Ayo, can you hook a brotha up?

That never worked for me before. Well, I never phrased it like that, either. It’d be more like “ayo, can I get a hook up?” Maybe I wasn’t saying it cool enough. Either way, I didn’t get free stuff growing up. BUT THOSE DAYS ARE GONE. In Korea, they give away free stuff all the time. It’s great. I don’t feel like an uncool guy anymore for not getting free stuff. Now, I’m the coolest guy in the world! Well, me, along with everyone else getting lots of free stuff.

One thing we’ve noticed about free samples in Korea: if you ever go to a supermarket, like Costco, and they’re giving out free food samples, I’m used to just getting one sample per station. Getting anything more than that would be rude. That’s some unwritten rule I was taught, somehow. I really don’t know how. Who said this to me, I don’t know. I just know that more than one isn’t right. In Korea, though, that rule doesn’t apply. I’ve seen moms walk up to the food sample stations and swipe five samples at once. Like, one for me, one for my kid, one for my husband, and another for me because I forgot what the first was like, and a last one for the road. I still can’t bring myself to take more than one at a time, but I’d love to build up the courage to do so.

Anyhow, back to free stuff: there are other instances in which you can get service. We get it a lot at Noraebangs (good ones). Whenever we rent a singing room, it always comes with some free snacks. Good ones bring you juices and stuff like that. Great ones that we’ve come to know very well sometimes bring us some free beer. HELLS YEAH! But that’s just the starter: when you’re in the Noraebang, you’ll see a little timer in the corner of the TV telling you how much time you have left, because you usually rent the place for an hour or so. Most of the time, you’ll see a little sparkle pop up in the corner and it’ll say “Service!” in Korean, and more time will be added to your clock. That’s great and all, except if you’re in a room for too long. You know when it’s too long: when everyone’s tired as hell, and have already sung a lot of songs, and are ready to go home, and they’re just cheering you on out of politeness but they’re dead tired, except you got that one friend who loves singing and will never ever stop, and so you’re waiting for the timer to run out so you can leave, but the place keeps giving you more free time, and your friend keeps on getting excited but you want to just run away and never talk to them again? Yeah. It’s bad at those times. There are also some craptacular Noraebangs that won’t give you any extra service time. We never go there twice.

There’s also “After Care Service” in which, if you buy an expensive product, like a phone or a fridge or a car, you can get it serviced and fixed for free if anything goes wrong with it. Don’t quote me on this, though: it works for some things, and maybe not all. I know people who have bought cars who, from time to time, take it back to their dealer and get it all tuned up for free, and they even vacuum it for you for free. After care service! If anyone’s got more info on this, I’d love to hear it. I haven’t really used any after care service on any of my stuff yet, though I really need to take our robot vacuum back to the dealer for some after care service, because he’s acting a bit drunk lately. He humps everything in site, and gets stuck in places and just gives up. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, LUCIFER! You’re embarrassing yourself!

Let us know what “service” culture is like where you’re from. Can you get more than one free sample at a time? Do you get free side dishes and drinks at the restaurants you go to? We’re curious.

And, lastly, there’s a service here as well. Click on the button below, and we’ll give you unlimited free videos! It’s so worth it!

  1. I’ve vacation in Vietnam and the market thing is the same! I bought toothpaste and it came with a spatula and a pair of chopsticks tape to it. The other brand of toothpaste has two children toothbrushes taped to it, but for the same price, I could get a spatula. At coffee shops, when I stayed there, if you go at night and ask for ramen, they’ll make it for you for free. Some places have hammock for you.

    I live in the SoCal, and free stuff are quite rare. Mostly, you go to events where there’s a lot of corporations handing out free stuff with their logos on it. You can get free perfume samples if you ask though. That’s what I always do, I go to like Nordstorm or Macy or any other stores and ask them for perfume samples, I would go in and leave with a bag of like 20 different samples bottles. Some family run restaurants offers free drinks. This one small boba place I go to is buy one get one free. At food courts at mall and such, just ask to try a piece and they more often then not will let you try some.

  2. That explains. My daughter and I were shopping at a mom and pop “cool korean stuff” store next to Super H Mart. She bought a cute little headband, cost maybe $2.00 and the owner gave each of us a really nice quality t-shirt, 2PM and BigBang!

    Other than that the only place you regularly expect service is the dive bars, they give away t-shirts, glasses and shots of Malort.

  3. My aunt and uncle take me out for my birthday every year, and one year I remember sharing the room we were in with a group of businessmen at another table. At the end of the meal, the waitress brought out coffee and Grand Marnier (I asked) in shot glasses for everyone. Come dessert, the waitress brings out a tray of those Grand Marnier shots for us, too. I don’t think the dessert was free, but those shots were.

    The only other time I remember getting free stuff was when I’d buy issues of Cosmo UK or the Dandy/Beano in England. Candy would often be attached to the comic books. Cosmo would have a makeup pouch, or something. I remember being in a charity shop and buying a book and on the back cover, it was marked as a Cosmopolitan Edition, which meant it came free with an issue of a magazine.

  4. This doesn’t count as “service” but it is free stuff! I live in New York City and when I was in high school I volunteered often for charity walks/runs (a lot of them were in Central Park). I often came home with a bag full of goodies because the big runs/walks have a ton of sponsors and gave out free stuff. I remember WalMart gave out socks, beverage companies gave out bottles of their drinks, and snack companies gave out small packages of their snacks.

    On another note, there is a Koreatown here and the noraebangs give free sodas. When it comes to restaurants and cosmetics stores however, I seldom see any “service”. I guess they caught on to the American way :/ I was so surprised that you got free samples from cosmetics stores because the Korean ones here usually don’t give any unless you ask.

  5. I had a really nice experience once in Belgium, where I live. I was working in the summer in a sort of wellness salon and next to the salon was a sort of shop where you could get all sorts of sandwiches. A few Thai women ran the shop and they were so friendly. On my last day I went around noon to the shop and I asked for a cheese sandwich, to eat when I would head back home by train in the evening. They said ‘but it will not taste as good when you’re going to eat it. I will bring it to you before you leave. By the time I was about to go home they brought me my sandwich and a bag of kroepoek (thai shrimp chips) as a little gift from them. I was so happy I got that because I love kroepoek ^

  6. Hi. What makes you decide to put a video on any one of your three channels? How do you decide?

  7. Hello Martina and Simon. This question is aimed at Simon. Is it difficult to find pants that fit in Korea. You are 6 foot something.
    I know I have trouble finding pants that fit in the States and I am only 5;11. Tell us your story.

    • From their previous videos when they talk about clothes in Korea it seems like Simon mostly has to shop in Canada and bring clothes in. However he did manage to find the awesome EYK uniform sweat pants in Korea and it seems like there is a growing population of taller Korean men so perhaps he know of some stores that cater to taller males.

  8. I live in Southern California and I’m currently in culinary school. Generally, I don’t get a lot of ‘service’ in SoCal, except on some occasions- when I’m out at quality restaurants (like a nice gastropub or a cafe or something), and I’m with other students and we’re in partial uniforms (the checkered pants, possibly chef coats), we sometimes will get service. Old and young chefs alike look out for their own kind. So, I guess you could call that an ‘industry service’? It’s kind of like I’m already part of the club :)

  9. Hi Simon and Martina! Could you guys maybe discuss about online shopping in korea? There are so many online stores and even the concept has been used in dramas but where I come from… eh… not so much. Also I am really confused on how to use Gmarket so maybe if you guys could explain on that a little I would be really grateful :) thanks!

  10. Bryony

    As an American, the idea of stuff for “service” is an awesome yet unfortunately rare concept (at least where I’m at in Ohio). Free samples are pretty much the domain of Giant Eagle on Saturdays, where, as you mentioned, it’s rude to take more than one bit. However! At one of the Korean restaurants my roomies and I used to go to (Korea House in Cleveland), we would usually get a free surprise steamed-egg-souffle-thing of utter deliciousness, served before the banchan arrived. I don’t know that the word “service” was used but I guess it was the same idea.

    (P.S. You aren’t wrong, there are way less toys in cereal these days. Also, to Simon’s credit, I totally got a CD from a cereal box once in middle school and I’m only a few years younger than you two!)

