Free To Death
With a background that looks like something Hannibal Lecter might keep in his kitchen drawer, the free stuff feeding frenzy begins. A pop up window of 30-odd mega-sites and a page of countless links send you spiralling into a consumption vortex you may never escape. They have found heaps of genuine free offers - anything from rubber gloves to animation cels. Now you can spend the rest of your life filling out forms and sending money orders off for postage and packing. Soon that bottomless pit of need seems to be somehow a little less deep as your house begins to reach critical mass. Keep on clicking....if you're still alive.
Verdict: Terminally appealing. - SS
The little cartoon thingamabobs have been keeping this site neat and clean and making it very easy for you to browse the countless opportunities for gratuitous consumption. Each link is described by the linkee, so you spend a little less time going where you don't really want to go, and the 15 major categories are laid out on the front page with no confusion. It's amazing what you can find when you go looking. Wall posters, oven mitts, labels, CD's, advice, help, pills - whatever can fit in a small post pack and lead to you spending more with the generous bestowers of materialism. If you're lucky you might just send them bankrupt!
Verdict: This site is very, uh, whaddyacallit?...uh.. good. - SS
Net Worth: ***
One huge network marketing bazaar, 4FreeNet proffers all the categories of freebies, along with money making opportunities, contests, specials and trial memberships. By doing their homework in the site design and construction areas, they make it easy to find what you want, and even provide comparisons between such things as free web hosting services. After visiting this site, you will have a full life ahead of you, collecting stuff, reading emails, clicking for cash and filling out surveys. If you do it right, you may come away richer, happier and maybe even a little wiser.
Verdict: They've done the hard work, all you have to do is grab the gratuities. - SS
Free Stuff to Clutter Your House With
What started as a personal home page of a guy that liked free stuff in 1996, is now a fully-fledged portal of abundance, categorising the junk into appropriate sections for easy perusal. I'm starting to notice a few of the same free things turning up on all these sites, which could be a tell-tale sign of the limitations of this kind of activity. For the moment, there is still plenty to find. Being created by a seasoned pro, this site even gives you a "sites to avoid" section - something missing from most of the other sites.
Verdict: What have you got to lose? Start Cluttering! - SS
Claiming that everything here is 100% free, this site is an attempt to be as non-commercial as possible (no banner ads) whilst still maintaining a professional standard. This is achieved with a few click-through benefits for the site's creator, and by maintaining a quality collection of links, all reviewed and categorised, so that you'll keep coming back. It's a numbers game, but perhaps the commissions are keeping these guys alive, because the site is well-maintained and keeps you up to date with the latest and best free offers out there.
Verdict: Maybe not #1, but certainly in the top million. - SS
Free Stuff on Free-Stuff.com
Well they've certainly stuffed this one. Stuffed it full of every bonus points and earn-cash-while-you-click scheme they could find. Instead of heaps of free stuff, you will be sent to all and sundry destinations to sign up for e-mail notifications of when your cat needs de-sexing, when the next big "fill this survey out and win big bucks" promo comes out, and stuff your post box with catalogues. It's a thousand-stop door-to-door tupperware party that will leave you feeling that somehow, somewhere along the line, this free thing is weighted just a little bit in favour of the marketeers. But, hey, you've got nothing to lose but what precious little time you have left on this planet, so what the heck... keep on clickin'!
Verdict: R.S.I. for cash! - SS
Sometimes the one-person sites can reap as many benefits as the bigger ones, simply because they are driven by their own interest in a subject as well as the desire for commercial gain. Free Mall is a case in point, where they obsessively trawl the net for every freebie in sight, asking little more from visitors that they "enjoy the site" and check out their pet dogs. This may look bad for business, but it certainly makes for a good treasure hunt as you delve into each category and find gold everywhere you look. You also realise that dozens of these links are going to earn click-through points for Free Mall, so hit by hit the owner gets richer and richer, and more motivated to keep the site updated. It's a win win win situation!
Verdict: The only mall where shoplifting is compulsory.- SS
The no frills approach is taken here, and works well, since all you are after is good links to the real sites that are actually giving you the stuff. A large selection of categories are covered, from software, fonts and Java games to CD's, books and clothes. The "webmasters choice freebies" are worth a look since they ought to know a bargain when they see one. All links have a little blurb attached, which makes browsing this site quick and easy. Sometimes, a bit of plain text in nice brief sentences is all a surfer needs.
Verdict: Absolutely generic, definitely bookmarkable. - SS
Freaky Freddy's Free Funhouse of Free Stuff
The freakmeister has been out there surfing the cyberwaves from dusk til dawn on a regular basis. No tan, but he has come up with over 70 categories of free stuff, and claims to be the biggest free site on the net. Daily maintenance and an amazing range of goods, coupled with a good dose of humour and some categories you will have a hard time finding anywhere else, Freaky Freddy may have hit the jackpot. And you collect the prizes! Best thing about this site is a lot of explaining goes into each section and link, so you remain in the freebie loop longer and you may even have a few laughs and learn something to boot.
