Do you like gift with purchases?

For me, not really, because I tend to forget to use samples, and I have enough makeup bags to house half my collection (which you know, is a lot). The latter is not the norm, and I can see why GWPs are popular. I like when they include one or two full size items, or else decent travel-sized versions of bestsellers (more than a handful of uses).

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

64 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

It depends. I like GWP if there’s a decent amount of sample products, products that I normally wouldn’t buy on my own or haven’t tried before, that I would actually use. It’s nice when I buy a lipstick and end up with “free” shadow kit, mini -eyeliner, mini gloss, mini cream. I keep them around for travel. I don’t like it when brands give out the same color lipstick or eyeliner all the time or you have to buy like $125 worth of stuff to get a small GWP. And I hate GWP that includes vials of perfume because I can’t wear perfume.

While I don’t exactly seek them out, I will very gratefully accept them when offered! The more enjoyable ones are those, which as you mentioned above, have more than just a few uses. Sometimes I actually find an excellent product through a generous GWP, and as a result buy the full-sized product.

Yes and no… It does tempt me to purchase more or at a particular store if I can get of GWP, but I rarely use much from these sets. And I probably have at least 20 makeup pouches collecting dust. So I should stop going after them really!

I like them, but our stores aren’t too much generous with them. You just get one sample mostly. Either some cream or perfume. I especially like to get perfume. And lets not forget korean way of sample gifting, I love to try stuff.

I absolutely love them. It’s a great opportunity to try new products or to get small sizes of things I use already to keep for travelling or putting in my gym bag. Mind you, if it’s a GWP with products I won’t use (Clinique’s DDML or lipstick and blush colours that are wrong for me) then it’s not an incentive at all to purchase things I’m running low on.

I find myself looking for GWP to get “more bang for my buck”. I guess it helps me justify my purchase. Lol Especially if it’s a high end/high dollar item i have been wanting forever. Since i am a SAHM on a budget i am always looking for the best deals. But i try to stick to GWPs with items that i either know for sure i will use, or that i have been wanting to try.

i don’t like GWP unless it’s something i’m interested in, never tried, or bigger than sample products. i’ll do without the tote or makeup case. ๐Ÿ™‚

I do! There are definitely some better than others – makeup bags at the low end of the scale (no more, please!), deluxe samples of things I like or have been wanting to try at the other end – but its definitely nice to feel like you’re getting something extra.

It is easy to get overrun with those little packets and tubes, though. I’ve been stashing mine in a little drawer organizing caddy and recently I noticed that it was getting so stuffed that I could barely fit anything new in it. So I am in the middle of a “use it up” project to get through all of the creams, serums, tiny mascaras and wrong color concealers ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s actually been really fun!

I try and save those samples and make little gift bags as add-ons to gifts for women and girls. It’s just a cute little extra to throw into a gift bag or attach to a wrapped package, and it gets rid of them. I never use packets of skin care. What’s the point…you need time to see if you like how the product works. Fragrance…maybe. It’s nice to throw those in your purse. I have had times where my plans changed and I found out last minute I have to go out socially straight from work. I have actually gone to perfume tester counters or drugstores with the magazine samples to get some free scent last minute! That’s the only things those packets are good for ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes and no. If the GWP is mostly makeup products, I’m game to try them out. If it’s skin care, I won’t use it. I have my skin routine that works for me so I don’t branch out. I’m usually not tempted to spend more just to get the GWP — can’t remember last time I did that.

I love GWP if they include minis of products I want to try or provide a full face look. …but mainly because I think minis are adorable. Especially if the packaging is just as good as the full size. I actually would like the option to buy mini sizes in all my color cosmetics.

Depends: I do not tend to use skincare samples. I use the program I am on for a reason and don’t like mucking with what is working. I attempt to try the makeup samples because occasionally I strike gold. However, I always end up with a giant pile which I routinely round up and donate. If I have the opportunity to choose the gift/samples, I pick minis of products I do use to put in my travel bag.

GWP can be awesome, but for me I prefer to cultivate relationships with a brands regional or district manager and of course, the various retailers Cosmetics Dept managers. I do purchase directly from all brand specific websites if there’s a pre order available or if it’s an online restricted item I want. I will then use my online records as proof of my allegiance to a brand with the cosmetics department GM, and THAT is my key to receiving some very nice gifts.
I am a collector though, plus I purchase for family that reside overseas and do not have easy access to the latest and greatest like we have here in the states. Add to that shopping for my daughter and numerous nieces and okay- I’m like a mini mall myself!

