Say No To Freebies

To find out how to better market my business I did a little survey in a Group I belong to on Facebook that has 3000 plus women in it. I asked if you could get a freebie, what would you think is useful to you,

The overwhelming response was … Pens. Say what? Pens? Yup, pens.

I wasn’t really shocked. When I go to someone’s home, I usually find over 100 pens, half of which do not work. Stop taking freebie pens.

The next thing people said they would want is reusable tote bags. This is one of the first things people ask me to recycle for them. Usually, they are not a good size or made of strong enough material.

After that came water bottles. Shocking! When I organize a kitchen, inevitably I am getting rid of at least five unwanted water bottles.

What do all these items have in common? They are cheap to produce and in the off chance you use it, you remember the company or someone else does. The thing is though that by taking these free items, you devalue the item. One woman said in the post “I love free pens because I never know where my pens are so I always take more.“ If you invest in a special pen, you will always know where it is, you will want to take care of it because you paid for it and took the time to choose one you liked.

By taking these freebies we encourage this type of marketing. If we refuse items, we send a clear message to companies we do not need these products, if no one takes them they will stop producing them.

Of course, in the end it isn’t free because it has cluttered our home with pens, notebooks, shopping bags, and bottles we don’t really need and probably won’t use. (The exception to this is when a company gives out a top-of-the-line product, then people really take care of it.)

Part of the service I offer my clients is a scanning service, I take their papers and scan them in and recycle or shred them. Often times I put it on a cloud server for people but other times people like having a thumb drive. This is where I would be willing to spend money. It is a quality product that doesn’t take up much space, serves a useful purpose and can be used over and over again.

People also have some documents that need to be saved and sorted and so I thought having organizers with my business logo on them would be good as well. Just like the USB drive once these papers are ready to go, it can be used again and probably will be because it is so useful.

But eventually thumb drives will become obsolete and the paper sort will get too worn out to reuse and these items will also end up as trash.

For now, after 4 years in business, I just decided to get thumb drives, but not as a freebie, only to use in my scanning service. I am not willing to add to people’s clutter by giving away something that they already have and might recycle but probably will just chuck. I am also not willing to spend money on something that people already have, might recycle but will probably just chuck.

Which promo items will you stop taking? Which have you found useful and why? I really want to know!

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