Verdict: Freddy is the freakiest freebie frequenter around. - SS
Sweet Melissa's Freebies
Melissa spends a little too much time being sweet, and not enough time making a happening web site. Although there are plenty of links to free stuff, and it is fairly regularly updated, it's just not quite comprehensive enough to warrant too much investigation. One benefit is a site map, so you can see exactly what is on offer here. Still a few good links, but this is really just someone's attempt to make a bit of extra cash, and they're obviously not making enough to fuel the drive to improve.
Verdict: Sweet nothing much. - SS
Free Site X - Secret Free Stuff
Just because there is an X in the name, doesn't mean it's porn. This is a goldmine of not only free stuff, but all the resources you need to start your own free stuff site, or any other site, for that matter. If you ignore the occasional spelling and grammatical errors, the detailed descriptions and review of each and every link here is extremely informative. There are even ratings charts to help you pick the best scheme for you in areas such as banner exchange, or web hosting. Heaps of webmaster resources, as well as all the standard free coupons, samples, trials and survey contests.
Verdict: It's eXceptional value. It's free! - SS
Cybergold - The Web's Earn and Spend Community
Cybergold offers a web alternative to hooking up consumers with merchants, using loyalty advantages like Visa and Mastercard do in the real world. They explain very clearly how the banks can charge you a lot more than you would think for their services. By limiting their fees, Cybergold makes small ticket items like music and graphics etc become much more affordable. It also allows the merchants to promote themselves better, offering heaps of freebies and advantages, as a result of cost saving and reaching a wider market. It is well worth checking out as a buyer or a seller, as there are big wins for everyone.
Verdict: Yeehaaa! Thar's gold in them thar pixels!. - SS
INDIVIDUAL FREE OFFERS:
Free Search Engines Special Report
Netrageous is a publicity and PR firm that specialises in getting big results from being smart rather than spending heaps of money. "How to get one million dollars worth of publicity for FREE" is one bit of advice they offer. Fill out this form and get their "tricks of the trade" in search engine promotion for free. Follow the link and find out more, before realising that you ought to fork out a few bucks so you can get on Oprah, too.
Verdict: Promote yourself to outrageous proportions - SS
Free Music Takeaway
While the music industry sits around debating the future of on line music, these funky dudes are dishing it out for free. Real Audio, MP3, MIDI, Chord progressions, grooves, tips - even a few artistic paintings are served up for nix. It's more of a musician resource than a commercial pop music site, but you won't be disappointed - well, you can't be disappointed, you ain't payin' anyway! You soon will, though, so get in now. This is fast becoming less of a treasure trove and more of a shop every day.
Verdict: Would you like some sheet music with that? - SS
Top List MIDI Files
Somehow these guys keep avoiding being shut down by the copyright police. This little elite squad of MIDI programmers loves to bring you the latest top 40 hits in MIDI format before anyone else, and give the stuff away. Join their mailing list and receive updates of new songs just completed. If you think you are pretty hot on the old keyboard, why not join them and start sequencing for world fame. The standard of programming is pretty high, for amateurs. These files are very usable. (personal use, of course)
Verdict: Chart topping MIDI heaven. - SS
What the heck, your old mousepad is getting a bit boring. Been looking at Bart Simpson or Daffy Duck too long? Fill out a couple of very simple questions, maybe subscribe to their updates, and whammo, your clicking away in a whole new dimension. Oh, oops, did I happen to mention you should have a friend who lives in the US or Canada? Unfortunately a huge proportion of free stuff out there is restricted to North America. Maybe it's worth getting a PO Box......
Verdict: Ethnocentricity at it's meanest. - SS
Discovery Channel School Educator Guide
What better way to boost sales than to get teachers to promote your show in the classroom, then offer a catalogue of products through the teacher's guide? Commerce and education are on a headlong collision course here, as the respected Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Travel Channel, and Animal Planet begin marketing themselves into schools. At least their shows are generally regarded as being of a high standard. Hopefully when you get the guide book, it will also have more than a token educational section to match the product order form.
Verdict: It's free, like the drink you got with your burger, but at least it's educational. - SS
Science In Your Shopping Cart
Here is a complete online book about the physics, chemistry and biology in your average weekly shopping. One thing about books is that you don't even have to get them sent to you, you can just save the text from the net. Sure, you don't get the pretty cover and professional binding, but you were only going to stack it on your shelf of half-read books anyway.
Verdict: Fascinating Facts about Food and Stuff.- SS
Notes On Call Audio Guitar Lessons
Get yourself a sample CD of guitar lessons from the "Notes on Call" courses of audio-based teaching. What better way to learn music than listening, eh? A few other tempting offers to get you started. These guys have featured their lessons in the prestigious "Guitar Player" magazine, so my guess is that it would be worth a shot, if you fancy yourself as a budding Jimi Hendrix - not that you have a death wish, of course.
