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Need advice on lending products for a photoshoot

Someone recently contacted me on etsy asking to borrow a few of my hats for a photoshoot. She styles children for magazines and would like to use a few of my hats. I would love to be featured in a magazine, but I generally consider my designs womens hats, although they are for anyone who enjoys them. Also in fairness to my customers I would generously discount anything that had been previously worn. So basically is any publicity good publicity, and it seems to me to be a bit sketchy to borrow something.

9 Responses

i'd ask her to buy them since you can't re-sell them if they've been worn. Perhaps offer a small discount. Explain that you can't lend them because of health issues.

Almost all product placements are donated or borrowed, so it isn't weird unless this is for a magazine this person prints out of their basement. Do a little research on the publication first and see if the children's magazine is a good fit for your company image. Also find out how many people read this magazine and who they are, if you can (is it Family Circle or some small, local pub). If the magazine is a good fit, then make sure you know how you will be credited in the magazine. Will it be in the caption accompanying the picture or will it be in teeny tiny print in a source list in the back? Will you be able to link or reference this magazine in the future to say that you had a product featured in it? What will happen if these kiddos ruin your hats? I think if you cover your bases, it could be good exposure because I'm sure lots of hat-wearing women read children's magazines. They say there is no such thing as bad PR, but there is such a thing as getting nothing out of a huge headache and wasting your time, so just make sure you don't do that. Good luck! PS - I'm new to Etsy and am learning, but I worked for a PR firm once upon a time, so I know a little about that.
I agree with Sunny. Offer a discount, but I wouldn't send them for free. What if they never even get used and you're out the product and the publicity. I hate to be cynical, but I just hear about scams so often that you have to consider it. Even if it isn't a scam at all, you're still out the product.

Is there a way you could work it out so if you got so much $ in sales directly from her ad that you could refund the price of the hats later? I don't know all the technicalities of this kind of thing, just throwing some ideas out there.
I get approached by so many people for this, that I started to realize that it's a benefit for them, not me. If it was indeed such a great opportunity, this kind of thing wouldn't present itself so often. Unless it's for the Martha Stewart mag or something equal, the answer is no.
I had a photographer contact me and ask for $200 worth of items for a photo shoot. I checked her out thoroughly. She hit our target demographic and had a excellent reputation, so we shipped. In return, we have access to her professional photography of our products, and her photo shoot has already been listed on two blogs, and we have gotten views from the blogs. All in all, it's been a win-win situation.

The items were returned in fine shape.

Check her out. If she has a good reputation, you could be getting professional photography of your products. That's worth quite a bit.
I am a wardrobe stylist in Toronto. Unless they are local and you can show up on set with your product to ease your mind I would not do it. Yes, loans and pulls for publication are typically unpaid. Often you can ask for a depoist or restocking fee (this means if you need to have the hats cleaned to resell at full value you charge that amount) If it is a random far off person asking over etsy ask them to purchase all the hats and upon their return and receipt you will return the payment less a deposit to cover their inactivity on your site. About 15% - 25% if they get haughty about this they are prob not a stylist and just conning for free product or they are not a very good stylist and it is not going to get published anywhere that will increase your business flow anyway.

I am contacted for this regularly and I always ask for lots of information on them, the magazine, the place I'm shipping to and I want to be able to look up a legitimate email and phone number online and use them to confirm the persons intentions ..not a personal phone number. Usually they can provide me all of that info and they give me their fedex account info so the items are shipped overnight at their expense. I include a detailed manifest of everything I've sent with labels on every item and a second manifest taped to the box. Usually the items are returned within a couple weeks.

Most of the experiences I have had have been good ..except one ..that was a children's magazine. Out of curiousity, were you contacted by Child Style Magazine?
We let a magazine borrow some dresses but we had them sign a contract before we shipped them.
It was a stylist who asked for them, she offered to send me prints of the pictures in exchange for using them. I think I'm just going to politely decline the offer. I appreciate all the advice very much, I think I just needed to hear its not a bad move to say no : )

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