In a new era of remote jobs that began with the COVID-19 pandemic, online businesses claiming to offer passive streams of income have also increased. One such side hustle is PinchMe — an online program that mails product samples to homes and offers rewards to use and review them.
The samples range from beauty products such as shampoos, lotions, and makeup to foods and drinks such as coffee, cereal, snacks, and even dog treats; PinchMe also claims to offer additional rewards and freebies when you sign up with its program.
While getting paid to review free products sounds like a dream gig, is PinchMe legit? With scams running rampant — particularly during the holidays — it's important to be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true.
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Here's everything you need to know about the New York City-based enterprise.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How Does PinchMe Work, and Is It Really Free?
By getting feedback from consumers, companies can gauge how new products are likely to perform once they hit shelves. As PinchMe's website indicates, it works with brands to promote and get test products into the hands of consumers. Users can get a box of samples shipped to their home each month for free, PinchMe says.
After signing up, users can win points and perks via a rewards program by filling out surveys and signing up for "special offers." These will lead after a while to $5 gift cards or sample boxes worth $100, but there's no way to know or control what kind you get. Users sign up for free products by clicking on a list of samples that PinchMe releases every month. While the samples ship on a first-come, first-served basis, the site will prioritize those who fill out an initial survey, PaidFromSurveys says.
Though the site generally covers the cost of shipping, some items will require you to pay a registration or handling fee, so it's important to read the fine print on "rewards" or "special offers" options to avoid hidden costs, including accidentally signing up for subscriptions that will charge you after a trial period.
How Do I Sign Up?
Registering is free and easy to do on PinchMe's homepage. Fill out your personal details (name, email, date of birth) and create a username and password. No credit card is needed to sign up.
What Kind of Samples Will I Get?
While some details around PinchMe rewards programs and hidden fees are not clear, there is no shortage of samples to choose from. The hundreds of products include chocolates, soaps, perfumes, lotions, dog and cat food, snacks, cleaning products, band-aids, tampons, etc. (You name it, they'll likely have it).
Click here for a complete list of PinchMe's past samples.
Does PinchMe Offer Tech Support?
While PinchMe offers a FAQ section on its website, it does not offer an in-house support team to which users can reach out if there are issues. Users can send inquiries through a contact form, but will likely have to wait a few days before hearing back.
The Bottom Line
PinchMe offers incentives to sign up for its program, but not actual cash rewards. If you were hoping to make real money by reviewing products, it likely isn't right for you. You also have to be cautious about fees and hidden costs. But it is easy to sign up with PinchMe, and getting free products each month can come in handy and help save money and trips to the grocery store.