Sampling is one of the best ways to discover new products, or old ones you've always wanted to try. Unfortunately brands here are not able to be as generous as their counterparts abroad. It has something to do with shipping costs, I think, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to get samples from high-end brands. They do have samples, just in very limited quantities.
So, here are three ways to get product samples in the Philippines!
1. Request from the stores and counters. High-end brands would often give GWPs (gift with purchase) to those who buy something from them. These are usually samples, but some would give full sizes (extra stocks or testers) if they have any. The key is to have good rapport with the sales attendant, and to show that you could be loyal to the brand if you find something to love. It's in their best interest to "convert" you then!
But what if you don't plan to purchase yet and just want to try the product first? Simple, request for some product straight from the testers. This best applies to skincare and foundation. :) Bring a small clear jar like the ones you can buy from drugstores, and ask if you could take home a few of pumps of the product to try. Make sure everything is sanitized before you transfer though!
It can be a little embarrassing to ask but hey, the samples are there to be used. Just don't abuse the right, and to ask as nicely as possible. ;) They should oblige - if they are properly trained, they should know it's in their best interest to accommodate you.
2. Sign up at Sample Room. Sample Room is a local service that gathers samples from drugstore to high-end brands, and distributes them to its members via a point system. Each new member gets 100 points and these points can immediately be used to avail of the samples at the website. To get your points back, you just need to post a review of what you got at the website. It's not 100% free since you still need to pay a flat rate of P100 to have the item/s shipped to you, but P100 is a reasonable service fee. You're not just paying for the shipping - you're also paying for the use of the website.
Shu Uemura, Kiehl's, Benefit, and Cure are just some of the brands that have participated at SR. FYI, the website now has a VIP membership program where you can buy 1,000 points for P599.
3. Buy the beauty boxes. Beauty boxes are basically a pre-chosen collection of samples and full-sized products that you can buy for about P500-P600. It's a novel way to try new things, but the limitation is that you won't be able to choose what you get. Nonetheless, I'm sure you can trust certain boxes to include a thoughtful, well-curated selection. I highly recommend Glamourbox and the BDJ Box since these two are fairly consistent in including great products in their packages.
BDJ recently launched the Elite Box, which is about P1,950 I think. It mostly contains full sizes that all together costs more than that. However, I would prefer to buy one high-end product with that price!
So there you go. :) What's your favorite way of availing beauty samples? Are you a woman with a plan when trying out new products, or do you like to be surprised?