Those tiny sample packs are cute, but often lack sufficient product for an honest trial. I think it’s up to us, the consumers to complain about the frugal intentions of most companies these days. Cosmetics has such an incredible markup and I’m pretty sure these companies can cough up much more to reward to consumer.

I believe those who are devoted to sites such as Ulta & Sephora believe that their discounts 2x per year are worth their allegiance and that’s good- for them. Not for me though.
I know I’m not the only Temptalia reader that spends beaucoup bucks on makeup and can’t write it off as a business expense.
That’s why I’m fearless in tracking down the right people who appreciate my brand loyalty. GWP can be fun to get, but please, don’t be afraid to complain if the samples are too tiny or the purchase price incentives are crazy high!

Something that I do, is visit the cosmetics counters in department stores, as well as Sephora stores, and ask for samples of products I want to try, or want a travel size of. i know that these samples are fresh products that haven’t been in the cosmetic counter’s drawer for months, and handmade samples are usually just as generous as deluxe samples. I do love GWP for brands that I love, particularly Lancome.

It does help, that a former manager of mine at Macy’s, now is counter manager over Impulse Cosmetics (Urban Decay, Tarte, Benefit, etc.) She made me a very generous sample of Tarte Maracuja oil. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t understand why Ulta does not offer samples. This does not make sense to me. I think they would increase sales if they did offer them.

I emailed Ulta and asked if they are going to start a subscription plan, like Sephora has. They said it was in the works! So while it’s not free, it will be a chance to branch out and try new things for not a ton of money.

I don’t think the 20% discount is a good deal. They do it for 2-3 days and take everything off sale, so unless you want something that is never on special, it’s not that great. I do like my Ultamate Rewards and my Sephora VIP because of the insider advance access, and the points I can redeem for free stuff.

Yes, if its an actual gift an not a sample. I don’t consider a 1-3 use packet or paper card a sample. I like a gift with purchase if it has travel items or samples large enough to get some uses out of. Its also fun if its not something I would normally buy. Ulta has had some really good gift with purchases lately.

I can see why you wouldn’t like them though. Would be totally overwhelming. I really appreciate you reviews!

I certainly like the idea of it but more often the offerings are just not things I particularly want. I’m not likely to switch up my skincare on a whim because I got a sample of something new. Perfume, lipstick, and mascara samples in theory are much easier to try on for a day and see if I like it… but I have such a backlog of untried samples in my drawer!

I like GWP because it’s the little something extra — an appreciation or recognition — for customers who spend a tidy sum on beauty products. I’m not motivated by GWP, and I don’t use up all the samples or items, but I do try most and several times I’ve bought a full-sized something because I liked the sample.

GWPs do not interest me because they rarely contain anything I would use and it becomes just another bad product to trash or store, I would prefer a tiny gift card to use on my next purchase, or a percentage off a purchase. There’s nothing in my stash that I bought as a result of a GWP. Not one thing.

I love GWPs, but I also love samples. Especially the deluxe sizes. I use them for traveling and it allows me to try out a product without a commitment.

Not really. I saw through them long ago. We pay for them in the price of cosmetics, for one thing–10% of the cost of products, I once read. For another, it irks me mightily that they include the inflated value of the plastic cosmetic bags in the “value” of the “gift.” No, it’s not worth $25 or whatever–it’s made in China for 50 cents. And I don’t need any more.

We are paying for THEM to advertise to US.

No, I do not like GWP. For example, I believe that the reason why Lancรดme is so expensive is because they always offer GWP. I want to tell them, instead of giving me another face cleanser, just lower the price of your stuff.

I used to like them more. Too often they have skin care items I won’t use or cosmetic items (cosmetic bags, lippies, blushes, neutral eye shadows…) that I own lots of already. I never reach for the cheap GWP palettes and when I have depotted them they just sit so I end up tossing them anyway (this goes for holiday palettes too). It seems that brands tend to re-offer the same GWP over and over again so now I only bite when the actual purchase is something I was going to buy anyway and the the GWP is just like getting a point perk from Sephora. I no longer buy the kits that come with an added price when you buy so much of the brand’s merchandise because it never really is worth it.

I agree with you Christina I like the free gift BUT I don’t end up using the samples and I also have a lot of makeup bags that I don’t use. What I really like is a percentage off with makeup purchases I like it so much that it is an excuse to make a purchase even though I shouldn’t.