  11. I really enjoy watching Simon and Martina, they are funny and have obviously made a business of living in Korea (very smart). However, I do feel that is time for them to start introducing new and much younger host for some of their segments. I do not know how old they are but I do know they are no spring chickens. In my opinion it is time to pass on the baton to new talent. As creators of EYK they will always have creative control but let’s be honest some of the segments they present seem in my opinion a little juvenile for them.

  12. Hey guys! When y’all moved to Korea, and till today, how is it reading so many signs in hangul or going on Korean websites to see only Korean? I know how to read (very slowly) and understand probably 50% of the time, do you guys get overwhelmed by it too? Or are you guys used to it now? Thanks!
    From a fan in Austin, Texas :)

  13. Regev Nyström

    Possible future question: have you gotten any amusing stories about misunderstandings due to your Korean not being understood or misunderstanding someone else’s Korean?

  14. Some places have started offering free stuf if you join their rewards programs like TGIFridays gives you chips and soda everytime you eat there if you’re a stripes member. For the most partto get free stuffnyou have to go to the right people and ask or you have to go to a company website and sign up uo have the trials sent to you. Though bath and body works sends out periodic coupons to you if you shop frequently for.free travel sized bottles of lotions ect.

  15. I’m distracted by how good your skin looks like, Simon & Martina! I wonder if living in Korea has changed your skin for the better, what with the free samples and the super affordable skincare over there.

  16. Hey Simon and Martina~ I have currently watched this weeks WTF and noticed that Martina had a Talk to Me in Korean book! I just started to learn Korean 1 in school and I’m having quite a hard time forming my sentences. I’ve never checked out ‘How to Learn Korean’ books before. I was wondering if you recommend any books for self studying and if you had any tips on improving your Korean. Any advice would be fine~! I hope you guys enjoy your day and stay fabulous! – A Fellow Nasty

  17. You could probably do this in a future TL;DR, I was watching the new Korean tv shows like 2ne1tv, strong heart, running man, roommate, etc. Anyway, they kept mentioning things like 4 dimensional personalities and then they would said, for example: Park Bom of 2ne1 has a 8 dimensional personality. I (and probably some people) would like to know what are “dimensional” personality? What’s the difference? Is it popular? Is it popular to a certain age group? Do people like it? Is it good or bad? Is related to aegyo? Thanks! -Miracle, a Texan Nasty y’all!

  18. I live in Houston Texas, and we don’t really have service like there is in Korea. What I noticed is that at the cosmetic section in Korean markets they kind of give you service. I once bought some face masks and this Korean lady gave me bunch of face cream samples that they were going to come out with soon.

  19. Shay

    I can only think of one occasion on which I’ve gotten service food, and, funnily enough, it was at a Korean restaurant here in Canada. Probably not a coincidence!

  20. I’ve seen a lot of broke kpop idols(and I mean like college student broke) go buy food and they always try to negotiate the price or ask to get something for free because they’re celebrities. So I’m guessing that price tags in Korea are more of suggestions than actual prices and that negotiation isn’t something that’s rare. And I’m also guessing that this only works with things like food, not things like clothes, and that it helps to be good looking and famous.

  21. Yeah, nothing free in the US. Hell, we even have an Americanism – There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Heck, it’s even a theme in a SciFi novel.

  22. As much as we Dutch love our free stuff we don’t get a whole lot. When you order something online they might throw in a sticker, maybe a candy bar, or if you order a cd (dating myself here) the publisher might throw in a cd that contains songs from all their artists. And if you buy perfume you might get one or two samples you can use. But it isn’t a whole lot really.
    At restaurants they might give you a drink on the house at the end, or an appetizer on the house at the start. For free dessert you either need like coupons or to really know the people who own it.

  23. I don’t think I could ever have the courage to take more than one food sample either haha. And I’ve also always wondered why they offer toilet paper at the cellphone shops whenever i pass by them….maybe cuz you’re going to sh** yourself at the amount of money you will drop on a new phone…haha just kidding :p

  24. Ruth Van de Winkel

    I’ve always wonderd how a school year looks like in South-Korea, here in Belgium school ends in june and then it’s summer vacation till august and in september school stars again, but in university school starts at the end of september. Also when I’m on a trip to Paris or that time I went London I hear lots of Korean tourist and I always wonder ‘don’t these kids have to go to school it’s like the middle of the school year?’ Since you guys have been teachers maybe you could explane to me how it goes because I’m quit confused!^^

  25. KATHyphenTUN

    OH! So I remember my boyfriend and I always went to our friend’s family’s korean restaurant (because we like korean food and why not support people you know right?) and his mother would bring us out an extra little something and would tell us it was “service”. We always thought it was so sweet of them! and now like 4 years later we see it was a cultural thing too!
    Thanks for shedding some light on my past XD haha

  26. so a while ago, i remember a TL;DR on pets in Korea, and I was wondering if it’s changed since then? You said that dogs and pets were becoming more accepted in Korea but has that really changed yet? and are there any other pets besides like cats and dogs? Also, completely unrelated, but have you read the Life of Pi by Yann Martel? It’s a pretty good book. :)

  27. The only franchise I’ve gotten free food (they’re near the expiration date though) in the US was from Starbucks. They usually do it when they’re about to close. It usually mom-and-pop stores where I experience “service” . When I was at my local hardware store, the cashier let have some nails for free because they sell it by the pound and we only got 6 nails. I doubt Home Depot would do that. I got extra pizza with my order when they got the toppings wrong.
    Other than that, I would like to get alot of samples from Etude House, Missha, and some Korean makeup/skincare stores.

  28. In Czech republic it is pretty rare to get something free. I remember there was magazines with free stuff, like very bad lipstick, I think there are still some, but less. Sometimes I found free samples of food, like small square, really small, of cheese or mini cup of yogurt but that all was like 10 years ago. We still have some magnets from cheese and toys from cereals but it’s less now. But in hypermarkets is big hit to give some plushies or stickers for purchase, for example for each 200 czk you pay, you get small sticker and when you get 30, you get plush. Well I was quite surprised few weeks ago, when they started giving away Angry Birds plushies and I already picked bird I want and I saw that not only you need tons of stickers, but also you have to pay. Less than you’d pay for plush itself but still.
    The only occasion you get a lot of free items is before election. Free snacks, magnets, stickers, pens and stuff like this :D
    So no, don’t move here, no free thing for you.

  29. I get lots of service here in New York City…but in the immigrant community. Like I live in the Bronx and there is a Mexican restaurant that I love. I discovered it by accident, but the food is phenomenal. I go there pretty often and I always take new people so the servers usually give me free drinks or a free dish, because I have brought in a lot of new business and I am a loyal customer. I really love their mango smoothie! I practically live in K-town and as expected I get a lot of service there. I took Korean lessons there for a while so most of the business owners know me and give me price breaks (the book store owner, the DVD store owner) because they like that I speak with them in Korean. There is a restaurant that I love and frequent that always gives me free things because just like the Mexican restaurant – I bring a lot of people. I even convinced my best friend to celebrate her birthday there! Free bulgogi! I get a lot of service in the Jamaican restaurant by my house because 1. I am Jamaican, 2. I bring in a lot of business because if I like a place I always recommend it 3. When I don’t feel like cooking (often) I eat there! So they give a free drink or little extras to my food like steam veg or oxtail on the side or grater cake!

  30. I just had to say I loved you guys today. You were so goofy and just made me laugh with all your rabbit trails… The marvel shirts are totally cool too!

  31. What does dental work cost in Korea. I know that in America if you need braces you probably have to pay at least five thousand dollars. I have braces and where I live it only cost my family about two thousand dollars. Does it cost a lot for braces in Korea? And what about just regular dentist check ups?

