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Nov 14, 2011 05:08 AM

Sam's Club "Taste of Sams" this weekend -- an ethical question

So I received the email and flyer for the Taste of Sams event this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Sam's Club. (LIke a Costco for those of you that don't have them). Basically a ton of free food samples offered from 11 to 6 on those days, with the offerings varying by day and time of day. I don't think I could face the crowds on Saturday or Sunday, but I am off on Friday.

I've looked through the flyer, and many of the offerings seem interesting and/or perhaps something I haven't tried before. However, I am not hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, so I honestly have no expectation that I will be buying much if anything that is being offered in this promotion. But then again, maybe I'll try something so cool that I'll love it and must buy it. I know this is possible, but probably isn't my intention.

Is it wrong to go and sample during this event knowing that I really don't have that much interest in purchasing anything? I kind of feel dirty just thinking about doing it..... yet I'm still thinking about doing it.

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  1. I say, go for it.

    Sure, you might not be buying anything for the holiday, but if you find a product you really like by sampling, you'll probably become a frequent user of that product.

    1. You are under no obligation to buy anything, and even if you dont buy something, you might like something and tell someone else. Positive word of mouth is free advertising for a company, and some of the most effective.

      In my opinion it is no different than someone going for a Time Share weekend, and not buying. Not everyone buys, nor does the merchant expect it.

      1. I don't see much of an ethical dilemma here. Do you feel dirty when you use a coupon or buy something on sale?

        Go ahead and sample, just don't forget your waitstaff. I always tip at least 25% on free samples, but then, I'm kind of a high roller.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DeppityDawg

          I tip about that much too. If it's something I really like, I'll go as high as 50%

          As for the OP, no dilema. It's pretty much the same as watching a commercial for something you have no interest in buying.


        2. Go, have fun. They are getting you into a store where you might end up buy a case of ball point pens.... you will probably purchase something there at some point, if you have fun, you will return. and buy more. I don't see an ethical dilemma whatsoever, on your part.

          1. The demo people are employed by a marketing firm . That firm in turn sells marketing services like this both to the retailers like Sams and the producers. So the samples come courtesy of the advertising budgets of Tyson, Kcup or Starbucks, etc. Taking a sample is as ethical as looking at their ads in a magazine, or watching commercials on TV.

            And they are hiring - if you don't mind spending the shift cooking breaded chicken tenders and smiling. :)