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There have been some discussions from time to time about gifts that companies send to their shareholders. Since I got one today, I thought I would start a thread. Please post what gifts, freebies, coupons, or discounts you are receiving with your annual reports. Since these change all the time, let's keep posts confined to current offers rather than "Two years ago Enron sent me a free guide to preparing financial statements".

Some companies base their freebies on whether shares are directly registered or registered in street name. For newbies, if you bought your shares through a broker and you don't have a physical stock certificate in your possession, your shares are most likely held in street name. If you have an actual stock certificate or are buying shares directly from the company through a direct purchase plan, dividend reinvestment plan, or employee stock purchase plan, your shares are most likely directly registered in your name.

Reportedly, Wrigley's only sends gum to directly registered shareholders.

There has also been some discussion as to whether or not you will get freebies if you subscribe to the company mailings in electronic format. That is, would Starbucks still mail me a gift card if I were receiving the annual report via email?

Please include this information in your posts.

I'll go first...

Starbucks sent me a $3.50 Starbucks Card! Shares are registered in street name, and I receive shareholder communications via snail mail.

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dcwilbur said:

<<

Starbucks sent me a $3.50 Starbucks Card!
>>

Cool! Hope I get one with my $1 Sharebuilder stake in them!

I just got the DISNEY report, and while no "feeebies", there was a BankOne Disney credit card app which would give you a leather band DISNEY WATCH upon approval, supposedly for shareholders only.

Wrigley's gives you gum!

this doesn't come with the annual report, but I know Royal Caribbean cruiseline gives onboard credit to shareholders, anywhere from $50 to $250 depending on the length of the trip. There is no restriction on how long you have to hold the stock too, so you can buy and sell the same day, as long as you can show proof that you own at least 100shares.

Sears sends $5 off anything coupons with it's annual report.

last time the AT&T sends out 10 minutes calling card.

Victoria's Secret (Intimate Brands) used to send out coups for free panties and other goodies in the annual report...the last year or so they stopped doing it, and then they were bought back by the parent company Limited.


Krispy Kreme sent me a coupon for a free dozen, but I don't own them anymore, so I don't know if they still do it.

does anyone send anything that's actually worthwhile

Books-a-million sent me a mouse pad a few years ago when I requested an annual report prior to buying the stock.

Ended up being a good buy under $2 !

<< Starbucks sent me a $3.50 Starbucks Card! >>


I wonder if you have to declare these freebies on your taxes?

Interesting thread. Thanks for starting it dcwilbur.

Some companies base their freebies on whether shares are directly registered or registered in street name. For newbies, if you bought your shares through a broker and you don't have a physical stock certificate in your possession, your shares are most likely held in street name. If you have an actual stock certificate or are buying shares directly from the company through a direct purchase plan, dividend reinvestment plan, or employee stock purchase plan, your shares are most likely directly registered in your name.

Reportedly, Wrigley's only sends gum to directly registered shareholders.

Second, there has been some discussion as to whether or not you will get freebies if you subscribe to the company mailings in electronic format. That is, would Starbucks still mail me a gift card if I were receiving the annual report via email?

Please include this information in your posts.

I wouldnt mind a few extra shares with my annual report as a freebie.

when you own a lot of companies, you will receive a lot of reports --> receiving junk mail. So a lot of cases I choose to receive the electronic form to reduce the junk mail. The question is: would I still receive the freebies?

Kimberly-Clark sends out toilet paper and paper towels!

cache said:

<< when you own a lot of companies, you will receive a lot of reports --> receiving junk mail. So a lot of cases I choose to receive the electronic form to reduce the junk mail. The question is: would I still receive the freebies? >>

NO you MUST get the paper reports!

AlPicone said:

<< I wouldnt mind a few extra shares with my annual report as a freebie. >>



actually some plans give you extra shares if you invest via a DRIP
(i.e. yes, an additional set of shares when you first open the account).

gr!

Why do all these companies waste so much money on making fancy reports? Cant they use the money more efficiently?

The Starbucks gift card in the annual report has a special design for shareholders only, and is considered "collectable" by some coffee freaks out there. I used the value on the card for a mocha then sold the empty card on eBay for $8. Dividends come in many forms!

Horizon Organic (Nasdaq "HCOW" sends you coupons for free milk.

SpaceBoy67 said:

<< The Starbucks gift card in the annual report has a special design for shareholders only, and is considered "collectable" by some coffee freaks out there. I used the value on the card for a mocha then sold the empty card on eBay for $8. Dividends come in many forms! >>



Just when you think you've seen it all! Somebody paid $53 for a copy of the annual report and the gift card! I guess I've been throwing money away!

I'm probably wrong on the details here, but I seem to remember Carnival Cruise lines sending a coupon for $100 shipboard credit once per year. You had to own more than 100 shares I believe though. --Another one I don't own anymore, so again the numbers could be off.

Euro Disney?
Free admissions to Disney Paris
Euro Disney S.C.A. Shareholders Club
  • Free 2-year membership with min. 350 shares. (Otherwise it's 15.)

