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Sample Room says: Try before you buy!

Sample Room’s vibrant founders (l-r): Sophie Uy, Katherine Sy, Nathalie Toh, and Diana Ong

The tryvertising craze takes Manila by storm


Why buy it and waste it, when you can try it and have a taste of it? This, in not so many words, is the main philosophy of Sample Room, Manila’s first tryvertising online hub. Founded in December 2012, but only recently officially launched to the media, Sample Room has enjoyed great success with online shopaholics, beauty and wellness junkies, and just about anybody who has had a bad experience when it comes to spending money on purchases which didn’t quite work out. And that pretty much applies to just about everybody.

How it works
The Sample Room method is quite simple, really: sign up, receive points which serve as play money, grab featured samples with this play money, review these samples, earn more points for play money, grab some more goodies.


At Sample Room ‘s Boho-Chic themed launch at Balay Indang, Cavite


Laneige cosmetics, for sampling

Of course, there is a more complex method of marketing involved, when it comes to the inner
workings of the tryvertising or try-before-you-buy trend.


Tryvertising is a modern day wonder; a hybrid of advertising, product promotion and marketing communication, which keeps the consumer at the very core of the process. Consumers generally go through a process of decision making, before purchasing a product, and tryvertising comes in before this process even takes form. This is what marketing minds call the “Zero Moment of Truth,” with the First Moment of Truth being when you buy the product, and the Second Moment of Truth being when you purchase the product.
“The Zero Moment of Truth refers to that point at which a customer will research a product or try to learn more about the product before buying it,” explained Sophie Uy, one of sample Room’s four founders, at the well put together Boho-themed launch held at charming Balay Indang in Cavite.
“It works with the stimulus that motivates you to buy a product – whether you saw it online, or through an advertisement, or heard about it from a friend. Sample Room helps by providing honest reviews, from a perspective to which local buyers can relate,” Uy elaborated.
In this Internet-savvy day and age, the number of consumers who research a product before buying is steadily on the rise: everyone wants to get their money’s worth, and this is the key concept behind tryvertising.



Why it works


The buzz began back in 2012, when four college buddies –who were no strangers to the regret borne of making the wrong purchases, or to the frustration of wasting tons of time scrutinizing item labels and comparing products– got together to impact the landscape of shopping in Manila. Uy, along with friends and co-founders Nathalie Toh, Katherine Sy, and Diana Ong, decided to put an end to consumer woes and help empower shoppers across the Philippines by creating Sample Room.


Sample Room’s vibrant founders (l-r): Sophie Uy, Katherine Sy, Nathalie Toh, and Diana Ong

Sample Room’s vibrant founders (l-r): Sophie Uy, Katherine Sy, Nathalie Toh, and Diana Ong

“This has really been our advocacy. What we really want is to give value to consumers, and to empower them to give value to their money, and to their spending,” Uy shared.


“Plus, we aid consumers in making good choices, because local reviews are better, as we can apply these to our own setting. Factors like local weather, humidity, etc. – these all come into play, especially on cosmetic and beauty products,” she pointed out.


To boot, many of the samples given out are more generous than sample-sized. Some items are full-sized, and come at almost no cost to the grabber (registration to the site is free, for regular sampling), other than the cost of shipping. Sample Room likewise offers a VIP Sampling option, which gives grabbers the option to purchase 1,000 points at PhP649 (about US$13), to avail of super premium items and luxury brands, which, more often than not, come in the full-size version of the product.

It just works!


What started out as an advocacy derived from personal frustrations, as well as a mini-experiment, of sorts, in the realm of tryvertising, has grown into an online force: from its inception, Sample Room is now 46,000-members strong, and showcases over 100 deluxe beauty, wellness, and lifestyle brands.
“We started out with about five brands and no website. When we decide to put up a website, we targeted for 3,000 people to sign-up within the first month. We had 3,000 sign-up within the first week. It was way more than we expected, and even caused our site to crash,” Uy revealed, lightheartedly.


Sample Room’s members range from bloggers and fashionistas, to make-up fiends and skin care buffs, from students and teens, to professionals and stay-at-home moms, from health advocates to those looking to get on the wellness path. Although membership is primarily comprised of women, there are also some male members; but – admittedly – the former far outnumber the latter.


Samples of Soffia make-up brushes, given to guests


The Vaseline sampling booth

Whether you fully grasp the hows or whys behind the workings of tryvertising, or are just in it for the thrill of grabbing virtual freebies, one thing’s for certain: tryvertising works. And Sample Room is irrefutable proof of it.

Log on to www.sampleroom.ph to get started. To know more about the latest products, exclusive perks and special offers, follow @SampleRoomPH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.