot to use and maintain, then you are better off without them. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to get a free electrical gadget that requires a way higher or lower voltage than you use at home. Just maintain your lane and avoid wahala. Don’t accumulate stuff you won’t use and have to stress yourself to get rid of later on because decluttering really isn’t fun at all. It’s better to let them go to people who would utilize them maximally.
3. Costs: These include money, time, energy, privacy, quality, choice, etc. If claiming it requires you supplying some information you’d rather not give out, or if it would take your time (for free events) and energy that you’d rather spend on making money or doing and acquiring stuff you really need, then, lay off the free stuff.
More importantly, 2019 elections are coming soon, it doesn’t make sense to accept dubious gifts from politicians that would cost you your free choice. Refuse them biko, they are not worth your future and peace of mind. Don’t sell your birthright and complain later o. As often said, a word is enough for the wise.
In summary, free stuff might not really be free. Just make sure that what you are giving in return monetarily or otherwise isn’t going to cost you more than you are willing to give, and please only go for stuff you would actually use, so people who really need them would get them instead of the stuff just taking up your space and wasting away.
“Bottom line is, if you don’t use it or need it, it’s clutter, and it needs to go”
– Charisse Ward
- Do you take participate in giveaways often?
- Are there freebies that have served (and are still serving) you well, or you have some you barely use and regret having?
- What’s the most expensive “free” item you have?
Please let me know in the comment section below.
Side-note: In the spirit of free stuff, please feel free to like and share my posts and do sign up via mail to receive timely notifications of new posts (winks).
– The Value Adder™