Reviewing Products on Amazon.com*

Reviewing Products on Amazon.com*
AmazonReviewing

There’s a reason Forbes magazine has rated Amazon.com as one of the world’s most valuable brands. The company is valued at over $175 billion dollars and did almost $75 billion dollars in sales in 2013 alone. Amazon dominates the marketplace, sells products directly as well as providing a venue for third-party sellers to list their wares under the Amazon umbrella – increasing their visibility exponentially compared to traffic they would be able to drive to their individual, independent websites.

With the potential for so many customers to view and, hopefully, purchase their products, sellers have moved in droves to the Amazon marketplace and FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon), which has created a different issue – getting THEIR product to be THE chosen product by consumers. A quick search for nearly ANY product on Amazon frequently results in THOUSANDS of listings for similar products, many seemingly identical.  Most customers look for the image that is most appealing, prices that are reasonable or the best deal, and check the customer reviews to ensure that what is being advertised is really what’s being delivered.  Many of these companies sell amazing products and may have years of success in brick-and-mortar stores, but the seller, or even just the individual product listings, are new to the Amazon marketplace and may not have many (or any) reviews yet. For companies or even individual product listings that are newer to the Amazon marketplace, they can take the best photos, and make their prices and descriptions stand out, but the third factor – the reviews – are often the final deciding factor for customers. These companies need to ensure that customers know and trust that they are real, trustworthy and will really deliver the stellar products they are offering.

This is where Amazon product reviewers come in!

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Being a Brand Ambassador – Tips, Tools & Resources

beingabrandambassador-foredit

There are so many ways to help your favorite brands grow and flourish.  Word-of-mouth buzz, either positive or negative, is one of the oldest and most powerful ways to share experiences with products, services, companies, etc. With the power of social media, in all its forms, companies have recognized that taking an active role in empowering their customers to spread the word is a win-win-win.  It gives enthusiastic consumers an opportunity to try their products and services, either in advance of a wide-spread launch, or at a discounted rate. It gives the companies the honest feedback as well as the buzz to others about those products or services.  And it also gives the potential customers an opportunity to hear true, honest experiences (for better or worse) about something they may  not otherwise have known about, or may have been considering and were looking for more information and feedback before making a final decision.

There are two major arenas in which we actively participate to help spread the word about great companies, products & services.  There are other ways, of course, but primarily we participate as Brand Ambassadors and Product Reviewers (for us, this is mainly Amazon reviews but there are many other retailers that solicit product reviewers as well).  This series of blog posts will focus on Brand Ambassadorship, and we promise to have a series about Product Reviewing very soon.

Being a Brand Ambassador – which is also sometimes called being an Influencer, a WOM (Word-of-Mouth) Marketer, or a participant in UGC (User-Generated Content) – is about helping others find out about products, services, and companies.  For us, it is important that our friends, family and fans hear our honest opinions and we focus our energies on companies that offer products and services that align with our actual day-to-day lives and would be also appeal to the largest group of our friends, family & fans so you can, if you choose, use our experiences as one of the many factors in the decision-making process to commit to a new product, service, vacation, etc.!

To be a successful Brand Ambassador, both for yourself and for the companies with which you engage, there are really only a few criteria that are non-negotiable.  You must be honest, you must be responsive, and you must be willing to speak up.  Honesty is #1, as both your readers and the companies are counting on you to tell the truth about the product/service, without any bias.  You must be responsive, as many times companies and firms will require responses to surveys, questionnaires, or request that you blog, tweet, or post a video within a certain timeframe of receiving and trying the product/service and to have any face-to-face interactions within a certain timeframe as well, then report back to them on how it went.  And you have to be willing to “speak up” in order to successfully spread the word!  Whether that is through blog posts, Twitter parties or individual tweets, running a contest/giveaway, sharing photos or videos on Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or Vine, or just talking to your friends, co-workers or family about the product or service!  If you can be honest, responsive and speak up on a regular basis, you can absolutely be a successful brand ambassador.  If you have a large reach, strong writing skills or are great in front of the camera, you will be up to your ears in opportunities!

If you are just getting started in the Brand Ambassador world, there are quite a few companies out there that offer great introductions and have strong user communities to give tips and guidance.  You can also search for their hashtags on social media to help you find and connect with others who participate with those companies.

