Free stuff. Discounts. Pro forms. Everyone wants em, but how you get it? Truth is, it’s not that difficult. If brands have stuff to sell, they have stuff to give away! So how do you get them to give it to you?
That, my friends, is the art of the bro deal.
There are a few ways to score. The first, though not necessarily the easiest is to be important. Whether due to above average athletic ability, extreme physical attractiveness, superior coolness, or general longevity, when you matter, companies are just begging to throw stuff at you in hopes you’ll find their wares suitable for your needs. If you happen to possess any of the above characteristics, you don’t even need to keep reading. Just keeping being your amazing self and the product will flow like the Colorado river
But never fear, poor plebeian person, the bro deal can still be achieved even for you normie. The most important thing you can do is know the right people. Figure out who has the authority to give out deals, and make friends with them. Depending on the size of the company, this could be a marketing director, rep, or coordinator. What you need is someone with a budget, but no actual connection to the bottom line. For this reason, you should skip the owner, since it is their money they are often tight in the pocket book.
You may also have luck with an unscrupulous warehouse employee who is smart enough to know the systems but too dumb to value their job.
Now these people fall into the aforementioned important category and accordingly, they probably have lots of friends. Relationship building is only the first step. Next, it’s all about timing. You’ll want to go in for the kill when they are flush with product and have little hopes of anyone actually buying it. In snowboard world this happens twice a year- once when samples have exhausted their usefulness, and once when production gear arrives from the manufacturers. Obviously it is easier to get beat up samples for free than new gear, but both are possible!
The next step is simple. You must ask. Again, you are not cool, but if you’re also not annoying, and you ask nicely and have sound reasoning, you’ll be surprised at people’s willingness to hook it up. Your reasoning really does have to make sense, though. How will you help them sell or market their product?
Chances are they don’t care about your 500 Instagram followers or the fact you talk to everyone you share the lift with. You’ll have to use your wit, charm and creativity here.
Once you’ve succeeded in getting a sweet deal, or promo item, remember, there’s nothing actually free in this world. You were gifted this item for a reason and now you must actually deliver on your promises. Did you say you’d ride the snowboard at 20 different resorts this season? Then you better be riding it when you run into the person who gave it to you. Did you say you’d use it as a prop in an epic Instagram series? Then it better show up over and over and over.
If you don’t come through, you’ll decrease the likelihood of getting another deal, and make yourself look like a real jerk. What if you don’t actually like it, though? Tough cookies! As the recipient of a hand out, you are now morally obligated to hype it up and let everyone know how dope it really is, no matter what.
Sure, some marketing guys will tell you to be honest, but what they really mean is, be honestly positive you’re going to like it.
Once the item has expired it’s usefulness to you (last season’s gear, ew) you now have a new responsibility. Assuming you didn’t totally ruin it, you may be tempted to try to turn that free or discounted item into pure profit. Again, this is a major no-no in the bro deal game. You never want to be the guy caught by Burton spies selling your “cool-guy only” model on eBay. Even a craigslist ad or Facebook marketplace ad is a risk.
No, bro, you should do one of two things. 1) Hoard it forever, so that some day, you can tell your grandkids about the time you got that item for free for being very cool/important. Or 2) share the wealth with a needy homey. Even though getting free stuff isn’t very difficult, many people lack the ability to talk to others at all. Surely you’re friends with a social misfit like this and so now it’s your turn to help someone out. Who knows, maybe this kind gesture will make up for one of the other shitty things you’ve done in your life.
The only sure thing is you won’t piss anyone off or hinder your chances of getting more free stuff in the future.
Bro deals are not only a privilege, but a point of pride you can certainly strive to achieve. As long as you keep your cool, while simultaneously providing a small value to the company at large, you too, can master the bro deal. It definitely beats paying full retail!