How To Get Free Products To Review - A Canadian Guide

By Monday, May 18, 2020 , , , , , , ,

I often get asked how do I get so much free stuff. The truth is I do get a fair amount of PR samples just because I have been blogging for so long. I started my blog in 2009 and have been relatively consistent ever since then about blogging and therefore companies have approached me about featuring products. But if you're not a blogger? That doesn't necessarily stop you from getting free products to try out. Today I'm going to talk about the ways that non-bloggers can get some free products to try out, right here in Canada.

Before I ever blogged,  I joined Chick Advisor. Chick Advisor started in 2006 as a Candian community to rate and review products, part of this community is their Product Review Club. The Product Review Club is open to anyone who has written 5 or more reviews on the site. The Club will send you an occasional email that contains their latest offers. From there you just have to fill in a simple survey, if you get chosen you'll get whatever was offered mailed to you within a few weeks. Usually, Chick Advisor offers are easy to complete and require a review within the site and an Instagram post.
Chick Advisor has two other sibling sites, Family Rated (all about family and household products) and XY Rated (a men's equivalent to Chick Advisor).

*Update* As of spring 2022, ChickAdvisor/Family Rated/XY Rated sample clubs have all been moved to one new platform,

I have been a member of Chick Advisor since 2006 (see my profile here), so I have reviewed oh so many things, but the best may have been a Clarisonic Mia 2.

Up next is TopBox Circle. TopBox is known as a Canadian beauty subscription box, but they also run TopBox Circle, a tester site. All you have to do to join is head on over to the site and fill out a survey. With TopBox Circle you won't always get emails for surveys, so just pop in as frequently as you can remember to see if some new ones are on the site.
I have gotten some pretty neat stuff from TopBox Circle in the few years I have been a member. I think the most memorable is probably a Nude By Nature set that was a great way to try out the line.
Finally, the big name in sampling is Influenster. This one is American but expanded to Canada quite a few years back. With Influenster you get a whole site and app. It's all articles and reviews and even Q&A, so very interactive.

With them, you get sent surveys and if you get chosen products will get sent to you. You'll have specific tasks and if you do all of them you will then get a badge. Sometimes if you complete everything you can be entered into a draw to win a prize. 
Early on I got a lot of VoxBoxes from them and even won the prizes. That being said often prizes never showed up and they washed their hands of it and me. Now that more people are subscribed to Influnster I get far fewer VoxBoxes. If you want to increase your odds, start writing reviews. I say this because I have been sent survey emails based on reviews I have previously done. So stay active and you might get more offers.
I have gotten a wide range of things over the years I have been a member of Influenster but the most memorable might be a Keurig 2.0 and Bite Beauty products. Check out my profile here.

Sampler is a way to try all sorts of things! From teas and cleaners to beauty products galore. I've tried pasta and curry as well as gotten coupons for various household things. Most of the beauty products will be deluxe sample to try out, but it is a great way to try out new products and brands. Head on over to where you can join programs by different brands and get sent samples monthly in exchange for survey reviews of the products.

Now there is one more fun thing you can try out if you want a variety of free products and that is Sample Source. You sign up and create an account. Once a year you get an email that a box will be happening soon. You just sit on pins and needles waiting for a second email saying it is life and you rush to the site. Quickly fill out a survey and depending on what you say and how quick you are you will get a box full of samples and coupons. This sounds chaotic and it is. I missed it last year because I was working, this year I barely got it.
What to expect with this one, everything from Nicorette, snack bars, floor cleaner to dry shampoo this year. 
A few things to consider, when you're doing these types of boxes for samples. You'll have to follow the rules about what is expected of you, that is the price you pay for getting them for free. Some might require you to post an Instagram photo and do a review, some might require quite a bit more. It really just really depends on the mission.

So what can you expect from these? Anything from a coupon for margarine to deodorant. I've gotten mascara from Marc Jacobs to a Keurig. Sometimes you might get food like barbecue sauce and sometimes you might get household stuff like I'm going to mop.  Either way, the products you get will be determined by the surveys.  if you're not interested you don't have to apply but if you do apply you do have to do the task or you might get penalized and blacklisted going forward. So if you get the products, review them or you may never get anything more.

It is also helpful to remember there may be dry spells. I honestly didn't get anything from Chick Advisor, TopBox Circle or Influsneter for 9 months. Right now I have 4 TopBox, a Chick Advisor and a Family Rated all going on at the same time. So be patient, it will pay off.

*Products featured in this post were given to me for review purposes through the mentioned programs. All views and opinions are my own.