Sunday, August 26, 2007

a quick clarification about reviews

A response to my last post questioned the honesty of my review of products that I received for free. I think that a clarification of my review policy is in order.

Per my agreement with BlogHer Ads, I cannot do paid reviews or sponsored posts of any kind.
You are free to write your opinion about any product or service you’ve purchased. You may also accept for free and review any product(s) with a retail value of under $40 (U.S.) as long as you properly disclose that you were given the product.
This is fair. I think it would be unfair to review a product I had received for free without revealing that fact, and I think it's only fair to the readers of this blog to give my actual opinions of the products I review.

So far, I have done a total of one review of products I received for free, and I disclosed that fact in the very beginning of the post. I also only accepted the products because they were offered without strings attached. I gave my honest opinion of the items I tried. If I hadn't liked the products at all, I would have seen no point in writing about them.

The other books and items I have reviewed were things that I purchased myself. So far I have not been deluged with offers of freebies. I get emails quite often asking me to blog about a particular topic or website. I only rarely do this, and only if I genuinely am interested in the issue or information in question.

I write my blog for fun, and to connect with people who have interests similar to mine, not to make big money or to be a mouthpiece for some other person or company. I want the people who read this blog to be able to trust the things I write.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this policy. I'd also be interested to hear how other people are dealing with this issue.


  1. It was very clear to me that you were up front about receiving the products for free. I also thought you were fair and even had some criticism to level about the quality of some of the products.

    The fact that one person got upset with you (and later backed down from what I could read on her blog and here) shouldn't stop you from testing things that people send you.

    I suspect it would take a lot more than free snacks to buy you off, Jen. You are a pretty ethical person in my opinion. I wasn't too impressed with the cheap shots coming your way. It reflects more on the writer than on you.

  2. I wasn't hurt or upset, more kind of bewildered. The writer has apologized, so no harm done. I think that it's easy to get all fired up and maybe overdo it a bit, trying to make your posts interesting. I've done it before.

    I thought it was useful to clarify, at least to myself, what my review policy is. Part of it is set by my advertiser agreement, but I also don't want to feel an obligation to give a good review if I don't like a product. So it was good to get that out there for when the free stuff starts rolling in.


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