Not all online freebies are created equal

Not all online freebies are created equal »Play Video
The Web is full of offers for free stuff, but can you really get something for nothing?

A quick glance online and you'll find plenty of freebies, and Consumer Reports checked out dozens of those offers.

"Freebies are a great way to try new products. Just be aware that they're typically samples and many of them are travel-sized," said Jody Rohlena of Consumer Reports.

Some companies give you a lot more than others. Eucerin offers a 4 ml sample of its lotion, while Simple Skincare is giving away a 50 ml bottle of its facial wash gel.

"This is a good-sized sample," Rohlena said. "It's enough to use the product a few times and decide if you like it."

Shopsmart says the best places to find free offers are on aggregator sites.

"Facebook is a good place to find freebies. If you 'like' a company or a brand, they may send you free samples," Rohlena said.

Twitter is also worth checking. Clif Bar recently offered a free sample to anyone who follows the company. And companies such as Target and Proctor and Gamble have free sample pages on their websites.

But customers should be aware that they're going to have to enter some personal information to get the freebies.

"But don't give away too much, like your birth date or any health information," Rohlena said.

All freebie offers require an email address, so create an email specifically for getting samples to keep offers from clogging your normal inbox.

"When you are trying to score freebies, you have to be patient. We ordered 44 items, and just about half had arrived after almost three months," Rohlena said.

Consumer Reports says you can save on movies by joining frequent movie-goer programs, such as AMC Stubs and Regal Cinema Crown Club.

They offer free tickets, free concessions and waive online booking fees.