I was incredibly skeptical, but now I’m a believer! For months I’ve wanted to get a laptop. Sure, it was not needed for work, but I thought it would be beneficial for a variety of reasons. First, I am a technophile, but I felt I could really use the laptop for grad school and I argued that I could spend more time with my wife (instead of being locked away in the home office, I could still do computer work in the convenience of the family room while my wife watched television). Unfortunately, my wife was not too keen on us spending >$1000 for my dream of having an Apple Computer laptop. She insisted that we could just get an inexpensive pc laptop like a Dell. Noooooo!
Then I stumbled across an “internet marketing” promotion. You may be familiar with them – “get a free iPod by getting 6 of your friends to sign up and register for X.” This promotion, offered by the Internet Opinion Group, used a different business model that I agreed with. Instead of bugging friends and family to complete stupid tasks like signing up for a credit card, I took sole responsibility for being the sucker. Depending on the value of the desired gift, registrants are required to participate in purchasing up to 6 products and/or services in order to complete the business transaction. Think of it as an alternate method for consumer advertising.
I was skeptical about whether or not the iBook would be new or used, but they promoted a 14″ iBook (or similar product) with the following specifications: iBook G4, 1 GHz processor, 256 MB RAM, OSX. I started my adventure by signing up on March 6, 2005.
So, since I wanted this Apple iBook, I had to fulfill 6 purchases. It is important that you read the pop-up instructions for each product choice to determine what you must do in order to fulfill the purchase. There are a number of options available, but here are the products/services that I chose, including the estimated costs of each:
Okay, so when all is said and done, I really only needed to spend between $250 and $300 to fulfill this promotion. Considering the diet pills and the vitamins (and to a lesser degree, the USA Today subscription) were of little to no value or use to me, I would consider $200 to be used for items I might have purchased for myself anyway.
Here’s the other kicker – I did not receive the advertised iBook. Instead, I received a newer model. I received a 12″ instead of the 14″ (I preferred the smaller laptop anyway) with a 1.2 GHz processor instead of the advertised 1 GHz. Also, since OS 10.4 (Tiger) was included, along with Quicken 2005 and iLife ’05, I figure I received a few hundred dollars of software that I wanted to get anyway.
My only criticisms of this experience include the following:
So, overall I am very happy and really excited to get the laptop. It already has an 802.11G wi-fi card so I can connect to the Internet wirelessly! Now I simply must purchase a wi-fi router. Any suggestions?
Bummer! As a result of recent news on the iBook line, had I waited a month or two more to receive my iBook, I would have received much more, including:
Congratulations! If you are looking to upgrade the RAM, I would recommend checking out RamBus for cheap memory. They have the best deals on the Web, and upgrading an iBook’s memory is something easily done by most “technophiles.”
Oh, and for the free router, do not skimp. Buy an Airport or Airport Express. The others end to fail within a year’s time.
Thanks for the advice, Nomad. I’ve been setting up the laptop all night and should get some sleep soon. I spent $100 tonight at Best Buy – $70 for a Linksys Wireless-G router ($30 mail in rebate makes it $40) and $30 for a firewire cable to quickly copy applications and files to the iBook.
I had a wired Linksys for a while now and have had no problems. Cost may win out here.
I like your idea about RAM, though. Apple charges $500 for 1GB, yet I’ve seen third party offerings for $200. I DEFINITELY need to get more RAM.
Are you feeling better?
By the way, two other products I could use recommendations for:
Portable mouse – have a recommendation for a corded mouse (possibly retractable) for the laptop?
Wireless remote – I’m looking for a wireless remote that can control iTunes, Keynote, PowerPoint, etc. as well as include an integrated laser pointer
I always thoughts those promotions were scams. Good to see you got your iBook…not bad for a couple of hundred dollars.
The keyspan remove is the best way to go, if you want something that’ll work with all of your apps flawlessly. You can get the older model (identical to the new one, except for Airport Express compatibility) for about $30 on eBay.
For the mouse… well… what are you looking for exactly. Any USB mouse will work with an iBook. I prefer the cordless models and there are many great Bluetooth models – if you have BT included. I’d recommend just browsing thru Staples to find the one that fits you best.
And glad to hear the RamJet info helped. Another good cheap RAM-seller is http://www.transintl.com.
I see two keyspans on Amazon. Can the older, more inexpensive model control Keynote (I know it already can control PowerPoint)?
Yes, the Keyspan remotes handle Keynote just fine. Actually, they work just fine with ANY program. It is just not set up default on every program. You can always customize it for your needs.
How do I get a free Ibook just likeyou without the hassel of scams, using credtcards and personal information like your birthday.
I used the InternetOpinionGroup link and I was not scammed. The site simply gave me options to choose from and I had to select a certain amount of items/services to purchase. I purposefully chose not to enroll in a credit card, but for everything else, I only provided the personal information I’d normally provide when I make internet purchases.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Congrats! I have a quick query for you. how long after your status said “shipped” did it take for you to actually get the laptop? I too am using IOG. Just curious, can’t wait.
