Ok, if you are like me you have heard so much about the FreeIpods and FreeFlatScreens websites on different forums, blogs, IM's, etc, you are about to puke. So am I. But yet the draw of getting an Ipod for doing basically nothing is pretty strong. I dismissed all the "stories" of people getting their ipods as the marketing machine at work. However, when Kevin Rose published that not only did he receive his, but a few of his friends did as well, I figured I might take a chance and give it a go. Today I received proof that it does indeed work. Yep, I got my iPod.
Whats in it for them?
Step 1. Collect Names.
Step 2. Send those names items worth $200 or more
Step 3. ?????
Step 4. Profit
Before I signed up, I wanted to get to the bottom of the ?????. I didn't want any sweaty, filth pushing webmonkeys to have all my info, so I did my research. Gratis Internet, the parent company of the FreeIpods, FreeFlatscreens, etc. sites, recently did an interview with Wired Magazine.
In this article Gratis states that they are acting as Head Hunters for companies (more on that later) and are paid between $50-$90 per referral. Although this seems like a lot of money, this is nothing compared to what these companies spend for print advertising which does not guarentee ANY customers. So now we know what ?????? equals. ??????=$50-$90 for Gratis per guranteed customer (referral sites).
How Does it Work?
You sign-up on one (or more) of the following websites:
This site gives away free Mini Macs. At the time of this writing only the 80gb MiniMac was available.
This site gives away free flat screen monitors and TVs. At the time of this writing the following flat screens were available: Sony 19" LCD, Samsung 15" SyncMaster 510MP LCD TV, Samsung SyncMaster 710N LCD Monitor, Sony 27" FD Trinitron WEGA TV, or a 24" Toshiba TV/VCR/DVD combo
This site gives away gaming systems. At the time of this writing the Slim PS2, Xbox, Nintendo Gamecube, and Nintendo DS were available.
This site gives away high-end handbags. Might be a good surprise for your wife or girlfriend. =) At the time of this writing the following bags were available: Prada Mini-Hobo (black, Pink, Powder Blue), Burberry Novacheck Minisling, Coach Signature Demi Pouch (black, camel, purple), Kate Spade Pia Pochette (Black, Pink, Red)
This site gives out free mp3 players. You can get paypal $275, ipod, rio carbon, iriver, ipod mini.
This site gives away TiVo, Replay TV, and $275 paypal.
Another mini mac site.
This site is giving away high end digital cameras. At the the time of writing this, you follow cams are available: Canon Powershot S1 IS, Sony DSC-P100, Sony DSC-W1, Canon Powershot A95, $325 paypal.
Ok, so here is the tricky part. Once you sign up with one of these websites, you have to complete an "offer" from gratis's advertisers. There are numberous offers, some being better than others. Now remember the ???? = $50 - $90 equation? In order for you to receive your ipod/Flatscreen/Desktop PC/Handbag you have to refer 5, 8, or 10 of your friends, and they have to complete one of the offers as well. Then in order for them to receive theirs they need to refer others, and so on. So lets just look at why they are going to send an Ipod to you. (1(you) + 5(your friends)) x $90 = $540 - $250(ipod) = $290 profit for them just for you signing up. The advertisers are more than willing to pay, and FreeIpods is more than happy to send you your ipod. Works out for everyone.
What is the basic "lingo"?
"ref"/"referral" = The thing required to get your free items. These are your friends.
"green" = Status indicator that means your offer has been completed.
"yellow" = Status indicator that means your offer has yet to be completed or is in the process/pending.
"hold" = Means your account has been suspended or stopped. DON'T CHEAT.
"STV" = Means your product has been "Shipped To Vendor" You should recieve it in about 10 days time.
What process should you use to sign up (to ensure that you will get your item)
When signing up, it is recommended that you use Internet Explorer (sucks) some people have reported problems using other browsers (ex. Firefox, opera, etc.) Also make sure you have cookies accepted.
1. Click on one of the links above and enter a VALID US mailing address.
2. Complete the marketing survey - not your answers do not have any impact on you receiving your item. Just say no to them.
3. Once you have signed up, you should receive a verification email. If you did not receive one, go to the "My Account" page and click the link to have them resend it. If you still did not get it check your spam folder.
