I get asked to review quite a few products on my weight loss blog. Weight loss is a broad category and a highly targeted market. Food products, pills, plans, exercise equipment, supplements, nothing is off limits. Most of the time I politely refuse the offer, and most of the time I never hear from the company again.
There are times, however, when I think the product is a good match.
Recently, a custom t-shirt company reached out and asked if I’d be willing to write a review for them. At first I wasn’t that interested but then I saw some potential with FitBloggin’. If they had the right type of shirts there may be sponsorship potential. So I replied to their pitch with a pitch of my own.
It’s nice to hear from you. I’d love to do this. Right now I use Zazzle for a few things but it’s pretty impersonal. I also host a conference called FitBloggin and we are looking for a shirt sponsor. Do you have any fitness apparel or something more then just you basic cotton T?
As a matter of fact, we do! We have athletic tops in mens and women’s and customizable sweatpants and shorts.
Right now I can offer you two free t-shirts for review, and you are more than welcome to look through our other stuff if you’d like to order any of it. We pride ourselves on our low prices.
Let me know what you think.
I was excited! My plan was to design a shirt for a running event. Give it a try during a race and then post a review on Roni’s Weigh.
This opportunity just became a perfect fit for my site and my brand. I was excited for our potential relationship.
Once the design was done I was told how to proceed with ordering. Part of the email included…
You will need to enter in your credit card information and be charged one cent for your order. We only do this so we can charge people full price for the shirts whenever they don’t end up doing the review they promised. If you have any further questions or concerns let me know.
Hold the phone! What? I was floored by this. What if I didn’t like the shirts? What if I didn’t write the review fast enough? What if they didn’t like my review? They could decide to charge me whenever they wanted?
My reaction may have been a little harsh but I meant every word.
As for charging if the blogger doesn’t do the review, that concerns me. I generally only post positive reviews, so if I’m unhappy with the shirts or the printing and decide not to review you would charge me??
I’m not saying it’s going to happen but I’m also not going to take an $75 dollar chance. Blogging is my profession. It’s how I make a living. You are asking me to promote something for you to my audience free of charge in exchange for a sample of your product. Is there a risk there? Of course, but that risk should be yours not mine.
I’m sorry but I don’t feel comfortable providing you my credit card information. I don’t like to be pressured into posting a review and by holding the cost of the shirts over my head that’s exact what you are doing.
Thank you for contacting me but I’m going to have to pass on the review offer.
Listen, I’m flattered when I get these offers. I’m grateful when companies see the value I may be able to add to their campaigns but, like I said in my response, I refuse to be pressured into posting a review.
I say this in fear of sounding like a complete jerk but sometimes, what I really want to say to them is: I don’t need to review your product, you want me to.
Am I being unreasonable? Would you have provided your credit card information?
- Why I’m Hosting Giveaways on my Blogs Less and Less
- Do you post negative reviews on your blog?
- My Response to Product Review Pitches
- The Power of “Thanks, but I’m Not Interested” in Response to a PR Pitch.