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Yes, There Really is a Freebie Santa Claus If you are a cynic when it comes to offers of free stuff, you are not alone. Everyone has had notions like ?there is no such thing as a free lunch? and ?if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is? drilled into their heads, and for good reason ? these things often hold water. On the flip side, there ARE actually lots of places you can score some decent free stuff, if you know where to look and are willing to devote some time to hunting them down. The key to getting the best free stuff with the least amount of hassle is to stick with that healthy cynicism but to also dipping your toe in the freebie pool little by little. But why would anyone give stuff away for free? It is certainly an obvious question, but if you stop to consider it for a moment, you can see that companies actually have a lot of motivation to give away free stuff. After all, if they give you something for free, you are bound to have a little soft spot for their company, and when you are ready to part with some cash, their product may near the top of your list. Also, by giving away free things, companies can convince people to try new products. You might not want to try a new kind of shampoo if you have to pay for it, but you?d certainly be willing to give a free sample a try. You may end up loving it and switching to that shampoo for good, turning you into a paying customer. Another reason a company might give you free stuff is to complete market research. This is where getting free things can get a little complicated for some people because the products may not cost you money, but the offer may cost you a little time. A company might ask you to take a survey of your buying habits before they give you a free offer, or they may ask you to provide feedback on a regular basis as you try their product for free. Some people balk at the time commitment required here, but for other people, filling out some paperwork is a small price to pay for some free stuff. Of course, to convert you into a customer or to communicate with you about market research, a company will have to contact you, which is complicated area number two for freebie lovers. You will almost always be forced to hand over your email address in order to cash in on a free offer, and that is a recipe for opening your inbox up to a barrage of spam (many companies sell your email address to offset the costs of their free promotions, which means the number of people soliciting you can go through the roof very quickly). If you want to avoid this downside of freebie hunting, set up a special email address specifically for your freebie deals. That way all of your spam goes to this one address and your regular email you use with family and friends remains free and clear. One final note of caution about free stuff online: a lot of scammers have hit on the idea of using pretend freebie offers to solicit personal information about people or to convince people to send them money. Don?t send money, even for postage, to a company you don?t know and never, ever give out personal information online. No reputable company is going to ask for your social security number or bank account details for a freebie offer, so don?t hand them out to anyone. When in doubt, skip it and move to the next freebie.

Clean Up your Digital Profile and Land that Job Whether you are looking for a job after getting fired or you are looking for a job other than the one you are working at currently, many steps in that process are the same. You need to get your résumé up to date and conform to newest standards, you need to get your wardrobe together and most of all you need to be prepared to go for the interview. But did you know that in a fast paced society with all the high technology gadgets, employers and companies appreciate a good digital profile? When it is time to land a new job it is time for you to clean up your digital profile. For those of you who might not know what a digital profile is, let?s reminisce about digital profiles for just a second here. A digital profile is any and all information about you that can be found online. It can be anything from your own homepage, over articles and answers that you have posted on the Internet to videos and pictures of you. Anything that is somehow connected to you and your name and can be found through Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and other crawlers belongs to your digital profile or e-portfolio. Believe it or not, many employers have started to check out your digital profile online by doing a little research on the Internet and finding any information about you. If it is on the Internet it is public information and therefore not illegal. Information on the Internet does not necessarily have to be positive. What if one of your friends posted some stories or pictures/movies about you on the Internet? Employers might see that and think that you are not fir for the tasks that are asked form you by the new job and might just plain throw your nice résumé into the trash before they ever have a chance to meet you in person. Therefore before going onto your next job-hunt, clean up your digital profile. Steps you can take to clean up your e-profile are many and one of the easiest ones is a regular search with different Internet search engines about things that are related to your name. See what comes up and try to clean it up. If there are pictures or movies posted on such pages as u-tube about you, try to get friends or the owners of the page to take them down or at least take your name of the page in such a way that a search engine cannot find this information when somebody is searching for your name. A very important positive step in cleaning up your digital profile is to create your own positive statements and information on the Internet, such as online résumé, Personal web pages or a personal development plan (PDP). If the amount of positive information, academic achievements, and plans for the future are greater than any negative amount of information they can find, the light shed on you is of good nature and your chances are greater to land that job than when they only find negative information for the reasons that you never knew about a digital profile. Should you still be new to all of this and you are not quite as well versed on the Internet, there are places that can help you. Many Universities and development centers offer help and tools just for this kind of situation. Public libraries also offer you free time on the Internet as well as other resources in connection with the job-hunt and digital profiles. So before you actually send out your résumé, make sure that you checked online for any information that might harm you.

Sweepstakes Entries Can Garner some Freebies Are you ready to cash in on the web's best sweepstakes and freebies? When it comes to finding the best of freebies on the web, sweepstakes entries and freebies go hand on hand. There are many fine websites that act as repositories for free stuff and sweepstakes. Here are some tips for finding the best sweepstakes entries and cashing in on the best freebies to be found on the World Web. Tips and Hints for Finding the Best Sweepstakes on the Web There are many websites out there that advertise the best of the free web. These sites often list dozens (if not more) of freebies and sweepstakes. Unfortunately, there are good deals of disreputable and not-legitimate websites that offer erroneous information or simply dozens of outdated sweepstakes links. Fortunately, there are many easy to use tips that you can use to find the best in sweepstakes. Ordering Your Sweepstakes Entries by Category Part of the secret in winning sweepstakes is that winners are able to organize their sweepstakes entries. First, you want to order sweepstakes by category. What are you most interested in winning? Are you lusting after a brand new car, or are you coveting that full makeover and shopping spree? Remember?sweepstakes usually come in big packages, so it does not hurt to think and dream big. Of course, it is important to keep a healthy sense of perspective when you go about filling out sweepstakes entries, but you want to make sure that you are focusing on the right kinds of sweepstakes. Ordering Sweepstakes Entries by Entry Deadline Date Another easy way to bring order to the crazy world of sweepstakes entries and freebies is to organize all of your sweepstakes entries by the deadline date. The last thing you want to do is to focus your energies on sweepstakes entries that are already expired. Purchase a notebook with file pockets that allows you to organize all of your sweepstakes entries by category and date. Keep a calendar handy and make sure that you note the various deadline dates for submitting to sweepstakes contests that you want to enter. Keep an Eye on Your Favorite Companies and Sponsors Once you have been in the sweepstakes business long enough, you begin to notice a definite pattern?your favorite companies, businesses and corporations probably sponsor their sweepstakes contests on a regular schedule. Make sure you bookmark your favorites?those companies that are frequent sponsors of sweepstakes contests?and visit their site often. You want to get a leg up on the competition by knowing who will be holding a sweepstake contest at any given time. Make the Sweepstakes Directory Your Best Friend If you are serious about winning sweepstakes freebies, you will want to become very well acquainted with sweepstakes directories. The World Wide Web is a haven and treasure trove for sweepstakes directories. These are websites that contain libraries of links that can connect you to new sweepstakes. Thank the organizers out there, who feel the need to collect and label links for the rest of us. These websites can be great places to start your search for the perfect sweepstakes entry. Sign Up for Newsletters that Keep You in Touch with Sweepstakes Sponsors If you know that certain companies sponsor sweepstakes contests, consider joining the newsletters of the contest sponsors. Many sponsors use their free newsletters to promote sweepstakes contests. This is a good way to learn more about their giveaway patterns. You will also be the first to know whether about sweepstakes contests as soon as they go online. You can search the Internet for the best of these newsletters. Be warned that your inbox will quickly fill up if you rely on this method.