  32. Hey Eatyourkimchi, I saw your MARVEL shirts and got reminded of a ”kinda” free deal. At one of our supermarkets ”Plus” ( in The Netherlands) you get a MARVEL MINIATURE FIGURE at every 15 Euros you spend ( to promote, The amazing spiderman 2 and Captain America I guess), so it is kinda free because if you already shop there regularly, you just get something fun extra. We often have these kind of deals and that is because we Dutch people love collecting stuff and lot of different big supermarket chains often do these kind of deals. Like with the World cup coming up, one supermarket will prob do the same but then with cute little mascots to support our national team, they had these in the past : http://www.smetty.be/wp-content/uploads/wup.jpg ,
    http://www.digitalmastering.nl/covers/27-06-2008-11-08-09-De%20Welpies%20-%20Alle%20Welpies%20Helpen.jpg , http://cmgtcontent.ahold.com.kpnis.nl/cmgtcontent/media//000639200/000/000639222_003_beesiefoto_pachshot.jpg

    Here is the site to this supermarkets current MARVEL deal I was taking about with all the different characters you can collect: http://www.plus.nl/acties/superhelden http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/70/36/44/70364466a691f789aad2c0670f842348.jpg

  33. I also posted this comment on Youtube, but then I realized it would be better suited for the blog discussion.

    It’s funny that you mentioned Taco Bell. I live in the US and I worked in fast food for about two years, and I actually worked at Taco Bell for one of those two years. As you’ve pointed out with Taco Bell, major fast food chains don’t offer service like that and I’ve noticed that it’s the same for the US. Although here in the US at least, most fast food chains have service surveys that you can do ((service this time as in “how was our service today??”)), and a lot of the time you’ll get something for free just for doing the survey. At Taco Bell, you could get free desserts for doing their survey ((at least when I worked there two years ago)). I also worked at McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts, and usually you could get free desserts there for doing their surveys, like a free cookie or a free doughnut. I’ve noticed actual restaurants having more of these surveys recently, and sometimes you can get a free appetizer or a coupon for such-and-such amount off of your next entrée for doing their surveys. At the Red Robin near me, you can get a free appetizer for doing their survey. My friend and I also got free chips and guac for signing up for their email alert service.

    This is getting really off topic, but restaurants and fast food chains here in the US make a big deal out of these surveys because it’s how they find out how satisfied their customers are with their service. These surveys are also the place where you can easily complain about ((or praise)) a waiter, waitress, or cashier ((even a manager or store owner!)) that makes you angry, and restaurants and fast food joints make a big deal out of what people say in the surveys. If a worker’s ((or manager’s)) name is mentioned for positive reasons, that person will get praised in some way. Sometimes, they’ll get something for free ((at most fast food chains here, workers only get discounts on their meals. They used to get meals for at least half off, but usually workers only get a 10 to 20% discount now)) or they’ll get a prize if their name is brought up enough times. If a worker’s ((or manager’s)) name is mentioned for negative reasons, there are often very serious consequences. Depending on the fast food chain you work for, you could get fired if your name is mentioned in a complaint just once. When I worked at Taco Bell, this was so and I had multiple coworkers get fired because they received just a single complaint. And people definitely take advantage of this.

    Continuing with my original on-topic rant, here in the US even large drug store/pharmacy chains are hoping onto the service survey bandwagon. Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid all offer surveys, and I know at Walgreens and Rite Aid at least you can get some sort reward for doing theirs.

    I´m sorry for the long, slightly off-topic rant! Perhaps major fast food chains would make an interesting TL;DR? It would be interesting to know if Korean fast food chains work the same way as fast food chains do here in the West, or if it’s a completely different world.

  34. Ruth Van de Winkel

    Omona South-Korea here I come, I love no I adoooore free stuff, really when I smell free stuff I’m like a beast:)! Here in Belgium you almost never get free stuff,maybe some free samples purfume or make-up (but much less than in S-K) or one free cookie at convenience stores but for the rest Belgians are really stingy! What they do a lot is you have to buy like 6 bottles of coca-cola and then you get 1 coca-cola glassfor free! But I must say this week I got a donut for free, like a REAL donut…for free… I f felt like….

  35. Some of the Korean restaurants and stores in in Southern California will give you service, especially if you got there a lot. Like Koreantown in Los Angeles has a couple of shopping centers where some of the stores will give you service. Do the Korean stores in Canada not give you service at all?

  36. In Sydney sometimes just at the entrance to central train station. There will be people giving out promotional stuff for new products

  37. In America the only time you might get something free in a restaurant is if it’s your birthday they might bring you a small free dessert. Some places sing to you. Others (Texas Roadhouse) will stick you in a saddle while the waiters do a line dance around you. Yeah… I avoid that place on April 12th… ^^ I’m not sure how differently Korea celebrates birthdays (TLDR?) but do restaurants give you free ice cream?

  38. lol nobody pronounces “service” as “Seo bee suh” in Korean in Korea, but it sounds more like “Seo-Beess”. you can listen it more properly through this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhhFqQKnmWE, from 45sec

    • Hey, Min Kim! Another Min Kim here! ;) Yeah it’s more like Seo-BeeSSS with a really strong S at the and BUT Simon’s pronunciation was pretty close. It sounds like S’s in or only without any vowels. For those Nasties who are familiar with Chinese, it’s close to 四(Si with 4th accent).

  39. Rosemary~ (┛◉Д◉)┛彡┻┻

    I work in a pharmacy in Australia, and we have soooo many samples of things that we just kind of give out. Our cosmetician is always giving people samples, or even brand new testers that she has like 3 of (not to mention all the testers the staff get to take home. SCORE!). And there are just samples floating around all over the place.
    Also, we had this Health Day thing a couple months ago, and my boss just called up all the companies and was like “What can you give us?” and they all sent us like 1 bajillion samples of their products, like, it was insane. We had no room for actual stock in our stock room, it was so full of free samples to give people.

  40. In Croatia you ask for the free sample so you can try something before buying it and they give you a look like you’re crazy…I only got maybe 2 samples in my life -.- so annoying..they probably take them for themselves >< So yeah…I'm jelly ;A;

  41. This TLDR just makes me want to move to Korea more (Who doesn’t want a crap load of free stuff when you walk into the store, ESPECIALLY when you don’t have to buy anything!)

  42. Romantic Roulette

    I live in Texas, and I’m pretty sure everyone knows that free shit in North America is slim pickings. But there’s like a Chicken fast food chain here called “Chicken Express” (and their chicken is fried deliciously and their fries are so yummy – as long as you don’t mind increasing your chance for a heart attack) and when you ordered like a basic Chicken Tender dinner (because I still eat like a small child and prefer chicken strips) I would always get an extra one. I’m sure it’s probably the location and how lazy the employees were but I still like to think that maybe they were just cool people. OH, and they also are kind of famous their Sweet Tea and sell it by the gallon, and sometimes they would give you an extra gallon if you bought one. I don’t know if they do that anymore.

    Also, when I used to work at Subway, I would always give the customer more veggies than I was supposed too. I mean, you can take inventory on meat but you can’t really take any inventory on the vegetables. Also, I would give extra Tuna and Chicken salad because the scoops that we used were in my opinion not really enough for a whole sandwich.

    But there have been times when people would give you a little extra food without saying anything about it. I guess it was all under the table food dealings. Probably would’ve been fired if they were found out! (Lucky for me my mom was my boss!)

  43. In Malaysia, we love free stuff. Surprisingly we don’t get as many free stuffs
    like in korea. We do however have like special day where some chain stores
    would give out free stuff. Like McD gave out free burgers which was cool and
    everyone lined up. Sometimes I feel most Malaysian won’t even go to some shops
    to buy the things (or even to a concert/event) unless it’s free. I personally
    think that Malaysian loves free stuff because we are all so cheapskates. And in
    some places like if you go to chow kit, they’ll give you the fruits for you to
    eat so you can taste and maybe buy some. But even if you don’t buy it, it’s
    okay. It’s like rude for you not to eat the fruits, somehow. I mean that’s what
    my mum told me anyway.

  44. “We didn’t sleep well last night” BEST. LINE. EVER!!

  45. I’m Korean, but I experienced “서비스” in France a couple of times! Me and my friends were shopping in Paris and when my friend went to cashier to pay, he started speaking in Korean telling us that he learned Korean in school. We were all so purely excited to see someone so enthusiastic about Korea because, well we were beginning to get fed up by everyone asking us whether we were Chinese or Japanese. And then he packed all those sample creams and all for each of us! He was so sweet and nice plus his Korean was just A-MA-ZING.
    Another time, we were in Carrefour for groceries after classes, decided to get Chinese food take out. Then the owner who was around 50s welcomed us so nicely and gave us 5 euros “service” discount after saying something between “We are all Asians” and “What’s neighbors good for?” Kinda reminded me of my dad that moment. I guess we reminded him of his daughters ;)

  46. I was in SK last autumn in Myeongdong but they didn’t seem to give out any samples anymore! I went into a heap of make-up stores but they didn’t give any – maybe cause I look un-Korean? Out of 10+ make-up places, I got samples from maybe one place…:| what’s the secret?? Is it for Koreans only?

