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Yes, There Really is a Freebie Santa Claus If you are a cynic when it comes to offers of free stuff, you are not alone. Everyone has had notions like ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? and ?if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is? drilled into their heads, and for good reason ? these things often hold water. On the flip side, there ARE actually lots of places you can score some decent free stuff, if you know where to look and are willing to devote some time to hunting them down. The key to getting the best free stuff with the least amount of hassle is to stick with that healthy cynicism but to also dipping your toe in the freebie pool little by little. But why would anyone give stuff away for free? It is certainly an obvious question, but if you stop to consider it for a moment, you can see that companies actually have a lot of motivation to give away free stuff. After all, if they give you something for free, you are bound to have a little soft spot for their company, and when you are ready to part with some cash, their product may near the top of your list. Also, by giving away free things, companies can convince people to try new products. You might not want to try a new kind of shampoo if you have to pay for it, but you?d certainly be willing to give a free sample a try. You may end up loving it and switching to that shampoo for good, turning you into a paying customer. Another reason a company might give you free stuff is to complete market research. This is where getting free things can get a little complicated for some people because the products may not cost you money, but the offer may cost you a little time. A company might ask you to take a survey of your buying habits before they give you a free offer, or they may ask you to provide feedback on a regular basis as you try their product for free. Some people balk at the time commitment required here, but for other people, filling out some paperwork is a small price to pay for some free stuff. Of course, to convert you into a customer or to communicate with you about market research, a company will have to contact you, which is complicated area number two for freebie lovers. You will almost always be forced to hand over your email address in order to cash in on a free offer, and that is a recipe for opening your inbox up to a barrage of spam (many companies sell your email address to offset the costs of their free promotions, which means the number of people soliciting you can go through the roof very quickly). If you want to avoid this downside of freebie hunting, set up a special email address specifically for your freebie deals. That way all of your spam goes to this one address and your regular email you use with family and friends remains free and clear. One final note of caution about free stuff online: a lot of scammers have hit on the idea of using pretend freebie offers to solicit personal information about people or to convince people to send them money. Don?t send money, even for postage, to a company you don?t know and never, ever give out personal information online. No reputable company is going to ask for your social security number or bank account details for a freebie offer, so don?t hand them out to anyone. When in doubt, skip it and move to the next freebie.

Can Facebook or MySpace Help You Land a Job? The Internet is quickly becoming the vehicle of choice for people looking for a job and for employers looking for people to hire. There are many job sites on the Internet dedicated to matching up employees and employers, and most people turn to the Internet today when they are hunting for a job instead of turning to the classified ads in the local paper. Job hunting websites may all be well and good when you are looking for a job, but what about social networking sites. Everyone knows how popular sites like Facebook and MySpace are online, but can they help you get a job? If you are in the job market, can these sites be your foot in the door, or a one way ticket to the unemployment line? The answer is that there is no easy answer. To know if you can find a job using Facebook or MySpace, you have to know how employers feel about these sites, and employers have mixed feeling about them. Some companies are actively using social networking sites to track down employees that meet their company?s employee profile and have had great success finding workers via social networking sites. Other companies wouldn?t touch these sites as a hiring tool with a ten-foot poll ? in fact, many companies don?t even want you to access these websites from their company computers. The real answer to this question has more to do with exactly what kind of job you are looking for. Are you looking for an executive position at a company? Then stay off of the social networking sites, at least for job hunting (and maybe all together). No company is going to look for its top brass on a social networking site, and you will be wasting your time. However, if you are looking for entry level or hourly wage work, the social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook may be the answer for you. Many hourly wage employers in particular, like fast food restaurant chains and mall stores, use MySpace and Facebook to look for potential employees in their area. If a potential employer sees your profile and thinks you may be a good fit for their company, they will send you an email or an instant message and get the ball rolling. You should also, however, carefully consider the downsides of using social networking sites as a job tool ? and you should carefully consider how and if you use these sites at all if you are in the market for a new job. Most people wouldn?t want their parents to see their social networking site profile, let alone potential employers. If you have rude and off color material, political or religious material, and inappropriate photos of yourself on your profile, a potential employer will be turned off, and you might lose your chance at that job. Most people give up way too much of their privacy when they use these kinds of sites, and your social networking site profile may offer a window into a side of you an employer might not be overly impressed with. Further, you can open yourself up to danger by using these sites to job hunt. If someone approached you in the street and offered you a job, would you accept? Then why would you accept a face value an approach by someone on social networking site? If you do get approached for an interview, never meet anyone in a private place, and do your homework to make sure the facts check out before you go for the interview. One last reality check ? there are over 60 million users on MySpace alone. How will an employer find you in the crowd? MySpace and Facebook may help you in your job hunt, but don?t count on them as your sole avenue into the job market.

