Part of the fun of writing this blog is signing up for all the amazing offers out there to see what is really worthwhile and what really is just not worth it. In the process of all the offers I see I can easily get swept away with an amazing one or two or three… when I realize I am getting in too deep and spending too much time I (try to) re-evaluate and determine is this the best use of my time, am I getting the best output for what I am putting in, am I spending more money than I would if I didn’t use this?
I have recently joined a reviewer program where I place requests for items at a discount (or free, I like free), if approved I can purchase the item at a discount in exchange for my honest review of the item. Simple right? Well it is simple and so simple it is easy to get carried away.
Just after Christmas I had over 30 items that were sitting in my queue waiting to be review, some I was waiting for the arrival but many had already arrived. I had 4-5 packages coming each day leading up to Christmas (honestly I really like that part).
So, re-evaluation time. How much time am I spending on this? I take a few minutes each day to browse the site and place requests, a few minutes to place any orders I have been approved for and a few more more minutes to write a meaningful review. I am not including the time to test, and use the product as I am trying to purchase items I use in my everyday or can be added right in without extra time. Overall the time on this is not too much,right now but I can see it becoming overwhelming. It is hard to not want to check the site multiple times a day to see if anything new has been added (always hate to miss out on something).
Am I spending more money by doing this? This is a bit more difficult of a question, yes because I am not budgeting for some of these specific items and since I am at the mercy of the seller on whether or not I can actually purchase the item it is difficult to know when to budget for it. At the same time no because I am for the most part requesting free items, under $1 items or items I would need to purchase anyway. It would be easy to start requesting things that just sound cool or seem like a really great deal. I have had a few items that I should have looked more closely at before requesting.
Is this the best use of my time? In the long run, no. I need to make sure that I am careful about the amount of time I spend on the site and need to be very particular about the items I request to review. It is not just the time but it is easy to end up with too much stuff in general.
At this point I am still getting some really great items and I am planning to keep going but I am setting limits for myself to make sure I don’t get too carried away if I can help it. The first guideline I am setting up is the need to research an item further before requesting if it is not a consumable item. I recently reviewed a few articles of clothing that I was really excited about until they arrived and some were not what I had expected but upon looking more closely I may have been able to tell some of the differences from the post. Sometimes, you really get what you pay for.