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They’re not technically free, but Amazon Prime’s sample boxes come pretty close!

The online giant sells a number of sample boxes exclusively to Prime members that are filled with things like beauty supplies, coffee and tea, dog treats and more.

Here’s how it works: You buy a sample box, then Amazon gives you an equal credit for a future purchase.

For example, the Skin Care and Hair Care Sample Box costs $9.99 and comes with at least 10 samples. I ordered one and got the following items:

  • Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Ointment Body Spray
  • Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
  • Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips
  • Le Petit Marseillais Extra Gentle Shower Cream
  • Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Deep Clean Cool Mint Flavor Floss
  • Acure Organics Coconut and Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes
  • Nivea Oil Infused Lotion Vanilla and Almond Oil
  • GLISS Hair Repair Shampoo
  • GLISS Hair Repair Conditioner
  • Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Lotion For Extra Dry Skin
  • Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Body Wash

You’ll find instructions to redeem your Amazon credit inside the sample box. You can use your credit by visiting amazon.com/sample-boxes, but it’s only good on select items in a particular product category.

I was able to choose from 370 beauty and personal care items, including regular sizes of the samples.

There are a few things I noticed while browsing the selection: Many of the qualifying products are more expensive than the credit amount, some of them are add-on items, and others are only available with Prime Pantry.

If you don’t want to owe anything, sort items by price. I found something for $9.99 — the exact amount of the credit.

Not interested in beauty and personal care samples? Here are some of the other boxes that Amazon offers, which typically take a week or two to ship:

“Amazon sample boxes are a great way to try products without a huge commitment; then with the future credit you can get your money back, making the initial box free,” said Charis Brown of ClarkDeals.com.

Before you buy a sample box, follow Clark’s #1 Amazon rule and read the reviews! Some boxes are better than others.

RELATED: Toys ‘R’ Us announcement shows it’s in even more trouble than we initially thought

Here’s how Amazon Prime members can sample products for next to nothing AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File
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