How to Be a Better Employee when You Work for Yourself Whether you are just starting or you have had your own business for many years, there are many reasons why you would be a better employee when you work for yourself. The biggest reason of all is probably that you work to make your own living. You do not just get a salary. If you as the boss and owner of the business do not produce the work and effort needed, you most likely will not make any money. If your business is not only providing for you, but also for you family, it is even more important that you make profit of your company. No profit and income from your joint venture means no food on your family?s table and that is a serious problem. For this monetary reason, many self-employed workers work harder, longer and put more effort in than other employees. Another reason lies within proving that your business can be successful. You want to be top-notch in what you are doing. Whether it is manufacturing products or offering services, if it is your own business, you are taking pride in what you do and you want to prove to customers and others that you are their first choice. Then you need to deliver quality. Often times as an owner of a business, you make sure that everything is one hundred percent and that is more than you would most likely give for somebody else?s business. If you work for a company as one of their employees, you might wonder why you should work long hours each and everyday, without the benefits. However, when it is your own business, money flows right into your pockets and every profit you gain from working harder can be yours immediately. Also, if you belong to the group of people that like to decide when they start work, when they finish and what they do, then being your own boss is probably one of the best choices for you. It is easier to work better and give more energy in what you do when you can decide what exactly you want to work on. Of course, some things always have to be done, but you can more or less decide whether you want to do it now or at ten o?clock at night. Did you also know that most of people would work better when they are having people that are under them? You are trying to set an example in work ethics, hours worked and projects completed and therefore, you will put extra effort in what you do when you are working for yourself. Your employees take you as an example for how they should do their work and if you just hang around and do nothing, why would your employees be motivated to do something? But if they get feedback and motivation from you and can see that you put just as much effort or even more into the company, they are more likely willing to follow in the footprints that you have left for them. Keep in mind, that when working for yourself, you are your own resource and motivator. Therefore it is important that you keep better work ethics than when you work for somebody else to not risk what you started. A hard working company owner most often gets rewarded with a growing business and happy customers that will come back year after year. Customers do like to be appreciated and a hard working business owner that will get on their case immediately is one way of appreciation to them.

Want a Favorite Product Free? Write the Manufacturer Are you ready to revel in all the freebies you can find? If you are a sucker for freebies, here are some easy tips for getting your hands on the best free samples out there. You will find that finding the right freebies is often as easy as picking up a pen or licking a stamp and putting it on an envelope. Should You Write Your Favorite Manufacturers to Receive Free Product Samples? Is there a special item or product that you love? Is there a shampoo you can't live without? Would you die if your favorite brand of toothpaste were discontinued? Fortunately, there are many ways to declare your allegiance to a specific brand or product, and get rewarded for it. If there is a product you simply cannot live without, go ahead and write the company. Write them a letter to let them know what a big fan you are. Companies appreciate positive customer feedback. Simply writing to your favorite company can get you on their free sample mailing list. In fact, go ahead and ask them for free samples. Most manufacturers and corporations are more than willing to oblige your request. Getting the Information You Need to Contact Your Favorite Manufacturer Where can you find the information you need in order to get free product samples? Luckily, finding this information is often quite simple. Most of the time, all you have to do is look at the back of the product label to find information. Always contact the customer service address. If no address is available or listed, call their toll-free customer service hotline. Ask the customer service rep about possible free samples. At the very least, you will probably be able to finagle a handful of valuable coupons to save money on your next buy. Getting Free Stuff From Your Favorite Manufacturers Online Did you know that there are plenty of places to get free samples and other freebies by checking online? The World Wide Web is a treasure trove of freebies. There are many websites that specialize in freebie offers. Think of these websites as the middleman to freebie paradise, as well as an easy way to save on stationary and stamps. What are some of these freebie sites? The freesite.com is a great site to find a variety of freebies, both virtual and beyond. To find the latest free stuff, turn to websites such as freeflys.com. This website's slogan is that "Cheap is good, but free is always better." Who can argue with that kind of logic. There are many other websites that can offer you a library of freebies. Here are some tips for sorting out the legitimate offers from the fake stuff. Don't Get Caught in a Freebie Scam Although there are plenty of great websites out there that offer real legitimate freebie offers, there are also many websites that prey on people seeking freebies. Here are some tips for filtering out the bad websites, and finding the best in legitimate freebie offers. First, do not accept freebies from websites that require too much personal information. Only give just enough information to get what you need. Avoid accepting freebies from websites that require you to sign up for a newsletter or email offers. These websites have been known to sell your email address to partners, thus causing your email inbox to become overwhelmed with offers and related spam. A good rule of thumb is that if you don't feel comfortable providing your personal data, you should not. Also, avoid websites that are too burdened with obtrusive pop-up or banner ads. Websites that rely too heavily on advertisements are more likely to sell your personal data.