I love the ones from Barneys and SpaceNK. Even though you usually have to spend $200. or more, I Usually need to replenish some of my skincare at least twice a year, and even if it costs a bit more to get it there, the bags have some very very large samples from brands like hourglass, Kevyn Aucoin, Diptyque, Byredo, By Terry, Chantecaille…brands that aren’t usually included in smaller gift bags. In most cases the 15-20% more a product may cost me at Barneys or SpaceNK (sometimes I can find certain brands discounted) will it approximately equal the free stuff I’ll actually use in the gift.

heck yeah! love gifts, gwp, freebies and whatever else they may be called. makes me feel like i did my hunt well =) and if i don’t end up using it, i’ll just give away to a friend to try – nothing is wasted then.

Most of the time I like GWP, I use them for travel if I can and its nice to try new things without paying for them. Sometimes they are useless though and become a waste. Its helpful if you get to choose them.

Yes, but with caveats. I don’t like GWPs for color cosmetics, unless it’s eyeliner or mascara. The colors are never right for me or my general taste. GWPs for skincare I’ll do for brands I know and currently use to stock my travel bag. Overall, the GWPs that I do with any regularity these days are Barney’s and Space NK. They make it worthwhile and I’ve found some great products that way – plus the bags are really good for travel. I’m trying to use more sample products at home (I use a lot on trips) but it is annoying.

For those of you that DO love GWPs, there is a site called GWP Addict. I have it set up to receive emails. The current GWP offers for major brands/stores are listed in alphabetical order, from Aveda to Zirh. Check out this site if you like GWP.

It depends on what the gift is and how high the purchase price is to qualify for it. Generally speaking, they rarely offer products that I will use and most of the makeup bags are tacky, cheap plastic things or in wild prints I just don’t like.

Definitely! I don’t buy any high end makeup unless there’s a GWP or comparable promo. It makes it easier to justify my purchases if I’m getting a few things more than just a few samples. Now if the products are not something that I’ll likely use, then its obviously not an incentive. But brands like Lancome and Estee Lauder have always had really good GWPs (and at relatively low price points). I really like that I haven’t had to buy a full-size Advanced Night Repair serum or Definicils Mascara in years.

If it’s an itty bitty “sample” one time use, NOPE. If it’s a good or deluxe sample size, I’m good with that. If it’s only a one use sample, that’s not enough to test to get me to purchase other items, plus it’s hard to keep up with them. If it’s a deluxe sample that might last a couple of weeks with daily use, that should be enough product to really test to see if it’s satisfactory on your skin.

Like many I don’t really use most of GWP. They were sitting around in drawers and so I started collecting them up and taking them to my daughter at college and she would share with her friends. In particular, being poor college students, they like getting something to try which they cannot afford to buy and while I dislike most perfume samples that is what I usually try and get now so that they girls can try different perfumes.

Depends. Is it something I’ll use? Do I get to choose between a few different colors, or a few different samples? Is it a travel size, deluxe mini, or single use packet?

(though I do like some of the single use packets, like high end facial sunscreen, because I can take them to the lake and not worry about dropping a $30 bottle off the side of the boat)

I do enjoy GWP, even if the items are not so much something that I would use. I and the ladies I work with keep a ‘cast offs’ box of items that we don’t intend to use, that we’ve picked up as samples or gotten as part of a subscription service. The box is filled with all sorts of makeup and personal care products, as well as bags or purses, free to anyone who wants them. At the end of the month, any unclaimed items are donated to the local women’s shelter.

I love them. I’ve tried a lot of new products because of GWP. I also have back up makeup kits in my desk at work and the car with deluxe samples. Not crazy about little packets or cards though. If I could make a suggestion, take any samples you don’t use, toothpaste, floss, and the toothbrush from your last dentist appointment, and those unwanted makeup bags and donate them to your nearest women’s shelter. They do appreciate it so much and it’s a win-win for everyone.

I like it very much but I would not buy a product I won’t use just because of the Gift.
The amount you have to pay also Must be realistic. I have often Seen that you have to spend a lot of Money to get the Gift. I Prefer if you have to buy one products to get the Gift.

I love GWP unless it’s something I absolutely cannot use. While I prefer full sizes (who doesn’t?), I’m not the least bit opposed to samples – in fact, I’m on my own personal “use all the samples” challenge at the moment!

Love GWP! It’s a great way to test products I haven’t tried, have extras of products I already like, and have small sizes for travel. I gift items I don’t need or use.

It depends on the gift. Foundation samples that don’t fit my coloring or skin type are pretty useless, for example. Subpar formulations that are made specifically for GWP are not appreciated (eyeshadows are the worst for this). I love full-sized or deluxe samples of permanent products. In the past, I’ve gotten full-sized Estee Lauder lipsticks and Tarte Mascaras, travel sized UD eyeliners, and lots of deluxe sample mascaras and skin care that I have been very happy with. I don’t think I’d buy something just because their was a GWP, but I’ll take them. Anything I can’t use I give away or donate.