Verdict: With the number of people who give up guitar lessons after the first one or two, I hope these guys don't go broke! - SS
One Life Ministries, Free Christian Music
God wanted this guy to give his music away. Unfortunately, I don't think God expected the Free Stuff site craze to catch on so much - or maybe he/she did! John Fairbanks has recorded an album of inspirational music and is happy even after the mad rush, to send you a copy if you send him the $2.00 postage. One thing you can count on if you give out of genuine faith is that you will probably get something back, and I'd say John would be collecting the odd donation here and there, especially from those that like the songs.
Verdict: Spreading the lyrics of the lord's disciples. - SS
Software, games, clipart, HTML editors, etc. All free - kinda - you pay $3.95 postage - each! I'd say that just about makes them a tiny profit, but the object here is to interest you in other software packages and generally think that these dudes are all round nice guys. Now you're not going to bother to send four bucks American to anyone unless you are really interested are you? Or do you really get off on that sensation of feeling like you didn't have to pay for something, even of that something will end up being used as a drink coaster?
Verdict:. Why not order the entire 28 CD's for free? Postage and handling: US$110.60! - SS
Home Remedies for Women
Another case of having to have a US PO Box to get this offer, but it is a good example of the kind of marketing that can be done on line. Offer a free trial read of a book, throw another book in for free whether you buy or not, and hope that the person forgets to send the main book back in time, or spills a coffee on it, or maybe even actually likes it. The book sounds good enough, although I don't know how sick you are expecting to be to need 1,749 home remedies to experiment with.
Verdict: No obligation to buy - not much anyway. - SS
Post off for your free sample envelope made from the hemp plant. These guys have an uphill battle convincing the uneducated that you can't get stoned off these things, so giving them away at least gets the product some recognition beyond the hype of sensationalised scare mongering. Here they can use the same sales techniques of their illegal cousins - try before you buy, and you might like it enough to want more.
Verdict: An envelope for an envelope. - SS
Heart Foods Products
Last time I looked at this site they were giving away free capsules to sample of their miraculous health tonic, but sadly, they have had to go back to merely offering free information. Seems a bit silly sending away for information. Isn't that what the Internet is for?
Verdict: Heartless b*** got my hopes up. - SS
Your wedding day is the biggest day of your life. It is also perhaps the most expensive. That is why this site can get a whole bunch of big companies to help the offer a stack of free info and software, to help you plan your day. You can even get your own "wedsite" to showcase the event. CD only available in the states, but identical software is downloadable for us down-under types.
Verdict: They do.
Epicurean Kitchen Wholesale Cakes Request Form
Sydney based gourmet cake-makers offer free samples of their sumptuous desserts to prospective cafes and restaurants interested in selling these delights. Note this is wholesale only. I guess you could always say you are considering opening a restaurant, when in actual fact you have the munchies, but that would be dishonest. Delicious, but dishonest.
Verdict: An offer any restaurant owner couldn't refuse - SS
Thanks to the concept of tithing, and the other concept of converting, Christians and other religious groups tend to be able to easily afford to give away a lot of stuff without feeling it in the hip pocket. God is the accountant, and he/she says it's cool to spread the word and they don't even have to write it off for tax, because they don't pay any. Here are links to free music, screen savers, bible study guides, web page hosting and life-guide books to help you through the hustle and bustle living in a world gripped by the evil overlord David Hasselhoff.
Verdict: The CGI gateway to salvation. - SS
Serious Developments - Free Christian Software Directory
A very large repository of bible and study assistant free-ware, images, screensavers, church management software, music software and tons of MIDI files. You will then be taken into other pages of rather un-free software, of a far wider scope including "Charlton Heston's Voyage Through the Bible", and the ever popular "Hooked on Hebrew". If it's heavenly, it's here.
Verdict: A site of Biblical proportions. - SS
Key Of David
I found this one after getting up for a glass of water one Sunday morning and seeing this show on Channel 10 at 4.30am. Gerald R Flurry was preaching the true word of God, and telling me I could get all this free stuff on the web site. I sent off for some and it turned up on my doorstep within a week. Fascinating reading, especially if you are Asian, Aboriginal or Gay - or all three. It seems God is and always was an Anglo Saxon and will be coming back to save all the white people from the ungodly yellow and black folk and fix up a genetic anomaly he failed to correct when he had his first big bang. Read all about it, and perhaps ring up and get the program thrown off air. Don't you know we are all part of "The Matrix", and Keanu Reeves is "The One"?
Verdict: No money down - repent later. - SS
Have you ever wondered how to get a response form onto your web site without paying a fortune or spending half your life learning code? Well at last Freedback is here with instant response forms for your site in minutes. They offer you a whole bunch of choices of radio buttons, form fields, drop down menus etc, and you can edit the code very easily once the HTML has been created for you. It is all wonderful, except that the CGI bin they use sits on their server, and they insist on stacking the "thank you" page full of ads. It could be a bit much for your customers to handle, but for a personal home page, it's great.
Verdict: Hop on the CGI Freeway. - SS