Free iPods are the latest of the is-it-too-good-to-be-true? schemes
to come out. The good news about this one is that it's not too good
to be true. The bad news is that you're going to have to work for
your free iPod.
To get your iPod, you're going to need to sign up with a company,
giving them a substantial slice of demographic information in the
process. (Because that's what this is all about: marketing research.)
You won't need to give them your credit card number, bank number,
or Social Security number, but you will need to hand over an email
address and a mailing address. Use disposable ones if you can, because
you can expect plenty of spam and junk mail.
Once you're signed up, you'll need to do something further to earn
your iPod. A few sites, like sixquestions.com, only want you to
answer surveys and sign up for free offers. However, most sites
want you to do all that and refer five friends, each of whom
has to sign up for (and complete) one free offer.
When your friends are done with the free offer, they can sign up
to get free iPods of their ownmeaning that each one of them
has to refer five more friends. Even the biggest social group is
going to run out of friends and friends-of-friends pretty soon if
you do it that way. Most people resort to begging for referrals
in forums and on their blogs. However, there's a way to get six
people six free iPods without having to lie, cheat, or bend space
The trick is this: Pick six different companies.
There are quite a number of companies offering free iPods, each
asking for basically the same terms. They're banking on human laziness.
They figure that once you've signed on to help your friend, and
you're that far along the path to a free iPod of your own, you're
not going to turn around and leave them for another company. But
why not? If you do it right, you and five of your friends can get
free iPods in record time
This is how it works:
- Friend A signs on with Company A. Friends B, C, D, E, and F
all sign on with Company A as referrals from Friend A. Each of
them completes one free offer. Friend A now has a free iPod.
- Friend B signs on with Company B. Friends A, C, D, E, and F
all sign on with Company B as referrals from Friend B. Each of
them completes one free offer. Friend B now has a free iPod.
...and so on, until all six people are iPod-enabled. The upside
is that this method is quick and doesn't involve begging for referrals.
The downside is that everyone has to sign on for several extra free
When you sign up for offers, remember to take some basic precautions:
- Check out the company you sign up with first. Most are legit;
a few are legit but are struggling with unexpected demand, leading
to long delays; and a few are scammers. Check around the Web for
reviews from people who have successfully gotten free iPods.
- Make sure that you know which company you're really signing
up with. Some companies operate under multiple names. That doesn't
mean they're not legit, it just means that you have to take a
little extra care when you pick a company out.
- Never use your regular email account. Get a disposable account
from Yahoo or Hotmail.
- Keep track of which offers you've signed up for, how long you
have to stay signed up, and how soon you have to cancel. Cancel
each offer as soon as you can. If you're going into this with
a group of friends, remind each other when you're due.
- If you have to give a credit card number, examine your statement
for odd charges for the next few months. Even if the company says
they've canceled your offer, accounting departments make mistakes.