One of the perks of this blog is that publishers send me free books to review (which I then give away). While that may be nice, I still wish I was a successful gadget-blogger. They get free electronics to review! Anyways, the whole point of this is that companies are perfectly willing to send out free stuff in order to generate “buzz” or word-of-mouth. It’s a powerful idea and potentially way cheaper than conventional means like television advertising.
Enter BzzAgent, which brings this concept to the public. Based on your profile and little surveys that you fill out, they will send you products that companies are interesting in giving out. You basically get a reviewer’s kit consisting of a free item, some coupons for your friends to buy that item, and some pamphlets about the item. You have no obligation to say anything nice or sell anything. You just openly admit that you got the item for free and give your honest opinion.
Things I’ve gotten from BzzAgent for free: (signed up in April 2005)
- Free hotel night at Springhill Suites (pretty nice)
- Free bottle of Island Breeze by Bacardi (not that good)
- Free bag of Purina ONE dog food (gave my dog gas)
- Free box of 20 Take5 candy bars (tasty)
- 3 Free Music CDs from YourMusic.com (not worth the money)
- Free Sonicare toothbrush
(See, I just mentioned a whole bunch of brands.) Finally, after you do your bzz’ing, you can report back what you and others thought of it in return for points, which can be redeemed for other knicknacks. Frankly, the free samples themselves are much better.
I still classify this as Bored Money because it can take a decent amount of time, and I only bother to sign up for things that interest me.