How to get free products on Amazon, including a free printable to track products received for tax purposes.
How to get free products on Amazon, including a free printable to track products received for tax purposes.This post may contain affiliate links. Using these links helps support my blog. Thank you!
I am SUCH a huge fan of Amazon. I don't like going to the store and not finding what I want and I like lots of time to price match. Needless to say, I order off Amazon a lot and feel I save money more frequently than not. I enjoy writing reviews so over time, I've begun to get more and more free product offers. And it's so much fun to get items to try out.
The main benefit though? If I purchase an item that STINKS and review it, my reviewer rating is high enough that I get pretty quick responses to any complaints that I have about a product. Not always, but about 98% of the time.
When I first started trying to get free products, I was keen on getting into Amazon's Vine program which I've heard is amazing. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know what gets someone invited- although a good ranking and thorough reviews are necessary for an invitation. Once I had gotten my ranking up though, I got lots of free offers via email so I'm pretty happy right now with where I am. I'm hoping to eventually get a Vine invite, but for now, this is fun for me!
How to Get Free Products to Review
- Check out your current Amazon profile. On a computer, go to the Amazon page > Account > Scroll down to Personalization and click "Your Public Profile." This is my profile if you want an idea what they can look like. You can click "Edit Profile" to update your profile as you wish. Make sure you list your email address so they have a way to contact you!
- Keep a public wish list. Put some general items that you like or can use on it.
- Buy off Amazon a lot.
- Review EVERYTHING that you buy. Write honest, in depth reviews as much as possible. It's not so much about length, but about adding value to the other readers. If they like your review, they will click "yes this was helpful to me" at the bottom of the review. This helps boost your rating. I love to add DIY related comments to product reviews.
- Review even the things you don't buy on Amazon. If I love my blender, but I got it as a gift then I will still find the product on Amazon and review it. If I hate a product, I do the same. You tend to get offers for items that you review frequently so keep that in mind- if you want free books, concentrating effort on reviewing books (library borrows are a great way to do this cheap).
- Add photos and video liberally to your reviews. The more useful they are, the better. For example, showing how to setup a product in a video would be helpful. Showing a problem with the product in a photo is great too. I like to show a craft that I did with the product. No text is allowed on the photo, unfortunately... I get frustrated because I'd like to watermark mine, but they get rejected if I do that.
- Your know how Amazon wants feedback on *everything*? Seller feedback, packaging feedback, and product reviews? I leave feedback for it all. I usually save seller feedback and packaging feedback and do a bunch of them at once. I copy and paste "Item arrived on time and as described" for text on the seller feedback for every product that this applies to. This makes it faster to get through them. If the packaging or seller was ridiculous, I made sure to review accordingly. I'm not sure how much giving this feedback impacts your score, but I feel it doesn't hurt so I try to do it consistently.
The Amazon Reviewer Rating System
I can't say that I have a 100% grasp on how this system works, but the general idea is that a lower number is BETTER. Being in the top 100 is better than being in the top 10,000. If you write good reviews, people will say that they're helpful which boosts your rating (lowers it). Adding photos or video, writing meaningful things, and writing lots and lots and lots of reviews all help.
What to do once you get free product offers!
At some point, you will start to receive emails asking if you'd like to review the person's product. Do NOT accept if they're offering you money to review the product, telling you they will give you the product in exchange for a 5 star review, or if they don't want you to leave a disclosure (more on this later). These aren't good practices and you don't want to get your account in trouble on Amazon! Honest companies will offer you a product "in exchange for an honest review." Sometimes they'll give you a discount and sometimes they'll give you the entire product free. They are NOT allowed to pay for reviews on Amazon.
Here are some tips:
Here are some tips:
- Don't accept everything. I usually take a glance at other reviews for the product and get a really good idea about the product before I accept a product to review. I don't accept items that I can't use. It's very hard to write an honest review on a product that you know nothing about... ie. I get a lot of offers for fishing tackle I do not review these products because I know absolutely nothing about fishing. I can't write a good review for them. Also, some companies will only offer a discount on the product- not the full 100% off. So you want to make sure you don't pay $1 for fishing gear you'll never use! It does add up. And adds to clutter around your house too.
- If you don't want the product, but you see something else in the seller's store that you might want to try, feel free to reply to the seller and state that you can't use the product that they're offering. Let them know that you would love to stay on their contact list, particularly if they need for reviews for their (blender/scale/dog food/etc.).
- Some companies will send you a discount coupon to enter when ordering to get your free or discounted product. Some want to send it directly to you. I have a P.O. Box that I use when they ask for an address because I don't like giving my address out on the internet.
- Be honest in your reviews. This gets your ranking up- people want honest reviews so they don't buy a product they'll hate. Very rarely, the company will write to complain about not getting 5 stars and wanting you to change it. Most will not.
- Take great photos or video of the product. If you can get a cheap dollar store foam board (white or black) and take the photo in natural lighting, this really shows the product off well. I recommend showing the good, the bad, or the ugly. For example, if you got some clothing and the clothes are unraveling, then show a photo of the issue.
- Include a disclosure in your review. This is REQUIRED by Amazon. I usually write: "I received this product free or at a discounted rate in exchange for an honest review." or something to that effect.
How to Use Your Free Coupon Code
First, you need to go to the link for the product and click "add to cart." Once you get to your checkout, there is an area to enter a coupon code. Enter it there. Sometimes the code may not work- usually that's due to the way the code was setup. Most vendors will give a time period that the code will work during. Just email the vendor back to let them know and they should be able to fix it. Some vendors include specific instructions in your email so make sure to read it closely.
Here's some screenshots of how I do it from my phone:
Here's some screenshots of how I do it from my phone:
This is important. You can't get $3000 worth of free products and not pay taxes on them. I'm not 100% how this works with the IRS, but I am keeping track and plan to ask a tax professional about it when I file taxes. My understanding is that Amazon sends their Vine reviews a 1099 for those who reviews over $600 in products.
I also keep all of my product emails in their own folder so I can keep track of them.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”