Free samples are a great way to try new products and to stretch your budget. It’s fun to get them in the mail and to try them out, and who doesn’t love free stuff?
But not all free samples are created equal. And in the world of saving and making money online, a lot of free sample websites have popped up that claim you can get loads of freebies delivered right to your mailbox.
One of the more popular free sample websites is PINCHme.com. It claims it sends you free samples by mail, with no catch or credit card required.
But is PINCHme legit? And are the samples you get actually worth the hassle of signing up?
In my PINCHme review, I’m covering my personal experience with the platform, how it all works, and everything you should know before deciding to sign up.
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What Is PINCHme?
PINCHme is a free sample website that’s available in the United States. You can register to receive various samples in exchange for providing your feedback.
After signing up, you complete your profile to qualify for samples and offers. Then you share your feedback and can also complete other activities for rewards.
On paper, it sounds like a great way to get some nice freebies without much effort. And if you end up liking the samples you get, it’s even better.
However, after signing up for PINCHme, I don’t think this platform is for everyone. Let’s cover how it all works and why this is the case.
How Does PINCHme Work?
As a side hustle or way to save money, PINCHme is actually very simple and just takes four steps:
- Sign up and complete your PINCHme profile
- Claim free monthly samples
- Give your feedback after receiving your samples
- Earn PINCme coins and redeem rewards
Time to cover each of these steps in a bit more detail.
1. Sign Up
Registering for PINCHme is typically quick and easy. There are two ways to sign up, and you can connect with your email address or with your Facebook account. Those who register via email need to verify their email address.
After signing up, it’s important to complete your profile. This helps PINCHme match you with the samples that are the best fit.
I tried signing up for a new account for the purpose of this PINCHme.com review, but I was unable to join either via email or social media. The site kept giving me errors.
When I decided to try logging in to see if I already had an account, I finally had more success. I apparently had signed up for this site years ago and have not used it since.
However, after resetting my password and logging in, it seems like someone has been inside my account and even changed my profile name and demographic info.
This is cause for concern to say the least, so if you’re a user of this site and haven’t updated your info in a while, it may not hurt to reset your password.
2. Get Free Samples
The whole point of PINCHme is to receive free samples and then give your feedback. But you can’t just sign up to get unlimited samples.
Usually, new batches of free samples go live on the first Tuesday of every month at noon EST. It’s a first-come, first-serve kind of deal, so you need to be quick and claim available samples when they’re live before they run out.
This is also why it’s important to complete your PINCHme profile so you can get matched to more potential samples.
When I was on the site today testing it out, there weren’t any available samples that I qualified for. The site also told me that new samples would be available in about two weeks.
If you find a sample that’s truly free, then all you have to do is claim it, agree to have it shipped to you, and then you should receive your sample in the next few months.
That’s right: it can take months for free samples to arrive, if they do at all. And not all PINCHme samples are completely free as I’ll explain.
3. Complete Special Offers
Oftentimes, PINCHme presents special offers that you can take advantage of if you choose.
Some offers are free or very cheap freebies and merchandise. Some offers are also free trials to different services and subscription boxes.
The problem is that most of these offers have some sort of hidden or minor charge, like a recurring subscription fee once your trial ends or extra shipping costs.
If you sign up, PINCHme pays you with PINCHme coins, which you can redeem for prizes, almost like you’re getting paid to shop.
But in my opinion, the rewards you can redeem PINCHme coins for are rather poor and almost laughable when compared to other websites and reward apps.
When I think of rewards that I would like, I think about store gift cards and PayPal cash. The rewards PINCHme coins are redeemable for include stuff like body glitter, back scratchers and temporary tattoos. Not at all worth it, especially if you have to pay to participate in offers.
4. Answer Short Surveys
Occasionally, PINCHme has short surveys you can answer to provide more profile information or to even earn a few PINCHme coins.
You don’t earn much for completing surveys, and it’s not the focus of the platform. If you want to answer surveys for money, you’re better off with paid survey sites or GPT sites that focus on this money-making idea, like Branded Surveys.
5. Invite Your Friends
One final way you can earn some rewards with PINCHme is to invite your friends. However, the PINCHme referral reward program that isn’t very rewarding.
Instead of earning a payment of $5, $10 or more like many GPT websites, all you earn for referring friends to PINCHme is 40 coins. And, as mentioned, coins are redeemable for some pretty lackluster prizes.
When you refer a friend, they also need to confirm their email address and complete their profile. Once that’s done, you earn 40 coins within 48 hours. The coins can be accumulated and redeemed for prizes in WALLETme.
Given the low reward and the poor quality of prizes available in WALLETme, I wouldn’t bother my friends to ask them to sign up for this site.
Is PINCHme Legit?
Yes, PINCHme is legit and has been providing free samples for a long time. However, PINCHme reviews have gotten considerably more negative in recent years since many users claim the offers are very spammy and have hidden charges or require you to pay for shipping.
While many users used to love this site because they could receive samples with no strings attached, participants are now upset because requirements have changed.
Current reviews express frustration over not receiving samples, not receiving prizes, and having to complete offers just to receive items for free.
