The real deal behind those "free" gifts

SnakeSnake Registered User
edited September 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
What are the "usual" requirements of the websites/etc. that advertise "free" iPhones, Xboxes, PS3s, iPods, etc.? I've read a few in the past that stated in the rules that, to qualify, you may have to sign up for subscriptions, credit cards, etc.

Has anyone successfully gotten one of these free gifts in the past with no real setbacks? It screams out that there would be some strange condition(s) somewhere preventing this from truly being worth pursuing, but my curiosity has overwhelmed my lack of desire to ask about it.

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Posts

  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    As I understand it, you yourself may have to subscribe to a bunch of different things, give up your personal information to nefarious and spammy parties, and do things like sign up for credit cards which does have an adverse effect on your credit rating even if you don't use them. On some, you may have to get other people to sign up as well.

    Nothing's that free in this world. You can buy that Xbox for it with $350 in cash, $350 in labor working a McJob, or $350 in long term pain and harassment. Your pick.

    DrFrylock on
    Pheezer wrote: »
    I would strongly recommend reading DrFrylock's post thoroughly and considering all of his points individually.
  • Steel AngelSteel Angel Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Some are a bit more on the up and up than others. The gist is that they'll make you look through and fill out forms about various things they're trying to sell on the basis that one in x people signing up for something expensive, like an online degree program, easily pays for x consoles/phones/etc. with enough left over for money hats. It's all very calculated with metrics taken to estimate sell rate for different services, etc.

    Others of course are just pyramid schemes and the like.

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  • [Michael][Michael] Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I got an iPod out of the site that started the "free iPod" fad (maybe 3 years ago or so). This was after doing a bunch of research into it to make sure it wasn't some sort of scam and seeing a couple of decent news sources run stories about it. I think I had to sign up for a 30 day trial of AOL (which I canceled the next day) and get 5 other people to sign up on the free iPod site (which wasn't too hard...2 brothers, 2 parents (after lots of convincing), 1 random guy on the inter-webs).

    I know that a month or two after I got my iPod, the company I got it from increased the amount of referrals needed to 10 or 15 and it's just not worth it getting 15 people.

    My guess would be that 99% of the sites offering free stuff like that aren't legitimate. That advertising fad has grown waaay too much by now to really tell what's a scam and what's not.

    [Michael] on
  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I did a bunch of Freepay sites, Got a 60GB Ipod, the newer shuffle, and my 360 out of the deal.

    There are many sites out there that are legit, but you just have to be careful, because there are many that arent. There are message boards like Anything4Free where people network together and share info about all the various deals out there and you can trade with people, they'll do an offer for you and you do an offer for them. you've got to really watch out though, because if you're new to the site and you don't have a trading record, most sites will make the least experienced person go first, before the more experienced person will do yours. Problem is: 1) since you're new, you're a target for scammers 2) Odds are, the most experienced people have already done an offer for the deal you're going after and so they can't do it a second time.

    If you're really patient and do your homework, and read all the fine print, and join one of those forums, you really can get lots of stuff for free or at the very least, very very very cheap. I've received approximately 1000 bucks in gear, and over the course of 6 month of doing offers, I spent maybe 300. but keep in mind, towards the end, I just wanted to finish the process and get out, so you can pay people on those forums to do offers for you instead of trade offer for offer, so if I had been more patient, I wouldn't have spent even that much.

    But what you don't pay in money, you pay in time and the logistics of it all. Which is ultimately why I stopped doing them. I did my time, got a good deal of stuff, but towards the end, I just got tired of keeping track of it all. The only way you can make out like a bandit on those sites is if you have access to a high traffic website that you can post your link on, (which is obviously why they punished people here for posting their offer links) IIRC. Morgan Webb from X-Play posted her offer link on her blog and she had her free items in no time flat.

    Just remember though, even the legit sites will try and stall you and keep you from finishing your offers. Because they make money off the people who start the process, but never finish it. So some sites aren't exactly quick about giving you credit even if you completed the offer. So you just have to stay on it.

    VoodooV on
  • wasted pixelswasted pixels Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I've done a few sites from the "YF Direct" family; gadgetcity.com, bigwin.com, so forth. Shortly after I worked my way through, the number of "offers" you had to complete to get anything shot up drastically. I got an iBook last summer for completing 6 offers, and that took countless hours of planning, documentation, and research. Now it takes 17(!!) offers to earn a laptop.

    If you have your eye on something small like an iPod Nano, it's still doable - just think really hard about whether you want to subscribe to Netflix, try a VoIP service, and switch ISPs just for a $199 MP3 player. Anything "big", though, is out of reach at this point. The requirements are up to, like, "Move to Maine."

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    If you have your eye on something small like an iPod Nano, it's still doable - just think really hard about whether you want to subscribe to Netflix, try a VoIP service, and switch ISPs just for a $199 MP3 player. Anything "big", though, is out of reach at this point. The requirements are up to, like, "Move to Maine."

    What do I get if I move to Maine? 'Cause, you know, I hear Maine is kinda nice.

    I do personally know once dude who scored a free iPod off of one of these sites...so as others have said, some are legit. Many are not. Nowadays the ones that are legit are nearly impossible to "complete." You're quite honestly probably better off just picking up a second part-time job and working some hours to get whatever it is that you want.

    mcdermott on
  • BaldHermanBaldHerman Registered User
    edited September 2007
    3 or 4 years ago they were still dodgy as fuck, but you could sometimes cheat the system and cancel all the crappy things they made you sign up for and still get your prize. These days they have all got wise to the tricks.

    The typical requirements are that you sign up for a LOT of shitty services that nobody in their right mind would want - ropey ISPs, high-interest credit cards, mailing lists that send you 1500 spam emails per hour. Other times you might have to trick 20 other people into signing up for the site, or agree to buy an eBook telling you how to make millions by setting up a "free ipod" site and selling eBooks.

    BaldHerman on
  • VoodooVVoodooV Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    One of the other reasons I got out of the game is that the site I used, Freepay, changed their terms and made it so that if you couldn't complete your referrals in 90 days, your account gets closed and bam, you're done and you couldn't re-sign up either. And then, to further stall you, when you were finished with your referrals, you used to have to just click a button to submit your account for final approval. Instead you had to snail mail in a PAPER approval form.

    For the smaller stuff, as long as you weren't lazy about it, you could still do your offers in 3 months. but for things like laptops, you needed like 20 referrals, which was virtually impossible to do in that short of time.

    VoodooV on
  • Scott_CameronScott_Cameron Registered User
    edited September 2007
    VoodooV wrote: »
    One of the other reasons I got out of the game is that the site I used, Freepay, changed their terms and made it so that if you couldn't complete your referrals in 90 days, your account gets closed and bam, you're done and you couldn't re-sign up either.

    This is what happened to me. I only had two referrals left to go, but they wouldn't give me the extra time to get them. :(

    Scott_Cameron on
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