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Thinking About Selling That Swag? Think Again.

It’s become a sort of trend: bloggers receive products to review, and after the post is up on their blogs, the product moves to Craig’s List or Ebay for sale. In fact, some bloggers aren’t even opening the products; they write the review site unseen, and then sell it as “new in box.”

But brands and agencies are starting to catch on, and frankly they are pretty upset, as you can imagine. After all, both the agencies and the brands get the alerts when a product has been listed for sale; if it’s a newer product that isn’t widely seen on the market yet it’s pretty easy to track it back to the bloggers that were sent the product to review.


This email from a bloggers collective was anonymously forwarded to me recently.

Hello [redacted] Bloggers,

It has been brought to our attention that some of our bloggers are reselling the [redacted] on sites such as Amazon, eBay etc after they have completed a blog post. It discredits the integrity of our bloggers when clients see that products they sent out and/or paid for are being resold. Please refrain from selling [redacted] via the internet at this time. Please note that we are taking these incidents into consideration while implementing a new policy in the [redacted] community regarding this matter.

If you have any current online listings of the sale of [redacted] please remove them immediately.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

I imagine that “taking these incidents into consideration” really means “pulling those bloggers from the community.”

In speaking to some bloggers about this, they were fairly unapologetic. The general attitude was, “It was given to me, I did the work, it’s mine and I can do what I like with it.” Which, of course, is true. But does that make it right or okay?

What do you think? Will this trend upset the balance between brands and bloggers?


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