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The Great ‘Blagging hints and tips’ Hunt

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Freebies (no spend required)
165 replies 100.3K views
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  • I wrote an article for blagging stuff from drinks companies and brewreries to stock my home bar with brewriana as I didn't have any suitable pub stuff. I ended up with quite a few hundred pounds worth of stuff. I will reprint the info here so you all can have a shot at it yourselves. I recommend it and if you follow the same format, you too will get allsorts of goodies.

    The Blaggers Guide to the Internet- Brewriana

    Booze and Pub related stuff nobody tells you about, until now!
    For years, me and the wife had had dreams of setting up a bar in our house, obviously not a real bar, but one that we could prop up and to entertain our guests when we had a celebration or party. The first attempts were dismal failures. We had almost given up, when one day we managed to get a nice teak home bar for £50 from Ebay. Finally, maybe the gods of beer were smiling upon us. When we put it in our front room, we discovered that even so we had this nice looking teak home bar, it kind of looked like a shop counter, not the boozy bar we had always desired. How could we get the corner of our room looking the part? Would this cost us an arm and a leg? From some searches of the web, we found that some of the much needed dressing was quite expensive. Was there another way?
    Of course there was, and as the saying goes, where theres a will, theres a way! I asked about to all and sundry, did they know where I could acquire the stuff I was after? All anyone ever said was ask in your local Pubs to see if they had any surplus or old stuff going begging they no longer needed, or "borrow" items, like pub ashtrays, glasses, beer mats and so on (We do not condone stealing anything from any public house, this method is not acquiring free stuff, its theft, plain and simple) While these methods might get you a few items, it wasn't going to net you any great stuff in a short time.
    I needed to populate my bar with brewriana as soon a I could as Christmas was fast approaching, so I came up with this tried and tested way of my new hobby of being a brewriana collector. (As you probably know all things beer, drink, pub and bar related collectibles is known as brewriana)

    THE BLAG
    It was simple, I would politely ask as many drinks manufacturers, breweries and pub suppliers for anything that they may have that they could send me! Yup, you read it, I would ask nicely. Simple as it was, I then looked to the net for the details of as many as I could. There were hundreds! If I had had to send letters to ask, the postage alone would have cost me in excess of £100 easily, so I opted for the cheaper and easier way. Email. So I figured, it wouldn't cost a penny to email them as opposed to sending loads of letters through the royal mail, but I then realised, I would have to write hundreds of emails instead! Time consuming or what?
    No, not at all, here's how I did it.
    I wrote a catch all message on notepad basically saying that I had a new home bar, and that I would like to ask if they could send me anything that would make it more pub like. I never personalised the message to target any one type of manufacturer, or company, just kept it nice and generic. Any how, here's my original message, Although, you could use the same one that I did, try and be a bit original and create your own, you don't know how many others before you may have used mine (Not to mention, me!) so create your own as if its been used a lot, it will definitely ruin your chances of getting anything.

    Hi there, I'd just like to make an enquiry, I am currently making a home bar in my house and are trying to find some drinks advertising posters/beer mats/advertising to add to it just to make it feel like a real pub (Its only little though!) I was wondering if I could request some such advertising from you about your products, or anything else you could spare to help me make my home pub dream come true! I know it is a bit cheeky asking, but hopefully you could help me fulfill my dream! If it possible, my details are: (Your details go here) Thanks, all the best, (Your name here)

    This is what I used for 95% of all the email enquiries I made to the 300+ places I enquired to, sometimes changing the text slightly to personalise it to the particular place. I advise you, if you are going to use this method to blog, make sure that you save the original text in a simple notepad type program in a place you can find it, so you can copy and paste the text to the body of your email. Of course you will have to type the subject line each time you send one, mine usually said "An enquiry?" (How else do you ask without sounding brash and undeserving?)

