Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Something That Has Been Bothering Me Lately

Ok I was really debating posting this post, but I've seen other fellow handmade shop owners tweeting about the same problem I am running into, so I figured what the heck I'll go for it.

We all are familiar with giveaways on everyone's blogs. We tweet about them and post them on our facebook walls. Usually more often then not when you participate in a giveaway you hope it drives more traffic to your shop or blog and you hope to reach a new crowd of people that you normally would not have reached on your own.

I love it when I see my product up for grabs on someone's blog. Its just so awesome getting to read everyone's comments hoping they get to win a little piece of my art for their home.

What I don't like is bloggers who I have never really communicated with or bloggers who have never made an attempt to get to know who I am sending me a "copy and paste" email asking if I can do a giveaway on their blog.


This happens a lot. I see it more from bloggers who don't have a handmade shop and who just strictly have a blog. This is why it leaves a bad taste in my mouth (side note: the below information does NOT have to do with blogs I decide to sponsor and do giveaways with. This is strictly just about people who contact me who have never spoken to me before):

• Every time you ask a shop owner to donate a product for giveaway on your blog you need to realize that you are not the only person asking them. I get an email at least once a week from bloggers who I don't even know asking me this request.

• Asking me to give away my hard earned work is a big deal. You want me to cover cost of my materials, my time to make it, and any shipping fees that I need to cover to send my item to your winner. If I agreed to do a giveaway with every single person who contacted me I would probably be out hundreds of dollars in materials costs and shipping fees.

• When so many people ask me to do a giveaway I feel as though that they are just looking out for themselves. More often than not the first "mandatory" entry for a giveaway is "be a follower of my blog" ("my blog" as in the  blogger who is hosting the giveaway, not MY personal blog) don't get me wrong, when I CHOOSE to sponsor somebody else and they make "following their blog" mandatory that is totally fine because I decided that I wanted to work with them. I value the blogger I am working with and respect the fact that they want that to be a mandatory entry. But when a blogger comes up to ME and asks ME to give something of MINE away for FREE and THEN has that be a mandatory entry then I feel as though you are just using my work to get yourself more followers.

• Don't get me wrong, I know when you send out emails to shop owners you are pretty much saying the same thing so I am not TOTALLY against the ol "copy and paste" method, but I am against it when the first 2 words of your email to me is "Hey There!" or "Hi Friend!". If you are going to send me a copy and paste email at LEAST put in there the name of my shop and MY own name. I've had had bloggers email the SAME email once a month for 3 months, finally I had to call them out on it.

• I once had someone beg me to do a giveaway on their blog. I finally agreed to it just because I couldn't take the harassment anymore. When they hosted my giveaway they did not link to a single piece of any of my social media sites. The only way to enter the giveaway was to follow all of HER personal links. If you are asking someone to do a giveaway please include ALL their links to make it worth wild for you and the shop owner giving away something.

• In other people's defense I have had 2 people so far pay for my items to giveaway, and for those people I thank you for appreciating my hard earned work :)

• The only thing worse than asking me to give something away on your blog is asking me to give you one of my products so you can "review" it. Again, I have no problem with people reviewing my items, but I'd rather decide who I want to give my items to. Would you walk into Macy's and say to the sales clerk "hey, want to give me that sweater over there for free? I'll tell everyone on my blog how awesome it is".

All I'm saying is, the next time someone turns you down for giving away something on your blog just see it from THEIR side. I normally only do giveaways with blogs I sponsor or people in the community that I have cross paths with. I also sometimes donate products for a giveaway that is for a good cause. But please realize that the shop owner has to take care of all their materials and shipping fees.

Sorry guys, just HAD to get that off my chest.

UPDATED: Just to clarify, I am not upset with any handmade buds who I have grown friendships with over the years :) you guys can ask me till you're blue in the face haha! This post was more so directed at people who don't follow my blog, twitter, or facebook, do not know ANYTHING about me and have never attempted to make contact with me prior to asking me to give something away on their blog. When those people are constantly sending me a "copy and paste" email I just feel as though all they want to do is gain more blog followers for themselves. I know when my handmade friends ask me to give something away on their blog (whether it be just because, for a birthday, a blogiversary or maybe they think I'm awesome) then I know you guys are truly looking out for me and wanting to share me with your readers which I totally love! :)


  1. I think this a totally legit post and you should not have been afraid to post it! Even though I do not have a shop, I can totally see where you're coming from. I can't believe someone actually BEGGED you! WOWZA! Not saying that your stuff isn't amazballs, but get a grip person! I'm glad you mentioned that you're OK with someone buying your product to giveaway because I was totally going to do that for an August giveaway on my blog-been stalking your shop for a while now, it's time to buy!!! :) YAY! Keep being honest! It's appreciated.

