5 Problems With Giving Away Freebies

I’ve come to the conclusion that giving away something for free is not always a good idea.

Let me point out a few things before I continue though…

Giving away a download is a good thing (sometimes) as it gets people on your list, or maybe giving away a free quote for some repair work on a car/house (because who in their right mind pays for that service these days).

Why is giving away freebies bad?

  1. You are losing an income – Could you be charging for whatever it is you are giving away? I’m sure many people give away great stuff that they just didn’t think they could charge for. Recently I saw someone explain how they were going to give away a free eBook but changed their mind to further develop the eBook content into a 3 month course, that they would then be able to charge for. Great stuff!!
  2. It devalues everything your business offers – You offer something for free and now they just want everything else for free or cheap. If you have worked in a business dealing with customers you know this to be true. They got a great deal and now they just want to rinse you for everything you have to offer that they are interested in. Some call it bartering, I call it a troublesome customer. You know the type 😉
  3. It devalues what you are giving away – If you are giving it away for free, it must be shit right? Some people just think that way, they download whatever it is (and then just archive it away for some other day), or take up the service, but they don’t attach any value to it.
  4. It ends up costing you money – That’s right it costs you money! Somewhere along the line there is a possibility that you end up paying for their freebie or the plan doesn’t pull of and ends up costing you money. Of course you planned all the fine detail didn’t you? You know your bandwidth will cope with all the downloads or the fact that you offered them free hosting and it would cost you some money? You didn’t? Aww sucks!
  5. It takes up your time – Depending on what you giveaway for free; it may break, you have to fix it. It may raise more questions, you have to answer them. Choose wisely what you give to avoid it taking up your time in the future unless it is a service you can upsell 😉

Now don’t get me wrong, it is tried and tested that giving away for free is a good thing! I just recommend that you research to see if you are missing out on point 1, make sure point 2 and 3 do not come into dispute and watch that points 4 and 5 do not raise their ugly head.


Please share this post if you think other people may find it useful when giving away a freebie.

Thanks for reading

Stuart 🙂

3 Responses to 5 Problems With Giving Away Freebies
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stuart Wooster, Stuart Wooster. Stuart Wooster said: 5 Problems With Giving Away Freebies http://bit.ly/eKTjLW […]

  2. Dale O'Donnell
    December 24, 2010 | 2:33 am

    When I give away a freebie there’s always a reason. For example, I’ll be giving one of @StrettyNews’s followers a prize after they helped us reach 1,000 followers which is a big step for the site wouldn’t you agree?

    If it’s heavily effecting your income it isn’t really worth it.

    • Stuart
      December 24, 2010 | 8:24 am

      By all means I do not disapprove of giveaways, they are tried and tested ways of enhancing your marketing.

      My views are that many businesses could do with taking the above into consideration when they think about giving away anything.

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