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March 8, 2010

Giving mom bloggers a bad name?

I am pretty out of touch with what's going on in the blogging world. I don't read other moms' review blogs for several reasons. The main reason is simply because I don't have enough free time to do that. My priorty is my family. My jobs are being a mother and being a wife. After I am done taking care of my family and our home, then I blog. I receive products to review and I take blogging very seriously. I feel that when I receive a product to review, I owe it to the company to test out the product and review it. Another reason why I don't read other people's blog (especially review blogs) is because I don't want other people's reviews to influence my opinion. I like to review products with my own fresh set of eyes so I can decide for myself if I like the product and if it works for me or my family.

I know that many mom bloggers use social networking to meet other mom bloggers. I think it's great to be able to share your thoughts and concerns as well as seek supports from other moms. I am pretty lucky in that I am actually friends with 3 other mom bloggers. You see, we were actually friends before we all became mom bloggers. And, because we see each other regularly at playdates and social events (one of them actually became a wonderful close friend I speak to daily) so we are able to speak to one another about our ups and downs in person. Since I am in the unique position of having these women in my life, I haven't had to go outside of my circle of friends to build a support system for blogging dramas. If you are a mom blogger, you might know what I am referring to. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who knows exactly why you are freaking out when you encounter a company that makes every step of your review a painful process, or when a company freaks out on you for reasons beyond your control. I have some interesting stories of my own, although most of them not as juicy as the ones I hear.

In any case, the reason why I am writing about this is because I came across this article on momdot.com about a mom blogger who was selling products that she supposedly reviewed on her facebook account (apparently she never used these products). I was shocked by it. Besides finding it sort of funny that she got caught, I also found it interesting that she was reviewing the products just to sell them to make a quick buck. Personally, I don't review products I or my family can't use. Wait, let me rephrase that. I don't WANT to review anything I or my family can't use or want. I think an exciting part of writing product review is trying out something that you would consider buying or you think might actually better your life. This is why I love reviewing eco-friendly products and products for kids.

If I receive a product that simply did not work well for me, I am actually more than happy and willing to pass them on to my mommy friends. Yes, they are very lucky to have me as a friend, lol :P.

Anyhow, reading the article made me wonder how many moms actually sell the products they review and never even try the products themselves? My friend Debra brought a stroller based a mom blogger's review (before we started working with companies and writing reviews of our own). It was the worst stroller ever and Debra went as far as emailing the mom blogger about how upset she was that she was lied to. So, it made me wonder, did that mom blogger even take the stroller out of the box to try it? (Ok, don't ask me which blog it was. I have no idea because I never asked). If she did try the stroller and was not happy with it why not just say so? Are blogger moms afraid of giving their honest opinions? If I don't like a product, I won't trash it. Not because I am afraid, but because I know that just because I don't like something, it does not mean other people will hate it too. I, at least, have the common sense to know that I don't represent all of the moms. However, I will tell my readers that something is not to my taste and I don't love it so that at least you are aware of where I stand. In addition, I have turned down products before. I refuse to review anything that might be inappropriate for a child to see -- because often times DD is hanging out with me while I blog. I imagine that some moms have their kids with them too when they are on their computers. If it's something I don't think is child friendly, you will not see it on my blog. I have also refused to write reviews for companies that sent me defective products. You don't hear about them because I will not mention their names here (even bad publicity is still publicity). I have received more than a few defected products. My view is this, if a company can't even send me a non defective product to review, how do I know that if one of my readers purchase from that company the product she receives will be fine. As such, I have refused to work with these companies.

You thoughts? If you are a reader of mommy reviews, do you trust what you read? Do you think the mom blogger in the article give all other mom bloggers a bad name? What if a mom blogger tries the product and decides that she does not like it, do you think she has the right to sell it (as an used product)?


Jennifer H said...

I'm not a blogger, but I follow several blogs (including yours) and read all the product reviews that are of interest to me. I do have an expectation that you will tell us (the consumer) the truth about a product. I do not know all the behind the scenes stuff about product reviews/giveaways, but from what I gather you guys typically get the product in exchange for the review right?
I'm sort of on the fence. If the blogger was doing the review properly (trying out the product, etc) and didn't like it, then I agree w/selling it. Since she "worked" for it. But I do not agree w/never trying it, lying to your followers and then selling it. I also agree in donating the product or giving it to a friend that would be happy to use it if the product did not work out for you or your family.

That's just my opinion from reader of several Mom bloggers. :)

one frugal lady said...

I just read the article at momdot and I am so shocked! I would love the chance to be able to review items from these companies, and I am ticked off that someone would try to turn this into some kind of business! If they wanted to just make money off of these items, why did they even do a review!
Thanks, for the info, and good to know that people like you don't support this type of thing!

Marina@EBMR said...

I am shocked with that article...ick!! I review and I too ONLY review products my family can and will use. I may put up a review late but that's only because I need to try it out.
How horrid... still shocked!!!

Carrie said...

That is really upsetting. Review blogging is hard work when done properly- it's something that I love, but definitely something that requires a lot of time and effort. People like this make the rest of us look bad :(

Rachel C said...

I do read reviews, but sometimes start to doubt bloggers that LOVE everything. I want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly :)
As far as selling the products, I don't think it's right. Yes, you "worked" for it, but the compensation was getting the product for free. I think it's bringing on bad karma!

♥Yaya's Mommy ♥ said...

I wish they would have posted the blog of that mom. It would be nice to not use that blog. It is too bad that there are dishonest people out there that lack respect for companies and others like this. You are so right not every mom is going to feel the same way about all products. I love reading other reviews, because it is a way for me to learn about new products that I don't normally see and didn't know were out there. Thanks for sharing. :)

laura said...

For reviews and giveaways.. I don't say I like something if I don't- so far there's only been one product I didn't review. I gave the company an option of an honest review or no review.. they decided on "no review." When I read a review I know it's just one person's opinion and I need to look into it further on my own, whatever the product might be.

Also.. perhaps not in the case of the bloggers in the article, but for some maybe making a little extra money from the sale of their reviewed products is what keeps food on the table for another month.

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