The Muse · Thoughts on thursday

Freebie Trials


As you all know a little while ago I had a trial run at getting some bookmarks done, I was really happy with the quality of them the only failing was design wise on my part which I will remedy with future orders when the time comes.  While I was trying out various sites I signed up to Vistaprint who subsequently sent me various email offers to try our their products.  So with future give-aways in mind that’s what I have done and I thought you might be interested to see a few of the products that I have received and my thoughts on them (I have also bought a couple of extra items as I felt guilty just bagging freebies).

So firstly lets look at the two pen types…


Both pens write black the top one (the blue one) was a freebie I did just use their basic background because to try to put the picture on this would have resulted in eye strain. The front pen I actually paid for (technically I ordered it by accident but I could have changed it and didn’t) I actually like this pen it is simple script engraved into it I just chose my name and the title.  Would I buy these again? I actually would buy the engraved pen again but I would do it when they had a deal on them as they are quite pricey unless buying in real bulk but they are a nice weight and feel nice to write with.

Next up..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis has possibly been my favourite of the freebies.  You do have to pay for your designs to be uploaded initially but again it is worth a few visits as they have different offers going at different times sometimes free delivery, sometimes free design upload.  The mug is good quality and the image is clear and bright.  They are not exactly cheap to order and because of the design space it did mean chopping my name off.  Would I order more? I probably would for a prize if it was something people wanted otherwise I have one now hehehehe I might consider them if I could alter the design a bit to fit better.

And next up…


The book bag…. I am going be honest when I first unwrapped this I was disappointed.

I included my I-pod in the shot to give you an idea of size.  The size is perfect, the quality of the bag is good but I was not thrilled with my image on it.  I felt the picture was to blurry and to hard to discern compared to the other products it arrived with.

It has however grown on me, I actually got two of these one free and a second at half price one of which my daughter grabbed straight away when she saw it.  I also paid extra to have Vistaprint’s advertising removed under the image though I am not sure if that applies if you are paying full price.  Would I order more?  Initially I would have said no but now maybe.


The T-shirt this I am not thrilled with.  Unless you want to pay a lot more for the thicker material then I am pretty sure T-shirts can be sourced somewhere else for better quality.  I ordered one of the largest sizes as I figured if it was terrible could always wear it in bed as a night shirt, the image is not brilliant and as you can tell from the picture if you are in strong light you can see straight through it.  Would I buy more? Nope sorry this one was a big miss for me, if anyone wants T-shirts try Zazzle or shop around you can do better than these.


Notecards and postcards, I will deal with both of these together.  Both are single sided though the notecard does come with a message on the back whereas the postcard is blank unless you pay extra for the address lines.

The notecards come in nice glossy card rather than the matt finish of the postcards though of course if you pay more you can have them glossy.  I was not thrilled with the postcards they have grown on me a little but not much.  Would I order more? I would order the notecards again I might even consider buying the folding ones to match but I would not buy the postcards again from here I think I can probably get better quality cheaper elsewhere but then again the notecards do the same job so why bother.

Final item for now..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPosters, these are a little smaller than A2 size and again I got one free but aid extra for a second one, because of the design there is half a centimetre top and bottom that needs cropping off but overall the quality is very good and they were reasonably priced.  They are made of thick glossy paper and look great.  Would I buy more? Yes just as soon as I have somewhere to use them lol but for anyone doing book fairs definitely worth a look.

What have I learnt

Don’t feel guilty about grabbing freebies, if I had simply order postcards I would have been put off using the company again and felt aggrieved at paying for the image to be uploaded when I wasn’t going to use them again.

Do take into account when deciding on freebies how your image is going to translate on various media, the mug I could use one of the images I already had uploaded cropped down so I didn’t need to pay a third image upload fee.  Better still if you are paying for an image created as if they can create a package for you to use for various merchandise and social media.

Freebies are not always free remember there will be costs for images uploaded and postage, some freebies you pay extra to remove company advertising or for better quality products.

Have a play around, try out different things then leave them go back and look again another day before you decide, you never know in the meantime they may send you more offers.

If you like your freebies you are more likely to re-order they will make money from you in the long term if you are happy.

7 thoughts on “Freebie Trials

  1. Incredibly informative for those who are taking this path! Thank you so much for your gift of enlightening those of us who aspire to that level!


    1. you are most welcome, most of us can’t afford a Pr team to promote our work or a marketing budget so freebies are a huge boost until we get established and start making some form of money back from doing what we love


  2. I’m not sure how things differ with where we are Paula but I’ve used Vista Print for some years now an not had a problem. Considering I’ve had lots of Freebies ( Christmas cards are great BTW and they don’t charge to upload pics). My Tee shirts have always been good quality and they’ve always told me when an image isn’t going to come out well. The last one I had was a pic of Ju and myself with the text ‘Love is’ Togetherness and it came out great.
    Like you, one thing I find a great bonus is that they hold the pics you upload for future sale and don’t charge for their use again.
    I think it’s time for some more pens and a few bags, thanks for the reminder.
    xx Hugs xx


  3. This is really interesting to read. 🙂 Nice one, Paula. Great that you’ve had these opportunities to try before you buy! 🙂 Good luck with everything, it’s very exciting. 🙂


  4. Doesn’t it just feel great opening a box of goodies with your own creation on it? 😀 My mom surprised me and hippo once by ordering a freebie box with mugs, pens, etc etc with Hippo’s face on it.
    She didn’t tell us.
    I honestly felt like we had a stalker and was scared to death hahaha.


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