There are many sites on the web that claim you can get a Microsoft Xbox 360 whether it be an Arcade or Elite for free, many claiming that the method is legit and backed by the likes of the BBC and CNN (America).
The truth is that the claim is half true and we will explain why below. We are not promoting the use of these schemes as you will see if you read on, I will point out how the systems work and what chances you have of actually getting a free xbox 360. The old saying ‘nothing in life is free’ is very true and the saying ‘if it looks too good to be true then it probably is’ is also relevant in this scenario.
These schemes aside, there is a real way of getting a free xbox 360 and even that is not completely free. How?
Some of the larger independent online mobile phone retailers offer a free gift when you take out certain mobile contracts with them, this is what we consider to be the easiest way to get a free xbox 360 and even this may not work out to be the most cost effective method in the long run. More on this later on, lest look at how these ‘freebie’ sites work in reality.
How the free console sites work?
Do a search on Google for the term ‘free xbox 360’ and you will find a vast number of sites all offering you a free console, surely they cannot give you something for free and this is indeed the case.
This is how they work.
Lets take one of the larger ‘freebie networks’ FreebieJeebies and use their numbers based on what they say you need to do to get a free 360. If you have spent any time looking into getting free things on the internet then you would probably have come across them as they promote lots of free items from vouchers to games, gadgets such as iPods to accessories. There are of course alternatives but we have used FreebieJeebies as an example.
They ask you to sign up and complete one or more ‘partner’ offers. By doing this they are paid a commission by the company ranging from £20 – £40 depending on what offer you take up.
You then need to refer in this case, 8 friends/family etc. to do the same thing.
Only then you will be able to get your free item.
Now if you can get 8 others to do this then fine you should receive your free Xbox and if you are one of the first members of your friends and family to do this then it may be easier. However the chances of your friends and familiy following in your footsteps is reduced as they will need to find 8 others who have not previously participated to get their free item, this is the main shortfall in the system. That and the fact that some of your referrers may not track and be assigned correctly to your account and that you will have to wait a period of time between getting your number of referrers and receiving your xbox 360 console.
So to recap you plus 8 friends/family taking up an offer in which the site will gain commission ranging from £20-£40 (lets call it £30 as an average) the site will receive on average £270 in commission (9 x £30). Then will then buy the console with the commissions and retain the rest as profit.
The above can be summarised as follows:
Cost – Nothing (or possibly £5 if you complete an offer that isn’t free)
What you get – A Free Xbox 360 or another item once you have referred the required number of people
Cost – Spends £130 on an Xbox 360 Console.
What they get – 9 lots of commission (1 for each persons offer) each worth £20-£40 (from offer companies – average assumed £30). Freebie site makes profit of between £50-£230 after spending money on the Xbox 360 that they will buy and send to you.
Offer Company (eg Lovefilm)
Cost – 9 x £20-£30.
What they get – 9 new customers to try their product in the hope they will retain your custom.
Ok so we have broken down how these sites are able to offer you a free xbox 360 and as stated above provided you can get the required number of friends/family to sign up and do the same you will get your free item (this is the hard bit and obviously the more value the item has the more friends/family you will need to refer).
Mobile phone free gifts
The other option as briefly touched on above is to buy a new mobile phone contract from one of the online retailers offering a free gift such as Mobiles.co.uk.
This works in a different way to the above and is a much easier method although in the end you will probably end up paying for an xbox 360 given the contracts being offered with these free items.
These online mobile phone retailers are paid a commission by the big networks (Orange, O2, VOdafone etc.) each time they sign up a new contract customer.
The commission paid depends on the contract sold (i.e. number of texts and minutes) and the mobile provided with the contract.
You will probably notice that the latest mobiles do not come with free gifts or if they do the minutes and texts bundles are often less generous. This is because the commission earned on new mobiles and generouse bundles are less due to the cost of such offers to the networks. Older mobiles and less minutes and texts bundles cost less to the networks and they can afford to pay larger rewards (commissions).
This in turn means the online retailers can pass on some of this commission with a free gift such as an Xbox 360 as an incentive and to help push these deals.
So if you are less bothered by the latest handsets, don’t need a competitve bundle (lots of minutes and texts) and want a free item then this would be a great way to do it.
Although this would not be the most cost effective way of buying your next mobile phone contract as you could probably get the same bundle sometimes with a better handset for upto £15 per month less when shopping round. Add this saving over the term of a 12 or 18 month contract and you would save between £180 and £270 more than the cost of buying an xbox 360 elite with your own money.
The following table may make this a little easier to understand:
No free gift: Free Samsung Tocco Lite 300 minutes unlimited texts £20 per month 18 months contract – Total Cost: £360 (term of the contract)
Free Xbox 360 Arcade: Free Samsung Tocco Lite 300 minutes unlimited texts £35 per month 18 months contract – Total cost: £630 (term of the contract)
Difference £270.00 (term of the contract)
(prices correct at time of writing)
Looking at it another way you are buying your free item in monthly installments by paying the extra monthly contract cost.
If you are happy to do this then it would be the best way to get a free xbox 360 console even though it technically is not free in the long run.