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TubeBuddy Tips Getting free gear sent your way...

Shawn Gossman

Known Member
TubeBuddy Legend
195
9
www.hikingwithshawn.com
Subscriber Goal
1000
So in my niche, I cover hiking, a great gear-influenced topic that has a lot of marketing opportunities for companies that want me to sport their stuff.

I originally got contacted by an Asia-based company. They wanted to send me their sleeping pads for free in return that I make a video advertising them. No discounts. No commissions if I get them customers....just a free product for me. I turned down the offer. This was because I did research into the company and discovered the items are the "quickly made" type that are very cheap. I don't want to lose the trust of my audience by recommending something that doesn't work as good as I claimed it to work.

It was disappointing a little, a newbie channel like me, turning down free stuff but I got over it...

Then, yesterday, an outdoor company based out of the US contacted me. As an American, I love to support American-made things - I just LOVE my country that much :D So that was a plus. I also did some research and found that folks favor their products, another plus. I'm not only getting fairly premium free gear but I get to give my audience a discount and earn commissions as well. Win...Win... Win... I'm excited to finally be seeing offers like this. I gives me more want to continue to make my videos better.

How about you all? Does this sort of opportunity ever come your way? Tell us about it, tips you have and your experiences with it all. :)
 

Aaron

Reputable Poster
TubeBuddy Legend
739
26
goldsteindigital.com
Subscriber Goal
1000
I've been surprised actually how many offers I've gotten to review products.. I get maybe 2-3 a month from companies wanting me to test out fairly flimsy looking film equipment and I generally deny them. I don't want to trust my gear on something I don't think is well built... I also definitely don't want to endorse a bad product either so I like you am very selective of who I'll work with.
 

kunicross

Distinguished Poster
TubeBuddy Pro
646
11
Subscriber Goal
666
I think first thing is - are product reviews are a fitting thing for my channel?

I have a (German) 2nd channel where I do mostly look at products (and make fun of them sometimes) so free stuff there is really a nice thing.

So far all requests from China failed because they would only ship to the US not to Europe.

The benefit of "low end" deals - free products- is that you usually don't get tied into some kind of contract - you keep editorial control and it really doesn't matter if you are giving a good or bad review.
If someone starts giving you money for reviewing their stuff they usually will have a certain expection what your results should be.
But you can also make money via Amazon affiliates etc. On reviews (just important to stay objective and give bad enough reviews)

Also having a wider range of products to test and compare can really be benificial and give a broader view on the topic.

The whole thing has a hugh negative side you'll see that a lot in the beauty and fashion corner - the people get hired as influencers and make a whole lot of advertising without proper disclosure and that's really shady. (even illigal on my side of the pond)
 

Damon

Trusted User
Trusted User
2,005
24
www.blackwarriorlures.com
Subscriber Goal
10000
I import products from China to sell as well as make products one at a time by hand right here in the home office. I can say China is capable of making anything to any level of quality. In fact my GEN III fishing floats have Chinese made stem swivels that no one in America makes. Also the cork I use to make the floats only grows in Iberia, i.e., Spain and Portugal. So is it American made? I don't really care. The real problem is I will never be able to scale any of my handmade products to make a living with it.

Well, guess what? China can scale, and scale to the quality I need. The Black Warrior Lures Catman Fishing Hooks I import are a common saltwater fishing hook used to catch very big and strong fish. I market and sell them as a freshwater catfish hook as the demands are similar. In fact I just caught my personal best trophy blue catfish this week on these hooks:

I'm so confident in these hooks I offer to pay the shipping to send out a sample of three hooks for anyone to try. That way they can see if it's worth their time and money. My hooks, swivels and other tackle, I wouldn't be able to grow a sustainable business if everything came from the USA. In fact most of what I need isn't made in America at all. In fact my 4/0 hook perform the same as American made 8/0 and 10/0 hooks.

So just because it's made in China doesn't mean it's cheap. In China things work differently. You'll have the same product produced by 100 different factories in the same region, even across the street from one another. It's up to you to track down and find a Chinese manufacturer who will make a product to your specifications.

And I tell my audience that the product is China made, hand made or whatever combination, that I searched and found a supplier willing to work with me to import the product. Afterward, I show the product at work in it's intended environment, then offer to pay shipping or pay for a sample for them to try. That way I've removed any obstacle.

