So this "thing" has sort of been on my chest and if I don't just let it out here it going to keep eating at me!
Recently, a parenting forum website (no names) contacted me to let me know how much they loved our style, etc.
They also said they were starting a new area of their site for product reviews and wanted to offer me one of the first review spots. This would entail sending one of their members freebies to review AND paying the site $200 for the privilege of being reviewed.
Is it just me or does this totally go against the nature of a review?
I've always assumed that reviews were unsolicited opinions, good or bad. This is the whole reason why I tend to trust reviews. I've always figured that there is no reason for the reviewer to lie because they are not receiving any incentive for a positive review. Am I just naive?
And isn't a paid review just a sneaky advertisement?
One of my greatest solaces in running this tiny business has been that I feel like an honest business owner. I may not be rolling in dollars, but at least I'm working hard to create a healthy, conscientious business. I don't want to be sneaky or deceptive to my customers. They are, afterall, parents just like myself.
I tried to reply as diplomatically as possible and offered to send samples for review if they changed their policies in the future.
So am I being silly? I've never paid for a review in the past. Does this kind of thing happen all the time? I mean, I've read some reviews in magazines that were paid for, but they are always clearly marked as a "paid advertisement"...which usually makes me completely disregard what I just read.
Ahhhh, that feels better. I think I'll let this one go now.