Monday, April 26, 2010

The Case for Multiple Samplers

Ok, I admit it.  I am one of those horrible people that contributors to samplers secretly have a serious dislike of.  Yes, it's true, I am a "multiple sampler buyer" (cue Psycho shower music).

For those of you not in the know, I am talking about home made item samplers, like Little Black Boxes or Sampler Village. They are boxes of sample sized (and sometimes full sized) products that have been donated to these samplers as a means of promotion. Sellers send samples to these box sellers in the hopes that, by providing samples to potential customers, this will lead to future purchases of full sized products.

I am all about samplers.  I think they are an awesome idea.  I have discovered sellers who I buy from almost religiously through finding their products in samplers.  I also love that some of the samplers are more geared towards a certain type of buyer, (for example, The Sampler tends to have more card and jewelry samples).  I even like a lot of the themes the sampler sellers have come up with for cohesion of items.

Now, the idea is, a seller buys a sampler box, they use the usually awesome samples in the box, and then they go off and buy more items they liked from the sellers that are in the box. For the sellers, the more people who are exposed to their products, the more likely a sale will result from their donations.

So, because of this, I know sellers are not too thrilled with people who buy multiple boxes of samplers filled with their donated items. Less exposure is never a good thing in advertising and promotion.

However, every month I find myself buying multiple boxes from at least one seller.  Yes, I do feel vaguely guilty about it, but I am going to continue doing it. Why? For a number of reasons.

Multiples of the same sampler do not always contain the same things.  Some sellers send in multiple scents. I may not like one of them.  If I get 2 boxes, and one is a scent I do not care for, but one is, higher probability that I will buy.  Some samplers, you do not get everything in one box, multiples expose me to more sellers.  and sometimes, if it is something relatively small, an extra is a good thing to help me decide to buy.  I also sometimes get a sample of something I think someone I know would love, and there's nothing better than having an extra sample to pass along to someone who may eventually buy.

Since money is tight here, I have a certain amount of money put aside every month for purchases of items from samplers.  Yes, I do get a backlog eventually of all of the great things I want, but I love having lots of options. I also love discovering new items to review and new sellers to buy from.

So, I encourage you to buy from the sellers in the boxes when you buy the samplers. Keep this great idea alive, and support handmade. And if you buy multiple boxes, be sure you are doing so to aid future purchases, not so you can just have more soap in the house. The actual producer of that sample sent it to the sampler for free.  Let them see some return on your use of their product.

No comments: