No Offense! Negative Reviews the Right Way

Posted on December 24, 2012

Photo by SodanieChea via Flickr Creative Commons

Have you ever purchased or been gifted an item for review that didn’t cut the mustard?  Maybe the formula was too thick or the product looked patchy when applied.  Perhaps it’s a product touted for 24-hour wear but barely lasted an hour.  Or worse, a shirt you loved in store that got holes all through it after one wash.  You want to remain honest with your readers but are worried about offending the company.

Fear not.  There are ways to get your point across while still being true to your following and remaining professional.

First, make sure you have all of the facts.  Do some research on the product and make sure you’re using it the way it was intended.  Maybe you need to shake up the liquid eye liner before applying or the shirt with the holes was actually dry clean only.

Next, balance out the negative by leading with a positive.  For example, “The color of this lip gloss is perfect for warm toned individuals and gives a great shine, but some may find that it’s extremely sticky.”  You can also contribute your thoughts on how you think the product can be improved.  Keep it classy and remember that you won’t score any points with a company or your readers by humiliation.

Finally, contact the company or representative and explain the issue that you’re having.  It’s good practice to do this anyway just in case it has to do with quality control and you got a bum product.  Let them know if you’ll hold off on doing a review until you can have more time with the product or if you won’t be reviewing at all because it didn’t thrill you.  You’re under no obligation to write a review, and don’t let anyone bully you into thinking otherwise or insisting that your review be positive.

Keep in mind that the brands you want to work with will appreciate the honesty so they can improve their product.  Your readers will trust your opinion that much more.

What is your policy on writing a negative review?

In addition to working with iFabbo, Brooke is also the Editor-in-Chief of the blog Blushing Noir. Recently, Brooke was named as the Allure Magazine 2012 Most Buzzworthy Blogger in their first annual Beauty Blogger Awards.

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2 Responses to “No Offense! Negative Reviews the Right Way”

  • Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly
    Twitter: Tracy_Iglesias

    Many times these articles fail to consider the obvious, you may have received a ‘lemon’ a ‘bad batch’, and just what you’d do if you paid for it, and it didn’t live up to your expectations is what you should do as a blogger, TALK to the company first. Give them the chance to make it right. and by all means disclose that to your readers. Say the first product I received didn’t work out and the company replaced and this time it ______. Just like you would want a second chance to make something right, especially something that may have been out of your control, like something getting damaged in shipping, is the same chance the brand should receive. If they don’t want to replace it or make it right, then be honest about that too, because that is something people should know. No one says NOT to be honest, just always remember to be FAIR.

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