SampleTrend is an innovative new retail phenomenon that is incredibly popular in Japan and has just opened its first store in London. Should the concept prove to popular it’s possible that we may see SampleTrend stores rolled out across the UK and Ireland in the near future.
But what exactly is SampleTrend?
Well, imagine walking into a shop and being able to take full size products from the shelves without paying a penny at the till. Imagine that the shop is full of products so current that they’ve not yet been released onto the market yet, and that you are one of the lucky first people to try them out. That, in a nutshell is what SampleTrend is all about.
Of course, it’s not entirely that simple. The old sayings ‘you don’t get anything for nothing’ and ‘if something looks too good to be true it probably is’ spring to mind, and SampleTrend has its fair share of catches.
For a start the products, although not paid for on the day, aren’t technically free as shoppers have to pay an annual £60 membership fee to use the store – of which there is currently only one in London.
Those living in the UK can use the online service, although they have to pay a higher membership fee of £90 (plus postage and packaging), and as yet there is no service offered to Irish customers.
For those visiting London however, or who just want to try the service out before committing themselves, there’s the option to pay a one off fee of £10 in exchange for five products from the non-members area.
So what exactly do members get for their money?
As with the one off service, there is a five product limit each time you visit the SampleTrend store. And no, you can’t return the next day for more spoils, as members can only enter the shop once a month. So basically you’re getting five products per month for your £60 membership fee (or £90 if an online member).
So What’s Right With It?
Well, for a start each member is guaranteed access to products worth at least £250, each year. When you consider the fee of £60, it does seem like very good value. In return, however, on top of the fee, you also have to fill out a short questionnaire to inform the manufacturers if your opinion on their yet to be released product.
Many may find being involved in product development in this way interesting and exciting, especially as you are afforded access to brand new products that can’t be purchased elsewhere.
So What’s Wrong with It?
On the other hand, many people may find having to fill out a product questionnaire each time they try something new – no matter how small – tiresome. We all lead busy lives and while saving money is high on our list of priorities, so is saving time. It’s hardly convenient for many to ‘pop’ to the SampleTrend store in central London each month, find five products that tickle our fancy, keep track of what we’ve had and fill out questionnaires after use. It’s possible that many will find that the money saving potential doesn’t make up for the inconvenience.
Similarly, it’s important to bear in mind that the SampleTrend store may not be stocking any products that appeal to you, or that you would find useful, when you choose to visit each month. Will it be a case of taking products just for the sake of it? – which is wasteful, irritating and could become more of a monthly chore than a pleasure.
It remains to be seen whether SampleTrend will prove to be a success in London, and roll out across the rest of the UK and Ireland, or whether it is a novelty which (like many others) works well in the quirky Japanese market but doesn’t translate well over here.
While you wait for the London’s verdict on SampleTrend, why not instead enjoy getting genuine bargains with money off vouchers for products and services that you actually want and have a need for?
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With Moneysaver.ie you take the risk out of bargain hunting, and make sure that you get the best possible deals on the products you want. There are no annual membership fees to pay and no questionnaires to fill out with Moneysaver. Simply choose from the best selection of deals on the web and click to shop. Simple and effective – just like shopping should be.