Lots of businesses offer samples to potential customers. It is fairly common.

In the movie theater biz, exhibitors who are interested in buying some equipment from a vendor will often approach them for demonstrations. The vendor will send out the equipment and will often send a tech to install it, too. The exhibitor uses the equipment for a month or two then makes a decision. A deal is made and equipment is sold.

I used to get equipment for my college theater by calling up equipment vendors and asking for "B-Stock." If I played my cards right, I could even get equipment for free. Over the years, I got several thousand dollars worth.

If I was the chief engineer at a big company like AMC Theaters or Cinemark USA and I called up a movie projector company like Simplex or Christie asking for a demo, they would send it to me because they know I would probably order a truckload of movie projectors, later on.

It's a good business move. The caveat is that you have to be a serious customer, not some schmuck asking for a handout.