Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Techno-quette => Topic started by: PurpleFrog on April 25, 2013, 04:12:27 AM

Title: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: PurpleFrog on April 25, 2013, 04:12:27 AM
I'm a member of a parenting site, though I rarely use it, a friend pointed me to an advert (placed by the site owners) looking for people to test 30 brand A nappies in size x & y. Tadpole is in size y so I applied on the off chance, there were questions with short paragraph answers (i.e why do you want to test brand A) which I assume were to rule out bots, though it may also have been to obtain a sample of writing style.

Long story short, we've got a big box of free nappies and some coupons. They have asked me to write a reveiw in the products section of the site, write a review on a specially set up thread, and fill in a survey. The second two are simpleas they are clearly related to product sent free, I do wonder if there is an etiquette to the first one. As it will be in the general section, should I mention somtjing like 'I was sent a pack of brand A to test'. Is it rude/misleading not to mention they were test freebies. Conversely, is it rude to mention it ss it might make the reader doubt a positive review, which could affect their trust of the brand.

I could leave this sectin, however they are offering a prize draw for shopping vouchers as an incentive to complete all three. I could ve overthinking this, it wouldn't be the first time
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: MariaE on April 25, 2013, 05:50:17 AM
I can only respond based on my experience with books and receiving ARCs (Advanced Reader/Reviewer Copies) there.

Generally speaking it is considered best practice to mention somewhere that this was a freebie. Many reviewers have a standard pre-amble along the lines of:
"I received this book as an ARC. I receive no other compensation for the writing of this review..."

In other words "I'm paid to review this product, but not for the contents of the review".
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: MrTango on April 25, 2013, 07:17:54 AM
There's never anything wrong with full disclosure on a product review.  I'd mention first thing that I got them for free in exchange for writing the review.
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: TootsNYC on April 25, 2013, 08:07:35 AM
I agree--I think disclosure is almost required by etiquette.
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: betty on April 25, 2013, 09:13:58 AM
Bloggers are required to disclose that they've been "compensated" (or given something for free) when they post a review of a product. While this is a little different, it would be both ethical and polite to mention that you tried the product for free.

Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: WillyNilly on April 25, 2013, 10:09:47 AM
Like others, I think you should mention you got the diapers to review. But you are free to put in you aren't being paid for writing the review - it was just one package of free diapers.

And just so you know, if I read a review like that it wouldn't color my mind at all. All sorts of companies give out all sorts of products - thousands and thousands - for free all the time in the hopes of getting new customers to try them and then love them and spread the word.
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 25, 2013, 10:31:22 AM
POD to others, mention you received them free and then write an unbiased review.
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: Yvaine on April 25, 2013, 10:43:10 AM
A wording I've seen is "(Company) sent me a free (item) in exchange for an honest review." I like it because it discloses the freebie but also expresses the idea that you're not just giving it a positive review because it was a freebie.
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: RebeccainGA on April 25, 2013, 12:24:02 PM
A wording I've seen is "(Company) sent me a free (item) in exchange for an honest review." I like it because it discloses the freebie but also expresses the idea that you're not just giving it a positive review because it was a freebie.
THIS. I'd tend to trust this review even more than a random one, because I knew that the person was a) really putting effort into reviewing b) wasn't complaining about something just because they thought an item was too expensive or they didn't like the shopping experience and c) was someone that was a real user of the product, not just a sock puppet.

Good instincts on the disclosure, too - I'm a member of several review sites like the one you've described, and the times I've gotten an item, I've been told that I MUST disclose that I got the item for free.
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: DottyG on April 26, 2013, 10:58:36 AM
I disagree with the above.  When I see mention of getting something like that for free, my view of the review is diminished.  In fact, I usually skip those reviews entirely, because (in my mind) they're not as valid or trustworthy

Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: MariaE on April 26, 2013, 11:04:37 AM
I disagree with the above.  When I see mention of getting something like that for free, my view of the review is diminished.  In fact, I usually skip those reviews entirely, because (in my mind) they're not as valid or trustworthy

That's a shame. It's Goodreads' policy that reviews have to state that. The reviews could end up being deleted otherwise.
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: DottyG on April 26, 2013, 11:06:57 AM
Didn't know that about Goodreads.  I'll keep it in mind if I read one of theirs.

Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: Yvaine on April 26, 2013, 11:07:20 AM
I disagree with the above.  When I see mention of getting something like that for free, my view of the review is diminished.  In fact, I usually skip those reviews entirely, because (in my mind) they're not as valid or trustworthy

What is your opinion of a review that discloses a freebie and goes on to express critical opinions of the item--i.e., "I got this for free but sadly, I didn't like it, and here's why"?
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: DottyG on April 26, 2013, 11:09:11 AM
Since I've probably skipped it after the initial "got this free", I wouldn't have seen that part! :D

Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: Yvaine on April 26, 2013, 11:11:09 AM
Since I've probably skipped it after the initial "got this free", I wouldn't have seen that part! :D

If you were on Amazon or Goodreads, you'd have seen a low star rating even before you got to any words!  :)
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: ClaireC79 on April 27, 2013, 05:01:04 PM
Howabout a simple 'I tested a pack of .....' you don't have to spell out it was free (as some people said they would discount those reviews on principle) you could have brought a pack to try, but it's clear you aren't a long time user of that product
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: PurpleFrog on April 29, 2013, 07:28:03 AM
Thanks everyone, I think I'll mention they were freebies and let the chips fall as they may.
Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: kherbert05 on April 29, 2013, 08:02:43 PM
I think you are obligated to say that you received free samples to test - then say if you would be willing pay full price for the items.


I know that on Before You Buy (Twit network) they say if something was a free sample they are returning or if they bought it.


Same goes for many bloggers I read.


Wasn't there a dust up 4 or 5 years ago with the Federal Trade Commission requiring bloggers and some reviewers to say if they received freebies of something they were reviewing or face fines?

Title: Re: Freebies & Reviews is there an etiquette.
Post by: Yvaine on April 29, 2013, 09:07:05 PM
Wasn't there a dust up 4 or 5 years ago with the Federal Trade Commission requiring bloggers and some reviewers to say if they received freebies of something they were reviewing or face fines?

Let's keep this thread out of the legal realm so it doesn't get closed!