  47. vannia

    I went to a korean sushi place with a big group and we got a free roll of sushi and chocolate popsicles at the end!! It was the first time that i got anything free but it makes sense I guess if they do the same thing in south korea….either way, it totally makes me want to go back :D

  48. kaward

    hey guys so I live in Alberta Canada and the amount of free stuff you get in Korea sounds awesome although the mom and pop stores here also if you get close to the owner will give you free stuff too. There was this Chinese place that me and my family have been going to all my life and it got to the point that we would get Christmas gifts from them and the 2 sons that work there as waiters use to always hit the no tip button before giving us the debit machine. They where awesome but the parents that ran the place retired but the one son open a new and popular Japanese place and when he sees us we get priority seating and stuff on the house. Also best way to get free stuff in Canada I find is to play up the I am a poor student card it gets me discounts on every thing form food to clothing :) and free stuff with purchase.

  49. My fiance and I ate at a place called the Cotton Patch Cafe (a chain in Texas, Oklahoma & New Mexico apparently) where the waitress asked us if we’d eaten their before. We hadn’t, and the manager brought us a sampler plate of their best selling dishes. The portions were generous. It was pretty sweeeet.

    Another time my dad and I were boarding a flight to Philadelphia and they bumped us up to first class for no particular reason.

    Freebies don’t really happen very often in the US, though :( Makeup samples sound awesome.

  50. Eryn Moragin

    Okay I live in Upstate NY and I have to say yeah you don’t really get a lot of free things. The best I can remember is that I used to go to a bookstore all the time, Like literally every weekend and we would stay there for a good 7 hours. And Because of that we sat and read in the coffee shop a lot and I got to know all of the baristas so one time my mom asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and we went there. I walked into the coffee chop with like 30 mangas and went to order a drink and they knew it was my birthday and gave it, a slice of chocolate cake, and an extra chocolate stick to me all for free.

    Also at like pizza places and Asian resturaunts if you buy a certain amount they will give you a 2-liter of soda for free or some chips.

  51. haruchi

    In Finland I only remember getting free bottles of coke at a pizzeria place because there was a small hole in the pizza dough…
    In Japan you also get service, maybe not that much at least at the grocery store. XD Though now that I think about it you sometimes get free things when you buy food in Finland. Like buy 4 coke bottles, get a coke glass. Or buy ice cream, get a cooler bag.
    Btw, for some reason I haven’t been able to read comments on your site for a few weeks now when using firefox. I don’t know if it’s only my problem… I decided to try IE and it worked.

  52. The grocery store I go to has free wine samples every Saturday and the last 3 times I went they had free long island iced tea samples and there was no limit to how many samples. So if you have no self control you could get drunk while grocery shopping. (yes they ID you)

  53. In Sydney there would be some free stuff given out on streets when there was a new brand or a new product of an existing brand. The company hires pretty girls and guys to hand out the free stuff. Often it’s the full size product as well. It works well especially with drinks. My friend used to work as one of those girls and said people could get downright aggressive trying to get as much free stuff as possible, especially when it was Lindor chocolate.

    In restaurants it is unlikely to get service in Australia, unless it’s a Korean restaurant or a Japanese restaurant run by Koreans. We had a lot of friends working at restaurants so we always got service. The best service was at a sushi train and being handed anything we wanted. We knew one of the chefs, so he would hand us huge plates of sushi, but we also knew the manager so he would give us a discount as well. One time we payed $11 for about $70 worth of sushi…. I really miss Sydney sushi now that I’m in Korea.

  54. hmm… other than Costco, the only place I have gotten “service” is this sushi restaurant that gives you 4-5 different pieces of sushi while you’re ordering and girls/women get a free box of pocky! sometimes this noraebang place gives us extra time but it’s only half an hour or so. there’s this fb page for my university called “free swag” LOL and it informs us of free stuff giveaways around campus like lunches and tshirts, vitamin water….

  55. Isabel Ruby

    i know is japan when people are trying to sell you something they’ll often tag on at the end of a sentence “i’ll give you service~~~” but i also blatantly ignore people trying to sell me things so i haven’t explored the realm of free service in japan. although the “buy hella hella hella food in restruant get bonus dish as service” definitely [i'm like 99& sure] exists

  56. I live in the US, so I don’t get any service. EXCEPT in one place: A Japanese restaurant in the building I work in. And guess what? The owners are Korean! =D
    I’m a frequent customer there and they like me a lot, so I get free food all the time. =3 And the awesome thing is that it’s almost never things on their menu. They actually give me a bit of something they made for themselves for lunch. In fact just the other day I got a bowl of some type of bibimbap with bean sprouts and meat and stuffs! And they actually used me as a taste-tester one time for a new item they were thinking of putting on the menu. :) I also got a dericious kimchi pancake one day.
    Needless to say, I love them. <3

  57. poodle

    One of my best memories from childhood is going to McDonald’s (Canada) with my grandparents and getting a huge free Oreo McFlurry, just because they’d “made one too many”

  58. Now I just wanna go to SK to get free stuff. O A O

    I remember when I was younger and my mom would bring me to Jewel osco (grocery story in the midwest US) they’d always hand out free cookies fresh from their bakery.

    Also I miss cereal box toys!! Now all you get is things you have to cut out to mail in just to enter to win something lame.
    To me that just screams

  59. Hi Simon, Martina, Suzy, Leigh, Spudgy, and Memmers! I’m from the U.S. and I don’t really think that there is a lot of free stuff. The most that I have seen is at like health fairs where you can get free pens or condoms (eww). At my university coffee mate came twice and handed out free coffee and humus (the humus was weird there weren’t even crackers to spread it on). At Cosco or BJ’s you can get a free weenie on a toothpick if you are lucky… that is about it…or at least I can’t think of anything else… Oh! Some pizza places have a slogan the say something like: get your pizza in 30min or its free. Its never free though those pizza delivery guy really book-it and make sure that it gets to your house on time. I heard its because the cost of the pizza gets taken out of their salary. Thanks, Cristy

  60. irritablevowel

    I used to get free stuff from store owners who were hitting on me, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here. Plus that hasn’t happened in a long time. It was nice while it lasted though.

  61. Susie

    My gosh, one of my most favourite service sample thingamajiggies EVER are the sample tins you get from Olive Young! I’ve only gone back to Korea in the winter toward the end of the year so I’m not sure if it’s just an end of the year thing but those things last me FOREVER. I’m still using the BB creams, cleansing oils, lotions, nail filers, hand warmers, tea and snacks I got from their FIVE MONTHS AGO.

    Oh, and how you can go to E-Mart on a weekend and basically eat a meal’s worth of samples? You know… the thing where you eat a few, get some annoyed looks from the ajuma until you go, “Wow. These are so good! I’m gonna tell my mum!” and she suddenly smiles at you and goes, “Sure”, to which you say, “I’ll just take a few for her to try! Thank you!” before running off with two-three more samples and never seeing/avoiding the ajuma. In fact, when I come back from Korea on my yearly-ish trips, at least half of one of my smaller suitcases are always full of samples. PRESENTS FOR FRIENDS SOLVED BOOM.

    Ok, yes. I’m a sample whore (that is actually what my friends call me everytime we go to a market with food samples) and this video tickled my fancy. What can I say. There’s no point denying it.


  62. I live in on the east coast of the US and it’s really hard to get free products. However, our Korean brand cosmetics places do give free samples of products. Also some smaller restaurants/stores may give free products sometimes just cause they want to or you go to their shop often.

