Over the past few weeks, several PRs have mentioned that they’re seeing the samples they’ve sent out to beauty bloggers for review crop up on ‘blog sales’ and Ebay. In my view, this is not ok! Beauty blogging is such a new form of media that it is still under scrutiny, with PRs and brands looking for great beauty bloggers they can form a long term and open relationship with, so openly flogging their products on Ebay isn’t going to do it. Unfortunately, a few are in danger of spoiling things for many. Products that are sent for review, exactly as happens when PRs send out to journalists, are sent out in good faith that they are for personal use, and not a quick profit. Beauty writers would rather enter the seventh circle of hell that be seen making a quick buck on Ebay from product samples. In any case, where it has happened – and it has – they’ve been swiftly spotted and dropped from press lists. Magazines get a heck of lot of product, and they do charity sales at the end of each beauty season, with any profits going straight to a named and nominated charity. It doesn’t ever line the pockets of the beauty writers. More luxury brands keep a note of the code of products that are sent out and even buy back their own products spotted on Ebay so that they can identify the seller. So, if you’re looking for a fast way to be dropped like a hot cake, this is it. Products you’ve bought yourself are entirely your own business, of course. ‘Swapping’ products that have been sent by brands or PRs for review is a bit of a grey area…my thoughts are that if the product gets reviewed twice, then that can only be a happy situation, as long as no money is changing hands.
We’re trying really hard to be taken as a serious avenue for writing and reviewing, and the majority of beauty bloggers are dedicated, honest, and obviously breaking boundaries in terms of being seen as a legitimate form of writing, but relationships with brands are a two-way street. It seems disrespectful to me to profit from the goodwill of others and it genuinely makes me shudder to think of any credible UK beauty bloggers being banished from PR lists as ‘blagger bloggers’.
As ever, your views are very welcome.
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