Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cardola: Take it, or not

I have a bit of a dilemma, and I'd like you to help me resolve it.

From the day I started this website, I wanted Stale Gum to be completely objective and free of any conflict of interest. On that part, every single trading card product I've reviewed I've paid for out of my own pocket.

With that said, I certain trading card company (which shall remain nameless) has offered me free product. They want me to use these cards to promote their products on this site. While it is tempting -- I mean, who wouldn't want free cards? -- I'm concerned about how you would feel about this.

So I come to you, my readers, for advice. If I accept this company's offer for free cards, would you feel any different about Stale Gum?

Thanks
Always Be Collecting,
Chris Harris
www.stalegum.com

19 comments:

Joe74mj said...

A wise man once told me "Free is for me". Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, as long as you give an honest opinion. If something sucks, let it be known. Don't try to tell me Topps Opening Day "rocks" cause you got it for free.

Gellman said...

go with joe.

handcollated said...

"They want me to use these cards to promote their products on this site."

Is this something you wouldn't do if they didn't give you free stuff? Is it something that you want to do, even if it weren't free?

And what exactly is "promoting" mean here? So you have to write things covered in sugar and love about the company? Do they want your honest opinion?

Some blogs post disclaimers near the top when their appears to be a conflict. Perhaps you could throw one of those up if you accept the deal. Or make sure to note it in each blog post you write about the company that may be affected.

Finally, free is certainly going to affect your opinion of something, whether you think it will or not. Even still, try and be aware of it as you continue to collect.

Wax Heaven said...

As long as it's not eTopps....

Matt said...

As long as you disclose to your readers that the product you are reviewing did not come out of your own pocket, go right ahead!

Slette said...

Do it and send me the Yankees.

In all seriousness, I think you're established enough to be able to review things objectively. If you gush about something, we'll know you actually like it. If you just present it for what it is, we can probably draw our own conclusions about your feelings on the product.

dayf said...

Take it and then give it to me, I mean your readers if you feel guilty about it. Or if it sucks. Or both.

Actually forget all that, take it so I can find out who is trying to give you swag. I'm going back and forth trying to decide of it's Topps bribing you out of a boycott or Upper Deck giving you the Beckett reject boxes.

thenennthinning said...

I think as long as you are honest about the review - i mean, they're not asking you to give them automatic high marks for the product right?

Tom the Ripper said...

what they should do is just order a box of whatever from blowout and have it sent to you, so you and everyone else will never wonder if said box is "loaded".

then again screw that, go with the loaded boxes.

madding said...

As long as there's full disclosure, I say go for it. If the company tries to pull some shenanigans at some point, then disclose that, too.

night owl said...

It depends on what they mean by "promote." Newspapers that publish movie reviews, product reviews, etc., accept free stuff for the purpose of reviewing the product or event. But they don't accept gifts. If this is a "gift," not something for a review, I'd think about it.

Russ said...

I trust you enough Chris, as most of the other bloggers and your readers do, to see that you're able to be neutral. I would also support some sort of contest for the cards for the readers and bloggers. What's the worst thing that happens from this? You post a bad review and you don't get any more cards and you're back to where you are today.

William Noetling said...

Yeah, I think as others have said, probably better than I can at this moment, as long as you disclose that the product came gratis, I don't think it's really an issue.

Giveaways are always nice too. Nothing says you can't trade away product either.

Oh, and nice going too.

James B. Anama said...

It sounds like you'd be starting your path on the gateway to hell if you do. It's kind of hard to be objective when the company itself gives you the cards to "promote." Sounds a little too Beckett'y or Tuff Stuff'y to me.

But hey, if it will save you the money in the long run so you don't have to go out and get the stuff yourself, by all means...go for it.

If it's Topps who's doing this (and somehow I doubt it is), please put a kind word in for a guy who has their company's name in the title of his blog. Thanks.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

Kevin McGuire said...

Do it. I wouldn't think any less of you.

Bluesky said...

If you do it and it's Topps, you would have no integrity after your boycot.
Be careful not to go down the road Beckett has.

Rob- AKA "Guido" said...

I'd do it. But call it like you see it. If a product sucks say so.
What I have found is all(most) products have their good points and bad points. Be sure to objective and tell the whole story.

--David said...

I'd jump at the chance. If you turn them down, send them over my way... :-) Well, only if I am allowed to be honest about what I get...

Offy said...

I'd have to agree with the others who have said to go for it as long as you mention which products have been provided to you when you post about them.