  63. Here in Georgia, we’ve got a large Korea Town springing up, and if you are a Korean person, you’ll most likely get service in places like restaurants and noraebang. It is awesome!
    On another note, I notice that my mom LOVES free stuff. It doesn’t matter if the free stuff makes sense or not, but just having something like a free sample or free something seems to make what you are buying a better deal! And my mom is all about the best deal/best price/coupons! I KNOW that it is not just MY family. We are Chinese and we totally fit the stereotype that we like to “save money by getting the best deal.” LOL

  64. I have one word for you: college. It’s not as frequent as Korea, but at the beginning of each semester, tons of clubs try to get you to join them and lure you in with free stuff (like pens, cups, candy, lanyards, bags) and pizza. Just go one meeting and then never go again. Or give them your “e-mail.” Also, everyone once in a while, a free show will be put on for students, and they are decent shows.
    One other time I remember great “service” was when my family and I were visiting Beijing. We decided to eat at the hotel restaurant, and nobody was there. We ordered our food and later an appetizer came out. We were all hungry and ate it pretty quickly. Next thing we knew, another one came. We ate that and then ANOTHER came. So, we basically just had a meal out of appetizers. It was pretty great. The chef was a nice guy too. :D

  65. So I’m in the US and the closest thing to this that I’ve come across is at a Chinese place that we order from a lot and we always get a ton of food from them and more often than not, when they see my dad (who usually picks up the food) they will give us extra friend things because they know us and we eat a shit ton of their food XD

  66. I think the best way to get service here in Korea is to bring your kids with you everywhere you go. Seriously. My kids have been giving candy, fruit, and money on the subway, and we ALWAYS get extra stuff or amazing deals at the markets. Our fruit-truck guy gives us handfuls of extra oranges when he sees the kids, and our favorite coffee shop will often bring the kids brownies when we are there. I swear, I really never want to leave this country.

  67. thisisjustforfunval

    Man I’m really going to age myself here.

    I remember when I was kid that indeed tons of cereals had some kind of toy in them. Two of the most interesting things I remember weren’t toys though. One was a shirt iron on. Does anyone else remember those? Well one of the cereals we got had one and I remember my mom ironing it onto a shirt for my brother. The other was a record. It wasn’t a real vinyl record but you would cut the image off the back of the box, put it on your record player and it was suppose to play. Ours didn’t but it was a very memorable design. I think both may have been Fruit Loops.

  68. Can’t say there are too many freebies here. Like the most I’ve seen might be something like say you buy a certain body wash brand like Dove or Suave and you might get a small sample of a bar soap or conditioner taped with it. Or something similar with other daily needs products. But I can’t really think of too many places being like here have 50+ samples of our upcoming products. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I just don’t think there are too many places like that in my part of the states.

  69. Mimi

    I live in Houston, Texas and the Asian restaurants here (specifically Chinese ones) give a lot of “service,” particularly if you’re a frequent customer. My family’s gotten all kinds of free stuff, like before-dinner soup and dessert soup, appetizers, and on occasion, samples of a new dish the chef is working on. It definitely helps to make conversation with the owner if possible, or at least be friendly with the waiters. The Chinese supermarkets here sometimes run promotions where if you spend a certain amount of money, you’ll get something free, like a bag of frozen dumplings or an ugly dog mug. The ugly dog mugs are really ugly.

    American supermarkets use a lot of those “buy this, get that free” promotions. The items are almost always related in some way though, so nothing too wacky. A lot of the makeup stores here, like Sephora and M.A.C., will also give out free samples (not the pre-packaged ones) of almost any of their items if you ask. I’m not sure if that applies if you don’t buy anything, but I used to get three 5g jars of pigments every time I shopped at M.A.C. I also once got free admission (on a non-free day) to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts because the ticket lady thought I was “cute.” It was very weird and I was very confused, but she saved me $7 nonetheless!

  70. One thing about Costco samples is that you can actually take as many as you want, with no limits! Most people, probably due to North American social customs, don’t. However, my grandma is a sample person at Costco and told us a story about this one guy who used to just stand and eat samples. Not take them away, he would just stand at the cart and eat. Well, one day she was sampling some laxative jelly beans and the guy didn’t read the sign, which said that more than five were, well, y’know. He ended up eating most of what my grandma was sampling.

    And, nope, America doesn’t give out a whole lot of free stuff. I hate the texture of a lot of foods, so I have to have things taken out of meals from restaurants. Usually, if a place messes something up they give it to you free, as well as the correct food. I know when I lived in Southern Ohio there was this one McDonald’s that would give you Ice Cream coupons if you waited more than around six minutes for your food. Employees at McDonald’s also are sometimes give coupons not available to the public. Some people have already pointed this out, but Sephora will give you samples of most products if you ask. I still have a sample of some BB cream from them, and I used it everyday for a week! Outside of those, however, I can’t think of anything.

  71. Not all service is great….Grossest “service” story EVA: I had lived in Korea for about 3 years and had had may share of 보신탕 (dog soup). I don’t think it is anything special but it’s good to try once just to say you’ve had it. I thought I’d take 2 of my friends out to a good 보신탕 place since they never eaten it before. One was Korean and one was American. We sit down and get our soups and start eating. Everything is fine until my Korean friend finds dog teeth in his soup–not one tooth, but two! GROSS!!! Normal people would stop eating but he worked his way around it and we kept eating. I don’t know if it was the disgust on our faces or because the owner was happy to have foreigners in her restaurant, but she thought it would be nice to give us 서비스 (service). That’s great and all, except that the “service” was dog skin!!! I think they called it 개껍질. It was sooo gross! I’ve had some nasty stuff in my life, but that was just disgusting! The color was white with a bit of brown and it was very chewy. You could still see some hair on it in spots. I knew it was Korean custom to accept gifts people gave to you so I did my best to eat it all so that I didn’t offend the owners. My friends refused to eat it (punks!). I made it halfway thru the bowl of dog skin and gave up. No need to mention that we never returned to eat 보신탕 again.

  72. Question: Are there any child labor laws in South Korea? I hear so many stories of children going into the entertainment biz at such a young age moving away from there families in hope of stardom. Shit like that would fly in North America… usually.

  73. In the US, I’d say it depends on the place, as well as the situation. With both my car and laptop, I have the after service care, where I can take it in and they’ll tune/fix it up for free (as long as it’s nothing major). Of course beauty places like Ulta and Sephora also give out free samples a lot, but those are the only two times I’ve seen it in good situations.
    I have had situations where I’ve had a bad experience, then complain, and get free stuff. Like once my family was at a restaurant, and the waiter had forgotten to put in our order, so we sat there for like an hour without food. To make up for it the waiter gave us a huge, free piece of cake. There have been a few instances like that.

  74. and for the record come to texas we love to give away free stuff especially in Dallas where you go to your local bar and people just buy you shit

  75. Living in Canada I can agree with almost everything you guys said however, I find that if you go to the ”mom and pop” restaurant here and they just so happen to be an Asian place they will most likely give you service especially if you speak the same language as them or if you show any interest in there culture.

  76. I live in Utah, and there’s a Japanese restaurant I always go to, because it’s pretty authentic and really good, albeit pretty expensive. I’ve gone there many times, but the two times I sat at the sushi bar there was the chef who gave us sushi and other fancy dishes on the house, several at that, both times. He said he gave it to us because he noticed we liked the food so much, and kept giving us awesome things to try and suggesting things to us. It was awesome.

  77. okay Martina this question is for you because you are super fucking pretty now and you look like you are 21-25 but how old were you in that video of you with all brown hair? because if you were 14-18 in that then i feel like a monkeys uncle

  78. TL;DR Question: What do you think about how some “live” performances are pre-recorded for televised performances? In America, if any singer lip-syncs it always causes uproar, but it seems acceptable over there.

  79. Not much is free in France… Make-up stores like Yves Rocher and Sephora tend to give you samples of perfume and foundation that you never use and end up collecting them and never throwing them out because “you never know”.
    I got a free loofa at the drugstore the other day, but it was shit, I threw it out. Restaurants and cafés… Some places give you on-the-house cocktails or free peanuts with your drinks, but that’s it.
    On the plus side, we don’t have to tip!

  80. once again Finland is pretty much the opposite. Sure you can get some free stuff, but normally only one small thing and only if you buy something Things have changed a lot since I was a kid. I remember when I was small and we went to a grogery store, they would give us free samples of different foods (like bread or ham) and drinks, but not anymore (or not that much). It’s really rare to get anything free anymore. And that thing you talked about service. Nothing like that have I ever experienced! So unfair! Even free side dishes… Nope, not happening here. The meal you ordered is put on one plate and that’s it. No free side dishes or anything like that. You pay for everything and it’s all on that one plate. Like the salad, the meat and rice or potatoes or whatever you are eating. It seems like nothing’s free anymore. It really sucks :(

  81. Does Korea use coupons?

  82. I’ve been told, in a Canadian Costco by a friendly sample giver outer (lol) that they can’t stop you from taking as many as you want. I assume they mean within reason of course. I’ve been known to take more when they have Lindor chocolates! Yum!! :p

  83. In Washington State, there is an obsession with getting free samples in Costco, which is a huge wholesale retailer. There’s a whole culture, so to speak, around people who drop in and make their lunch consist of random Costco samples.

