2013 is The Year for internet shopping. Filipino consumers have successfully warmed up to the idea of purchasing deals online, beauty products included. I’ve read up on sample-dealing sites like Hong Kong’s Glamabox and Manila’s Glamourbox–Don’t know if that’s a coincidence or an imitation. Anyway, the concept is to send customers curated samples that match their personalized info, so they get products that are most compatible with their skin-, hair-, and body-type.
It’s a good marketing tactic: For a reasonable fee, buyers get to try out sample sizes of premium products instead of having to commit to the full-sized option that may not work for them. I’d like to try it out the local versions sometime, but they always seem to run out of sample boxes. There’s a limited pre-order list!
Another sample-dealing site I discovered in December is Sample Room. It’s genius! While similar to Glamourbox in that it carries premium/newly-launched samples of beauty products, the curating is left to the user. Upon creating an account, an automatic 100 points are given. Those points serve as the “currency” for the samples to be ordered. Each product has a corresponding “price” (e.g. Celeteque Eye Cream for 35 points, Ahava Cleanser for 60 points, etc.), and the user has the option of choosing however many items will fit into the 100-point budget. Once this is done, there is the matter of paying for shipping. (The samples are free, while the shipping is not.) In a couple of days, the products get delivered right at the user’s doorstep. Neat, right?
My first experience with Sample Room was great! I was able to get Celeteque’s regular-sized DermoScience Brightening Eye Tuck plus Dark Cirlces Lightener (retails at PHP299), Celeteque’s regular-sized DermoScience Restorative Ultra-Lifting Concentrated Serum (retails at PHP899), and Dove’s small bar of soap (retails at PHP25). All for around PHP125. I’m not joking. I had to pay PHP100 for the shipping, as there’s a corresponding delivery rate to the total weights of the products ordered. Then there was PHP20+ service charge that Globe Center charged me for use of their G-Cash payment system. That was it.
Now, here’s the 2nd part of the story: Once the points have been spent, the best way to get them back is by writing reviews for those samples. 1 point is the incentive for writing the review, and the spent points are given back upon approval of what was written. Not a bad price to pay for those items.
It’s a “bloodbath” though. More and more users have been signing up, so samples immediately run out. I guess the only way to get the most products out of the points would be to obsessively check on the site for any new posts. Here’s hoping Sample Room has more samples to give out in future…