• How Amazon Prime Customers Can Try Out New Product Samples For Free

    Amazon has a little known treat for Amazon Prime Customers that we think more people should be taking advantage of. It’s called the Amazon Sample Box Program and if you haven’t used it yet and you’re an Amazon Prime Customer, you’ll be glad you got your hands on this article. 

    THE MARKETING BRILLIANCE BEHIND “GRAB BAGS” 

    Grab bags are all the rage right now and why wouldn’t they be? They are arguably one of the most effective business models for sellers to gain notoriety and increase their target audience in an easy and low-cost manner. 

    Grab bags or “Amazon Sample Boxes” as the company refers to them, are a great way to get a bunch of sample products out to a bunch of people for a very low cost.

    What awesome products will I find in here?
    What awesome products will I find in here?

    If you aren’t sure what a grab bag is, it’s essentially a variety of sample products for free or a very small price tag. This allows consumers to try out different brands and see which ones they like best, giving the consumer the option of trying products without making a commitment. Suppliers love this method because they can disperse thousands of samples to a large percentage of the Amazon users which is usually cheaper and more effective than a marketing campaign.

    It’s a genius marketing tool for sellers (particularly ones who aren’t well-known) and it gives the buyer more informed decisions on what they want to invest in. 

    So many options to choose from for such a low price tag!


    For example, Le Tote, an online clothing exchange program dubbed “Netflix for Clothes” allows members -at a low cost- to receive, wear, then return a variety of brand-named apparel and accessories. If members like a particular set of shoes or earrings, they can purchase them at a discounted rate. Le Tote has raised raised over 28 million dollars since 2012 and enjoys a steady, annual growth rate of about 500 percent.


    But we’re not here to talk about clothes; we’re here to discuss the lucrative potential that the “grab-bag”model has earned various businesses in recent years. Not one to be left out, Amazon has implemented a program designed for Amazon Prime Customers. Consumers and vendors benefit from this savvy business model called the Amazon Sample Box Program. 

    HOW DO I FIND SAMPLE BOXES?

    First off, this program is only available for Prime members, so if you aren’t one, you can sign up and take advantage of their 30-day trial period. That way, you can still enjoy the sample program even if only temporarily. It is important to note that we always encourage people to sign up for Prime anyway, as the benefits are amazing for the low price of $10.99 a month.  

    The Amazon Sample Boxes, found here, is a page that continually changes, revamps, and takes away an assortment of sample “grab-bags” that you can choose from. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason as to what influences which samples Amazon puts together, why they change their offers, or how often they do it.

    The only motive for cycling products is to keep potential buyers interested and to optimize sample products of different brands to a larger percentage of the public. It also isn’t clear how sellers or vendors get their products sponsored by Amazon.

    Amazon Prime Sample ProgramWHAT ARE IN THE SAMPLE BOXES? 
    Each box from the page has a theme, which you will notice when the page populates. The categories can be anything from food to kitchen ware to hair products. And each category has a sub-category like “Lipsticks and Glosses” or “Types of Beef Jerky.”

    At any particular time, Amazon will offer about fourteen different sub categories from which to choose (although, even that number can change).  

    It's Like Christmas Any Time You Want!

    Let’s say you were more enticed by the lipstick “grab bag” than you were the “beef jerky.” When you click on the one you want, you will find there are a bunch of different sample lip sticks, lip glosses, and chapstick brands.

    So, let’s say this is the grab bag you are the most interested in. When you click on the sample set, Amazon will provide you information on each lip product and how many you will be receiving. Unlike a real grab bag, there are no surprises as to what you’ll be getting. 

    What the heck is THAT?


    It’s important to note that whatever grab bag you are interested in could remain on the website for only a matter of hours. So, if you are planning on coming back some other time to purchase it, there’s a strong possibility it won’t be available. Offers are limited and there doesn’t seem to be a known algorithm or reasoning behind the time frame Amazon chooses to cycle products in and out.

    WHAT DOES IT COST?
    Other than the monthly fee for being an Amazon Prime member, you pay whatever that particular sample box is listed as. Based on what’s inside the sample box, Amazon could charge you as little as $3 or upward of $30. Whatever you pay for the grab bag, that same amount gets credited back to your Amazon account.

    CAN I ORDER MORE THAN ONE SAMPLE BOX AT A TIME?
    No. The offer is limited to one customer and one account per participating sample box. You cannot combine offers with others.

    WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I RECEIVE MY BOX?
    Your box will come with the samples that were promoted on the website. Those products are for you to keep.

    A week after your product has been shipped, you will receive an email with instructions on how to use your promotional credit toward the item you liked best. Remember, it’s not a general use Amazon credit. The credit has to go toward a full-sized item from the selection of samples. So, say there was a lip gloss you particularly liked. You could use your credit to buy a new one of regular value. This credit cannot be used for anything other than one of the products from the box and it must be applied within 3 months of the original order.

    WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE ANY OF THE PRODUCTS?
    If any of the products or content related to this offer are returned, your refund will equal the amount you paid for the content, subject to applicable refund policies.

    WHAT IS THE INCENTIVE?
    Never mind the fact that you’re essentially receiving a bunch of free stuff, the amount you paid gets reimbursed to you as credit that goes toward whichever item you enjoyed the most. This is a great deal for the adventurous and curious. It’s a low risk way to try out brands, colors, and flavors you’ve never heard of or perhaps have been meaning to try but didn’t want to spend money on.

    Furthermore, it’s a cheap way to weed out the products you’ve been meaning to try that you end up not liking. For example, beauty products can be expensive, so if you’ve been meaning to try a certain facial cleanser that’s a bit pricey, with this format, you can sample it and decide if you want to invest in it or not. 

    The other side of the coin is that it is a great opportunity for vendors and sellers to gain some notoriety for their products. Samples are cheap, so it’s usually not a financial burden for the company. Plus, its a way to target a large audience to test their product which is always a more influential selling tactic than print or tv advertising, as represented in the following graph:The Effectiveness of Product Samples This should create a huge increase in the demand for the product. Furthermore, customers that try out these samples will be more likely to leave reviews on that particular Amazon homepage.

    IF A SAMPLE BOX WAS ON THE SITE YESTERDAY BUT NOT LONGER THERE TODAY, WILL IT EVER BE OFFERED AGAIN? 
    Again, we are not entirely sure what prompts the Amazon Sample Boxes to come and go, but the inventory changes pretty frequently. However, if you visit the page often, you will notice that there are certain sub categories that are available fairly regularly such as coffee samples and men’s grooming supplies. If those aren’t there, you can bet they’ll be back when Amazon gets more inventory. The problem is, there is no way to know when and if they will be returning.

    Other grab bags contain more rare items. Because samples aren’t as readily available, you should take advantage and buy whatever piques your interest right then and there because there’s no guarantee it will be back again.

    IF I’M A SELLER, HOW DO I PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROGRAM?
    The short answer is, you can’t, but you probably eventually will be able to. When Markethustl reached out to Clair Grover, Product Manager at Amazon about what opportunities sellers had to participate in this program, this was her response: 


    So, while right now, only vendors can participate in this Amazon Sample program, it appears that, down the road, FBA sellers will have an opportunity at this potentially lucrative model. 

    Regardless whether you are a seller or customer, checking out the Amazon Sample Box page is a good way to see what products are out there, what the competition is, and what the price tags are on many of these items. As a general rule of thumb, if a grab bag has a price tag of $10, that usually means that each item in the grab bag sells at the same rate. 

     

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