A lot of my readers (or as I like to refer to them internet friends) have asked me for blog advice, and as my blog has grown, I've been getting more and more questions about how to get c/o items. I could go into a long detailed explanation of how (I think) the companies pick which bloggers, website writers, or internet personalities to give products to but basically it's a look at how many readers/followers you have along with the quality of reviews you give. However, and this is a big one, you aren't getting (most) of these products for free. There are strings attached. If it's clothes often times this means just being part of an OOTD, beauty products get individual reviews, and anything else is kind of a whatever you and the company agree on area. Most of the time these agreements work out and you get a little cash a great product and have fun writing content, but that isn't always the case. And sometimes these companies are such a pain to work with, it's almost more cost efficient (thanks to lost time) to not do any curtesy of products at all. So let me tell you about two companies who I have had bad experiences with.
Both stories are "sponsors" that were hooked up with me via Tomoson. They have a lot of different products you can review but I'm not sure that I'd recommend them to other bloggers because the whole thing is a big hassle, the companies can be quite rude and demanding, and as such I personally don't use it that often.
Letterbox Sentiments - Since this is one of the more minor (although very common) issues I have with "sponsors" I'll start with them. After saying I'd review their product, some random "handmade planner stickers" since I've been wanting to spice up my planner and figured it was worth trying them out. Since I've been getting so many review requests lately for non-beauty and non-clothing items I have a fee of $5 for random items like this and clearly put this on my application. I then received a message back that made me laugh a little.
"I'm very interested in working with you to have you do a review and giveaway of my planner stickers. I did notice, however, that you require a small fee to be a part of the promotion. Due to the circumstances of my small business being so new, I was wondering if you would be okay with considering my products as sufficient compensation. Please let me know if you would still be interested, and I will go ahead and approve you for the promotion.
Thanks so much for you interest. I look forward to hearing back from you."
When I explained the above to her, and told her that I couldn't and wouldn't make an exception for any "new" or "small" business because my workload is the same if not more (I always research a company when doing a review) for such business and asking for a discount offended me, she threw a huge fit. Telling me that she spent a huge amount of time working on this product (how I don't know since it's just thin colored stickers?) and ended it with if I felt disrespected over that small bit of money I wasn't worth much anyways. After trying to explain to her that I couldn't care less about anything other than a finished product and neither do consumers, and throwing my own jab at her "business" that I couldn't even find with a google search as well as a threat to give her some real publicity, she told me
" Like I said, I've carried on. I'm glad you've had your say and I appreciate your initial intentions of reviewing my product. Good day to you." As if her previous messages never happened. Threatening to write a nasty post will almost always help someone to remember their manners, and I think it's quite hilarious she was trying so hard to act like an adult, sorry shameless Nancy you got your post any way. Truthfully though Letterbox Sentiments isn't the only company like this so many (especially through Tomoson) believe their product to be #1 thing and want posts on every social media account you have, even weird ones like LinkedIn, in exchange for a product that retails for less than $10. For something I didn't want to begin with it's totally not worth it.
Baby-BeeHaven - If you're okay with having a lot of hassle, especially if you have a smaller sized audience, dealing with shameless people might be okay but I don't think that anyone is okay with aggressive liars like the people over at BeeHaven. They offered to send me their stroller whatever it is (I honestly don't remember the actual product, but of course have a use for baby things coming up) in exchange for a blog review and Facebook post. Afterwards approving me and saying they sent out the product they then changed the Facebook post to an Instagram one telling me I had to do that instead.
Because they said they already sent the product out, I figured it was too late to argue and would wait until I reviewed the product to see if I could do a fun Instagram post with it instead of arguing with the company. Well after two weeks it didn't come, so I messaged Baby-BeeHaven via Tomoson. No response. The date for doing the review was coming up so after talking to Tomoson they pushed back my date and again I contacted Baby-BeeHaven, and got no response. Tomoson eventually deleted their promotion from my account (since I never got the product or any response) and I totally forgot about the whole thing.
Then roughly a month ago I received an email to my personal inbox (same one you can reach) asking where my posts were. Thinking it was one of those mass ones they send out, I just ignored it. I mean it was in my spam box already so it wasn't an issue, and after that it left my mind again. Until today. This woman named Sara Maloney sent a message through my contact sheet again asking where my reviews were. When I responded that she should go to the Tomoson site and contact me there (due to the fact I'd sent her several messages and she'd be able to see that the product was never received) she responded very rudely
"No, that's ok. I am not a member of Tomoson and am not becoming one.
Our company sent you a free product for a promised review on Instagram. So I would appreciate it if you were able to post the review as soon as possible and communicate directly through our business emails, instead of Tomoson.
After you send me the link, we share the post on our Facebook page, in which we can get your blog post viewed by over 10,000 people. It would drive a lot of traffic to your Instagram and blog page.
The great day."
Even with the whole drive traffic bit, I took the email to be very rude, so I responded back to her that this issue had be resolved with Tomoson, since technically I am a third party and I just didn't want to deal with her. Well of course she sent me another message telling me I needed to return the product, to which I told her that'd be great if I'd ever received it. Then this Sara Maloney woman forwarded me some crap about a message she sent me, saying she sent the product (the one I mentioned I didn't responded to earlier) and that she'd forward me a tracking number which she didn't do (probably because they never sent the product). And I told her so, and to stop harassing me about it. After some long email about me not being professional and that Baby-BeeHaven totally sent whatever it was they were going to send me. I just decided to stop responding. Clearly Miss Maloney screwed up whatever promotion she was supposed to do and is now getting a little backlash for it. Maybe Baby-BeeHaven needs a new Public Relations lady, or maybe the whole company is a scam. If the rest of the employees are anything like her I'd hate to return a damaged product for fear of getting killed, because I'm sure they'd somehow make it the customer's fault, or maybe like me you'd never receive the thing. By far one of the worst "sponsors" I've worked with.
P.S. Sorry guys for the super long post. Just had to get it all out. So frustrating.