It’s such a blogger specific dilemma. Someone has sent you a product to review, but it just doesn’t work for you at all. You’re struggling for things to say about it, but you don’t want to let anyone down. What do you do?
The very first thing you should be doing here is talking to the person who sent you the item. What’s actually wrong with the product? A manufacturing fault? A bad batch? Doesn’t fit? If it’s something fixable, see if a replacement will work. It’s unfair to judge a product on something faulty.
Talking to your contact early also means that you can discuss why it isn’t working, and where to go next. If the item is perfectly functional, but doesn’t work for you, your contact may be willing to swap it for something that does work! If there is no other choice, then write about it – your readers will always prefer an honest review, and you’ll be helping others to not make a bad buying decision. If you are going to write a negating review, make sure to tell your contact – no one wants to be blind sighted when they’re producing a roundup of coverage for their client!
Finally, be balanced and polite. It might be tempting to tear into a product, but think about who is reading that post. We’ve seen reviews of products from bloggers who received the product for free which seemed almost gleeful in tearing down the products, the brand and even where the product came from. Not cool. It put us off reading that blog, and no doubt put other readers off – and perhaps more importantly in this context – probably put potential collaborators off too.
How do you deal with a product you don’t love?