OmegaDeal said:

<< I'm probably wrong on the details here, but I seem to remember Carnival Cruise lines sending a coupon for $100 shipboard credit once per year. You had to own more than 100 shares I believe though. --Another one I don't own anymore, so again the numbers could be off. >>



Royal Carribean does this as well if you own over 100 shares.

Ok here are some freebies I have received.

Every year McDonalds includes a coupon for a free item in the annual report. One year it was a free McFlurry, One year a free large fry, another year Mcsomething or other sandwich, this year was a free Premium (oxymoron?) salad.

Samuel Adams has sent a couple of magnet style bottle openers.

Proctor Gamble seems to vary but they tend to have have a least one coupon in the annual report like $5 off swifter when it came out. Not consistent though.

Compaq prior to being bought by HP and IBM offer special shareholder discounts on computers and such but nothing septacular.


Eastman Kodak used to give discounts on film etc but in the last several years nothing.

But my favorite freebie is from a small restaurant company called O'Charleys (CHUX) EACH QUARTERLY REPORT has a coupon for a free entree. There is no expiration date and I asked shareholder relations and they said I can use them whenever. So i have been collecting 4 a year for the last 7 years Now if they would only build one near me I could eat for a month for free

I don't own so I can't confirm Wrigley but I remember reading that every December shareholders get a case of gum.

3M sent a sample of their new Super Sticky Post-it notes.

Sears sent nothing this year, they used to send coupons

I still haven't gotten my Berkshire Hathaway annual report. What gives? Any other BRKA/BRKB shareholders out there? Any idea when it'll hit our mailboxes?

And to keep it on topic, any geico coupons?! heh

I got my Berkshire Hathaway report earlier in the week. Maybe yours got lost? There's a sheet included with the report that says "8% discount (Geico) for Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders!" I'm going to call them up and see if I can get in on this discount.

Darn it, they won't give it to me because I already get a discount with Golden Key and it's supposedly the same percentage discount. By the way does anyone know if you can get shareholders product discount if you own IBM stock through sharebuilder.com? I've got some in my Scottrade account, but that's in street name so I can't get any discounts--ie, do you get a shareholder's id through sharebuilder with IBM stock?

USRobotics/3Com/Palm/What-are-they-called-now-who-knows? (man all of those acquisitions, splits etc. played havoc on my cost basis calculations!) used to send coupons/discount offers for buying Palm devices. I divested myself of that position, licking my wounds after almost a decade of punishment, a few years ago, so I don't know if they still do it. By a FW deal hound's standards the deals weren't that spectacular anyway.

AlPicone said:

<< Why do all these companies waste so much money on making fancy reports? Cant they use the money more efficiently? >>



Sadly public corporations are controlled not by their owners (shareholders) but by the board, who are usually composed of the CEO and other top employees of the same company (insider board member) and the CEO's or top officers of other companies (the so called independent board members). This club of board members that typically does not include any major shareholders has been skimming upward of 10% of the profits of US corporations for years, while in most other countries the CEO and board consume less than 1% of the profits. The glitzy annual reports are intended to convince shareholders to keep re-electing these self serving boards.

The SEC is supposed to be reforming boards by encouraging more independent board members : however for some reason the SEC's definition of independent board members excludes major shareholders or employees of major shareholders (eg Vanguard). Hence there will continue to be no one on the board to represent shareholders. Currently shareholders are not even allowed to nominate candidates for the board (the previous board does that). The SEC is considering reforming this but opposition from current boards has resulted in a proposal that allows shareholders to nominate board members for the next annual meeting only if :

1. In the previous year a resolution to open board nominations garnered over 50% of the shareholder votes OR over 30% of shareholders withhold their votes from significant number of board nominees over the previous 1-3 years.

2. Each board nomination must be backed by a major shareholder group owning at least 5% of the stock.

3. Shareholder board nominees must be independent of the shareholders nominating them.

Even if this SEC proposal is passed (boards are claiming even this proposal is too disruptive and are strongly lobbying against it), shareholders will only rarely be able to nominate any board members, and even then never nominate a board member that can actually represent their interests (a major shareholder or an employee of one eg Vanguard or Fidelity).

any new companies?

McDonald's included a coupon for a free McGriddles breakfast sandwich!

sloppy1 said:

<< Kimberly-Clark sends out toilet paper and paper towels! >>




I think you were mistaken, that WAS the annual report you wiped your butt and hands with.

sandmanwake said:

<< I got my Berkshire Hathaway report earlier in the week. Maybe yours got lost? There's a sheet included with the report that says "8% discount (Geico) for Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders!" I'm going to call them up and see if I can get in on this discount. >>



I would love to get in on this discount, anyone have the info, I tried to PM Sandmanwake but no response. yet

Please post or PM me info

John

On the Omaha radio earlier this week they had a story about Warren Buffet selling admissions tickets to his meetings for $2.50 because he was pissed off about people Ebaying the passes for big bucks. Maybe try eBay for his auctions or call BH investor relations and see if they are still selling them.

Skipping 163 Messages...
sloppy1 said: Kimberly-Clark sends out toilet paper and paper towels!

Bank of America shares ARE toilet paper!



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