You can view my review philosophy here — and here’s the current version for your perusal. Comments are welcome!
My Review Philosophy
In my past, I have been a professional product review writer and editor, and I adhere to those same standards on my blog. Reviews are meaningless without trustworthy reviewers. If you can’t trust my opinion, it has zero value to you.
I believe in adhering to a policy of transparency and publishing ethically-written product reviews. What this means is:
- Unless noted in the review, all products I review are purchased by me or provided by a service I purchase (such as a subscription box). If I receive a product gratis, or as a gift with purchase, or in some other way that does not involve me actually buying it, I will say so in the review.
- A freebie does not guarantee a positive review. Every company of a decent size has a budget for promotion, and a team of PR people to place products with reviewers. It’s part of the cost of doing business. I feel no need to ‘pay them back’ for a process that is part of operating costs. If someone provides me with a product to review, it will be treated in the same manner as a product I purchased myself. If it sucks, I will say so.
- I will not accept payment from a company to review their products, and ‘gifts’ beyond a certain point will be either refused, returned, or given away. I have no interest in bribery. If a company sends a standard PR ‘package’ to reviewers with small tchotchkes inside like t-shirts or that sort of thing, I’ll note it in the review. I used to get a lot of small freebies in my prior days as a reviewer, and it has never affected how I review a product, but I believe that larger gifts can affect how someone sees a company.
- If I get to a point of receiving regular PR bundles, a majority of the products will be donated to a charity or included in a reader giveaway. I won’t need to test all 50 shades of a foundation to tell if it works for me. The other 49 will be rehomed with people who need or want them. I loathe waste, and I’m not going to be devoting an entire room to products that are going to just go bad and be useless.
- If I do ever accept a sponsorship, it will only be from companies I can support comfortably, and it will be disclosed fully. I do not intend to include an actual review of a product in sponsored content. I might ‘unbox’ or discuss, but I won’t evaluate. Evaluations have to be independent of sponsorship to have any weight, ethically. Sometimes the line between talking about products and reviewing products is blurred, especially by bloggers or vloggers, and that is a line that I believe needs to be very clear.
- Any giveaways or contests I do will include recycled packaging. It may not look as fancy, but I want to reuse and reduce where I can.
I hope this is clear, and gives you some sense of my professional practices and standards as a product reviewer. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment below if you have any thoughts about it!