As Canadians, it can sometimes be difficult to find information relevant to us on the web! Whether you’re shopping or measuring something, the first results that turn up are often targeted to our friends south of the border. But rest assured, there are FREE samples and various brand offerings available for Canadian moms and influencers.
I was introduced to ChickAdvisor by my sister who told me that I should join their product review club; a great and simple concept whereby I would receive free product in exchange for a review. I loved the idea and was hooked on applying for all of their campaigns. When I was chosen for my first product review, I couldn’t wait to go pick up my Mandarin Orange Canada Dry Club Soda! And from there on, I wanted to learn more about opportunities like this for Canadian Influencers! Information about such websites and product review sites was very difficult to find though and the only major website I landed upon from a Google search was Influenster (which I’ll discuss in some detail later).
Self-described as Canada’s first rating and review platform for women, ChickAdvisor features reviews in addition to its product review club and forums. While individuals can choose to review any product they want on the ChickAdvisor site, completion of five independent reviews unlocks access to the company’s product review club; the product review club is where FREE samples happen!
By simply answering a few questions (generally about your interest and familiarity with the brand and product, as well as any allergies that could prevent you from being able to effectively try what’s being offered) and providing your name and address (for shipping), and social media account handles (twitter and instagram, for shoutouts), you are on your way to trying upcoming products from brands you love.
Whereas some other product review sites select users based on social media presence (i.e. Influenster), ChickAdvisor does not choose based on these numbers alone; activity within the ChickAdvisor community and reviews on their website is important though. Often, a number of product variations are available (for example, different nail polish colours or body wash fragrances) and users will be selected based on their responses to the survey questions asked. Like any other good survey, a variety of individuals from different age groups, location, etc. is also considered.In exchange for your free product,you are required to submit a quality review containing at least 150 characters. The best reviews are the ones that describe your personal experience with the product! What was your first impression? How did it taste? Smell? Feel? Would you buy it again? If not, why? Would you recommend it to others?
Product vouchers are the most common form of samples sent but full sized products may also make an appearance in your mailbox from time to time.
Requirements: ChickAdvisorAccount; Social Media is NOT required although it could boosts your odds of being selected for a campaign if you agree to post about your sampling experience!
Social Nature describes themselves as a “social product sampling community that inspires you to #trynatural”. Whereas other companies offer mainstream brands available at traditional grocery and big box stores, Social Nature offers natural products that must meet four criteria: (1) care for the planet, (2) respect animal rights, (3) benefit the community and (4) promote wellness. If an organic, eco-friendly, all natural lifestyle describes you or if you are looking to make some positive changes, this product sampling site could be a fantastic option.
Like ChickAdvisor, applying for each campaign and filling out a survey is mandatory before you are selected to receive your freebie. However, social media presence does play a role with Social Nature. Upon receiving your product, a post or tweet on your favourite platform is a must and a feature on their Instagram or twitter page is a possibility! Top priority though, is a review on Social Nature’s website; again, think about your personal experience with the product as well as first impressions, features that stood out, and anything else you think others would want to know before buying it themselves.
If you use Instagram, be sure to participate in #TryItOutTuesday where you can enter to win a full sized sample of product just by following Social Nature and tagging a friend who would also love to try it in the comments.
Product vouchers are the most common format of samples sent but full sized products are also delivered on occasion.
Influenster is available to U.S. and Canadian Residents!
Requirements: Social Nature account + Instagram and/or Twitter and/or Facebook
Like ChickAdvisor, Influenster is a review platform that features product reviews, coupons, contests, and articles on the latests products and expert tips. As the name states though, Influenster is largely based on social media influence (although you can also qualify for a VoxBox based on your presence on the Influenster website).
Influenster features over 20 million product reviews, 2 million products, and 4 million active users, and is available to both American and Canadian users (although on social media, Influenster Canada is known as @InfluensterCA and must be tagged as such in your VoxBox shoutouts). Your Impact score is based on your total number of friends, fans, and followers and status ranges between Low, Medium, and High; naturally, those with a high score, will receive more VoxBoxes without as much activity on the Influenster site.
Personally, I’ve only written a handful of reviews and have been selected for several VoxBoxes within the half year I have been a member. Your social media post is everything though and failure to do one could result in not receiving anymore VoxBoxes in the future.
Unlike ChickAdvisor and Social Nature, the Influenster VoxBox contains a couple to several products from a number of different brands (I received two samples of Kat Von D perfumes, Saint and Sinner, over the summer and my first VoxBox ever contained 8 items ranging from Macaroni and Cheese, Nivea Body Firming Oil, to a voucher for Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent). In exchange for your VoxBox, you are required to write a review on the Influenster platform as well as a social media post AND, if you choose to do so, you can also complete the box’s campaign to earn a badge (which will boost your Influenster status and in return, make you eligible for more VoxBoxes!).
Influenster is available to U.S. and Canadian Residents!
Requirements: Influenster account + Instagram and/or Twitter and/or Facebook
Similar to Influenster, Shop and Shout is based on your social media influence. Users are invited to shop in the marketplace where the number of friends and followers you have on various social media platforms will allow you to experience an array of brands and products for FREE. For example, an individual with 2,500 Instagram followers can redeem for a $60 dinner for two voucher at Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar. Other brands, like Spud.ca, require both a minimum number of Facebook friends and Instagram followers (750 and 3,000, in this case) to redeem for their product.
In exchange for your choice of experience, Shop and Shout requires a mandatory ShoutOut on social media in addition to using certain hashtags or other items as required by the brand (each item in the marketplace will have set requirements that you must fulfill in order to enjoy your experience for FREE). However, unlike the other three platforms discussed, Shop and Shout requires a credit card on file in case the user does not fulfill his or her obligation to the brand; the team does make their best effort to help its members complete all tasks within the given time frame though (generally between one day to one week). If you ask me, this is a very fair arrangement!
Products are delivered to you in their full size format or are available for pickup while vouchers or coupon code are sent online.
Shop and Shout is available to both U.S. and Canadian residents!
Requirements: Shop and Shout account + Instagram and/or Twitter and/or Facebook