One year on my birthday, my aunt gave me a lovely bracelet. I was so appreciative of the gift – it was thoughtful and generous. However, it just wasn't me. I knew I wouldn't wear it, but I didn't want to hurt my aunt's feelings by returning it.
We have all been in this situation. While it's not exactly the same as the gifting that goes on between brands and bloggers, the feeling of uncertainty as to what do do with an unwanted or unused items leaves many bloggers drawing a blank.
How do bloggers end up with unwanted gifted pieces?
Ideally, brands and bloggers work together and communicate openly to make sure that the products being shared and potentially posted about are in-line with the blogger's style, but this doesn't always happen.
- A designer or PR agency may offer to send an unspecified piece with no strings attached (no obligation to post) and when it arrives it's not something the blogger likes or would wear.
- A blogger might recieve a piece and post about it, but not desire to hold onto it for any number of reasons.
- If a PR firm has your blog and address on a press list, you may be sent care packages in the mail totally unannounced (really, it's happened to us).
There may be bloggers out there with piles upon heaps of unworn, unused items that have been sent to them, gathering dust in a closet – never to be worn. And perhaps this doesnt' bother some of them. However, most of us are keenly aware of maintaining strong relationships with designers, brands and PR firms – so we carefully consider what to do with graciously sent pieces, even if we don't like or want them.
We asked around, and it seems that there's no clear right or wrong course of action. However, employing your undoubtedly inate sense of professionalism and politess, we can make some strong guesses about proper steps to take.
Here are our best ides for what to do with unwanted gifted items:
- First, email the brand or agency. Politely and graciously let them know that you appreciate their gift, but that it is just not your style (or something equally honest but thankful).
- Julia from Lemons and Loafers says,”When I get gifted items that I'm not a huge fan of, the first thing I do is always reach out to whoever sent it to me and thank them profusely. The gesture of sending it and the fact that they thought of me and my blog is incredible in itself, and I hope that no one ever gets too big for a thank you. Next, if the item isn't really my style, I am honest about it. I'll let them know that their product is fabulous, but it's just not me. I tell them that I'll pass it around to a friend or family member who will be sure to talk up their brand.”
- Ask if the sender if they would like you to send it back, or if they have another suggestion.
- Host a giveaway on your blog (or Twitter or Facebook) for the item. It may not be your taste, or you may not have room for it in your closet, but most likely someone in your audience would be thrilled to win it.
- Jacey from Damsel In Dior says, “If I'm given an item that I do not blog about I'll try and either give it away on my blog/facebook page or send it back to the person who sent it to me. I feel weird about selling something that was “gifted” to me.”
Unless it is specifically stated in a contract or an email agreement, you do not have to post about a gifted item. If you decide not to, however, it's good business to reach out to the brand and let them know.
What do you do with gifted items you don't want? Share your best advice and tips in the comments!
[Image credit: ShutterStock]