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Grow your business with the free sample store
Grow your business with the free sample store

How to manage sample store orders & win new customers

Philip Fierlinger avatar
Written by Philip Fierlinger
Updated over a week ago

The power of free samples

Offering free samples is a tried and true way to win new customers. Not all sample orders will turn into regular customers. Below are some smart tips on getting a higher conversion rate. Keep in mind, the lifetime value of gaining just one customer per month results in major compounding revenue growth.

What to do when you get a sample store order

The order will come from “Free Samples”, similar to every other Upstock order.

Before you fulfil sample store orders, we highly recommend you first contact the buyer to determine if they’re a good fit for your product.

It’s absolutely fine to decline a free sample order – you decide if it’s a good fit or not, for whatever reason.

Contacting buyers directly is the best way to understand who the buyer is, why they’re interested in your products, and to establish a strong working relationship. We also recommend you send your full catalogue details, with pricing and any minimum order limits.

We have a wide range of buyers on Upstock with a wide range of needs:

  • Hospitality: restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, food trucks

  • Grocery: dairies, grocery stores, supermarkets

  • Online: gift boxes, online retailers, online supermarkets

  • Retail: gift stores, general retail, pharmacies

  • Personal care: hair salons, fitness centres, spas

That’s just a few examples of the multitude of different buyer types on Upstock. Plus, buyers are based in a wide range of different regions.

Numerous suppliers have opened entirely new customer opportunities through the sample store. For instance, read the case study about Plant Projects – they unexpectedly received sample store orders from fitness centres, which became a completely new market segment they never considered.

After you dispatch your samples orders, don't forget to follow up with the prospective customer to get feedback and secure ongoing orders.

If you'd like to promote your brand further by having your sample product visible on the free samples page on the Upstock website just fill out this form.

How the sample store works

It’s very simple to set up. To make it even easier, the Upstock team will work with you to set everything up.

You process free sample orders almost exactly the same way as any other order. There are some minor differences that make sample store orders a bit unique.

For buyers using Upstock, they will order from “Free Samples” which is just another supplier who they can order from. The big difference is that all the products are $0.00.

When buyers order from Free Samples they see a list of all the products available, showing the supplier name and product description with a price of $0.00.

One key way sample store orders are different

Unlike all other orders on Upstock, when buyers place a Free Samples order, the Upstock team receives the order, rather than the supplier.

The Upstock team then places a new order with each supplier – the buyer’s contact details are included as a comment on the order.

Because you aren’t receiving free sample orders directly from the buyer, you won’t be able to communicate directly with the buyer through comments. However, any comments you or the buyer leave will be passed along.

How to create or update a sample store product

Our team will help you create your sample store product. It’s super quick and easy.

If you haven't already, fill out this form to add a product to the sample store, which includes more details on how to create your product.

Make sure you let us know if you ever want to make any changes to your sample store product, otherwise the sample product that buyers see might be different to the product you’re offering. If you have any changes, just chat with us in the app.

What products to offer

You decide what product you want to offer. Most suppliers offer their signature product – the best selling, most popular product – because that’s the product buyers are most likely to stock.

Alternatively, many suppliers create a special sampler pack – a variety of flavours to give buyers more opportunity to try different things.

For alcohol suppliers, we let the buyer know they need a liquor licence. Suppliers who offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks give buyers a choice, for instance “Sample 4 Pack - A selection of alcoholic or 0% flavours”.


  • The lifetime value of gaining just one new stockist per month pays off many times the small investment

  • Make sure you contact the buyers to make sure it’s a good fit and to establish a strong working relationship

  • Follow up after the order has been fulfilled to get feedback and secure ongoing orders

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