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Topic: THE ETHICS OF ORDERING FREE SAMPLES  (Read 20177 times)
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leah
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2005 07:59:03 AM »

OK. So ordering free craft supplies makes a lot of sense to me. And I'd venture to say that the craft supply companies mean for people like us to order to them.

But when you get into ordering non-craft-supplies just for the purpose of crafting with them...

I can totally see why this is tempting!  We all love the challenge of making things out of things that aren't meant to be straight up craft supplies!  But I have two moral qualms with this:

1. The company means for these samples (which cost them money) to go to people who may buy the product eventually.

2. Re-using random things in crafty ways is awesome but I personally like it when I've saved something that's already been manufactured from being just thrown into a landfill. A company who gives away free floor sample is manufacturing them anew just to give them out as samples. Sort of defeats the purpose of re-using them in a crafty way.

I know this all sounds really preachy!  And I'm sorry about having to voice this opinion!  But since Craftster's so huge I feel like when the word gets out about a free sample, so many people may jump in to get one that it can really hurt the company.  So I just don't want to let these sentiments go unsaid.

« Last Edit: August 31, 2005 08:00:47 AM by the craftster admin (leah) » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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kellwych
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2005 06:52:22 PM »

I've gotten a lot of free samples, and admittedly there are some companies I will never go back to buy from, but only because the samples of the products I was interested in were not up to whatever standards I had.  There are other companies I order samples from mainly out of curiousity, and I think that is fine - companies send out samples for curious possible consumers.  But I also feel that good judgment is necessary, and when it gets to the point that people begin to take advantage of the samples, then I see a problem. 

Getting free samples does not violate any of my ethics, a company can choose whether or not to honor an offer.  Nobody forces them to send the samples.  If they can't send anymore for whatever reason, like choosing not to, or running out of sample surplus, then that's that.  In fact, I think good judgment is necessary for both consumer as WELL as seller; if the seller is a small company, or just a company concerned with how their samples are being appropriated, they ought to have stricter guidelines for sample requests and samples. 

For consumers, it's pretty obvious when the company really doesn't care too much about who the samples go to, because their product serves such a large audience.  My point is that you have a right to order samples as much as companies have a right to offer or refuse them.  While it may be less than honest to have certain intentions in mind when ordering from companies, this has little to do with the business.  I could say you ought not do this or that, but in the end your ethics are up to you.  No one can prescribe a certain set of morals for the general populus.

So I say, use discretion when ordering samples.  Some of us will, and some won't.  The only thing we can do aside from that is use discretion when posting sites.

-t

BTW, I have ordered from a couple rug and blind companies, which may sound ridiculous, but some of these companies have amazing and unique fabrics which I would much rather order and use than any old fabric I could get at your local craft store.  I guess ordering blind samples is weird, but don't forget, sometimes these places also sell interesting fabrics one can use for various crafts, whether they are for home renovation, redecorating, or just little crafts.
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2005 10:02:06 AM »

I ordered the magnetic paper sample, and I actually plan to use Magnecote when they come out with the home innkjet version. It will be an easy (and relatively cheap) way to print off promo stuff for my business when I ship out orders. Unfortunately, the reps from Magnecote keep calling me, and it's getting really irritating. It's actually starting to turn me off from the company because they are so pushy. But, they have probably had such an influx of free sample requests, that they are hunting people down to make sure people are actually interested in buying their paper.  Undecided
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2005 09:04:44 PM »

I have to say I agree that ordering all the free samples out there is a bit much, but you never know when someone will be interested in something.  Such as the floor samples - yes, I ordered some.  I've been struggling with asthma and allergies and now CFS for some time.  I replaced some carpet with the laminate flooring and am considering replacing the rest....had I not seen the information on here I would have not considered hardwood floors.

I think we just have to decide for ourselves and hey, if anyone has free samples they won't use - offer to swap with someone else that would like to use the sample.

Also have to say I LOVE the distinctive fabrics website, have already ordered fabric and the customer service has been wonderful!
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2005 04:55:45 AM »

i agree on the distinticive fabrics site.. their stuff rocks my socks off!

(i have a 200$ order of nothin-but-fur comin in.. i cant wait)
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alannah311
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2005 09:24:23 AM »

well i think that they wouldn't offer free samples if they couldn't afford it, so why not?
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jeweledmonkey
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2005 12:59:19 PM »

I got some samples today and have in the past from a friend and from my sister. If you know people that work in places that offer samples, sometimes they have discontinued colors/patterns of textiles or other materials. Those discontinued color samples usually get thrown out. If you know architects, interior designers, or people that work for furniture stores (those are the ones that have hooked me up!) ask and you will see that a lot of stuff just gets thrown out. And we all know we can make stuff with it so why waste it?!
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Debzzzbee
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2005 09:17:22 PM »

I ordered the free Disco yarn..and was a tad greedy. My sister 'recieved' it too. But I knit & crochet and felt justified in getting 2 because I really appreciate getting to preview new yarns before I buy them. I do not scrap-book or sew, so I wouldnt try to get any of those freebies. I didnt care for the color of the free yarn(s) but I didnt waste it..I got all Craftster-like and swapped it with another member for something in a color I did like. So I do believe in recieving crafty freebies...but only if you plan to use them! And if you cant use it, or dont like it, dont get it just because it says Free! But if you must get it, at least craft it into something useful or give it to someone who can.
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2005 11:01:24 PM »

I've bought 5 balls of the Bernat Disco yarn now.. it's $7 a ball here.. so I was pretty DAMN HAPPY to see I could get a free one lol
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2006 06:39:46 PM »

One of my fave places for free crafting stuff is wallpaper stores....just go in and ask if they have any discontinued sample books (some are HUGE) that you could take off their hands...last time I went, they led me to a room the size of 6 walk-in closets FULL of discontinued books, and the samples are flat, textured, grass, fabric, solids, patterns, and in some of them each full-size sample comes with samples of all the coordinating papers, too. Those things rock my world.

I've used them for everything from book pages to frame matting, to turning them into those gift bags with the little loop handles (VERY easy to create a pattern for them.)

I'm sure fabric stores probably have sample books too.
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