If you ever feel like Singapore is too boring, just go to any Sheng Siong and scream the words “FREE SAMPLES!” I guarantee you will get mobbed by a horde of cheapo Singaporeans frenzied with lust for free stuff, who won’t even bother to find out samples of what exactly.
Okay, I may have been exaggerating, but who doesn’t love free samples?
Times are bad, money doesn’t grow on trees, etc. – whatever your justification, there’s nothing stopping you from signing up for some of all of these free samples.
Where to get free samples in Singapore
|Type of free samples||Where to get them|
|Makeup||Sephora, AMORE Store x Lazada|
|Skincare / toiletries||[various brands]|
|Pet stuff||Kohepets / Perromart|
|Baby stuff||[various brands]|
Free samples for makeup & beauty products
Beauty megastore Sephora is known for its ultra-relaxed free sample policy. Not only can you test tons of products in-store, you can also ask staff to “dabao” testers for you in tiny takeaway tubs.
This is great for stuff like foundation where you need an accurate colour match… and also for items where you just need a smidgen of, and that you’re way too cheapskate to buy.
You can also get free samples mailed to you if you order stuff on the Sephora website. You can preview the products on this page but the options will only be available upon checkout.
On a freebie-related tangent, if you sign up for Sephora Beauty Pass (that’s their loyalty programme) you can also get free gifts on your birthday month. You need to work your way up to the Black membership tier though.
AMORE Store x Lazada
Other than Sephora, there’s also the newly opened (Dec 2019) AMORE Store x Lazada at Funan mall, which is a concept store by — you guessed it — Amorepacific and Lazada. It’s basically a “beauty showroom” where you can see, smell and touch cosmetics by various K-beauty brands before making a purchase via Lazada.
Because the key store concept is letting customers test the products before making an online purchase, they offer free samples too. All you have to do is go to the sample corner (there’s a whole wall of samples), and scan the QR code to redeem them.
Each time, you can get either 1 free mini (like a deluxe sample, or travel-sized product), or 3 sample sachets. That’s pretty generous, considering Amorepacific does carry some fancy brands like Sulwhasoo, Laneige and the new IOPE.
I asked the sales assistant if I could come back every day to scan the QR code and she laughed it off, which I take to be an unofficial yes. So if you’re really super cheapskate you can try your luck; just don’t blame me if they kick you out of the store.
Free samples for skincare & toiletries
If you’re the kind of person who goes crazy at Watson’s buying all kinds of new products and discarding them after one use because they don’t work… STOP!
You can easily get hold of free samples of skincare products and everyday toiletries. Seriously, there’s everything from entire skincare regimens to sanitary pads to eye masks. If you can find it at the pharmacy, chances are, you can get a free sample to try first.
All you need to do is to go straight to the brand you’re eyeing. Here are the ones that are currently giving away free samples in Singapore.
Free samples for skincare:
- Bifesta (makeup remover wipes)
- Minon AminoMoist
- Shu Uemura (cleansing oil)
- The Body Shop
Free samples for pads and “feminine wash”:
Free samples for adult diapers:
Free samples for other stuff:
- MegRhythm (self-heating eye mask)
Previously, you could also get free skincare samples mailed to you from SingPost’s Sample Store. But it appears that they now charge a delivery fee of $2 per sample (or $5.99 for 4 samples). If you’re willing to pay, you can check it out.
Free samples of Japanese food
We all know that food isn’t cheap in Singapore, but c’mon, there’s no need to hold up the queue at Udders for 30 minutes while you ask for samples of every ice cream flavour.
Try going to the Isetan Supermarket at Shaw Centre instead. You can usually find some kind of food fair going on there, complete with aunties giving out free food samples of all sorts, from Japanese rice to hijiki seaweed to grilled squid to apple strudel. (Sample menu when I went there on a random weekday afternoon.)
They’ll usually jabber at you about why these particular mixed nuts are worth $28 a packet, but if you’re thick-skinned enough you can just ignore them while asking to try all the different types of nuts.
Another great place to nibble on free samples is at food fairs, such as those held at Takashimaya B2 or at Singapore Expo. Think “Hokkaido Fair” or “Mooncake Fair“. But those are seasonal, of course, and a man/woman’s gotta eat.
Free samples of artisanal tea
Atas local tea brand Gryphon Tea is far from cheap. But, taste-wise, their tea blends (all in fancy silk sachets) are also far from Lipton.