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CrowdTap – People-Powered Marketing Platform

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Continuing the series on Social Influence Marketing (product reviews, PR, and direct interaction with brands), we wanted to introduce everyone to Crowdtap. Crowdtap is a fun way for influencers (you!), called Crowdtappers, to interact directly with some of your favorite brands in a variety of ways. Each brand participates in “Quick Hits” which are short polls specific to their products or areas they’re interested in feedback.  There are also “Challenges” and “Missions” which are more interactive and sometimes ask Crowdtappers to visit the brands’ sites, or watch a short video, and provide feedback or your own ideas, with the opportunity to also share via social media.  You will see a lot of well-known brands interacting on the Crowdtap platform, including Verizon, McDonalds, Target, and more.

For the Crowdtappers, there are lots of fun incentives to participate.  Each time you complete a Quick Hit, Challenge or Mission, you are awarded points towards monthly gift card drawings.  The points you earn also allow you to “level up” within each brand, becoming eligible for samples, product testing, and also increasing your visibility to other participating brands.

We’ve been lucky to win quite a few gift cards to Amazon, Walmart, Sephora and other great retailers, as well as sample packs and full-sized products of many kinds through our experiences with Crowdtap! Let us know what exciting products you’ve sampled or prizes you’ve won as a Crowdtapper!

This post is not paid for or sponsored by Crowdtap, or any other sponsor, in any way. The opinions are ours alone and are shared for entertainment purposes only.

Target Trip #3 – 70% Toy Clearance 2015

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We couldn’t resist swinging by YET another Target yesterday to see what they had for toy markdowns.  This was the first store where they had the 70% clearance sign posted in the toy department, so we were VERY hopeful…and we were NOT disappointed!

Here are some of the AMAZING deals we found last night:

trip3girl   trip3boy

  • Doc McStuffins 20 piece play set was marked down from $14.99 to $4.48
  • FurReal Friends Get Up & GoGo My Walkin’ Pup marked down from $49.99 to $14.98
  • Chatsters Gabby Doll was marked down from $64.99 to $19.48
  • Monster High Frankie Stein doll was marked down from $12.99 to $3.88!
  • Zoomer the Robot Dog was marked down from $109.99 to $32.98
  • Hot Wheels Workshop Airbrush Auto Designer Set was marked down from $41.99 to $12.58
  • Tony Hawk Circuit Boards Skate Park was marked down from $49.99 to $14.98 – there were tons of the individual Circuit Boards on 70% clearance (and the accessories) as well!

We also saw Lego sets marked up to 50% off (no 70% yet) including Lego Chima, Lego City, Lego Ultra Agents, and Lego Guardian of the Galaxy sets!

Finally, another friendly reminder that even if the label is still marked 15%, 30% or 50% off, the price may be even lower so before you put it back thinking it’s still high, go check it at the Price Scanner!

trip3mirror

We almost walked right by this adorable Melissa & Doug Decorate Your Own Mirror & Frame set, because it was marked down from $14.99 to $10.48 on the sticker (only 30% off). SO glad we checked it, as it rang up $4.48 (70% off)! P.S. It’s still $14.99 on the Target site and on Amazon.com!

Leave us a comment with what you found at your stores, and be sure to follow our social media accounts for more updates!

Blind Bag Mania – Buy One Get One 50% off – ENDS TOMORROW!

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We were SO pleasantly surprised to find that Target’s Buy One Get One 50% off sale for “Top Toys” included Blind Bags! If your kids are as obsessed with these as our are, we know you’ll want to snag some for gifts, stocking stuffers, or bribes – we mean REWARDS!  The sale applied automatically at the register when we bought My Little Pony blind bags, Minions blind bags and Littlest Pet Shop blind bags. Unfortunately, Shopkins were NOT included in the sale.

Sale ends tomorrow, Saturday 8/1, so grab them while there is still time!

Target Toy Clearance – The Motherload!

We just got back from our second Target location of the day and BOY did we hit the motherload! This store didn’t consolidate either, AND many of the sticker prices were higher than they rang up at the price checker and register so be sure to check everything – you may get an even better deal than you had expected!  Below are some of the great deals we found – everything here was marked 70% off.  We couldn’t believe some of the amazing brands included this year! We also saw lots of Legos, dolls, games, Transformers, Jurassic World cars and trucks, Nerf, science kits, and more included in the clearance. Be sure to check the end caps as well!

