Online Pests: Free Sample Trolls

Written by Lisa Maliga

Bobbi of Montreal, Canada was known in certain online crafting forums asrepparttar ultimate free sample troll. You were a crafting nonentity if you hadn’t received a sample request from Bobbi. In March 2004, I became an honorary member asrepparttar 118403 notorious Canadian finally paid me a visit. It was a simple missive with a subject heading that read: “samples.” Uh oh, that free sample troll, I thought. Yup,repparttar 118404 brief text read: “please send samples and catalogue to: [address].”

Asrepparttar 118405 owner of a handcrafted [meaning I make everything myself!] bath & body products site, I don’t send out free samples. Nor do I have a print catalogue. Obviously Bobbi hadn’t read my site’s policies section on my “About” page as it clearly stated that a free sample accompanied a paid order.

Last year on one of my soapmaking groups I went throughrepparttar 118406 archives and learned that Bobbi of Canada was a legendary free sample troll. She prowledrepparttar 118407 ‘net in search of free soap, bath & body products, gourmet cookies, and small handmade gift items. Obviously Bobbi searched far and wide for freebies as one soapmaker posted this: “We gotrepparttar 118408 same email…allrepparttar 118409 way over in Australia! I sent an email back letting Bobbi know that we were willing to provide samples as long as they coveredrepparttar 118410 postage and handling and paid a $20.00 samples fee. No reply!”

However, while Bobbi wasrepparttar 118411 first free sample troll to contact me, I soon became aware of others. I learned that free sample trolls were often proficient in doling out flattery. Here’s an excerpt from a Mavis of Florida: “Your products sound wonderful – would it be possible to request a catalog or brochure? Also, your coconut soap sounds absolutely enticing! May I request a small sample of this soap?” Wonder why ol’ Mavis was writing to me? That last sentence wasrepparttar 118412 clincher – she wanted to ingratiate herself and by doing so getrepparttar 118413 ol’ something for nothing. It didn’t work though because my policy was a very firm – no free samples. As a soapmaker, I ran a small business not a large charity.

She wrote back requesting a special order product and when I gave herrepparttar 118414 quote there was no reply. Until a few months later. By now I had a fully working web site with a PayPal shopping cart. She didn’t userepparttar 118415 shopping cart, instead sending me a request for some soaps, offering to pay for it via check [uh oh!] and wanting it sent regular mail in order to save $1.92. Naturally she expressed a wish for a free sample, even specifying which soap was to berepparttar 118416 freebie. She ended her mock order with: “P.S. I wish I could buy more but at this time, it's so hard. I just had a wedding for my daughter andrepparttar 118417 bills are piling up. So you know how that is.”

Actually, I don’t have any children, so no. But ifrepparttar 118418 Floridian had just paid for a wedding, whatrepparttar 118419 heck was an additional TEN DOLLARS including her discounted shipping?

Almost two weeks passed before she wrote back, using an excuse about her server going down. She revised her e-mail order [again, bypassingrepparttar 118420 shopping cart], loweringrepparttar 118421 amount to $7. A check was promised. It never came.

Free sample trolls devalue a product that often takes hours to craft, not to mentionrepparttar 118422 amount of research and development that goes into creating that product. Time spent answering fantasy requests detracts from an online shop owner’s business earnings. Freebie hunters probably don’t bother to think about such incidental details. All they want isrepparttar 118423 gratification of knowing that someone gave them a product that they never intended to purchase. While some people genuinely are interested in buying a product and do need to try it firsthand, most ofrepparttar 118424 serial free sample trolls only want something that requires no money or effort from them.

Last August Jennifer from Kansas contacted me: “I am a person with extremely sensitive skin that is in search of products that do not cause my skin to burn and itch. If possible could you please send me a catalog of your products as well as a few small samples for me to try. Any help that you can give me will be greatly appreciated. My address is:” Upon receiving a pleasant e-mail about my no free sample policy andrepparttar 118425 fact that for a few dollars she could receive a product, there was no more correspondence from Jennifer!

Yahoo! and Indiatimes- Changing times for India

Written by John Benjamin (ProMinds Inc)

Yahoo! and India- A strategic move.

The latest news about Yahoo! buying a stake in Indiatimes couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment. In a release by The Financial Times, states that "Yahoo,repparttar US internet search engine, is in talks to acquire a minority stake in Indiatimes,repparttar 118402 online operation of Bennett Coleman, India's biggest media group" So why this interest for Yahoo! towards Indiatimes? Let us first put forthrepparttar 118403 present Internet Market in India.

With an increase inrepparttar 118404 awareness ofrepparttar 118405 potential of Internet Marketing, and with various big companies such as ICICI, Citibank, HDFC considering Internet marketing as part of its budget, this only substantiatesrepparttar 118406 fact ofrepparttar 118407 growing online market in India.

Capturing a share ofrepparttar 118408 still nascent Indian Markets

If all goes well between Yahoo! andrepparttar 118409 Bennet Coleman group, Yahoo can haverepparttar 118410 upper advantage in terms of reaching out torepparttar 118411 Indians. We all know how aggressive Google has been in terms of improving its search features, and MSN following suit. This only intensifiesrepparttar 118412 battle forrepparttar 118413 number 1 search engine. However, each search engine has its own loyal customers. However, Yahoo! has not been that aggressive and has been intelligent enough to diversify its services and not just relate to Search Engine marketing alone, targeted torepparttar 118414 Indian Sub Continent.

Lets take a look at what Yahoo! has in store if everything goes well.

Indiatimes portal is owned byrepparttar 118415 Bennet Coleman group, which also publishes dailies such as "The Times of India" which was originally launched in 1838,repparttar 118416 English language daily has a circulation of more than 21 million, apart from magazines such as Femina, etc and other journals. The biggest competitor to Indiatimes comes from However, Yahoo! has partnered with Rediff in terms of ecommerce. This gives Yahoo!repparttar 118417 advantage in terms of partnering with 2 ofrepparttar 118418 most popular portals in India in order to reach out torepparttar 118419 most ignorant consumer who just recognizesrepparttar 118420 Internet as a medium to send mail and chat.

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