I love free samples.
They are free, and normally in some amount that is at least useful for something.
That said, I got a free sample in my email today that I can’t wait to take advantage of. It was a link, inviting me to Burning Crusade free for 10 days. Kind of as a “Hey, you want to upgrade your account for free without paying the 40 bucks in the store, but only for 10 days” kind of thing. Now, I have to admit, my Wow account has been closed for 4 months now, but I would like to get back in for a week or two sometime soon… Once I beat Pokemon Diamond most likely. I need to make sure Richard comes in with me as well, that way I have someone to play with.
I feel though that free samples are only still remaining at my favorite places to shop, namely food places and video game stores. They are the only two places that I really walk into with a “try before you buy” mentality. Even the food places have cut back though. I remember that I used to get mini boxes of cereal in the mail… Not anymore. Perhaps it’s a cost thing. Perhaps its a profit thing. Perhaps I just ended up off their mailing list.
Where am I going with this… Ah yes… I think free samples are what businesses think their website is now. It’s a way to give as much free information as they possibly can to the customer, short of letting them see, touch, and feel the product. Look at shopping for cars online… You can spin your car, look inside, heck, a few of the sites even let you hear how your car could sound. Of course you would still want to see it in person, but that’s happening less and less because people are able to get a good enough sample online.
I’m not sure there is a problem with this… But what happens when people start misrepresenting their product online? Are they already? What is it call if it isn’t a true sample? Free useless information? I have a feeling the internet is already full of that.