    FIND YOUR TARGETS!
    Next, to find the possible targets to canvas for your blog campaign. If you were to search for each and everyone of the breweries and drinks firms in your geographic region, you would take months. So look for sites that list as many of the ones you need, save the sites in your faves so you can come back to it regularly. I am in the UK, so I went primarily to UK companies, but this method of blog will work where ever you are, just use target companies in your country or near abouts, as if you contact other ones in different countries, you probably will have little or no luck (trust me, I tried quite a few European ones and had hardly any response) Make sure the ones your contacting have an office or contact address in your own country, as they will be more likely to respond with what you are after. Some of the sites that I used are: http://beerme.com, which has great global brewery links, http://www.thepublican.com , a great UK one, for people in the trade, outside of the UK though, it may be limited of use, and this great one for real ale & micro breweries, http://www.quaffale.org.uk/php/brewery_links.php again, more for the UK, but with a bit of searching around for similar listing sites in your own country, I'm sure you will dig up loads of similar sites that will suit your purpose. Also search out the printing companies who print the bar runners and drip mats for the companies, more than often they will send you a load of random samples if you ask nice!

    RESULT
    Within a few days of contacting the first few, I was surprised at the response, soon enough sets of pint glasses were arriving, tons of beer mats, bar runners, posters, flyers, point of sale advertising stuff and much much more started to flood through my door each day. I can say it kept the postie busy! I had very few that turned me down, and those who did tended to be the bigger companies who you would have thought would be able to spare a bit of the advertising crap they sell their products with (Not to name names, Coca-cola, Pepsi, Coors, Fosters and some other big firms told me that if I wanted stuff, to visit their online shop. Skinflints!) It would be ridiculous to assume that every single one would oblige, but I estimate at least 65-75% of all I contacted, sent me something or offered to if I sent a SAE. That is why, the amount of places you must contact is as many as you can find. This may take a few days to contact the most companies (It took me 3-4 days to canvas 300+) but this way will ensure that you will receive plenty of stuff. I can assure you, this does work 100%, follow my method and you will not fail.

    THINGS TO BEAR IN MIND
    Many breweries and companies now will not give some items away (Such as pump clips) this is because of greedy collectors in the past, taking advantage of blogs like mine, but instead of keeping the stuff, they sold on the things they got for inflated prices to other collectors. After catching on to this, the companies stopped giving stuff like that away and many now sell pump clips instead. If you are attempting this blog, make sure that you don't get greedy and try to get more than you really need, if too many people get greedy then they probably will not give stuff out anymore, and we don't want that. Also make sure from your emails, you don't sound like a professional collector, or even worse, a private dealer. If they suspect this, then you will be refused. Always remember too that manners cost nothing. Always be polite in your dealings, as many of the companies keep your details on their mailing lists and sometimes send parcels of new promotional items when a new one is released or new drink is launched. Please bear in mind that patience is a virtue, and it may take a long time for some to get back to you, some you may think have ignored your message and will not be sending a thing, only to discover two months later a parcel at your door from said company. Do not feel the need to send repeated mailings to blag further. Once is plenty, if they say no, go to the next. So, there you go, a totally tried and tested method to getting free Brewriana goodies, try it for your self and see for yourself, and remember, mines a pint!
  • mookiemookie Forumite
    2.7K posts
    Quote

    Originally Posted by Rudolph Hucker viewpost.gif
    This involves a little expense to begin with - you need to buy one of those marker pens whose writing can only be read under infra-red light. You then spend every Saturday touring Dixons, Comet etc. and write your postcode and house number on all the electrical appliances, stereos, TVs, fridges etc. that you can manage.

    After a year or so, you should begin to receive weekly calls from the police asking you to come and collect 'your' property from the latest batch of swag they have recovered.

    All you need then is an eBay account and there you go! Riches beyond the dreams of avarice!

    He is joking.. surely??
  • scotraescotrae Forumite
    588 posts
    I'm feeling very pleased with myself so had to share my blagging success today.

    We took our twin sons and three friends of each for a buffet meal at a Chinese restaurant followed by a ten pin bowling game today. Both had been pre-booked and the bowling was paid for last Monday. I'd arranged to have two lanes, both starting at the same time with four children playing one game in each. That was each son's team could be self-contained and it wouldn't take too long.