I agree on foundation, concealer, powder samples. They are ALWAYS too pale for me. I always try them and am horrified when I look in the mirror and see my mime-looking face. I realize your problem is the opposite, but there is never a sample appropriate for medium/deep. They are almost always light/medium. Even in subscription/beauty box buys, they are too light.

Not when they are single use gifts. There is never enough shampoo or conditioner in a single use package. I never find enough in the dab will do ya gifts either. Not that I have a huge face but a smear of primer doesn’t tell me if a full size purchase will work. Not being ungrateful but for the full sized purchase prices the sample single use sizes could be a half size larger.

GWPs can sway me to purchase cosmetics I have on wish lists at various store sites, but only if I really like several of the things being offered. I’ve found myself looking at GWP offers over the last several months and choosing to pass on many of them, just not enough interesting items. I’ve accumulated several in the last couple years and need to go through all those. I don’t really like to collect the makeup bags they often offer with the samples, but there have been a few I’ve decided to keep. I’ve given away some cosmetic bags to friends and family, and donated some others. I’ve thought about donating some of the bags and samples I won’t use to a local women’s shelter recently too.

Generally I love them – because you get to try sample sizes of products that normally you would not buy. Also smaller mascara are really useful, as mascara doesn’t last for too long and you get to use it all up.
Sometimes the hardest thing is buying a full size product, or products, so that you qualify for the GWP. I love the Estee Lauder, Clinique, Clarins and Elizabeth Arden ones. We don’t have too many brands that offer GWP.

I actually like them because it gives me an opportunity to either try stuff I wouldn’t otherwise get. I can also re-gift them if they’re packaged right. Lol!

Yes I do like them. Since department store brands rarely go on sale, I time my purchases to get a GWP. However, I only buy things I regularly use to get the gift. I like lipsticks from the gift especially since I can discover new colors and and formulas that I might not try otherwise.

GWPs? LOVE!

But it has been a while. I used to wear Lancรดme Dual Foundation. When they had a gwp, I’d buy foundation. The sets were so good, almost always including a full size lipstick, neutral shadows and much more, I almost never needed to purchase other products! Sometimes they had gwps at the same time as pwp, the price of which would apply toward the gwp…. wow!

Sometimes if I needed foundation and Lancome wasn’t offering a gwp, I would try a brand that was. Always disappointing but the gifts, a little bit of heaven.

I have a soft spot for GWP because my makeup stash started off with six GWP Lancome eyeshadow palettes, a mascara and a few lipsticks my grandma passed on to me. I’m bummed I can’t find those shadows anymore cause they were goooooood. I will definitely spend a little more to get GWPs at Ulta, like the seasonal Ulta collection or Benefit kits they offer. I don’t have as much experience with brands that are known for it, but I’m 100% down. I have a bag full of skincare samples and a bag full of makeup minis that I just LOVE to play with.

I like it if it’s a good one. Then I might actually be enticed to spend more on the brand to get it. I don’t like it if it’s packaged in a tiny vial or a packet, or any type of single use, but Ulta and Estee Lauder both tend to have good gifts, like bags full of makeup/fragrance. Recently from Ulta, I got a full size Too Faced Bronzer, a Bare Minerals tube with mascara, liner, and lipstick (full size), a nice tote where I could choose from three shades – all in the same order. In store, I got a Two Faced bag with a full size lipstick in it. Those are good gifts. Also good gifts – brushes, or a small (not tiny) spray bottle of a name brand fragrance.

No, not really. You wouldn’t know it by looking at my collection, but I’m pretty picky (especially when it comes to skincare). I rarely use samples (which is why I prefer Ulta over Sephora), and I rearely find GWPs useful. I don’t think companies should stop doing it, as I can see it being a a great way to introduce someone to their new favorite thing, or get them to try something they wouldn’t otherwise, but like Christine, I don’t need any more cosmetic bags.

Oh yes, absolutely! Who don’t like a free gift?! However, it shouldn’t be, “spend $50.00 and then you will receive a free gift”! It should just be, you get a free gift with ANY purchase! This way here it is a win win situation. The Cosmetic Company’s get free advertisement when they do give out a new color lipstick or whatever, they get repeat customers on or because of the “free” gifts, and the BEST form of advertising IS the Consumers Word Of Mouth! Not an overpaid actress in an ad in a magazine or a TV commercial who probably doesn’t use the product at all. That Company’s”Free Gifts” can keep the old clientele and bring new clientele!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!