As a blogger, you may get several pitches from brands asking you to review a product either for your own blog, or another site that you write for. This can be a great thing. It’s a great way to get exposure, get good hits to your blog, and usually get to try a great new product. Sometimes you get to keep these products, other times you have to return them. I have done both. Usually if it is a really expensive, or large product like a laptop, computer, or other… you send it back.
Other times things that can show wear with normal use like cellphones, or other small items that are relatively inexpensive to the company you get to keep. This is awesome for both you and the company. Usually it costs them a lot less than sticker price to make something, so for that amount of $$ they get long time advertising on your site via a permanent blog post and you get a new toy. Many times we review items that we would love to keep. Other times you might review something that you do not really need. So what do you do with the “extra” stuff?? Well, apparently some companies have a real problem with you selling an item that was sent to you for review!
To the companies, I say… if you have a problem with this SAY SO UP FRONT. Put it in writing either in an email, or a contract that the blogger must sign. Because if we read or hear “you can keep it”, we take that to mean it is ours to do what we wish. It is important to lay out all the terms up front.
To the bloggers, make sure that your disclosure statement lays out all of YOUR terms. One of my favorite blogger disclosure pages is courtesy of Amy over at Selfish Mom. She covers mostly all of it, although I have not seen anything about selling items on hers or any other bloggers disclosure yet.
Of course contracts are not only important for reviews, but any business to be conducted between two companies or individuals beyond just a short sponsored post.
What are you thoughts?