RANT: Product reviews and honesty

There’s been a lot of talk in recent days about honesty in reviews especially if it involves products sent to you from a company. Some are questionning people’s ‘honesty’ given they were given free products to test. I don’t think there is anything wrong with getting products for free to review and I don’t think people should be slammed for getting these opportunities.

The negativity really bothers me. For my blog, I will let you know if the products were sent to me or ones I bought myself. But, whether the products are ones I bought myself or ones that I have been sent, I will always give you my opinion on whether it worked for me or not. I strive to give a balanced view in my reviews but if the product doesn’t work for me at all, I will let you know. This is my approach which may be similar or not to others in our community.

I feel that no matter what the blogger or Youtube person posts about the products they are reviewing, it is up to us as a consumer to decide whether a) to continue to read/watch and b) purchase or not based on that review.

I don’t think the content creator should be slammed for what they are or are not doing. It’s up to us to decide how or if we’re going to act on the information.

That’s my rant for the day.

Let me know what you think.

21 thoughts on “RANT: Product reviews and honesty

  • August 17, 2009 at 12:32 pm
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    I totally agree with this…I have been following this issue that's been surfacing lately on YouTube and I think it's ridiculous what some viewers are saying.

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  • August 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm
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    well i definitely agree. and i like to browse around for different opinions on a product anyway :)

    also, thank you for tagging me, i appreciate it! your kids look so adorable. i just followed the instructions (will post later) and the photo i stopped at is a bit boring, i wish it were as cute as yours .:)

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  • August 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm
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    AGREED. the negativity ruins it for the bloggers/guru's on youtube as well as the tru fans reading/listening to what they have to say!

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  • August 17, 2009 at 1:39 pm
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    I have noticed this too. and I totally agree that there is nothing wrong if someone does a review (pro or con) about products that were sent for free. I mean, I would be happy if someone sent me products to test them and give my HONEST opinion. maybe it is a different story if someone gets paid for his/her opinion on the product. but I would rather pass on that than lying to my readers. as for myself I always do a lot of research and read different reviews on a product before I go and buy it.

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  • August 17, 2009 at 1:49 pm
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    Honesty's important definitely but this issue is being blogged and youtubed about like there's no tomorrow and I think it's sad that bloggers are having to defend themselves aganst this.

    It's a shame and I think things are becoming a little too negative :(

    Looking forward to your next post! x

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  • August 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm
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    I blogged about this the other day mostly because I am new to this world and I wasn't even sure if I should post bad reviews or not. Everyone seemed pretty unanimous on wanting to know the good and the bad.

    I don't follow youtube gurus so I'm not sure what people are saying on there, but everyone seemed to be okay with blogging bad reviews…I hope I'm not a part of the negativity!

    I think whether or not you pay for something or get something for free, you still need to be honest about it! I don't want to "trick" my readers or anything like that!

    You posted a comment on my blog about the company knowing the bad and the good, so that they can change for the future and I think thats great!

    lk :o)

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  • August 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm
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    thanks everyone for the comments!

    @Glitterish: thanks! I did read your post about it the other day. Other people have been writing about it too and I have been mulling it over all weekend. Yes, on your blog, I commented that it is important for companies to know the good and bad — I think it can help them improve their products for the future. Thanks again for commenting!

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  • August 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm
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    I agree with you!
    Besides, not every product we are sent have a 100% positive review.
    I think some people are just envious…which is so sad!!!

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  • August 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm
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    If there was something I really didnt like, I'd email the company and tell them that, and the reasons why, and that I'd rather not feature something and give it a bad review without letting them know first.

    I have a major issue at the moment with a nail polish company where their customer service has been utterly atrocious but I didnt know this as I was sent stuff to try (and gave it a good review as it was decent) directly from the PR company. Now I've ordered directly and had appalling service I'm worried my readers might stop trusting me.

    I've let the company know that I'm unhappy about it so now feel ok about putting something negative on my blog. I'd far rather be credible than lie just to get free stuff – you soon get found out.

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  • August 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm
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    @Helen: that's a good approach I think.

