Making Free Trials Work For You

While it is possible to do some genealogy research for free, there will most likely come a point at which you will need access to a database on a subscription website. Most of these websites offer a free trial of their service, usually for one to two weeks.

However, they are counting on you staying beyond your free trial, at which point you get hit for the subscription fee. It is important to understand that many of these sites will automatically sign you up for a yearly membership and do not offer refunds even if you cancel before your paid year is complete.

However, if you are smart, you can make a free trial work for you. Just follow these simple tips.

1-Note when the free trial ends in a conspicuous location. I stick a Post-it note to my computer monitor. Make sure you have all the information necessary to cancel which may include your membership ID and contact information for the company.

2-Before signing up for the trial, make a list of the information you need to get from the genealogy website. This will ensure you know exactly what you are looking for and you aren't just haphazardly searching.

3-Make sure you have the time to utilize the trial. If your schedule is jam-packed with activities, it isn't an ideal time to start your free trial. You will end up missing out on valuable research time because you are too busy.


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