Getting started as a reviewer isn’t easy. It might sound easy, but it’s not. It takes a lot of time, you have to review products you don’t care about, and you’re probably gonna suck at first. But don’t worry – you’ll get better and eventually get better products. Ignore the haters (you’ll get them, we all do) and keep doing your thing. And as your channel grows, you’ll have more opportunities to get free products to review.
At first, you might be tempted to reach out to companies for free products, but if you’re not an established reviewer, don’t waste your time. Trust me, I tried doing this at the beginning of my vape reviewer journey and I failed. I contacted about 50 companies and not one of them wanted to work with me!
If you don’t have subscribers on YouTube, followers on social media, or a lot of traffic on your blog, they aren’t interested. Companies use reviewers to promote their business or products, so they want people with influence.
As your channel grows, companies will start to notice. They’ll come to you. Until then, focus on providing great content.
But if you do a have a decent following and you still don’t have vape stores banging on the door, there are some good companies who like to work with smaller reviewers.
BuyBest.com is one of the newer distributors making a name for themselves recently, although they’ve been around for a while. They have a great program where you can post a review anywhere, such as your website, social media, forums, and blogs, and they’ll pay anywhere from $3 to $50 for the review. If you have a decent following, they accept requests from reviewers and will send free products. In my experience, they send a list of products they want to be reviewed and you get to pick 1-2 items to review. Learn more about their program here.
The folks over at Heaven Gifts are great. They work with lots of lesser-known reviewers and they even send out products that are brand new and have just hit the market. But if you’re a smaller reviewer, you’ll get the cheap stuff, like a $20 sub-ohm tank that might not sell so well. Still good products though! Usually. Go to their contact page to send them a message
They require at least 2,500 YouTube subscribers (as of 2018). I have yet to meet their criteria, so I don’t know how they work, but that’s what they told me when I asked. But if you keep at it long enough, you’ll get there (and so will I!). When you do, send them a message either on their site or on Facebook and they’ll get back to you quickly to let you know if you make the cut. They also have a Product Reviewers request page, but I’m not sure how up-to-date it is since they don’t talk about it anywhere on their site.
Sourcemore.com is a great distributor based out of China and as such, they have access to tons of products. I’ve also found that they usually run some pretty good deals, so I have no problems at all recommending them to my subscribers. They’ll often let you pick the products you want to review. I’m not totally sure about their criteria, but I believe you’ll need somewhere above at least 1,500 subscribers before they will work with you.
GearBest.com was one of the first companies to ever work with me. This was when I only had several hundred subs on YouTube. Over time, my contact at Gearbest left for another job and the person who filled his shoes never followed up with me, so I no longer get anything from them, but I’ll always be grateful to them for helping me get my start. If they were willing to work with me with less than 500 subs, there’s a good chance they’ll work with you if you reach out to them. They have a Pro Program page where you can request to work with them.
If you have a good following, they are willing to give you a chance but be prepared to perform well. I’m not saying you should lie in your review, but give them props for sending you stuff, shout them out on social, and make it worth their while. My reviews were positive, but they chose not to work with me after the first time. That’s okay, I understand. But they gave me a chance and that was awesome of them. Send them a message from their site.