Sudden Onslaught of Free Sample Requests from Foreign Countries
Today I’ve had about 20 emails from people claiming to own boutiques in Russia, Ukraine, and various other foreign countries, and they all want free samples. The emails are not slowing down and I can’t take time to reply. Clearly, as a one-woman business I can’t afford the time or materials to send free samples of my line to dozens of people. Other perfumers get these requests all the time too. It’s just distressing today because the emails are coming so fast they are clogging up my inbox. Someone must have mentioned me online on a foreign blog somewhere, suggesting writing for samples. I doubt they will be reading this. Hopefully it will settle down in a few days. I always get some of these emails, but not usually this many in one morning. If a legitimate boutique emails me and I’m interested in working with them I can send samples, but I am limiting my wholesaling to just a few places for now. I’ll have more to say about that next week. Most of these emails today don’t even mention the name of a store and just make vague references; they are just people fishing for samples. Samples are available for purchase on my site, at Indie Scents, at The Posh Peasant, and at The Perfumed Court. I think my website probably makes me look like a larger company than I am, so people don’t realize that it is an unreasonable request. I wonder what was posted somewhere today to start this little avalanche of emails.
Hi Laurie…I too have had some of these requests lately and find it quite rude. If you have a sample program in place, then it is unreasonable to ask for free samples. Keep up the great work and can’t wait to see what else is in store!
Thanks Candice, you too! I know I’m not alone in getting these. I think if people knew how little indie businesses run they would understand that the economics and the time constraints just don’t allow us to spend hours making free samples. Maybe they envision some kind of automated sample maker instead of the human hands it actually requires.
The problem is that you’re guilty of being too professional, lol! They must think you are a big company, like By Kilian or L’Artisan! A testament to the beauty and ease of your website 🙂
Free samples are nice, but I think that most people will understand that they are not feasible (time-wise or economically) for such a small operation. I’ll go place that sample order I’ve been meaning to do, as a show of support!
Thanks Dee! 🙂
PS I know you’re interested in jammy figs, so I can include samples of a couple things that might help bring out more jam in Fig Tree. It would be easy to tweak in that direction if you layered the samples and liked the effect.
This is one advantage to being a small company — I can’t send out free samples, but I can have much more interaction with customers and can offer more personal attention. That’s one thing I love about being indie. 🙂
Laurie…It is unfortunate when this happens. Your samples are very reasonably priced and last a long time. Those of us who have purchased fragrances from you know you are a very gracious and kind person. Your personal attention is evident throughout your web site and the entire purchasing process. Your fragrance followers will always be your loyal customers and friends!
Thanks so much, Cathy. I felt a little worried when so many emails were coming in so quickly, but things seem to have settled back down again. The language barrier may make it harder for people to understand that their request isn’t reasonable. I do have a pretty obvious sample page though, and I have a list of countries I can ship to on the FAQ page. I think people were following some tip somewhere on the net without spending any time to look at my site. Thanks for you sweet comment. 🙂