4. Sign-up with one of their partners and complete the offer. (see the section which offer should I choose) It can take up to 15 days for your offer to show completed. (A term that we freebie goers use for a "completed offer" is called "credit.") But usually they show completed after 24 hours. Be patient. If it doesn't show up as completed, you can email the site with proof and confirmation for signing up and they will give you credit.
Which offer should I choose?
Just so you know all offers require a credit card, **HOWEVER** not all of them cost anything! =) Here is a list of my recommended offers and I have not had any problems whatsover with doing these.
* Video Professor: This requires a credit card and pay only $3 shipping for computer tutorial CDs. After you receive the CDs, just call customer support and cancel your membership. Return to sender the CDs and they will refund you the shipping costs.
* Complete Home: Instant verification. Sign up for their program for $1 two month trial. You get a FREE $20 Lowes Gift Card just for doing this offer. Cancel your subscription within the 2 month trial and pay NOTHING and keep the gift card!
* Buyer's Advantage: Instant verification. Sign up for their program for $1 two month trial. You get a FREE $20 Circuit City Gift Card just for doing this offer. Cancel your subscription within the 2 month trial and pay NOTHING and keep the gift card!
* Great Fun: Instant verification. Sign up for their program for $1 two month trial. You get a FREE Walkie Talkie just for doing this offer. Cancel your subscription within the 2 month trial and pay NOTHING and keep the gift card!
* Traveler's Advantage: Instant verification. Sign up for their program for $1 two month trial. You get a FREE Thin Digital Camera just for doing this offer. Cancel your subscription within the 2 month trial and pay NOTHING and keep the gift card!
* eFax Plus: Sign up for their fax service. You get a 30 day free trial. Upon receiving credit for doing the offer, simply cancel the service within the free trial and pay nothing! It usually take 1-3 days to receive credit for this offer.
* Blockbuster Online: Try a two week trial of Blockbuster's Netflix-like service. Cancel online within trial time and pay nothing.
*Zooba: If you are a book fan, sign up for this offer. You get a book for $10 with free shipping. Instant verification.
*Various Credit Card offers: Apply for a credit card and get approved. When it arrives, cut it up and toss it out. Nothing to cancel, nothing to pay, and free stuff to gain!
Many of these offers are big companies, so you do not have to question the legitimacy for signing up under them. In other words, you will be safe because you are giving your credit card information to aol, blockbuster, and general motors, and i highly doubt that they will sell this info.
These are free, as long as you cancel within the trial period. Some offer online cancellations while others require calling their support number. Just tell them that you dont find yourself using their services enough so you want to cancel and they'll cancel your membership without any problems.
Many of these free sites take cheating very seriously. If you want your free gift and not have you account suspended, simply DON'T CHEAT! Don't refer yourself and do all the offers yourself. If you think you can cheat the system because you are a 1337 h4x0r and you can use proxies and IP spoofs to refer yourself, DON'T DO IT. When you are in the approval stage, they will intensely throughly examine your account and make sure that all your referrels are legit and unique. Trust me, I know many people who have gotten suspended for attempting to cheat.
This goes under cheating. It is wise not to create multiple accounts under the same site because it is against the free site's TOS. They suspend you no matter what your reason is, even if it was an accident. This also includes referring family members. You can only create one account under one household, under one IP address per site. So you cannot refer mother, sister, or brother to do it unless they live in another household.
So you've ran out of offers to do. What do I do?
Ok, if you are a freebie freak, you will probably eventually run out of offers to do because of the fact that you signed up for so many free sites did all the easy free offers. What shoud you do? Remember that free sites give you credit for a unique signup for the offers. So if you signed up for blockbuster online offer at freeflatscreens, you cannot do it again for another free site such as freedesktoppc. But there is a trick to this. A unique signup = a unique credit card that you used to sign up. So if you have a another credit card, you can sign up for the offer again. Another method is to purchase a visa gift card from your mall, or go to www.webcertificate.com and purchase a virtual debit/credit card and do the offers with those.
If you followed all these steps correctly, your free gift will be delivered to your doorstep in no time.
Here are the steps:
1. Getting friends to sign up under you
2. Approval Stage: They will analyze your account for fraud. Takes 1 week.
3. Pending Stage: Your account have been approved. You are now processing. This will take 1-2 weeks.
4. STV: Sent to Vendor. Your product will arrive in 10 days.
5. Shipped: Congrats!
Most of these freebie sites are for U.S residents only.