Motherload Girl     Motherload Boy

  • Fur Real Friends Roarin’ My Bouncin’ Lion was marked down from $39.99 to $11.68
  • Hape blocks were marked down from $24.99 to $7.48
  • Talking Sofia Styling Head was marked down from $44.99 to $13.48
  • Disney Fairies Light-Up Sky High Tink was marked down from $18.99 to $5.66
  • Snuggle and Glow Dora from Dora and Friends was marked down from $26.99 to $8.08
  • Nerf Rebelle Secret Shot was marked down from $19.99 to $5.98
  • LeapReader Junior books were marked down from $12.19 to $3.65. There were also InnoTab and LeapReader (not just Junior) books on clearance as well.
  • Mega Bloks John Deere Tractor Set was marked down from $22.19 to $6.65
  • Boom Co Dual Defenders were marked down from $17.19 to $5.15
  • Hexbug Vex Robotics Construction Set was marked down from $89.99 to $26.98
  • WWE Double Attack Total Control Takedown was marked down from $25.99 to $8.08

By FAR the best deal we got was the Large Lego Sort and Store head. It retails for $43.99 at Target (and is still listed as $38.97 on Amazon right now!)  and we were able to score TWO at $13.18 each.  These will be AWESOME gifts!

motherload lego head

The Target Toy Clearance inventory and prices varies from region to region and even store to store so your stores may carry different items (or prices).  Be sure to let us in the comments about the best deals you find!

Target One Spot Back-To-School Finds (and Cartwheel Offer!)

We headed over to Target this morning in hopes of catching some great deals on the Annual Toy Clearance and while we were there, we had to check out The One Spot – and were so glad we stopped. Look at this adorable chalkboard sign, perfect for back-to-school photos! It’s marked $3 and you can use the “secret” Cartwheel offer for 30% off making it only $2.10 before tax.

Be sure to add the offer to your Cartwheel account before heading over there, you have to click the link (not a referral link) as it is not publicly available within the app.

http://cartwheel.target.com/offer/40532

As far as Toy Clearance, they haven’t marked down all that much at our local Target yet – most were still marked 30% – 50% off today (mostly 30%) and the toys weren’t yet consolidated into a single aisle, which is traditionally how they’ve displayed the big clearance. Not to worry – we’ll be hitting a few more Targets today and tonight and will keep you posted on any of our great finds!!

Let us know in the comments if you found any other great deals in the One Spot or in Toy Clearance in your local Target!

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more awesome deals & news!

OneSpotChalkBoard

Join Smiley360 for free products to review!

Join Smiley360

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz from people interested in getting their foot in the door to product reviewing, brand ambassadorship, and social media promotion. I feel strongly that social media is a TREMENDOUS asset to companies but also to consumers – especially those of us who bargain hunt, price-compare and look for the best products at the best deals around! Honest, unbiased reviews from our fellow shoppers are a major factor in decision-making, especially with online shopping. I know I ALWAYS read reviews, especially on sites like Amazon.com, to help me make my final decisions!

To help you all join in the excitement of product reviewing, I’m going to run a series of posts letting you in on some of the best-kept secrets in the product review blogging world – sites that provide free or heavily discounted products in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews.  If you are interested in getting started in the product review arena, companies like Smiley360 and a few others I’ll post about shortly are a GREAT way to learn the ropes!  Tip: Make sure you absolutely ALWAYS disclose in your review that the product was provided for free/as a sample/at a discount in exchange for your review.

Be sure to click the image above or click this link to join Smiley360 and get started.

I’ll be linking to other great sites in the coming days – if there are any you’re especially anxious to learn more about, leave a comment or tweet and let me know, and I will put it at the top of the list!

Influenster’s Beat The Heat Summer Sweeps!

Join Influenster today for a chance to win a GoProHero4, Keurig 2.0, Influenster Tote Bag, or a MegaBox in their amazing Beat The Heat Summer Sweeps!! Influenster is a community for social media hotshots to share news, products, and reviews. Join now and flex your influence for rewards!  Follow my link to sign up!

http://www.influenster.com/r/1275696?utm_campaign=sum

 

Target toy clearance and stacking opportunity!

Target is running a Buy One Get One (BOGO) 50% off sale for some licensed characters including bedding, school supplies and – most importantly – TOYS. Why is this the most important? Because this week is most likely the beginning of the famous 70% off toy clearance sale at Target AND the ad makes not mention of excluding clearance merchandise!

I was able to use this promo on two My Litte Pony games that were already on clearance today. These will make great birthday gifts for classmates in the coming weeks!

Be sure to comment to let us know  the great deals you score this week!
As always, store policy may vary but absolutely worth asking at your store!

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