  2. I found this post because someone retweeted the link. I am not a shop owner but people ask me to do giveaways a lot and I 100% agree with what you're saying. I won't enter giveaways that have requirements like this no matter how much I love the product. I feel like if you do a giveaway for someone, it should be because you love the shop and really want to promote it, you know? Thanks so much for saying what needed to be said.

    Also, I love your stuff. ;)

  3. It's so embarrassing that people act this way. Do they not realise how absolutely obvious their motives are? I would never ask anybody for a giveaway item. I've been considering doing a giveaway soon but I intend to buy the items myself. I don't understand how people can be so rude.



  4. Wow, not having a shop obviously I've never seen that side of it. I love to host giveaways, and I'm not shy about asking via a blogpost for sponsors, but I can't imagine approaching a random shop owner and asking for a donation! How unprofessional!

  5. This is so true girl. I give away so many of my items (probably more than I sell at this point) but that's because I'm still fairly new to the game and I'm trying to get my product seen. Also, I am choosing the people I know and love an have worked with in the past and asking them if they want my items for free in exchange for a review. If they say no, no feelings hurt.
    I know I have approached you for an item and you weren't able to do it and I totally understood.
    It's really annoying when people expect something for nothing.
    Thanks for writing this!

  6. My favorite is when they send the copy and pasted e-mail, you ignore it, and they follow up with a "hey did you get my e-mail about the giveaway?" e-mail. *Hint Hint* here people!

  7. Or this one...they leave comments on the giveaway saying they've followed the blog/Twitter/Facebook/etc etc but they clearly HAVEN'T.

  8. Here's what annoys me. I had a blogger contact me wanting a necklace to review and giveaway. When I told her I was no longer sending out necklaces for review, but I would host a giveaway, she told me she was no longer hosting giveaways on her blog. Rude, right? Then she contacts me again saying how she adores me and my shop and if I was interested in buying ad space on her blog. WTH?!? Who goes around emailing and soliciting people to buy ad space on their blog? Maybe I wouldn't be so annoyed if she at least commented on my blog (has never left one comment), followed me on Twitter (doesn't), liked my FB page(doesn't again) or purchased something from my shop (hasn't). I just think it's crap.

    Anyway, I totally get it.

  9. THANK YOU for posting this! This is something that has been driving me totally crazy lately! I was thinking about doing a blog post on this subject too after I went on a twitter rampage and tweeted a bunch of stuff about it. Lately I've had a few particular bloggers that keep doing this to me. Then when I ignore their rude emails they tweet me the check to see if I got their email. Then when I respond saying that I can't keep giving stuff away because it's not in my budget, they guilt trip me by being like, "Well, I just figured you'd want to donate something. It doesn't have to be anything big." TOTALLY missing the point! Gah! You made my day with this post!

  10. THIS! Exactly...its why I dont have giveaways! I dont have a shop, I dont create anything, I just blog b/c its fun and I have met a lot of people who I enjoy! I do have a giveaway going right now but its from two people who are my friends and I didnt have to beg LOL

    I dont think you should have to feel bad for saying how you feel- its your blog, your space,and above all your work, you shouldnt have to give it away for free!

  11. Well said! And completely understandable. Kudos for posting it!


  12. Well put, the whole thing gives me hives...uncomfortable!

  13. Can I just say that HAVING to follow someone's blog to win a giveaway is a pet peeve of mine. I more than likely will not enter that giveaway. I know a lot of people do it, and it's totally their choice. But for me personally, I want people to follow my blog because they like what I have to say, and they want to follow my blog. I have never made that a requirement on any of my giveaways. Anyway, that's just my little soapbox. I totally agree with you on this post. I think you should attempt to build some sort of relationship with someone before asking them for something for free :)

  14. Wow...I didn't know that happened. I'm relatively new to blogging and had no idea that people asked other people to give them things. That's gutsy and awkward.

  15. Hi! I was inspired by this post and wrote about it (along with a lot of other things bloggers do and I was venting about) in my post today. Here it is: http://www.lovelylifeofleah.com/2012/07/so-what-its-ok-im-fired-up-today-real.html

  16. Perfect post. I totally agree with every bit of what you had to say. Again, you're my hero :P

  17. Woah! Some people are really ballsy! Bahaha. I hope a lot of people read this!! Be kind to shop owners peeps! I guess most don't think about how much work goes into things people make! I used to have an etsy shop and I'm about to re-open. Thanks for the heads up and spreading the word!!


  18. That was an eye opener I had no idea people asked! Thanks for the input that will be in my mind always as a I see giveaway posts!
    Have a great day

  19. A-freaking-men!!! I agree with you on every single point. I've said yes to countless people I don't know
    When they ask me to participate in a giveaway and/or a review only to avoid that awkward "thanks but no thanks" email. Just in the last year or so have I gotten comfortable saying no. Normally I don't hear anything back but recently I had someone get really snarky over my not sending her product to review and then
    giveaway. So frustrating.

    Anyways, great post!! Thank you for addressing this irritating problem!


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