I went to an event last week. I was particularly looking forward to that event because I felt something good will happen to me… err, well, not really. So it was a three day event or so, and I was following their updates social media with the attitude of it’s-their-thing, that was until I saw that they were going to give out some freebies on the last day.
Basically, the vendor manufactures ‘organic’ hair and skin products, and she publicised her session on her Instagram page. She talked about how she was going to give loads and loads of freebies to all who attended. I looked at her products online, and saw how exotic they looked, and started salivating instantly. I must have these freebies, I told myself. The packaging was just too good to resist. It didn’t matter that I had to pay N2000 to get into the event, and the vendor’s speaking session wasn’t going to happen until 6.30pm. I psyched myself up, and I fell for my psyched face flat.
I got to the event in the afternoon, paid my money, wore a little patience, and stayed through the whole run, including hers which ended around 8.00pm. I was waiting for her to mention the freebies during her session, but she never did, but I didn’t give up. I believed the giant packs on her table were for us once the session was over.
When the whole thing was done, I lingered around her table and that of other vendors, perking my ears for the word ‘freebie’ but nothing dropped. I finally took the intiative to directly approach her table, and ask for the price of her products. Maybe if they saw that I was committed, they would select me for the much-advertised freebies.
Lo and behold, the cheapest item on her table was N7000. I almost screamed, but had to control myself. Her products were so tiny, mostly in 100ml bottles and jars. I wondered if diamond had been grinded into powder, and added to the products. I picked them up, admired the lovely packaging, and noted that they were produced for her outside the country, but still… tiny products ranging from N7000 to N8000? I was waiting for the person who had enough sense to buy her products, all the while hoping for the freebies.
At this point, I began to suspect that the whole freebie matter was a scam, and I didn’t like the idea that I had fallen for a scam. I mean, I paid N2000 to come to this event that didn’t even add anything to my life, and waited all night through a session of people telling us how to dress to interviews, all for what? A scam?
I then heard someone mutter under her breath “I thought they said there would be freebies.”
I saw this as my opportunity to strike “I thought so too. Why don’t you ask her?” I nudged.
“Ha, no o. I can’t.” The lady protested.
“Just ask, and let’s hear what she says.” I pressed on.
The lady gave me a what’s-the-worst-that-could-happen look, and took the plunge. “Hi, you mentioned that you would give freebies.” She smiled, and said in a very polite manner.
The business owner/CEO/Speaker returned a confused look. “Freebies?” She asked, like she had not heard such word before.
“Ha, I am in trouble.” I thought to myself. I wasted my time and money for nothing.
“Yes, you said you were going to give out freebies today.” My lady acquaintance said.
“Really? No, I don’t think so.” She kept her clueless face on.
“Yes, you posted it on your Instagram page.” The lady said as a matter of fact.
Knowing she had been caught red-handed, there was no need to keep up the clueless-face act. She turned to consult with her assistant. Maybe she wanted us to think it is her assistant who announced the freebies, and therefore should take the fall. Anyway, as for us, we were waiting for our freebies. We were promised freebies, and we must get freebies.
After about 20 seconds of CEO to assistant consultation, the CEO pointed us to the basket of samples, and told us to take our ‘freebies.’
We looked at the basket, which we had not noticed before. I had never seen such ‘samples’ in my life. The lotions were so tiny that they were not even enough to moisturise two hands, talk less of a whole leg or even the whole body. I wondered how many samples I would have to take to see successfully use this product at a go. I knew my acquaintance was thinking the same thing because we both eyed the basket, and walked away at the same time.
I am not really one for beauty or hair events, and I left the event very sour that day. I don’t know what was most painful. The time wasted, the money wasted, the fact that she acted clueless, the fact that she tossed out pitiful looking samples, or the fact that I fell for the scam. But one thing I know is this, I would never fall for such again. I am now wise.
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