While I do feature American made products on my channel, most of them are impractical for a subsistence fisherman. The American mind set for fishing is sport fishing and not survival fishing. Americans have a tendency to over complicate what would otherwise be simple solutions. In other places in the world simple solutions win over complicated ones.

Some things have to be complicated like sending a man to the moon, but not for catching catfish. In fact I recently tested a fishing hook designed by an American. The design was innovative, but the smallest catfish deformed and rendered the hook unusable after the first fish caught. Yet my simple thick, hardened China-made hooks held up to the heaviest trophy fish I could catch.

In such a case, the expensive American made product was in fact the least capable. Yet, the much cheaper, stronger and heftier China-made hooks won the day. Such is a design philosophy issue rather than what country made it.

I find that people don't like the idea that another country or people group can produce some thing simpler, cheaper and superior to what our homeland brethren can produce.

I always give full disclosure when another company sponsors a product for me. Trust and transparency is the name of the game these days.
 

kunicross

Distinguished Poster
TubeBuddy Pro
646
11
Subscriber Goal
666
@Damon really good points people tend to underestimate China, Chinese products and capacities.

For many simpler products there is just no real production happening any more in the north America or Europe.

Actually the development in China can be very well compared to German during the industrialisation - the whole "Made in Germany" came to be because in poor Germany many cheap (and bad) knock-off products where made and flooded the British market.
 

blackbeltsecrets

Moderator
Moderator
275
14
blackbeltsecrets.co.uk
Subscriber Goal
100000
So in my niche, I cover hiking, a great gear-influenced topic that has a lot of marketing opportunities for companies that want me to sport their stuff.

I originally got contacted by an Asia-based company. They wanted to send me their sleeping pads for free in return that I make a video advertising them. No discounts. No commissions if I get them customers....just a free product for me. I turned down the offer. This was because I did research into the company and discovered the items are the "quickly made" type that are very cheap. I don't want to lose the trust of my audience by recommending something that doesn't work as good as I claimed it to work.

It was disappointing a little, a newbie channel like me, turning down free stuff but I got over it...

Then, yesterday, an outdoor company based out of the US contacted me. As an American, I love to support American-made things - I just LOVE my country that much :D So that was a plus. I also did some research and found that folks favor their products, another plus. I'm not only getting fairly premium free gear but I get to give my audience a discount and earn commissions as well. Win...Win... Win... I'm excited to finally be seeing offers like this. I gives me more want to continue to make my videos better.

How about you all? Does this sort of opportunity ever come your way? Tell us about it, tips you have and your experiences with it all. :)
I've had free stuff sent in the most unexpected ways! I had a table sent to us to demonstrate because of my videos on backspin!
 

WorldComposting

Known Member
TubeBuddy User
108
11
Subscriber Goal
10000
I have had a few items sent to me free. I let them know up front I will be honest about the product if it is poor quality and they understood. Luckily the products I have received are good and I can recommend them.

I was up front with the companies that I would be reviewing the product and giving honest feedback and I feel that is key unless you are buying the equipment yourself. You can also ask about receiving reviewing and if bad giving the feedback directly instead of on YouTube so they can make the product better. Most companies are more than willing to fix something or make the product better if it isn't expensive and would help with sales.
 

WorldComposting

Known Member
TubeBuddy User
108
11
Subscriber Goal
10000
ow may vies/subs do you think you need before contacting a company for products to review?
I don't think there is a set amount but smaller companies would probably be more willing if you can show you are a leader in your space.

This won't work for cell phones but if you are a leader in say socket wrenches a company might be willing to work with you. Maybe where you pay for shipping or something similar.
 

Goode Life Outdoors

Active Member
32
5
Subscriber Goal
500
I agreed to do a product review for an amazon seller, and that video review has been one of my best performers on the channel. Funny enough, while it's not a direct tie into my niche, it is a ring light that I have used for most of my monologue segments since. I do get requests to review products about once or twice a month, but I typically decline due to the obvious poor quality, or lack of relevance to my channel. I hope to do more product reviews once I get over 500 subs so I can set up an Amazon Affiliate account, and hopefully that will lead to more relevant opportunities.