Daily Voxpop – Bloggers should pay for items that they review. Do you agree?


I’ve seen a lot of opinion posts lately about the way that bloggers and reviewers are treated by the companies who they review for. I strongly believe that blogging is a cheap and effective way to spread the word about your business but it is a service that is seriously under valued.

This week alone i’ve heard of companies pulling out of blogger advertised competitions and asking for payment to return a faulty review item. Today, a reviewer received an email offering her the fantastic opportunity of reviewing for the company involved, but she has to buy the product first!

When I started out as a reviewer I initially paid for my own items to build content but am now in a position where companies approach me. The advertising is great for them and the extra content builds up the traffic to my site so its a reciprocal agreement.

As a company would you ever expect a reviewer to buy their own review product, bearing in mind how much work is involved in a review, or do you think that the company should pay for the items that they want to advertise?

What’s your opinion?.


Discussion7 Comments

  1. Like yourself I initially bought all of my own items for review and as I am new to the scene I am slowly growing my blog and several companies have now taken notice and have sent me products to review. I agree that these companies get a lot of exposure from reviews and therefore benefit from having a review written.

    For a company to ask a reviewer to pay for a faulty item to be returned is not just cheeky its downright scandalous and I hope that blogger remembers to mention this in their review.

    If the bigger reviewers didn’t receive free items to review they wouldn’t be able to afford to run their sites at all as the cost of decent toys rises.

    I consider myself lucky that so far I haven’t run into any of these companies and the ones I review for have been really nice to me.

    The only argument I can see for people paying for their own toys to review is that it could be taken to guarantee impartiality, when in fact it doesn’t. Blog readers are the best guarantee of that, they are the ones who help a blog grow by supporting it.

    To finish my drawn out waffling, some companies do undervalue bloggers but thankfully there are still a lot of canny ones who do.

    Joanne xx

  2. As mentioned by others i am in a similar boat. Having just started blogging, i am currently only reviewing products i have bought, or have been sent by Lovehoney as part of their testing scheme. I am more than happy to do this, but that means i am limited as to what i can afford to buy, and tend to only spend my money on items that i “know” i will like so i am not too adventurous!

    I believe that if a company would like an honest review then its only fair to give the item for free in exchange for an honest review. I spend a lot of time testing the items i review, as well as taking photos and writing detailed reviews, and i think that as blogging is also a form of promotion then its fair to give the item for free.

    I think that it would be terrible if bloggers had to buy everything they reviewed, as there are several items i own that i have only purchased because i have read bloggers reviews. If the bloggers had to pay and werent willing to do so, then i probably wouldnt spend in excess of £100 for an item that i could only find one or two reviews on.

  3. I will of course review items which I’ve previously bought, but that’s my choice. When I test & review something, I put HOURS of work into it, and the manufacturer/retailer gets free exposure via my website/Twitter/Facebook etc. I do it because I enjoy it, and because my readers seemingly do too. From a personal point of view, yes of course my blog would suffer if I had to fully fund it myself, but I genuinely believe that asking bloggers to pay for their review products would have a huge negative impact on the industry. When I’m given something for free in exchange for a review, I feel a responsibility to test thoroughly, to compose a well written review & be sure that my opinions are formed and conveyed correctly to my readers – If bloggers had to fund the review themselves, would they continue to work as hard and put the same hours and level of commitment in? I’m fairly sure that some wouldn’t, after all, no matter which way you look at it, receiving the product for free is in some way, your reward (some may say ‘payment’). I genuinely believe it would hit sales too – a lot of people find our insights invaluable. With the exception of a couple of retailers, most won’t accept adult product returns unless the products are faulty – so people are (quite rightly) cautious and like to gather information and opinions. Readers see products on our blogs that they may otherwise have ignored or overlooked, we are often the shop window! I’m so thankful that many manufacturers and retailers see the benefits and huge positives that us bloggers bring to the table, and the rest? Well they need to open up their eyes and see what they’re missing 🙂

    So no, I don’t think we should have to pay for review items!

  4. I believe that a company should send a product for free in return for an honest and detailed review. Call it a ‘gentleman’s shake’, if you will.

    I review products that I purchased, especially when I started blogging and still occasionally still do.

    A company gets free advertising of their company and product, it gets listed in search engines etc. Sending a product would be cheaper than purchasing ad space, I would assume.

  5. I work on the blogger outreach team for, and I believe that bloggers should have to pay for the items they review!!!

    Only joking bloggers shouldn’t have to pay a penny when they are asked to review a product in my opinion having a review written is a service and as a seller of sex toys we gain company and product awareness at a much lower cost than any other advertising channels. Not only this but it’s actually a much fairer way to advertise for the customer as they get an honest opinion from a blogger despite people thinking bloggers only write good reviews in exchange of products this is incredibly wrong in most cases.

    So we support bloggers and are against “bloggers should pay”

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