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Yes, There Really is a Freebie Santa Claus
If you are a cynic when it comes to offers of free stuff, you are not alone. Everyone has had notions like ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? and ?if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is? drilled into their heads, and for good reason ? these things often hold water. On the flip side, there ARE actually lots of places you can score some decent free stuff, if you know where to look and are willing to devote some time to hunting them down. The key to getting the best free stuff with the least amount of hassle is to stick with that healthy cynicism but to also dipping your toe in the freebie pool little by little.
But why would anyone give stuff away for free? It is certainly an obvious question, but if you stop to consider it for a moment, you can see that companies actually have a lot of motivation to give away free stuff. After all, if they give you something for free, you are bound to have a little soft spot for their company, and when you are ready to part with some cash, their product may near the top of your list. Also, by giving away free things, companies can convince people to try new products. You might not want to try a new kind of shampoo if you have to pay for it, but you?d certainly be willing to give a free sample a try. You may end up loving it and switching to that shampoo for good, turning you into a paying customer.
Another reason a company might give you free stuff is to complete market research. This is where getting free things can get a little complicated for some people because the products may not cost you money, but the offer may cost you a little time. A company might ask you to take a survey of your buying habits before they give you a free offer, or they may ask you to provide feedback on a regular basis as you try their product for free. Some people balk at the time commitment required here, but for other people, filling out some paperwork is a small price to pay for some free stuff.
Of course, to convert you into a customer or to communicate with you about market research, a company will have to contact you, which is complicated area number two for freebie lovers. You will almost always be forced to hand over your email address in order to cash in on a free offer, and that is a recipe for opening your inbox up to a barrage of spam (many companies sell your email address to offset the costs of their free promotions, which means the number of people soliciting you can go through the roof very quickly). If you want to avoid this downside of freebie hunting, set up a special email address specifically for your freebie deals. That way all of your spam goes to this one address and your regular email you use with family and friends remains free and clear.
One final note of caution about free stuff online: a lot of scammers have hit on the idea of using pretend freebie offers to solicit personal information about people or to convince people to send them money. Don?t send money, even for postage, to a company you don?t know and never, ever give out personal information online. No reputable company is going to ask for your social security number or bank account details for a freebie offer, so don?t hand them out to anyone. When in doubt, skip it and move to the next freebie.
Free Downloadable Software ? Not Always a Scam Do you want to download free software off the World Wide Web, but you are afraid of getting your computer infected with a virus, spyware or other bad cyber invaders? If so, you will be happy to learn that there are many websites that specialize in legitimate free downloads that won't cause your computer to become awash in viruses or spyware. Here is a just a brief sampling of different websites that specialize in free (and safe) downloadable software. These sites let you enjoy the best of the web without the danger of less reputable websites. Get Your Fill of Entertainment at Download.com Are you looking for a place where you can download free games and tools? If so, Download.com should cause you to rejoice. This site contains a wide range of games, tools and utilities. This website bills itself as a haven for "safe, trusted and spyware-free" software. Savvy web surfers know that Download.com offers the best library of legal and totally free software downloads, game downloads and music downloads. This website is also known as a well-regarded repository of credible and relevant information about the latest game releases, software updates and other free downloads. All of the downloadable software found on this site is put through a rigorous set of tests. Moreover, registration is fast and free. You can even write your own reviews for software and participate in the active CNET forums. From fun to functional, you can probably find what you are looking for right here. Update Your Drivers for the Smoothest Web Experience In order to make sure that you always get the smoothest online experience possible, make sure to update your drivers on a regular basis. DriversHQ.com offers you an easy way to make certain that you always have the best and latest drivers on your computer. This site allows you to detect its own Driver Detective software services. Drivers Headquarters is known as the best driver update service. This service is easy to use and it is designed to help you upgrade your update your drivers in a safe and fast manner. They even have new drivers that support XP and Vista programs. Use their driver detective to find what needs to be updated, and to update your current drivers. Tired of Nagging Software Updates? Then Head On Over to Nonags.com Are you tired of downloading software, only to have it nag you with updates on a regular basis? Are you tired of being hassled by your own downloads to buy the upgraded versions? Here is a refreshing website that offers you downloads that do not put a limit on the number of days you can use them, and that do not constantly pester you to purchase the upgraded version of the software download. This website is an amazing compendium of the latest freeware, along with editor picks and user ratings. Get the Latest and the Greatest at Tucows Where can you turn for the latest and the greatest in safe software downloads. If so, you will want to place a bookmark on the Tucows.com website. This is one of the most amazing collections of safe and effective downloadable software. You can choose from freeware, shareware and pay software. Tucows.com features software downloads for your Windows PC, your Mac, Linux-based systems, your PDA and programs to streamline and improve your online experience. This site has become a popular spot to find hard-to-find software for Mac computers. Enjoy the editorial ratings and the myriad range of programs and tools. Enjoy everything from poker software downloads to design programs that help you achieve your highest level of creativity.