I learned about the Sample Room on the very day of its launch while reading through Project Vanity. The concept is ingenious and somewhat similar to Makeupalley in that it will eventually be a hub for beauty product reviews. The difference is that–as the website’s name suggests– the Sample Room provides free samples for members to test out before making a review. That’s right, I said free samples! But wait, is there a catch? Hmm, yes and no!
Let’s walk through the process before making a judgement…
Step 2: Choose Your Sample — I chose the Kerastase Oleo-Relax Fluide which was worth 90 points. The other samples available included a Benefit primer, a CK perfume sample, a Kiehl’s moisturizer, and even Shu Uemura’s famous cleansing oil! I went with the hair oil because I had been thinking about giving it a try for a while already, plus I had already tried out three of the products I just mentioned.
Step 3: Checkout — even though the samples are free, you will have to pay for product handling and shipping. I paid 100.00php to get the product delivered to my doorstep, which is not so bad in my opinion. It could be cheaper, though. I usually only pay 50.00php for shipping within Metro Manila.
Step 4: Wait — … until the product finds its way into your hands. Yay! Ta-daaaa! :) I received my sample 3 days after I settled payment for shipping. It’s a 50ml bottle of the Kerastase Oleo-Relax oil, which is a very generous sample size in my opinion!
Step 5: Test, Test, Test! — Enjoy your sample but don’t forget to take note of your experience while testing out the product! Whether you end up liking the product or not, you will have to go back and submit a review on it. I suppose you don’t have to, but submitting reviews earns you more points which will eventually allow you to get more samples. :)
Step 6: Review — Be honest and critical but don’t be a hater! Even when a product is “bad” no one really wants a dose of haterade when searching for reviews.
If there is any at all, the catch is that you have to provide useful, honest, constructive reviews–the least you can do after being provided a premium sample, really. I suppose having to shoulder shipping is a downer as well, but it’s not a huge issue to me. The idea behind the Sample Room is pretty darn amazing because it creates a symbiotic relationship between consumer and producer. Mutually beneficial, definitely YES. Equally balanced, maybe not so. But hey, let’s not be too nit-picky!
The other potentially negative thing is that the samples come in limited quantity. Over time it might become more and more difficult to get the sample you want simply because they’ve been picked up by others who were faster. There will also one day be the option to buy points in exchange for actual cash instead of just earning points by writing reviews and making referrals. That could possibly create the situation where those who don’t mind spending more would be able to get the samples ahead of those who just work for the points. I can imagine that a lot of people would pay for sample sizes just for the sheer convenience of their size.
Even considering those little drawbacks, I do still think that this website is pretty much golden. Signing up can’t hurt and you get a ton of choices. :) Having just launched, it will be really interesting to watch this website/service grow!
If you’d like to see a separate review of the Kerastase oil, do let me know!
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