Small Business Pet Peeves

Running a small business from home feels great. Its not my full time job but that is the goal and I work very hard on my online shop. It takes a lot of time and effort, risks and experiments, failures and of course money. Its been a crazy but fun adventure and I'm so in love with what I do. There are of course however, some down sides to working for yourself and one of them gets to me more than anything else and that is: freebies.

Yes yes, we've all asked for a cheeky sample at Lush before spending a fair bit on that face cream, or taken away a small amount of foundation before purchasing the entire bottle. But at what point do people walk into a store like Paperchase or Tiger and ask for free stuff? At what point do you assume that just because you're a blogger or YouTuber, you'll get given free things to review in exchange for exposure? Its laughable it really is and guess what, its not on. My little Etsy shop has received shitty little messages like this from the very start. I'm sorry what? Its time I spoke my mind and try to encourage people to stop doing this:

This is a real message my Etsy shop received last summer. Each time I get one of these, I have to try incredibly hard to keep my cool. Reason being, its usually kids. Kids who have watched way too many big time YouTubers thinking they can get sent free stuff in the post because its what their YouTube idol gets. Its rude, cheeky and bloody disrespectful. Whats more, I sometimes get parents emailing me asking me to send stuff to their kids because they're a YouTubing sensation and have been reviewing products for companies gaining a reet impressive following. Of course, I check out these phenomenal channels, blogs and Twitter feeds and 9/10 times they have less than 20 followers and are about 12 years old. Are you shitting me?!

I'm fully aware that one of these kids could well be the next big thing and thats awesome, but when it comes to running a small business, owners can't possibly afford to be sending freebies out. Not only does it cost your little company money and you've missed out on actually selling your product, but you have to cover postage and packaging costs. Another lesson learnt is you don't get much traffic whatsoever from small advertisements like this. I myself have paid an Instagram creative advertiser before for a share on their feed and got absolutely nothing from it. If you want results, chances are you have to work bloody hard to achieve it and I'm getting so fed up of this ridiculous, cheeky freebie obsessed species we have become. 

I would also like to point out that there is a huge difference in approaching a company who are seeking influencers and asking for help promoting their products and work, and then just asking whoever you fancy if they'll send you some free clobber. I have received goodies from brands who have been looking for a blogger to get involved with their latest launch or similar promotion and I don't see the harm in that, but to make it a hobby of going around, hopping from shop to shop asking for freebies is exceedingly rude and I'm getting very fed up with it. Its also very bad for my Etsy shop if I turn around and snap at any of these people because at the end of the day, I really want my little business to do well and I'm not letting rude and cheeky individuals get the better of me. But please, if you're a small blogger, YouTuber, even a parent asking on behalf of your child, or you're just wanting to review products - stop and think about the impact you have taking products with no payment from a seller who works very hard and every hour god sends to make their dreams come true. A lot of us also work jobs we don't want to, to support our small businesses and if you want something from someone, paying a small price for their item means way more to them then asking for free.

Thanks for reading,

1 comment

  1. It's better for bloggers to buy their own products if they want to review them because if you're doing a review of a freebie your readers will suspect that your review is biased. Which it kind of is because if you haven't had to pay out for something you're expectation of value isn't as strong.
    It's ridiculous going around asking for samples from an etsy shop, no wonder you're annoyed.


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