Why you should never sell PR Samples

Posted on May 10, 2013


Photo by Stevendepolo via Flickr

Photo by Stevendepolo via Flickr

Being a blogger means that at one point or another, you are sent beauty or fashion items to review and feature on your blog.  Gifts or samples can be seen as part of compensation; instead of money, you receive the newest face cream or the new “it” bag.  The more successful your blog is, the more products/samples you will receive.  We admit, after a while you may become a bit overwhelmed with the amount of products your receive and need occasionally to “clean house.”  We’ve been asked if  bloggers should sell the PR samples they receive and our answer is always the same. No!

What you should consider when thinking about selling your samples!

  • First off, you should never use your blog solely to get free products or with the purpose to sell them later on! That is a big blogging no-no! Blog about products because you are genuinely interested and try to avoid making compensation your main goal!
  • You have been given a sample because a company feels they could build a great blogger-brand relationship with you. Brands spend a lot of time and money sending you promotional products. They are after your opinion, your approach and authority! Don’t misuse that trust by selling their products as you might never hear from that company again. Use the product as intended. Think about the message you are sending to that company when they see their product on eBay or in a blog sale!
  • Remember, there is a growing number of blogs out there, increasing by the hour! Companies are getting more selective as to whom they send products! Not every company has the resources to spend on promotional items. Theses companies will not work with you, if you are only after the freebies! Repairing a damaged reputation is hard!
  • You readers may recognize the product you are trying to sell! Not disclosing that you have received it for free might lead to negative ramifications. FTC regulations should always be considered! See more on that here!
  • PR samples have a specific purpose!  They are meant to be reviewed by you on your blog, and you are expected to give your honest opinion.  We understand that you may receive some products that are not suitable for you.  We recommend contacting the company and asking if you should send the sample back.  They will appreciate the effort and more likely will work with you again and be more selective when it comes to the products they send you.
  • If you need to de-clutter your makeup drawer, consider donating your unused products.  Check out this post on some basic guidelines and websites.

What do you think about selling PR samples?  Is it ethical? Let us know your thoughts below!

Besides working for iFabbo, Jessica is the beauty blogger behind http://jezzdallasmakeup.blogspot.com/

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

9 Responses to “Why you should never sell PR Samples”

  • Brian
    Twitter: BI_LawFirm

    Great article. Have you heard of the Bloggers Bizarre? http://songofstyle.blogspot.com/2013/04/blogger-bazaar.html Curious about your take on this?

    • I’m confused–so only $1 goes to charity? Or do the profits from the sale go to charity? The flier didn’t seem overly specific. It’s one thing if they had permission from the brands they are selling for this, but if not, and if it’s for personal profit, I’m in complete disagreement with this kind of arrangement. Charity is one thing, personal profit in my opinion is unacceptable.
      Amber recently posted..OPI Couture de Minnie Collection Review, Photos, SwatchesMy Profile

    • Courtney

      Unless they are famous fashion bloggers, most clothes worn by fashion bloggers are purchased with their own money. There are always exceptions to the rule, but much like celebrities if you see a blogger at fashion week wearing a designer’s outfit odds are the outfit is only on temporary loan from the designer. Many fashion bloggers (like Manrepeller http://copious.com/profiles/man-repeller ) sell their clothes online and at venues like the Blogger Bazaar where they are able to capitalize on their fashion blogger status and receive significantly more money for their used goods than ebay or a consignment shop.

  • Mina Slater
    Twitter: Mina_Slater

    I completely agree with this article! It’s a matter of integrity. I would not consider selling PR samples. If the company wanted you to sell product, they’d invite you to an affiliate program. If a PR agency is hired by a brand & later finds that product being sold by the blogger, the PR rep probably has to answer to the brand and it’s probably not a pretty situation! Plus the FTC issues. Trying to sell PR samples simply seems like it wouldn’t be worth the risk, tarnished reputation or the possible guilty conscience.
    Mina Slater recently posted..I’m An Almay Spokesperson! Win A Trip To NYC With Makeovers For TwoMy Profile

  • This is SO important! I think it’s up to us, as leaders in the blogging community to demonstrate a certain amount of professionalism to set an example. I’m aware that some people just don’t know yet–and that’s okay! We’re here to help each other. This is a new era we’re all diving into together. But if we spread the word, hopefully this will become a non-issue to those who are passionate about their blogs and content in the future. Eventually, people will have to know this is unacceptable.

  • Annabella
    Twitter: Skinscrubs

    I donate my unwanted samples and purchased products to a local homeless charity here in Nottingham. They are grateful to receive donations like shampoo, shower gel etc. I have a clear out every six months of my stash and I’d rather my products go to someone who needs them.

  • This is some great advice, I find myself in this position at the moment, saying Im not the best writer for your product line. I appreciate your knowledge in this touchy area :)
    sandra recently posted..taco saladMy Profile

  • Great article and very true!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.


  • Subscribe via RSS!

    bloglovin Join us on BlogLovin'!

    Never miss another iFabbo post or
    important news update again!

    Subscribe via RSS feed here
    or enter your e-mail address:

    Delivered by