Finally, the online beauty product sampling phenomenon has reached our shores. Sample Room is the latest business to join this trend, and the most promising so far.
I first read about beauty box subscriptions last year. For a monthly subscription fee, you get a box filled with mystery beauty product samples. I never signed up for one because I thought it was a waste of money getting product samples that you might not need or want.
Sample Room is heaven sent for those like me who want to use only the best products, but do not have the money to try different brands to find out what works for our skin type. Sample Room’s tag line is “Try Before You Buy.” You choose only the product samples that you want, pay a minimal fee for shipping and handling costs, use the products, then decide if you want to buy a full-size version from your preferred retailer. Sometimes the brands give out full sizes as samples. Brand partners are impressive. They include Bobbi Brown, Benefit, Celeteque, Kiehl’s, Shiseido, Shu Uemura, Nivea, Calvin Klein, Ferrari fragrance, Kerastase, Ralph Lauren and many others.
I signed up in January and have now ordered and reviewed a total of 5 different products. I’m currently waiting for my 4th batch of samples, consisting of 3 items. Here are the things that I like about Sample Room, along with some suggestions for improvement:
Things I Like About Sample Room:
1. Easy and free registration process
2. Easy site navigation
3. Gives out an initial 100 points that can be used immediately to order product samples
4. No product fees
5. Low shipping and handling fee – Starts at P100 for Metro Manila delivery
6. Impressive brand partners
7. Fast delivery of items – In my case it’s usually 3 days after order is confirmed
8. Fast approval of comments / reviews – Comments get approved within 24 hours after submission
9. Fast credit back of points – Points are credited within 24 hours after comment submission
10. Honest reviews – Reviewers will state if they liked the product or not
Room For Improvement:
1. Add number of available samples
2. Add brands and services
3. Add more ways to earn points
The best thing that I like about Sample Room is getting to know about other people’s experiences through the product reviews. I see the reviewer’s skin type / skin tone along with the review, so this gives me an idea of what might work for me. The reviews are not carefully crafted product endorsements normally made by and expected from celebrities, but simple statements of what worked or didn’t work for the reviewer.
On the other hand, the most frustrating thing about Sample Room is the limited number of available samples. For popular brands (and most of them are), samples run out in a few hours. You have to monitor the site’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to catch the announcement of the availability of a new batch of samples. Sometimes they do restock, but it’s never on a predetermined day or date.
Overall, I’m satisfied with Sample Room’s current product offerings, but I’m curious to know if the current level of interest will be sustained. How do they plan to entice new registrants and retain the interest of current members in the long run? Also, maybe samples shouldn’t be limited to beauty products? Product sampling sites in the US cover a lot of different product categories including food, food supplements, personal care items and magazine subscriptions. Wouldn’t it be exciting if that expanded product sampling concept would be brought here?
For now, let’s try the products that are available. Go now to the Sample Room website to get your beauty product sample fix.
*Top image taken from Sample Room’s Facebook page.