Take Two

English: Double pink tulips and filigree acer....

These double pink tulips have nothing to do with this post but I thought they were pretty. My business cards are pretty too.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a novice blogger in May of 2011, I did not have the “following” I have now (lol). I wrote a blog that asked the question: “Have you ever received something for free that was not really free?” My sister Peggy, (who has been a faithful follower since the beginning) said: “I  get lots of free advice and I don’t even ask.” At first I missed her witicism, but then I thought her observation was hilarious.

Here is the post many of you did not read because you were not around then:

“The writer experiences everything twice.”  ~ C.D. Bowen

This is the quote that appears on my “business card” which I designed myself for free. As we all know there is no such thing as a “free lunch” and this pithy piece of advice was proven (unfortunately) correct in this instance as well. I had to pay for the shipping, which was reasonable, but on the back of each of my lovely mint coloured cards is an ad for the business that printed the cards. Had I known that this was the cost of “free”, I would have paid for the cards, or at least saved my pennies up until I could afford them sans advertisement.

Perhaps I overlooked the important (but non-existent) sentence that stated: “You can have these cards for free, plus shipping, if you agree to have an ad for our business on the back, thus spoiling them.”

Perhaps I was so taken with getting something for “free” that I was not careful enough.

Perhaps I should charge the company for “free” advertising.

Whatever the case, I now have about a zillion of these cards (which are quite lovely by the way) that I have to “make do” with. I do this by applying a label on the back and writing in my email address and a little “check out my blog: onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com”. The labels probably cost more than paying full price for the cards. Oh well, live and learn.

Have you ever received something for “free” that was not really free? Or, on the other hand, have you ever received something for free that was blissful?

Published in: on May 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm  Comments (37)  
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  1. I’m always suspicious of “free” … your cards are a great example!

  2. Haha I admit to getting a free sample of some ice cream in a store… Needless to say after that I went and bought two cartons 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. Well that’s just mean. “Free” is always suspicious, and it seems like everyone gives away free things on their own terms! I don’t remember the last time something like that happened to me… but today I was given genuinely free pastries at a fair. They were delicious! Even more so because they were free. 😉

  4. The cable company has free all the time. 50 sports channels . Not interested. “But sir it’s free.” No it isn’t after 90 days you will add the charge to my bill and think I won’t notice it and it will take forever to reconcile.

  5. I tend to look at it like nearly everything has strings attached…and I remind my kids of this all the time. Very little in life is given freely, but it’s wonderful when it happens.

  6. I’ve looked at those free business cards but never got around to ordering them for a client, glad I didn’t, he wouldn’t have been very happy with me. Your sister is very smart, I can’t list all the free advice I’ve been given over the years, most not worth paying attention to.

  7. No. Very few things in life are free. The air we breathe is not free for untimately we are all going to pay a huge price for the pollution that is all about. However, beauty of the natual world and to use our senses I believe are things that are free.

    • so we should take advantage of our natural world and appreciate our senses–at least that is something

  8. Hmm, I hope that wasn’t Vista Print, as I’m going to be getting business cards from them soon. As far as something I got for free, yes, I got something free that is blissful … my dog. He was a rescue at age three. Already had his shots and was trained. We did end up deciding to give to a dog charity in his name, but that was of our own accord. Enjoyed this blog post, and the wit in your sister’s answer.

    • yes it was — just don’t get the free ones unless you want to advertise their business

      your dog — that is precious freedom

  9. My mother seemed to instill the fact that ‘most’ often there is nothing for ‘free’. She wasn’t a negative person at all but just very wary and so when someone ever offers something for free I most often don’t even question… I just say no thanks….. Actually when I just thought of it…writing my blog has really cost me nothing…sure WordPress has their link on my site but then that doesn’t cause me any problem either… so I guess since blogging has brought me many friends….I guess that is ‘bliss’….( p.s. I haven’t had them put ads on my site yet as I would suppose my ‘traffic’ does not warrant it lol Diane

    • I think your mom was wise–and it is true, our blogs have been very rewarding and only cost of our time–I have not heard of any ads on my blog- so guess I do not generate enough traffic either–which to me is a good thing

  10. A while back I was in line at Tim Horton’s and, as I got to the order counter, the cashier said the lady ahead of me, whom did not know, paid for my coffee! What a lovely surprise….free and blissful.

  11. I love free things!! I know there are some scams out there, but there are many that aren’t scams too. I sign up for free samples all the time, and they arrive in the mail just like promised, no strings attached. Plus, I love to do contests and have won quite a few free things, even some really big items which makes me very blissful. It’s true that you can’t win unless you play/try :).

  12. In our community, neighbours are always giving each other stuff that they think the other might find useful.. it usually works out, but the flipside is that you need to also be generous to stay in the loop. It works well for us. I enjoy the sharing.

    • I think that it absolutely wonderful–as long as no one keeps a tally–’cause sometimes you just got nothing to give–and sometimes you have lots

  13. AS the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” 🙂 Usually things I’ve gotten for free are something I would never want, except if it’s chocolate of course. 🙂

  14. This reminds me of those *free* editing programs you can get online. I downloaded one once for a school project and after working hours on it, the final result came out with a big fat watermark right in the center of the video. I considered just using it for the presentation but at the last minute, decided I couldn’t live down the embarrassment and did it all again on another software. Had to learn it the hard way.
    Nowadays the only free things I really trust are the free samples of food at Costco (do you guys have those in Canada?).

    • sometimes as you and I have found out–free is not all it is cracked up to be
      yes we have Costco–and you can get a pretty good lunch on the right day!

  15. I like the free samples of perfume you get after you purchase an actual bottle of perfume that you were gonna buy anyway. I usually give them to Lily.
    I like to be surprised with free things that I actually like as opposed to having free things thrust on me. At my exercise place they gave everyone a canvas bag after signing up for a class. The problem was, it was the ugliest bag I’ve ever seen! Lol!!! I didn’t take it!

    • I have so many bags from various entities that one would think I would not leave home without one and never need a plastic bag again–but no, I need liners for my garbage holde
      If they are going to give you perfume samplers, wouldn’t it make sense to give you a different perfume?
      We all know about things making sense though….

  16. I’m not a trusting person so when I see the word free I automatically think, “What do they want?”

  17. Ah, the wisdom of experience! Yes, I’ve learned this a few times in my life! And now, although finding something on sale, or even for free, is fun if it is something I want, I generally stick to the motto…”you get what you pay for.” And sometimes this includes advice! ~ Sheila

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