The best things in life are free

Since my bead obsession started with a gifted Pandora bracelet from one of their free bracelet promotions, I thought I’d take a look at some of the extras I’ve gotten since then. Whether you call it swag or a gift with purchase (GWP), getting something extra isn’t a bad thing, right? Since I personally associate “swag” with the chintzy freebies that companies hand out to try to get you to remember their name (things that are at best moderately useful and at worst end up in the garbage as soon as you get home), I tend to use GWP, but even that term is a bit loosely applied since both Pandora and Trollbeads regularly offer “gifts” that you can just as easily buy. But, as I said, extras are never bad, and when it is something a little different it can be extra nice!

The first GWP that I received was the Trollbeads Memory Book, although it is one of the GWPs that has sat unloved since its arrival. I’m just not one to record all my purchases (perhaps I’m afraid of seeing them all in one place? ;)) and most of the pages are devoted to listing your stash of beads so it doesn’t really serve much of a purpose for me. I had thought of offering it up to someone else who might love it more than I, but I procrastinated and it got slightly damaged and so it has remained with me (although mostly in a box under the bed).

The next GWP was the Spring Jewellery Roll (which was more like a pouch), but that one I sent off to someone else before it could get wrecked! I don’t travel much with my beads (or at all, to be honest) so it would have otherwise sat unused. It arrived at the same time as the Magnifying Bead Turner, which didn’t excite me in the least (at first). When it originally arrived, I really didn’t get the “bead turner” part of it, and certainly didn’t see the need for the magnifying lens. I had plans to also pass it along to someone else, but once again my sometimes tardy nature worked against me and my husband moved my bead box and scratched the magnifying lens and I figured that no-one would want it with a scratched lens. Little did I know at the time that the magnifying lens was not really the point of it, just a bonus! Now I think it’s a fabulous GWP and I use it regularly to swap beads around on chains (for example, if I accidentally build a bracelet on the wrong length of chain) or to add a bead into the middle of a combination. Every once in a while the beads will get stuck on the hook while I am transferring them and I need to carefully urge them along, but it’s still far faster than taking each bead off individually and usually has a far better outcome too (loose beads have a tendency to roll away on me :D).

Although I missed out on it in early 2013 when it was last being offered as a GWP, the Klimt-inspired The Kiss Trinket Box is one of the more recent GWPs to land at my front door. I guess it’s technically meant to be a ring box (although a single bead does fit – very snugly – in it), but I only own one Trollbeads ring and I can’t see myself storing it on its own in this box so for the time being the box has sat on my wardrobe. Lest you think that I dislike most GWP (since I either end up damaging them or finding a new home for them!), I do like the design of the box so I will be keeping it to see if I can put it to use sometime in the future.

The most recent addition to my stockpile is the Stacking Jewellery Case. Although I’m not sure if this was ever technically a GWP, I received it when my favourite dealer was closing down their business and it really is lovely so I’m actively trying to figure out how I can use it. Although it is spacious, it’s not quite spacious enough to fit my entire Trollbeads collection, so it won’t fulfill my third New Years resolution, but I may end up using it for my (rapidly!) growing X by Trollbeads collection instead.

Of course, two GWPs that I don’t have are the books that originally came with the limited edition Dutch Tulip and German Clover. I suspect that they are probably what I had hoped the memory book would be, full of inspirational pictures to spark new combination ideas, but the Internet is full of those as well, without the hefty shipping price tag.

Do you collect promo items or gifts with purchase? If so, do you use them or just collect them to admire them? Has getting a GWP swayed you towards buying something you might not have otherwise?

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