I am passing along a link to a fun website designed by a man named Tom Locke.
The concept behind the site is simple: pick 100 companies to which he would send a letter asking for free merchandise. In Locke's words:
The way I looked at it, if I took $39 and went to buy groceries, I wouldn't be able to get all that much. On the flipside, if I took $39 to a casino and lost it all, I wouldn't be all that upset. With that said, I decided I was going to try something — I was going to take my roll of stamps and send 100 letters to 100 different companies, asking for free stuff. I figured that I couldn't do any worse than blowing the $39 at a casino, and who knows... maybe a few of these places would actually send me something good.Locke has done rather well for himself so far, as his initial $39 investment has turned into $272.39 worth of merchandise, coupons, and gift certificates.
Locke's letters to the companies are quite humorous, and his attempts to goad the non-participating companies into a charitable donation are also worth reading.