The Problem with Influenster, PinchMe and BzzAgent

The Problem with Influenster, PinchMe and BzzAgent

Nov 3, 2018, 6:13:37 AM Opinion

Marketing sites are on the rise, are they worth your time?


They initially contacted me to sign up. While I did receive a nice introductory box, it took me a while to get anything else. Mostly because I kept missing those freebie Tuesdays. I did manage to get a magazine subscription, but I hardly read print anymore. From the looks of their Instagram account, it seemed full-size products in boxes were being dished out weekly. 

However little did I know. The full-size product boxes were only for VIP bloggers, everybody else would get small samples. The samples took the longest time to arrive. It's like they choose the cheapest and slowest postal service. In all that time that I wait for my "freebies" to arrive, I would get emails about needing to complete my feedback and reminders for submitting the feedback deadline. Ok I get it but I still don't have the stuff.

Well I finally did get my first freebie, honestly I was disappointed. It wasn't a full-size bottle of mayo, it was a small sample. Luckily they included a coupon for redemption of a full-size bottle. Ok cool, why would they send a full-size bottle of mayo in the mail? It would melt anyway in this wretched heat, so I reasoned.

So I trek out to get it, take my fancy photo and post it. I get another email stating that I need to post my review on the retailer's site with an ultimatum that I would be disqualified from future samples.

After the mayo, I manage to get samples of the Whole Blends Shampoo and Conditioner and the Garnier Fructis Hair Mask.

Yup you guessed it. I waited until a small envelope arrives. It's the Garnier Fructis hair mask which is so tiny, I don't know how I could possibly effect a review on the nothingness that it did for my hair. I mean it smelled great. Smelled like bananas but it was the avocado one. Go figure. And this one had NO COUPON towards the purchase of one or any dollar amount off. 

The Whole Blends sample —I just knew it's not going to be full-size bottles—but just seeing a blank paper to which it was attached and no coupon, I'm falling fast into disappointment. Plus the sample amount isn't enough for my length of hair.

After you received samples, they contact you to inquire whether you've purchased the product and as always completing feedback on their site and the brand's. 

My experience has been interesting to say the least with three marketing sites that are on the rise. Just how long will they be around though? This type of marketing may increase a company's bottom line, but are they worth your time?

It's cool to get free stuff but I don't think it's worth the hassle. The only thing good out of all three was the mayo because you got a full-size product. Even if there was a dollar off coupon, it still would have meant something. I think it boosts a consumer's vote of confidence in a product if said company or marketing dude believes in the product enough, they'll send you the actual product.

It's a rather shady attempt to sell stuff through YOUR social media efforts. Sending a miniature sample then having you rave about it and post a pic that you got a "sample" for free. Boy are these guys saving millions on advertising costs.


Their rating score made me feel as if my social presence was never good enough for any of their campaigns. I was forever filling out surveys. It took them forever to offer me a campaign or have me "qualify" for one. They kept saying that I never completed the questions and that I didn't connect my social media accounts. Which I did. And if I didn't do that, I would be marked for deletion. Is this starting to sound like some dystopian science fiction flick with Shailene Woodley?

I seriously wonder how much of these marketing companies are run by bots.

I forgot how much time I spent answering survey questions. But after a year, I finally qualified for a campaign. I get the email exclaiming:"You're in!"
Whoa! And what am I in for? Wait for it...

Downy Unstoppables!

Yep I already use these, well I used to. But same story, I get emails about how I have to start posting how wonderful these are.

But I haven't gotten the product yet!

Until today. I finally got them today. How do you pretty up sample packets of laundry detergent? Any flat lay suggestions? Are they not able to sell this stuff and are doing campaigns? Makes you wonder.

Oh and those emails about completing surveys to get points so you can get your free Naked palette? The surveys that never end. Ever. There must be a surplus of Naked palettes in a warehouse somewhere!

Maybe I'll just let my candidacy for these amazing campaigns die in the internet waste heap of marketing nonsense.

An update:

I logged into Bzzagent for this campaign and tried to complete a task. They wanted you to type up who you talk to about Downy Unstoppables (and what) —which I did but my submission was rejected. Then I see they want a specific style of media. You MUST take a slo-mo video or a Boomerang video of the product and other specifics or they will reject it. Flat-lay or box pics are not acceptable content.

I'm really turned off now. This product has been on the market for few years now. I can't really muster up excitement over a product I've used and it's not even my favorite scent. I'm sure there are people out there who have not used it and should be the target for this campaign. Again I am not posting detergent on my makeup account. 


While I did eventually cancel my account with BzzAgent, I was contacted by them again. They touted that they had changed their site and had a new team. They wanted me in on their new, amazing campaign—Getting a flu shot from Walgreens and having your friends and family get a flu shot too. I received several emails with ultimatums that spots were filling up fast and I was going to lose such a fabulous opportunity. I chuckled and moved the emails to my Junk folder.


What can I say? It used to be good. It was exciting, but I'm lost. I haven't gotten anything since last year. The last thing I got I remember was the VoxBox had a can of corn. I don't blog about corn but they sent me corn. I guess from the metrics and social media accounts that I connected to in order to sign up to Influenster, they somehow came to the conclusion that I needed to be sent a can of corn. To this day, I still get likes on my review (I know because I get email notifications, quite a fan club starting there if you ask me, Duchess of Corn). I never knew my review of corn could effect so many in such positive ways. I've made such a difference! 

So what was great? I was getting makeup in the early days of Influenster. I remember the KVD products, the YSL mascara and the Loreal moisturizer (poorly executed imo). You can't just throw somebody a new face cream and expect them to drop what they're using. Reaction? Allergies? Takes a while to adjust and I never did like that cream! But I'm happy if it worked for you.

The rest were food products of which the can of corn was the most memorable.
Never ever got lipstick. Even though that's what I mainly blog about on my makeup site.

My commentary is brutally honest when it comes to marketing sites. There are flaws to them. I see so many comments of people who follow and post reviews in hopes of getting their first box but they never do!

Free stuff is limited, I get it. And it's only for a few select elite hence why PR lists are so small. You either have it or don't. Just like in the days of modeling agencies, if they like "your look", they'll sign you on and the world of opportunity will open up and the PR boxes will flow. I remember those days but I was told I didn't have "the look" being rail thin and blonde.

With so many folks who blog about products, I guess these sites help distribute the crumbs to the rest of us.

So how do you feel about marketing sites?
Visit and Follow:

Published by Anna Aaron

Comment here...

Login / Sign up for adding comments.