Samples are awesome. They’re free, and they’re a great way to try out a new product.

When we think of samples, we think of shopping in Korea. With every new makeup store you head to in Korea, you get bags full of samples to bring home.

We couldn’t help but wonder — for the kiasu cheapskate in us — is there any free stuff we could score on our home turf? Food and beauty are the most obvious choices when it comes to free samples, so we’ll be showing you how to get your hands on those samples.

You can’t live off samples, of course. But you can use them to figure out which product you actually want to buy.

When it comes to free samples, we have to start with the one thing that Singaporeans all love. And that’s:

Food (and Also Drinks)

sample Ice Cream
Image Credits: Ho Hyou | Unsplash
  1. NTUC Fairprice

At our nation’s favourite supermarket, you’re bound to bump into an auntie / uncle / a student at their new part time job asking you if you want to try a sample.

It all depends on your luck, and the time of day, of course. But don’t go at 12am at your 24 hour NTUC and expect to see a kiosk set up.

Anyway, if you see a little booth giving out free samples, this is the time to be buay paiseh and just say yes.

Don’t be a hog and take all of the food that the promoter has painstakingly cooked for everyone to try. Just take one and go your merry way.

  1. Isetan at Scotts — Shaw Centre

Everyone’s favourite Japanese departmental store hidden under Shaw Centre has a whole basement filled with Japanese food.

The best part of it is all the times you get to try out anything from udon, green tea, and little cups of ramen to a range of dried Japanese goods like black beans, dried scallops, and dried squid.

We recommend heading to Isetan during their many seasonal Japanese fairs for a selection of food direct from Japan.

  1. Don Don Donki

Don Don Donki is fast becoming the supermarket that people will linger around at night. Not only is that when the sushi’s price gets slashed in half, you don’t have to fight with the crowd at night.

But if you want to try some free samples, try heading down during the day — that’s when the samples come out to play.

There was the launch of the Korean Army Stew flavoured cup noodles by Nissin Singapore. While we were at Don Don Donki, we managed to score a little sample for ourselves.

  1. Duty Free Store at Changi Airport

drink being poured
Image Credits: Adam Jaime | Unsplash

When you think of the Duty Free Store at Changi Airport, you may think of the amount of duty free alcohol you can bring back with you after your holiday.

But the Duty Free Store is a great place for you to try a drink without actually having to go to a bar for a drink. It doesn’t matter which terminal you’re checking into — there’s a bar there to serve you samples.

The Cocktail Bar at Terminal 4 even allows you to try your hand at making your own cocktail. But no matter where you’re at, the bartenders at DFS Changi are always happy to serve you a drink before or after a flight.

  1. Tea Shops Like: Tea at T2 Tea / The 1872 Clipper Tea Co. / Gryphon Tea

T2 here does not mean Terminal 2, but the tea shops like the one at Ion Orchard. Walk into any tea shop (like Clipper Tea) and they will offer you some tea. Most of the time these teas come in little plastic cups, but they’re great for a quick cleanse of the palette.

Gryphon Tea adds free samples with every order on their online store. They even say in their FAQs that if you’re itching to try any particular tea, just let them know and they’ll try to fulfill your request.

  1. Sample Store by Singpost

You’ll see Sample Store pop up quite a few times in this article. That’s because this online sample store offers a range of products for you to try. For this subcategory of food and drinks, Sample Store offers the likes of tea, chia seed jellies, and even bird’s nest drinks.

They’re not entirely free for every product — some of them include free delivery, but some of them require you paying for delivery. But hey, if we get to have some free bird’s nest drinks, what’s a few dollars of postage worth?

Beauty: For Those Skincare and Makeup Samples

makeup on table
Image Credits: Element5 Digital | Unsplash

For those of us who live the dreams of living in a Korean beauty shopping haven, we should be happy to know that free samples come with purchases at beauty shops.

How it works: You get sample sized products, often in little packets.

They might not be as crazy as the sheer amount of samples you get or the quality of samples you get (like a full face mask or free hair ties) in Korea, but you can still get free samples in Singapore.

To break down all these skincare and makeup samples, we’ve categorised them into a table below.

Store NameOnline / OfflineDetails
Korean Makeup Stores Like: Innisfree / The Face ShopOfflineGo into a Korean makeup store and buy some makeup, and your bag will have samples inside, guaranteed.
Sample Store by SingpostOnlineSome products may require you paying for postage.
SephoraOnline and OfflineAt Sephora, you get free samples with every purchase.
If you're checking out your cart online, you'll be able to pick a sample to add to cart.
Shu UemuraOnline, with Offline CollectionSign up at with your name, phone number, and NRIC to try their 3 day cleansing oil trial.
The Body ShopOnline, with Offline CollectionSign up at with your Facebook, or email and phone number, and then head down to their stores to get your sample.

Free Samples For Other Products?

If you’re a female, you get to try out feminine products for free too.

  • Betadine would love for you to try their feminine wash.
  • Tena offers you adult diapers for people with incontinence, or regular ol’ panty liners. They even come in discreet packaging so you don’t have to be shy about your sample.

What Do You Think Should Come With Free Samples?

As we shop more online, samples could become a great way for consumers like us to try products before we buy them.

We’ve covered both the Food and Beauty industries. What other categories do you think would benefit from giving out free samples to their customers?

*Featured Image Credits: Boxed Water Is Better | Unsplash

User Feedback