  84. I live in California, USA. Most of the freebies I have gotten here are from actual promotions. If you buy this then you will get that type of thing. However, the community college that I attend just had a week when they handed out a lot of free things (back packs, pens, sticky-notes, snack food) and they provided lunch… but you did have to fill out a survey on what you knew about financial aid. The biggest “service” that I’ve ever gotten was when I bought my car and the dealership threw in lifetime oil changes for free.

  85. Hey there EYK (Spudgy and Meemers, too ^^)! I was watching “Miracle in Cell no.7″ with Park Shin Hye (great movie, by the way), which takes place in a jail and I started thinking: is the Korean justice system different from Western systems? How does the Korean society view criminals and crime in general, and is there a lot of crimes like murder and robbery happening on a day-to-day basis, like, do you guys hear a lot about it happening on the news? Thank you! Love from a Brazilian Nasty <3

    • I WANT TO KNOW THIS TOO! There is literally no information to find about that!

      • yeah! I tried doing some research but all I could find was basic wikipedia info…i’m glad somebody has the same curiosity as me, hahaha.

    • This would be an interesting TL;DR. From what I know, the US, UK, Canada, Australia… uses the adversarial system (I’m talking about courts here). Other countries in Europe may have a combination of two systems… or just have the inquisitorial system.

      The adversarial system is where there are two (opposing) parties and they’re trying to convince an impartial person/group of people (judge & jury). Well, in a civil case, you’ve got the plaintiff and defendant opposing and you’re most likely going to have to convince the judge that you’re correct. In minor criminal cases, you have to convince the judge and in a more serious criminal case, you’re going to have to convince the jury and in criminal cases, you’ve got the prosecution and the defendant opposing. In this kind of system, it’s designed to be fair but you’d actually get a better advantage if you can afford a better lawyer. The judge does not do any kind of investigation into it.

      The adversarial system has the innocent until proven guilty “beyond reasonable doubt” but I think a lot of other countries have adopted this even without adopting the adversarial system.

      Korea would have the inquisitorial system, where the judge can actually look into things to find out facts as well as represent the state. I don’t think they’d use the jury but I’m sure there are exceptions. Basically, the judge can question witnesses and investigate to eventually get to the verdict and penalty. I’m not sure if the presumption of innocence is held up to the same standard in South Korea.

      Sorry, I haven’t watched that film and I don’t know much about South Korea’s legal system… and obviously I don’t know about the media and the societal views. Which is why I’d love to know too… maybe how’d they’d treat foreigners if they were to commit a crime too… not that many would but… better to know what you’ll have to face if you accidentally commit some offence you’re not aware of (which is technically your fault for not studying up on it).

      • thank you for that info, it’s very interesting. but I wonder if the number of crimes in Korea should have anything to do with their justice system. for what I know they don’t have high crime rates there…and the foreigner conviction issue is also pretty interesting, I think it should also be covered…it’s a matter of diplomacy, even!

    • That’s a pretty freaking interesting topic. I gotta look into it! Thanks :D

    • Jails in kdramas seem a bit different from Australia’s. Interesting idea ^^

    • That sounds like an interesting topic!!!

  86. Ok….now…I live in Las Vegas Nevada, if you’ve never heard of it please take me for a ride in your spaceship, anyway back in the day if you played a 100$ in slots for a couple of hours some guy in an Italian suit would walk up shake your hand and slide you free buffets and/or room nights. Now days you have to play a S*** ton more for that to happen, But the last great remaining ‘serviceu’ in Vegas is Free Drinks if your playing thats right, if your playing slots or cards or dice the casino will happily give you free booze to help you relax and play more put 10$ in a penny slot machine and wave down the cocktail waitress.

  87. I go to chinese supermarkets with my parents here in America sometimes, and they often throw in a free box of some sort of snack food at the end of the checkout line. We’ve also gotten teapots, strawberries, and soy milk. Of course, this probably happens more often to me since I’m friends with some the daughters of supermarket owners in my area haha :)

  88. Isn’t that the way everyone shops for Christmas? One for you two for me… The only place here in Michigan (Green Nasty in da house) that I have noticed anything close to service would be at make up stores and drug stores will sometimes print out a coupon thingy if you spend a certain amount of money that you go online and order a free box of samples.. and I still have my cereal box Disney color changing spoon from back in the 90′s!

  89. Hey Simon and Martina! I don’t know if you’ll see this, but I’m planning to study abroad this summer at Yonsei, and I know a bunch of other non-Korean Nasties are probably doing the same thing! Is there any way for us to meet up with you guys, chat, hang out, roll down some sexy windows, and take shameless selfies? I’ve been subscribed for years and it would be the coolest thing ever!

    • Maybe if their coffee house is open by then, you could go there.

    • We’ve got a pretty insane schedule coming up from now until the coffee shop opening. We’re gonna do our announcement video on our summer tour soon. After the coffee shop opens, though, our schedule is going to be a lot more open :D

      • wow, thanks so much for replying! *o* Good luck with all the work coming up!

        I know this is a super stretch, but if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know! I’m a biomedical engineering senior – which means I’m great at walking dogs, getting coffee, lifting mediocrely heavy objects, and comic relief :) You guys can definitely get my “service” if you’re feeling overwhelmed!

        wow that “service” sounds nastyyy.. ;)

  90. I live in France – and we sometimes get free stuff. Most of time in beauty store, you can have some sample, perfume, cream, bb cream…
    In food stores, it also happened, but people giving out free sample are annoying most of the times, and really pushy with their product, so I avoid them most of the time^^’

    I don’t know if this is common, but I’m a regular in a bar, and the boss (who knows me and my friends after all this time) give us free drinks quite often. He also give us food during some holidays like easter ! Most of the time it’s because he would rather gives what’s left rather than throw it away, but it’s nice anyways !

  91. Samantha Schröder CHe

    Oh! I forgot! Some stores where the sell just fruit (don’t know the name) they have like tiny sampels on sundays.
    And also, qustion: what time is it where you live?

  92. Samantha Schröder CHe

    Ok I live in sweden not a freaking chance that we would have any free sampels of anything! Like realy not anywhere!

  93. I live in LA and a lot of makeup stores (usually the bigger chain ones or pop up in the mall) do your makeup for free. Like, they’ll ask you if you want to try a new product and want to try it out. The only thing is that you’re expected to buy one of the products they use on your face.

  94. Free stuff? In the Netherlands? Ha.
    Rarely at markets, friendly weekend market stalls usually hand out samples!
    In India there’s not really a culture of free goodies ~ the weaker sections of society would take too much advantage of that but generally, you can try what you want to buy – one can usually ask for a bit of the food before purchasing it!
    Informal vendors in my neighbourhood recognize me and always give me more than I pay for! :)

  95. Lula

    That seems really awesome and unlike the U.S. in many ways. Backstory time…I was at Malley”s Chocolates one time with my cousins. There was some chocolate free samples so I whispered to my cousin, that was 3 at the time, to go ask the worker if she could have 2. You know one for me and one for her. So I was kinda standing behind her, like close enough that if something happened I could grab her, and she asked the guy in the cutest voice ever and I quote,”Excuse me mister that has the best job ever can I have 2 of those? Peazzzzzze!” and out of nowhere the guy is just like shouting at her about how she can only have one and how he has been dealing with stupid annoying kids all day! So my cousin starts crying and the dude doesn’t even care! And then me, being the overprotective person I am, come and pick her up and bring her back to our table, then (this is the best part) her twin/my other cousin sees that she’s crying, asks what happened, and immediately goes back to the worker and kicks him! Yes, she kicked him! So after that “little scene” we got banned from there. But that’s ok it was in a different state so we are never going back there anyway. XD

  96. Cool noreabang.. and the cheapest in Seoul I think… at Sillim-dong area.. 신림동.. as everyone know (or don’t they).. sillim is popular for their sundae (순대).. back to noreabang.. yup.. the price is 8000원.. per hour.. well.. guess what… literally its 3~3 1/5 hrs… well those who stay near Gwanak mountain (관악산) can enjoy the cheap noraebang… location.. just behind Loteria..especially the SNU students…and another one is 12 000원.. literally.. after 4 hours plus I think..yup.. free service… we just ran out from the noraebang… seriusly.. lost our voice… tired and..hurm..

