PR Samples – Keep Them, Sell Them, or Give Them Away?

PR Samples – Keep Them, Sell Them, or Give Them Away?

Hi Guys!

Today I want to talk about a topic that comes up time and time again – PR samples. Firstly for those not in the know, some bloggers are lucky enough to receive PR samples (also called gifted products) to review on their blog in return for getting to keep the product. The question often comes up regarding what to do with these samples in the long run, as it did yesterday on Twitter where somebody was asking what people think about bloggers selling on their PR samples. I thought this was a great topic for discussion which affects most bloggers, and it’s definitely a subject that everyone has an opinion on. So here goes…

As a blogger that’s lucky enough and extremely grateful to receive PR samples, I think I fall in the minority when I say I believe it’s ok to sell them on – but hear me out, I think it’s ok in certain circumstances only. Firstly here’s an example where I believe samples shouldn’t be sold on… It was only the other day that I saw a blogger selling an item that was a brand new release, I checked her blog and read about how much she ‘really loved’ said product, but there it was, sitting in her blog sale only a few days after the post went live. Now in my opinion this isn’t right. So you really loved that item so much that you’re instantly selling it?? Hmm. Doing this completely invalidates her review of the product and also her credibility as a blogger. Personally I think this is a pretty bad move. So this, I disagree with.

On the other hand though – I haven’t sold any PR samples – yet – but should I want to sell something in future if it ends up laying around with my heaps of other makeup and skincare bits, surely I should I have the right to sell it? I do own it after all? Is it not mine to do as I please with? I own lots of makeup and skincare, and when I say lots I mean seriously LOTS. I have a slight addiction, combine this with hoarding issues and you might get an idea! So because I buy so many products, a fair few products that I genuinely love don’t actually get used up, and they end up in my ever growing stash. Should I keep them all until my house is held up solely by cosmetics? Should I give them away coz I’m such a nice person – or even bin them (what a waste!) Or should I sell them??

So what about in a situation like mine, where a blogger owns (for example) 15 foundations and say three of them have been PR samples over the last few months. She loves them all and has written positive reviews but some of them have to go as she’s running out of space. Is there anything worng with her selling the PR samples that she genuinely loved, along with her own products that she also loved? Well personally I say no, there is nothing wrong with this. The only thing I will say though, that regardless of the fact that her PR sample product reviews were genuine at the time of writing, if others see she is now selling those samples on, this may cast her in a bad light.

Personally though, I’ve always bought and sold things as required to meet my current needs. So, if I need cash I sell my assets. Simple as that. Wether this be my beloved Limecrime lipstick collection (sob sob), a designer bag (goodbye Miu Miu) or whatever. I sell things I own to generate cash when I really need it. I have responsibilities – a mortgage and a family to feed so I sometimes I have to sell things I love to bring in some dosh, is this so wrong? I would like to point out that I haven’t actually sold any PR samples as yet as I haven’t had the need to. But if the need really did arise then I would sell my entire makeup collection and the clothes off my own back (regardless of where they came from) along with anything else I own, if I really did need the money.

Also, I think it’s also important to remember, that when I say ‘PR samples’ this goes for everything – all types of bloggers. Not just beauty. Should popular fashion bloggers with ever bulging wardrobes have to give away their gifted clothes simply because they don’t have enough storage space? Or do you think they should have the right to sell them on without being judged? Why shouldn’t they make some money??

What about parent bloggers – when their little ones grow older should they give their gifted toys away? Or should they have the right to sell them on so they can buy their child some new toys with the money?

I don’t think I’ve ever written so many questions in a blog post! At the end of the day of course it’s down to personal preference. I’m sure some people will see where I’m coming from, and others will disagree and say that selling any PR samples under any circumstances is wrong. That’s cool, we’re all entitled to our opinions. I know this is a bit of a controversial topic, and my aim is not to upset anyone or ruffle any feathers! I personally believe people can do as they please and that we are all entitled to our own opinions. But saying that please be aware – if you do decide to sell samples on straight after reviewing them, this will most definitely be frowned upon by the blogging community – as well as PR’s, so do it at your own risk…

I’d love to hear what you think? Let me know xxx





  1. 23 September, 2014 / 10:27 am

    I think I agree with you – especially about the blogger who wrote a rave review and sold the product a few days later! That’s so wrong, and I wouldn’t dare do that!

    I don’t get sent lots of PR samples, but I’d like to think that one day, if I did I would be able to not have to waste/throw away the products when I didn’t want them any longer. I would probably try and dish them out to my family before I resorted to selling, but I don’t think it’s right to sit there making a complete profit – I think that money made from selling PR samples should be money going back onto products to use for blogging 🙂

  2. Brenda
    23 September, 2014 / 10:29 am

    A very well written post and on a very interesting subject too. I agree with you completely about selling a PR product only days after doing a shining review on it – this too would not sit right with me and also invalidate the bloggers review of it. I can understand that you may have 15 other foundations in your collection, but do you hang on to it knowing full well you will be selling it just so that it doesn’t look like you sold it straight away? I guess my answer would be yes.

    I have only three months into the blogging thing and have received a few PR samples but at this stage, I wouldnt dream of selling anything on – everything I have received I love and will be using. I agree with you on selling your assets when you need cash – beauty products can be very valuable and if i did need cash for bills or family, then yes, PR samples wouldn’t be excluded from being sold just because they were PR samples.

    I think it is a fact of life – people are more likely to sell something they didn’t have to splash their own cash on. Especially if they already own a bundle of things they love that they did buy themselves. Great post – I really enjoyed reading this 🙂 xx

    Brenda BusyBee

  3. 23 September, 2014 / 8:55 pm

    Personally I don’t see why people should be judgemental if someone decides to sell a pr sample. They have their reasons I’m sure. If the person has been gifted an item they love and gave a good review to doesn’t automatically make it a product that they need or want to be in their daily routine. Otherwise some would apply 5 moisturisers 3 foundations.. you get the picture. Like you said it’s your item once it’s gifted. If you feel the need to raise funds from it. I don’t see the problem. I think people should mind their own business. I’m not a beauty blogger bit if I decided to put an item of clothi on ebay that’s my choice 🙂 x

  4. anoushkaloves
    24 September, 2014 / 2:32 pm

    The only thing that has ever stopped me from selling on PR samples is the whole declaring the money for tax purposes as you are in theory making an income from it. But, if you are doing everything by the book, then I don’t see a problem in it at all xx

    Anoushka x

  5. Marina Nelson
    25 October, 2014 / 2:04 pm

    I’m actually confused on this whole topic and how it’s even a talking point. Once bought/gifted/reviewed the item is yours to do as you wish. If that means selling then who cares. It’s yours.
    About the example you used of the ‘shiny review then blog sale days later’, I don’t understand why this is an issue… Why should they have to keep it? What if it’s not needed in the long run?

    What next, sample sales are illegal?

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