In fact, Gryphon Tea is kinda habit-forming, which is why I’m really glad that they give out free tea samples with every order on their website. (I suppose they win in the end, because you’ll want to keep buying more and more teas.)
Tea samples will be sent at random, but you can actually request a specific flavour and they’ll try to accommodate.
Free plants, seeds & cuttings
E-Farmer Market / GoPasar
E-Farmer Market is a startup that tries to connect plant lovers and urban gardeners as a social community, and it encourages members to swap, or give away plant seeds and/or cuttings. Sometimes you can even find entire plants. This is perfect for the budding gardener who wants to try growing plants at a low cost.
There’s also the plant swapping site GoPasar, which appears to be affiliated with E-Farmer Market, but not as mature. There isn’t much on the website yet.
But the folks at GoPasar regularly have booths at the monthly Gardener’s Day Out at HortPark, which you can visit to swap your plants and/or get “free samples” like seeds. The next event is on Sat 16 March, and you can follow Go Pasar on Facebook for updates.
Alternatively, you can join plant lover groups on Facebook or search Carousell for people giving away plant cuttings for free.
Free samples of pet stuff
If you’re one of those overbearing fur-parents who wants nothing but the best for your baby (dog or cat), you’ll know that trying out new pet stuff can really take a toll on your finances.
Kohepets & Perromart
Online pet store Kohepets has an elegant solution for that. Next time you purchase doggie kibbles or whatever, you can add up to 5 samples to your order (1 sample per product). Samples are mostly for dog and cat food, treats and litter.
Perromart also has a few samples, too. They have a few brands each for dog and cat food. Hover over the dog or cat section and click on “free samples”.
Free samples for baby
Parenting is big bu$ine$$ in Singapore, and pretty much every company wants to hook kiasu parents in from the very start.
And one easy way to do that is with free samples for baby stuff like diapers, milk powder and baby skincare. It does make sense for new parents to try out free samples, since it can take a few brands to find a product that works for you and the baby.
Free samples for baby milk powder:
- Abbott (has many types, including milk powder for mums)
- Nestle NAN
Free diaper samples:
- Mamy Poko
Free samples for baby wipes & skincare:
- Cetaphil Baby (baby skincare)
- Cherub Rubs (baby skincare)
- Nature’s Wisdom (assorted skincare and health supplements)
- Pursoft (baby wipes)
- Suubalm (baby skincare)
Finally, there are also a number of organisations giving away free baby bundles / starter kits in Singapore, seemingly out of the goodness of their hearts.
But be warned that some of these have a hidden agenda – they’re marketing platforms for insurers to sell you baby health insurance and endowment plans.
No harm hearing out what the agents have to say about their products, of course, but make sure you check them out thoroughly before buying. There is no obligation for you to make a purchase just because you accepted their freebies!
Assorted baby bundles & freebies:
- MINDEF/SAF ($100 credit for NSmen)
- South West CDC ($38 EZ-Link for South West district residents only)
- NTUC Good Start Bundle (milk powder, groceries, 1 year free insurance)
- AIA SG Baby Club (free samples for assorted baby stuff, 6 months free insurance)
- Cradle of Love (goodie bag contents unknown, insurer undisclosed)
- Half Half Parenting (Huggies diapers, undisclosed organiser)
- Parents Step by Step (Huggies diapers or wipes, undisclosed organiser)
Free samples for everything else
A great source of free samples for everything else under the sun is…
But only if you don’t mind the risk of getting them from someone’s personal collection. In many cases, the samples are from regular users trying to declutter.
Personally, I’ve received all kinds of skincare products, especially Korean masks and serums, from Carousellers trying to purge their makeup drawers.
I’ve also requested home-related items like vinyl tile samples and wall decals. These were from suppliers who mailed them to me for free. You can also find samples for items like stickers and corporate gifts as vendors hope to get business through Carousell.
One more strange and wonderful free sample you can get on Carousell is slime. Not the stuff at the bottom of your water bottle, but little tubs of homemade goo that you can play with (think Blu Tack, but usually sparkly/shiny and pleasantly-scented). Apparently there’s a whole cottage industry of freelance slime makers in Singapore and some of them give away samples when you make a purchase.
Have we missed out any free samples in Singapore? Tell us where to get them in the comments.