  97. In the UK it’s the whole buy one get one free shebang. Usually if you’re in a restaurant and there’s like a hair in your food or something they’ll take it back and give you a new meal for free or even a a free dessert! In shops sometimes they’ll have free food samples of the newest product they’re endorsing/created but there’s never really anything more but that.

    If it’s your birthday though or a special occasion and you or someone you know brings this up, you may get something for free or get something half price. That doesn’t really happen a lot though…

  98. Susan Horak

    While I don’t get much free service as a customer but I work for a grocery store in PA where in my town if the name wasn’t different would run into the problem of being confused with another grocery store with only 1 part of the name matching. They now have doughnut day once a month for the stores employees with juice, milk, and coffee if you want starting in the morning and going until for awhile in the afternoon when most likely we run out of doughnuts and they aren’t bringing more doughnuts up to the training room. I have tempted fate in my green shirt with a cream filled powdered sugar doughnut and I didn’t get any powdered sugar on me. Then they have an employee Christmas lunch served by a local Italian restaurant along with getting a dollar more per hour on holidays and Sundays. Also on your birthday you get a birthday card which is a coupon to get a free birthday cupcake that you have a few choices to pick out like a vanilla or chocolate cake, 2 types of frosting, and if you want sprinkles or not.

  99. Whenever I pass my spectacle shop, they invite me in to clean my lens, replace nose guards and fix the tightness on the ears. And I only buy something there once every 1 or 2 years. I once changed my contacts from bi weekly to dailies and they did it for me for free and gave me 7 pairs of lenses for free.

  100. They have the same kind of thing here in Japan and they also call it “service.” (Though here it sounds more like “Sah-bee-soo.” ) I’m never sure how much is “normal” and would be given to any average person and how much is “omotenashi” – the Japanese notion of hospitality. As a foreigner, they see me as a guest in their country so I’m given things quite often – custom origami paper, free guided tours, random food, books, etc. etc. They always say “Thank you for being interested in Japan!” and it’s their way of showing gratitude.

  101. Next time you’re back in Toronto go to Sake Sushi Bar just east of Christie Station. It’s a Japanese/Korean fusion place. The food is great, the atmosphere is great and amazingly quite a bit of service… especially when buying booze. And Norebong is right next door.

  102. I live in the states (New Jersey) and we get free samples sometimes, depending on the place/situation. In a lot of shopping malls, in the food courts, the restaurants will give you a tiny sample of food, to try and get you to eat there, instead of the competitors. In our local mall, we have a Japanese place and a Chinese place next to each other and they’re always so crazy about trying to shove samples at you so you won’t eat at the other place. XD

    Some stores in the mall, like Bath & Body Works, offer free samples of new products they have out on occasion (at least in my area they do) or they’ll mail you coupons to get a free item. The sucky thing with that is usually no coupon = no free stuff. :/

    Then there’s some members only stores like BJ’s or Sam’s Club, where they give out free food samples. I know there’s a Walmart in PA that does that on occasion too.

    There is also a reeeeally good Chinese take out place where I live, that gives you free meals/bottles of soda, depending on how much money you spend. If you spend $30 I think they give you a free General Tso’s Chicken meal. :) Speaking of that, when I lived in Philly, we were close friends with a Chinese family who owned a take out place around the corner from us, so they’d always give us free food and soda all the time. :D It was awesome and totally unexpected at first. But super cool of them!

    Not too many places give you a lot of free stuff though. :/ I know restaurants usually only give you free stuff or ‘comp’ your meal if you get really bad service and/or complain to management. But even so, we still have to leave a 15% tip. I have a friend who lives in Australia, who never heard of tipping the server. Especially if you get bad service. Whaaaat! I think if you have a group of 8 or more dining, then it goes up to 20% for the tip. But for all other purposes, it’s 15%.

    Oh yeah! One thing I forgot that’s totally awesome! In Hershey, Pennsylvania, there’s Hershey Park. Yes, a whole amusement park dedicated to Hershey candy. When I was little, every night they’d give away free candy bars. Like legit candy bars that you have to pay $1+ for in convenience stores. I remember going to a Hanson concert at the stadium back in the good old days… (1998? XD) and my Dad and sister went to Hershey Park. And as they were leaving (we went to pick them up), people who worked at the park were giving out Payday bars to everyone. Whenever they saw my Hanson shirt, they’d be like, “:D Here have six Payday bars! They’re gifts from Hanson!” XD! I don’t know if the park still does that anymore or not, but that night, we ended up with like 50 Payday bars. It was like Halloween, only.. mixed with the movie Groundhog Day, cause you get the same candy over and over again. XD

    I wish the ‘free samples’ culture here was more like Korea!

    P.S. Is it just me or does Disquis not work on Firefox? It hasn’t worked for a long while on there. :/

  103. My husband takes the GO Train from Union Station in Toronto every day, and sometimes there will be people giving away free samples to the commuters. Free granola bar days are great! Or, sometimes before a baseball game there will be free samples: Spitz sunflower seeds (the strangely-flavoured ones), and gum.

  104. Where I live they do give free stuff but only a little portion like in a grocery store on staurdays(only on saturdays) there is always free things but only in the grocery store then if you go to a really ” fancy” mall sometimes they will give you sample of random things and one day in the beach was a guy with a big backpack giving out samples of maruchan soup in a big bowl pretty much giving you a meal for free and it came with some soda….so yeah where I live is called El Salvador.

  105. Molly

    My mom goes to this place called Sam’s Club, where you have to have like a pass to get in and it’s like a wholesale grocer, so every Sunday they have free samples of the food being cooked in every aisle, so you can try the meat and desserts and stuff. I’m guessing it’s a loyalty thing, because you don’t normally see that in other grocery stores, like Kroger. I’ve never taken more than one sample, though, because that’s only polite right?

  106. autumnwind

    I remember free CDs in cereal boxes a long, long time ago. I think the CDs had computer games on them and the ones I have most likely came from Honey Nut Cheerios.

  107. Cyber_3

    Back in the day, like the 1970s-80s, I used to get free stuff from time to time in Canada but I agree, those days are long gone. For example, my teen friends and I would go through the entire Eatons and Sears cosmetic departments and ask for a free sample of each perfume we liked – they would give us a whole vial each of each type and thank us for shopping there even though we didn’t buy anything. We also frequented an ice cream shop on Manitoulin Island and my Dad would tip heavily so that our “small” cones always had like, 5 scoops. But man…..I can’t even get some free chips from my step-sister waitress…..people are TIGHT! I hear that more and more online cosmetic sites are including freebies with your purchase though…..

    Cyber_3 – can see that you didn’t sleep well, but your digressions are always funny ^_^v

  108. In the UK there’s only the usual buy one dish, get one free every now and then- tends to be half price more often. And you only tip waiting staff if you REALLY enjoyed your meal. You may also get something on the house if the waiters overhear it’s your birthday.

  109. I live in the states (Fl) and I totally see where you’re coming from.. You just don’t get that kind of service here nowadays, and when you do find a place that has that kind of service, you treasure it because it IS so rare..

    We actually do have a local-ish restaurant that’s like the mom & pop restaurants you were talking about.. They’ll give you a little bowl of the soup of the day & a scoop of ice cream (or two if you’d like) after your meal for FREE.. Plus, It literally costs more to drive TO the restaurant (since we’re half an hour away) than it does to eat there (around $10-15 a person), AND they treat you like they’re glad you’re there, not like they’re waiting for you to finish & leave.. It’s really great, I’d eat there every weekend if I could, I swear

  110. I live basically in the middle of nowhere in Illinois so Midwestern people tend to be more willing to give you free stuff when they know you or like I think (it’s the Midwestern way).
    The best story I have is that for my birthday in high school I took a bunch of my girls up to a resale shop I loved to go shopping. When we got there the owners remembered me and when I told them it was my birthday the main owner actually gave me a free bag. She had bought it for the store thinking it was designer but it turned out to be a really good knock off so she said she couldn’t sell it at her store anyway and gave it to me! It was pretty awesome!