And many users are also unhappy that it can take months for samples and prizes to arrive, and they can also get lost in the mail and never arrive at all.
What Kind of Samples Does PINCHme Send?
The samples from PINCHme are typically from major brands. The selection is different every time, but selections can include health & beauty, food, cleaning, baby and more. Their website shows they work with many major brands that are found at grocery and department stores.
Some examples of current PINCHme samples and brand partners include:
- Arm & Hammer odor control memory insoles
- Remedy Kombucha
- IAMS dog food
- Clorox products
- Temptations cat treats
- Coppertone sunscreen
As you can see, it’s largely a mix of health. beauty, food, and pet products. Homegoods and cleaning supplies are also popular PINCHme samples.
Pros & Cons
Here are some of the pros & cons about PINCHme if you are considering signing up:
- Potential to earn some free samples without entering your credit card
- Some activities can pay coins which can be redeemed for prizes
- Some sample offers require payment for shipping or a subscription
- Feedback form on samples is required
- No way to earn free PayPal money or gift card rewards
- Referral program offers minimal rewards
- Many offers are misleading
- The available prizes aren’t very exciting or useful
Other PINCHme Reviews
One good way to tell if an online service is worth using or not is to see what other users have to say about their experiences.
As you can tell, I’m not a huge fan of what PINCHme offers. And if you look at some PINCHme reviews on Reddit, you see some similar complaints about how spammy the offers have become:
- User cheeseballgag says: “A few years ago Pinchme was one of the best sample sites online. New samples were consistently dropped and it was easy to get them without jumping through a dozen hoops. Now it’s so spammy, there are less samples and they’re constantly trying to get you to sign up for scammy offers. The quality has really plummeted.”
- User Michalusmichalus says: “The spammy offers was the last straw for me. I took the time to test if getting to the end of that got a result. The answer was no freebie at the end, only spam.”
- User S_A_R_K says: “It’s really disappointing how drastic the change has been. Even if I end up having a sample, it’s a crapshoot whether the website will let me claim it or just hang up until everything is gone.”
As you can see, these users are pretty unhappy with how spammy the offers have become.
In fairness, other Reddit reviews of PINCHme are more positive, and some people have been using the platform for years to score free stuff. But it’s clear that the quality has dropped, and many users are certainly unhappy.
Who Can Use PINCHme?
PINCHme is available to users 18 and older from the contiguous 48 states of the United States as well as the District of Columbia. Individuals from Nebraska and Alabama must be 19 years or older, and Mississippi residents need to be at least 21 years of age.
Residents of Alaska, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, Guam are not eligible. International residents, including Canada, can’t use PINCHme either at this time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the commonly asked questions about PINCHme from potential users.
Is PINCHme A Scam?
I don’t think PINCHme is a scam. However, I don’t think everything is straightforward either, and the offers can be very spammy or require you to pay for something that appears to be free.
This is the main problem: while many opportunities are promoted as free, they often require an investment or at least a free trial. These bait and switch type tactics are a bit misleading. Here is an example:
When I logged in to PINCHme, I was told that I had a free $5 Walmart gift card reward on my account. I was excited and tried to redeem it, but I was presented with the above instead. The $5 freebie actually requires me to register for one of 4 free trials, that include having to pay for a service. That makes the free item no longer free.
Because I didn’t want to complete the special offers to get the gift card, I was then forced to decline several additional promotional offers just to see what is next, which was truthfully just more special offers they wanted me to sign up for.
Is PINCHme Safe?
Yes. PINCHme is safe. The site is well established and has a large number of users. However, some of the partners for the special offers may not be as reputable. Always use caution when signing up for special offers and / or providing your credit card number.
I would also advise extreme caution and reading the fine print on the special offers. Make sure that you’re OK paying for the services that the promotion offers, and if you’re only doing a trial, make sure that you cancel during the trial period unless you’re willing to pay for the service.
Is PINCHme legit? Yes. Is it a good idea to sign up? Not for me at least.
Free samples should be exactly that, free. While there are lots of legitimate sampling sites out there, PINCHme is truthfully more of a free trial site. While they do have some “free” items, very often these come with a catch. You might have to pay for shipping, you may be subscribing to a service, and you may have to provide your credit card number to pay for it.
While that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give PINCHme a try, it does mean to approach this site with a bit of caution. Be sure to read all the details before requesting a sample, and make sure that you’re not paying or subscribing for something you’re not interested in.
For me personally, PINCHme isn’tt a fit. I’m not interested in their offers and I don’t want to have to sign up (and potentially pay for) things I don’t need for.
Hopefully, our PINCHme review helps you decide if it’s worth using or not.
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Description: PINCHme is a free sample website that lets you sign up to receive free boxes of samples by mail from partner brands.
Operating System: Desktop
Application Category: Reward Websites
Author: Kim Ritter
Note: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up with the provided links.
Kim Ritter is a frugal living expert, blogger and mom of two from small-town Iowa. What began as an effort to help her family save a few dollars a month has now transformed into a full-time passion to help others save and make money. Kim is also an expert in money-making apps, side hustles, and personal finance. Visit her online at Two Kids And A Coupon and follow her on Twitter for more money tips.