Are you speaking of samples for the consumer or for the buyer, if for the buyer, they are a must. In my experience, there is not a buyer out there that is going to make a buying decision with a simple catalog sheet. You need to get the product in their hand for them to make a honest decision. Now, if your talking about for the consumer, I agree with everyone else, but for the retailer, get them samples
I think samples practices vary according to industry. Chic Peeks is in apparel. In apparel, we don`t give free samples (not unless it`s an inexpensive fashion accessory item or a commodity) so the only
retailers who`d be asking for them think:
- Chicpeeks are an inexpensive accessory item AND/OR
- They think she`s too green to know any better.
Either way, the solution to both could be to work on your image and marketing to improve the perceived value of the items AND convey a professional established persona to colleagues in the trade. The latter is is done through less obvious ways such as style numbering and what not (things no one will ever tell you). You can tell how green someone is just by how they number their styles. If they name them rather than number them, oh my. You`re ripe. The perception is, if you don`t know something that basic or think it`s not important, what else don`t you know? How else have you misprioritized?
The matter is, even our outside sales reps don`t get free samples. They have to buy them (at cost of course). At least, people who`ve been around know they`re supposed to charge sales reps for them. If you don`t, they`ll know you`re green and ripe for exploitation in other respects as well. With no investment in the product, they either give them away, use them personally or sell them outright.
I did mention to ChicPeeks that she might want to approach bloggers with a campaign, maybe a contest for their readers. Readers love those. My blog isn`t a good fit but I`ll bet the lingerie blogs would be.
---~Nurture people, not products~