  111. Swag is always awesome here in the SF Bay Area! I’ve gotten freebies from tech conventions (i.e. Google I/O), Face Shop, Costco, and even car dealers…

    I just got a new Plug-in Prius yesterday, and was given a free year of some kind of tire/wheel/windshield chip maintenance. Some friends have gotten free car plates. Salesmen here want to keep customers happy! Oh, and there’s free electric charging stations at some work places!!

    There’s also several cafe places that have a rewards system. For example, at Starbucks, you get a free drink after every 12 stars or so. At many boba places, you get a free drink every 10 drinks.

    Oh, and there’s birthday swag! Many chain restaurants have a mailinglist, where you sign up and get coupons every now and then, and hope for something free on your birthday!

  112. I’ve got a cool story, bro! Really I do. Listen children!
    I lived in southern California and there was a really happenin sushi resturant me and my friends would go to all the time. Service was fantastic, prices great and they would give free stuff too like salads out miso soup, even ice cream! Well, both me and one of my friends got dumped around the same and went there together and were there for HOURS drinking Asahi and eating edamames like they were going out of style. The kind waiter asked us if we were ok! ^^ So, my friend told him and we was sympathetic and kind and didn’t push us out or anything for staying too long. Well, this waiter comes back with a BOTTLE of sake! A BOTTLE. A……… bottle. “On the house for the pretty ladies!” And our tears were tears of joy at that point.
    Now, not to say that all places in America is like that…. That was literally the only place I’ve been to with that kind of service.

  113. Usually, free stuff is hard to come by – but recently, I popped into a Neil’s Yard Store – and the lady gave me a whole load of samples! Which was nice..

    ^London, UK.

  114. lady_kire

    Downtown Vancouver in the summer have people working for their companies to give out free stuff. I’ve gotten loads of free deoderant, water, nestea, candy, and flavoured water. I’ve seen people give out Monster energy drinks and coke too, but I don’t like those, so I didn’t get any.

    There’s also the first week of university. It’s when major phone companies, internet companies, banks, etc come to campus to entice us to sign up for something. They give out loads of free stuff. I got a free box of mac and cheese!

  115. In Spain, we have the “tapas”, but not always are for free. In my city, they usually are for free and in many places sometimes they serve you so much food (without asking for it) that you don’t need to have lunch/dinner.

  116. I live in Mexico and…nothing here is free, even if it is used stuff everyone will try to sell it as expensive as they can u.u

  117. It shouldn’t help, but it does help to be a tall, blonde foreigner. We got service all the time, to the point that I thought sometimes bars/restaurants just gave us service so we would stay a little longer (??).
    It took me a while to figure out that stuff was free though, sometimes I just thought my Korean was so horrible I ordered 5 extra dishes by accident

    • You know, I read your comment and looked at your avatar and thought “you…you’re not a blonde foreigner,” but then I remembered that avatars don’t represent who the commenter is. I’m not a cat in a top hat endowed with the skills to both communicate in English and to leave comments on websites. Meow meow meow

  118. I couldn’t take more than one sample either! I think it is because I was always taught it was impolite to take more than you needed… which would be only 1 because you don’t need the sample anyway. So the idea of taking more than 1 seems so far out to me!

    Like, I’m not going to judge you for taking more than one, but I couldn’t myself.

  119. PunkyPrincess92

    FREE STUFF!!! oh man sounds so amazing!!!

    i miss cereal box toys!! they were awesome!!

    nope we don’t really get any free stuff in England!! all i can think of are perfume samples in really tiny spray bottles…..erm…..yeah can’t think of anything else!
    oh, well i did get to have a quarter of a donut from Krispy Kremes yesterday…ahaha!! it was to try out their new peanut butter donut!
    mostly only get free stuff when there’s a promotion for it and that’s it!
    nothing so regularly and as awesome as Korea unfortunately!!

  120. I live in South-eastern Europe, and one awesome thing is that 80% of the
    time, you get 2 free pancakes with your pizza when you order delivery.
    How great is that?! I have no idea why pancakes in particular., or why
    they only offer then with delivery… but I sure love free desserts…
    they… *sob*… they make me feel all special inside.

  121. Sephora gives free samples, but most of the time you have to ask for them yourself. I guess it’s an Asian thing to grab more than one sample from Costco then? I’ve always done that, or went back multiple times because the food was really yummy lol #noshame Sorry, Canadian Costcos!

  122. Alexis Dominique San Agustin

    I love korean service! :) If you can’t haggle on prices or get discounts, they would always give you something for free!

    I remember going shopping in Etude House in Myeongdong, they gave me 20pcs of free nose packs which costed 10,000 won, they even gave me a travel kit and many many other samples!

  123. The only free service I can think of is Sam’s club food samples. Sometimes we go there early and joke oh look free breakfast! There has been a decline on toys in cereal boxes. I’ve only really seen lame word puzzles on the box. Sometimes there’s a cool toy or something but you have to order online, I think they give you a discount on it so it’s not really free. I’ve also. Seen free songs that you can download online with the code inside the cereal box. I have ordered Korean beauty products online and have received a ton of free samples! It was awesome!

  124. Ohhh you sooo nastyyyyyyy, you two !!!
    MARVEL <3

  125. Nope, nothing is free ever here in Holland. I got a free sample at a makeup store once and felt like hugging the lady.

    • Wait, now that I think about it, you can get some free cheese samples at cheese shops and maybe some at supermarkets..but that’s about it.

      • haha, couldn’t agree more :) My parents have this cheeseperson that delivers cheese every week which he then cuts for you in his van (a riding cheese shop. So Dutch… :O…) Anyway, I always got a a slice to try when I was still living there :). And about cosmetics, Douglas generally gives you parfum samples almost every time. :D Love douglas (if i’ve got money)

    • Yup, that pretty much sums it up. There are few exceptions of course, like when some companies promoting a new product they will give you free samples (most of the time it’s food) and give it to you in the supermarket or on the streets etc. But that rarely happens…

  126. In Germany and Austria you sometimes get free shots with your bill. But mostly in asian, greek or italian restaurants. Not everywhere, and not in bars. Or little candy or chewing gum. But nothing big. Propably to soften the blow. “Holy crap! that much for those drinks?!? How dare you! … ooooh, fresh breath. <3"

  127. Christina Marie Pineiro

    my mom is 100% Korean and pretty much connects with an Korean wherever she goes. a Korean lady owns my favorite sushi restaurant in northern OH and when i come to visit we always get a “service” appetizer.

  128. thisisjustforfunval

    Gorditas at Taco Bell are just like all the rest of their food, not authentic Mexican food. There’s no tortilla or crunchy taco shell. They are masa (corn) pockets of deliciousness. WIth any kind of meat you like, I like mine with shredded beef. They look like this pic I’m attaching (except I think these have pork).

    As for free stuff. The only place I’ve gotten free stuff is when I go to the Korean market. It’s a nice mom and pop shop and as the wife is ringing up your stuff her husband is running around grabbing stuff and putting it in bags for you. It was very odd for me initally but I’ve grown accustom to it. It works to because it’s the only Asian market I go to, the other ones don’t do that for me. Plus they are such a sweet family, I don’t want to go anywhere else.

    • Hey. Just wanted to thank you for sticking around. I know our last KMM wasn’t the best, but I’m glad to still see you here. Thank you :D

      • thisisjustforfunval

        Oh you guys. I’ve been with EYK for a millennia (3 years), I don’t have plans to go anywhere and I’m sorry if I gave that impression. It was only that particular review I almost gave up watching, not you guys as a whole. I wasn’t mad or angered about your review; I was disappointed in it. I wanted more fanfare for AKMU since you enjoyed them so much, but instead, for me, the negative comments about the industry over shadowed and outweighed all the positive points being made about them. Does that make sense?

        Anyway, I digress. Thank you for noticing and being happy that I’m still here. Like I said I have no plans to leave. If I were to leave EYK it would be a result of my love for all things Korean ceasing. So far that’s very far from happening. I may have taken a minor break from the music but I’ve delved head first into dramas again.


  129. another nice thing is the samples you get in magazines.

    They give out really decent sized samples of high end cosmetics with the magazines
    I miss that… ㅠ..ㅠ

  130. Nope no free stuff here in Singapore. Unless of course, youre in korean stores like Missha, Etude House or Laneige. They’ll give you TONS of stuff… e.g. I spent 50bucks on a bb cushion and the lady gave me a weeks supply of an entire line of their products. how amazing is that. I want more korean stores in singapore please.

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