    I think in most cases, companies that send product out should expect the good with the bad. No product is perfect after all!

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  • August 17, 2009 at 3:05 pm
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    Yes, this has been all over lately. And apparently this isn't the first round ever of this sort of nonsense.
    I think we as consumers have to do our research on a product or be willing to have money that's for "what if" products only. I think we all have products we purchased on a whim or on our own at-the-moment judgment we didn't enjoy, and we have to deal with the consequences of our decisions–so how is this any different? I think a review by a blogger or guru doesn't promise us anything.
    I continue to have faith in gurus and bloggers I follow/subscribe to–they all seem very dedicated to giving honest reviews.

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  • August 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm
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    I don't think the issue is so much free stuff being sent to bloggers/youtube gurus but the honesty part.
    I know there are a couple of videos on youtube where people are saying they have purchased things when it is obvious they have been sent them for free as 10 other gurus are reviewing the same products and saying they were sent them!
    But then if you don't like it just unsubscribe to those people!
    If I am reviewing a product I will always give my honest opinion, otherwise whats the point?
    Just my two cents!! x

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  • August 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm
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    Jobetterdays (above) you're totally right. I'm not on YouTube so I don't know what's been said there. In my case it would have been blatantly obvious that I hadn't bought the stuff as they sent me all red and pink nail polishes and I must have mentioned a million times on my blog that I'm not a red/candy pink girl! Ha!

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  • August 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm
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    Exactly. Girl we are on the same page. Honestly is the best policy! Trust is more important than a free product you hate. I agree with all responses!

    Sara

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  • August 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm
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    I completely agree with you! If a product is sent to you, you at least have to try to love it. If it doesn't work, it just doesn't work for you. That's simple.
    And I don't like people being a whuss and crying that you got something for free. xD

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  • August 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm
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    the girls that I am subscribed to on YT do tell whenthey bough tit and when they didnt. I noticed the girls who are so into this :I dont beleive you" are younger ones acting liek they didn't know companies send to people. I think they are being very silly and should do their research before bashing anyone

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  • August 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm
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    I'm glad you also brought up this subject coz I have had a couple of emails over the past couple of weeks saying that I shouldn't be reviewing stuff I haven't bought with my own money. I think this is rubbish!I mean it's not like I get paid to get stuff and I haven't given every product 100%, like the Illamasqua primer. That didn't work for me so I say so. I really don't like getting negative emails coz it ruins the fun of why I started doing this blogging thing in the first place

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  • August 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm
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    It's all about disclosure in my opinion – as long as the person is honest about the provenance of something they're reviewing, that's the key issue.

    A lot of the "OMG!!! You're only saying you like it because it was sent to you free!!!" comments come across as envy, pure and simple.

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  • August 17, 2009 at 5:20 pm
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    Thanks again for commenting! This is definitely a hot button issue and I don't think is one that will go away any time soon. I think it will continue to resurface as the influence our community has on beauty buying decisions continues to rise.

    I agree with your comments above about disclosure — people do need to say upfront in one way or another if the product was sent to them or one they purchased on their own accord. And leave it at that. 'Sponsored' posts and videos are a different ball game — but again I think if they disclose the fact that it is a sponsored segment or post, then it's out there in the open. Leave it up to the consumer to continue to watch or read.

    As for any 'hater' comments or emails such as the ones you received Liparrazi, I think these people are immature. These people who would take the time to email you such comments don't get it. I like to believe they are a minority in our community. If they don't like it, then move on!

    I could go on and on about this.

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  • August 18, 2009 at 12:14 am
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    I agree with you 100%
    I always get comments like that..
    It's all about being truthful.
    If they think your lying they can MOVE on.
    keep on doing you :)

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  • August 18, 2009 at 8:45 am
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    It's a real shame that people leave nasty comments for bloggers or youtubers over this. Honesty's important but being a hater is totally immature.

    I agree with Miss Fab, if someone feels that a blogger is not being 100% honest then they can just stop reading the post or skip their video. It's not necessary to become nasty :(

    xxx

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