I’ve mentioned at a couple of blogger events that as a new blogger, I kind of jumped at every opportunity to partner, even if the brand asked for money upfront. I know now that that is a no-no, and I won’t call out some of those brands because, honestly, I have made a couple sales through their affiliate programs. Not enough to recoup even the cost of what I originally purchased, but there is a chance to make that money back if you hustle hard enough, I’m sure.
I would recommend staying clear of any affiliate/ partnership program that asks you to buy the product yourself and share it with your readers because, frankly, you never know if you’re going to make that money back. However, most of these programs have also been totally transparent with me so I can’t really fault smaller companies for trying to gain a following and make a buck. It’s not really how brand partnerships should be done, but that’s another topic for another post.
There’s also a collective of shady biatches that I will 100% tell all of my readers and fellow bloggers to stay away from. Apparently, they’re all under the same umbrella of crap. The first is Nora NYC. They contacted me earlier this summer about an affiliate program where all I had to do was buy their sunnies half off and advertise with a special code and make money. Mmmmk well I’m a sunny-junkie so I figured why not. The sunglasses came in and I’m telling you it felt like my head was in a damn vice. They were cute, sure, but so uncomfortable that I couldn’t in good conscious advertise them to my readers. Essentially money down the drain on that one since I couldn’t return them. Also, that code they sent me for my readers- a generic code that gives my readers a discount but does nothing for me. Not much of a partnership, huh?
Then, recently, I started getting emails in my inbox from Chic Wish List. I never signed up for these emails, but they caught my attention, so I checked them out. I’m a big fan of fast fashion sites, so I recognized some of their products as the same type of thing I would find on, let’s say, SheIn… but marked up into the hundreds of dollars. Last Thursday, they tagged me on Instagram and asked me to be a brand ambassador. I decided to check it out just for the heck of it.
Tassel Detail PU Crossbody Bag With Ring Handle available from SheIn Note: I know these bags are not exactly the same, but both are PU aka polyurethane aka not real leather or even vegan leather. Great for a fun cheapy- def not worth $265.
First of all, the language was very unclear- was I getting a necklace for free or was I paying a discounted price on the item plus a free gift? I knew this site looked shady so I decided to follow through with the set up until it asked me for money, just to see. WELP- the cheap crap marked up x100 would not be free but “heavily discounted.” Nope. Wasn’t paying for it. Stopped what I was doing and looked up Mirina scam and Chic Wish List scam and found hundreds of blog posts and videos calling them out on their BS. I believe that Mirina is the umbrella company and that Nora NYC is part of it, but I’m not 100% sure. They may just be sister-scammers. It seems like they make most of their money convincing bloggers to buy their junk, but that’s just my own speculation.
Check out the video below for a detailed rant of one experience that kind of covers all the bad stuff they’ve been doing to bloggers, and I assume, other customers.