Beware: Product Samples Gone Missing

TODAY’S BUZZ TIP | June 19, 2009

This week I had an incident whereby I had sent a box of samples to an editor for editorial consideration.  Since I knew the editor, I wrote a very short note and then followed up with a pitch.  The rest of the interchange was pretty routine, another email to inquire about interest and then a quick note on whether the samples would still be needed or if they could be picked up.  There was no response to the latter question.  Why?  The editor, unbeknownst to us, had “taken” the samples and had given them away to co workers and family members.  To say the least we were pretty shocked.  And the kicker was that the editor was extremely indignant about it.  This is a top publication so we were extremely surprised that this would happen with one of their editors.  It wouldn’t be such a big deal if the products were of little value, but these were of high quality and worth over $1000.  To make a long story short, the products are being retrieved and an apology was made not only to me but to my client.  The lesson here is to be clear, no matter who the editor is, that the samples you send are strictly for editorial consideration so there is no room for interpretation.

And in a less extreme example, an editor from another publication sent an email to request samples and noted that since they were for editorial consideration, they would not be returned.  Excuse me?  Don’t think so.  I promptly wrote back to ask why they would not be returned.  And they quickly excused themselves and apologized.  But of course they would be returned.  That’s what I thought!

So, be wary of any editor that says that products can not be returned.  You should always question and ask the reason.  More than likely it’s a guise for taking advantage of their position to get free products



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