Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How To Get A Free Laptop or Plasma TV Through Gift Reward Websites

If you’ve ever encountered sites on the internet that claimed to offer brand new laptop computers, mp3 players, or even plasma TV’s for free, I’m sure most of you jumped to the immediate conclusion that they must all be scams. Well, on some level you may be correct and your initial instincts serve you well. But the misleading deception is not that they don’t actually give out laptops, it’s that these so-called free laptop offers do require some up front financial commitment and mandatory participation in a few monthly subscription programs. However, if you have a keen eye for seeking out deals that require the least amount of out-of-pocket effort, and know how to manipulate the rules by taking advantage of free trial offers, it’s possible to walk away with a brand new laptop for only a fraction of its fair market value.

What I’m about to share may be time consuming and require almost anal, obsessive compulsive organizational skills, but the potential payoff at the end is quite substantial. For those of you who need the laptop or fancy electronic gadget right away, you probably won’t have the patience for what this process demands. The procedure takes some time to complete and requires a lot of waiting – up to four months usually from start to finish. To successfully game the system and earn your almost free reward product you will need to be detail-oriented and willing to exercise patience and follow directions to the letter. If you follow these instructions, you should be able to beat the gift reward system and earn your prize – whether it be a free laptop, Ipod, Xbox, Playstation, or even a free plasma TV. The gift reward process does work, but it is heavily dependent on your own persistence and ability to successfully micromanage your offers to completion. If you are the type to give up easily or freak out in despair at the first sign of trouble, I don’t recommend any of this for you since you will likely crash and burn. For everyone else – good luck!

Background About Gift Reward Websites That Offer Free Laptops and Other Free Promotions

You may have heard about these websites that offer customers the chance to earn a free gift reward – usually an expensive prize like a notebook computer or even a plasma television set. I see these offers all the time and sometimes I even hear a few success stories here and there from friends (as well as a few horror stories) – but I never paid them much attention. I always assumed they were either spam offers or websites run by scammers. However it looks like some of these free gift reward companies are now branching out into mainstream media – running radio commercials, television spots, and featuring online banner advertisements on various websites.

These companies usually run a large number of similarly designed websites touting free laptops, free iPhones and an assortment of so-called free products. In exchange for you signing up yourself and/or referring a few friends to some of the company’s paid services, the company is willing to offer you a free reward. Some programs only require that you yourself participate in select offers, while others require you to refer friends, family, and strangers. Personally I recommend staying away from referral programs since I think they are too much trouble. Ultimately, the reward provider makes money because the sponsors and affiliate programs they promote pay them a lot of money in the form of incentives and commissions for advertising their products. By requiring you and I to sign up for paid products and subscriptions, the prize company makes a lot of money through referrals, which they in turn use a portion of to buy gift rewards for those that qualify for redemption. The way to beat the system is to make sure you cancel your paid programs before the end of free trial periods, or at the very least after fulfilling the prize terms to minimize your overall expenditure. Even for those gift reward programs that limit the number of cancellations to a certain number, you can still seek out the least costly programs to participate in for the mandatory length of time.

The reality is that not all customers will successfully complete the reward redemption procedure and many end up paying more money for unnecessary services than the ultimate value of their reward. The prize system works because the company knows that a sizable portion of customers will fail to follow the rules and procedure and not fulfill the terms to qualify for their reward. This method of working the odds is also how credit card companies make so much money off of promotions like 0% balance transfer offers. They count on a certain percentage of people to fail to make the business enterprise financially profitable. But you can choose to be part of that percentage that does succeed. If you follow the rules to the letter and document your receipts, as well as stick to the terms and conditions, you may be one of those that come out on top.

Some may say these types of offers are nothing but scams, but frankly they are really no different than your so-called reputable mobile phone company offering you a “free cell phone” with a new 2 year long term cellular contract. The word “free” is loosely defined these days in the business world. These companies and websites probably need to put a bigger asterisk by the word “free,” and indicate more prominently that additional terms and conditions apply. However, I think consumers need to take it upon themselves to read the fine print more carefully. In the world of free gift reward websites, the word “free” does not mean that the customer pays nothing out of pocket whatsoever – there is no such business model that could survive this way. When they say “free”, what they mean is that the customer pays nothing directly to obtain the product, say a free laptop, but may have to subscribe and enroll in a few participating product promos to qualify. These product offers frequently do require financial commitment, but only for the length of time required for reward program fulfillment (usually 1-2 months). In many cases you can cancel the paid monthly subscriptions within the free trial period without incurring a charge. Of course, each reward program’s terms and conditions vary so please read carefully.

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