Portable mouse…i picked up a nice compusa brand wireless one with a usb receiver, is micro sized, and optical.
about $20, both pc and mac compatible.
Hey Jason. After the status was flagged as “shipped” it may have just been a few days – under a week.
What was weird, however, was I was notified by UPS that I was to receive a package, but even though they offered a tracking option, it was pretty worthless. The status went from “transmitted info” to quickly showing status updates the very day the package arrived.
Let me know if you have any other questions. What “gift” did you choose?
I went for the PSP. it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now i’m wishing i went for an ibook. oh well. maybe next time. with the offers i chose, i dont think i put more than $50 into it, though…and NO credit cards, they’re evil. 🙂
I agree – I avoided the credit card but had to suck it up for some products I didn’t like. I’m actually just about to cancel the Columbia House membership since I recently fulfilled my obligation.
I used the Internet Opionion Group, too. Everything you said about it is true. The only thing I was able to do differently is that I found a phone number for them. They were pretty helpful over the phone–much easier to deal with than the email option. I realized they just didn’t have very many reps, which is probably why it took them forever to answer email, if they got answered at all. I didn’t mind the things I had to purchase. It’s not like I was getting nothing for the things on which I was spending a little money. (I’m one of those people who’s actually enjoying that BMG music membership!)
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised when my copy of WinXP Pro with Service Pack 2 arrived (literally just in time to install into the new PC I had just built.) Because it’s a less expensive gift than some of the others, I only had to do 4 pretty inexpensive offers instead of the 6.
Oh, I almost forgot–if you use Internet Opionion Group and want to call them, the phone number is 801.316.0555, available 9-5 PST.
Thanks for the additional information! It’s good to know you too had a successful experience with the IOG.
Rob…congrats (albeit late) on the iBook.
I’m currently waiting for my Free Xbox 360 offers to go APPROVED. 2 of the 4 have. However, I still have not recieved a certificate email yet (which they claim will be sent within an hour). I’ve had to contact Customer Service (via phone – and on-line form). Phone service was great and very friendly. Form contact is slow.
Another annoyance about IOG is that once you create your account and start clicking offers…there’s no way to get back to the offers if you didn’t complete all of them in one sitting. I had to walk through the sing-up process (with my same account info) to get back to the offers. Yes the site is a bit wonkey.
Overall, I probably spent about $15 total (about $1 per trial offer) and I had one screw-up with the Trim-Life offer (didn’t know I had to cancel – so I got dinked shipping – although the refunded my subscription fee).
I started my Process around late Oct and I’m sure I’ll be waiting till Jan/Feb for my product. I’m patient though. I can wait.
I’ll have to post my experience when I’m done with mine.
Thanks for a great post.
Just went through the IOG survey wondering if I was opening myself to a big scam. This is why I am here now to allay my fears. I have emailed twice to confirm that I am on record after completing 6 purchases through their site. I find it strange that I signed up for all of these offers and the vendors have responded and charged me but I haven’t received a response from IOG to set up my account.
Your BLOG got me the info I needed (a phone number). I just finished talking with CS staff and they had my info on file and setup password/account for me. So now it is wait and see.
Thank you for posting this info.
This actually works. I received my Ibook today.
I have had the worst time on this thing. I answered the same questions several times! What is the deal. I even received a call from one of the vendors while still answering the same questions over and over. Anyone else have any suggestions?
What questions did you need to answer? I’m confused…
can i cancel when it says “in progress?” or do i have to wait until it says “approved”?
Started my process March 12, 05 had many, many flaws generated from system, I didn’t attempt to get it resolved due to life/death happening, until June. I was advised to complete more offers. Finally got all of my certs January 12th. Received my iBook 12″ 1.33 gig yesterday. I does work, be patient.
I really wanted to get a 12′ powerbook and did a google search on free apple powerbook and found ‘samplepromotionsgroup.com’ …Do you know anything about this site?..is there another site that you know of where peple compare notes on these sites?..I’d thought of giving this a shot, but, like you, I dont want to involve anyone else i.e. getting others to sign up for credit cards, etc…and it seems samplepromotionsgroup.com doesnt lay it out it if you have to involve others until youre well into the process..thanks
how can i get a free laptop with no scams
i need one for school but can’t afford one
Nothing is ever free. You have to do your homework. The iBook experience worked for me because I determined that I would have to pay – but $250 or less (and waiting close to 6 months) is still better than paying $1000.
On the other hand, I saw another promotion recently that I looked into offering a MacBook Pro and a digital camera. However, when I looked at the products and services, it would have cost me as much as buying the stuff on my own.
Just do your homework. You can’t get anything for free, but this promotion did work for me.