    Now the kids - all boys, aged 6-9, were pretty lively and we'd had to walk through town with them for lunch. So when the staff at the bowling centre told us we could only have one lane, my first thought was "why didn't someone phone me?" and my second was "that's going to take twice as long as we'd planned and the kids are going to be climbing all over the place if we have to try to sit 8 of them on one bench and they wait to take 10 turns each".

    Even though the staff offered to cancel the booking and issue a refund (not an option when I'd got 8 boys itching to get bowling) we played our game and just about kept the boys all in one place, although twice the time was definitely double the trouble.

    When I took the shoes back I spotted the 10p chew sweets and thought I'd try my luck. I explained to the new person behind the desk the problem with the booking and asked if he could possibly give us a sweet or chocolate for each of the children, as a goodwill gesture. He didn't hesitate and told me to wait there. I thought he'd perhaps gone to find a box of penny chews. Perhaps I should have said a 'pack of sweets'?

    A minute later he appeared with 8 of the venues official party bags - each packed with lots of branded sweets, chocolate and a voucher for a free game of bowling!:T :T :T

    I've forgiven them already!
  • roh999roh999 Forumite
    2.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    mookie wrote: »
    Quote

    Originally Posted by Rudolph Hucker viewpost.gif
    This involves a little expense to begin with - you need to buy one of those marker pens whose writing can only be read under infra-red light. You then spend every Saturday touring Dixons, Comet etc. and write your postcode and house number on all the electrical appliances, stereos, TVs, fridges etc. that you can manage.

    After a year or so, you should begin to receive weekly calls from the police asking you to come and collect 'your' property from the latest batch of swag they have recovered.

    All you need then is an eBay account and there you go! Riches beyond the dreams of avarice!

    brilliant idea im gonna get myself a pen tommorow!:beer:
    Im known as the 'Fixer' if you have a problem,come to me and i can fix it for you.
  • I often get free tickets to nightclubs just by phoning up in advance. I live out in the sticks; so any big name DJ or club night will be at least an hour on the train away. If I can't buy tickets in advance, this is what I do.

    If I phone and explain that I'm coming a long way and want to ensure I get in; and nine times out of ten I'll get put on the guest list.

    Otherwise; they put you on the 'paying list'; not free in but guaranteed entry.
    LBM : August 2007
    my debts: less than this time last year....!
    DFW Nerd Club #706I'm Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts :D
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • KylieKylie Forumite
    562 posts
    Originally Posted by Rudolph Hucker viewpost.gif
    This involves a little expense to begin with - you need to buy one of those marker pens whose writing can only be read under infra-red light. You then spend every Saturday touring Dixons, Comet etc. and write your postcode and house number on all the electrical appliances, stereos, TVs, fridges etc. that you can manage.

    After a year or so, you should begin to receive weekly calls from the police asking you to come and collect 'your' property from the latest batch of swag they have recovered.

    All you need then is an eBay account and there you go! Riches beyond the dreams of avarice!


    = VANDALISM + FRAUD
  • I dont get it. Surely if you havnt reported a Burglary then it would be hard to claim the things you have wrote your name and address on?
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
  • paulabearpaulabear Forumite
    1.3K posts
    OwtForNowt wrote: »
    I dont get it. Surely if you havnt reported a Burglary then it would be hard to claim the things you have wrote your name and address on?

    It's a joke. A JOKE!!!:rotfl:
    I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick @ss.... and I'm all out of bubblegum.
  • I wrote to the manufacturers of Daisy Washing Powder congratulating them on an ace product; and today I received a big parcel in the post containing a 1.5 litre bottle of Daisy All Purpose Cleaner and a nice letter thanking me for my comments.

    Very pleased!!
  • bigbloke45bigbloke45 Forumite
    2.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Rudolph, are you say same Mr. hucker that used to email Terry Wogan?

    Did you know your name is taken on Hotmail and Yahoo email services?

    Everyone else, have you said his name out loud to yourself?
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