As the founder of a gourmet beef jerky subscription box, Stick in a Box, I tend to get a lot of inbound requests for free samples. Most often, these requests come from "subscription box bloggers" looking to do a review.

When I first started the company in 2014, I was more than willing to send a box out at anyone's request. I mean, it really seemed like a no brainer--ship a box at minimal cost and get a favorable review (which is what most promise) to a group of people who are interested in subscriptions. Duh.

What I quickly came to realize is that, 99% of the time, the only one that wins in this scenario is the "blogger". With the exception of a select few, most of these people are fly-by-night hustlers that whip together a template, muster up a few social followers and start spamming box founders with canned pitches. Their only goal: to get free products.

Additionally, after giving it some thought, it occurred to me that, even if they did have a readership of any kind, I cater to beef jerky fanatics, not subscription box fanatics.
Needless to say, I started being a bit more selective on those that I approved.

However, there are a lot of subscription boxes out there that are still taking the bait, therefore the hustlers are multiplying and the pitches are still rolling in, including the one below.

Just some unsolicited advice for all of you hustlers out there: Don't do this ...


Let's breakdown where "Mr. Way With Words" went wrong:

"Hello, my name is Tommy ..."

Hi, Tommy, I'm Dana. Wish you would have clicked one link to figure that out before you emailed me. I'm not deleting you yet, but you're already on thin ice, sir.

"I get 600 views a month on my blog, and I am a great writer ..."

Assuming that all 600 of those views are unique and, I'll go on a limb and also assume that 100% of them like to eat food, I'm still struggling to understand why you told me this. You couldn't have thought this would help your case, did you?

And, don't even get me started on the "great writer" statement.

"I have a Facebook page, with 8 followers, 4 followers on Twitter, 1 follower on my blog and everyone that reads my blog says it is great."

Hold the presses ... did you just follow up those impressive stats with the words, "everyone that reads my blog"? I just ... I mean ... I don't know what to say.

Look, not to be a dick, but c'mon. What color is the sky in your world?

"In return for this, I will let you link my blog from your website."

Wait, are you trying to trick me with your verbal shell game? You certainly meant that you would link my website to YOUR blog, correct? I mean, you did mention you're a great writer, but even the best make mistakes.

"Plus everyone I asked said that your box was horrible and I want to prove them wrong."

If I'm not mistaken, Tommy, that was a backhanded compliment. Very sweet of you.
While it devastates me to no end that your combined 13 followers (and growing, I'm sure) don't like me, it gives me comfort knowing that YOU have the power and influence to convince them otherwise.

"... always active. here is the link to my main blog" and "Thankyou;"

Not to be "that guy", but any time you start a new sentence, you should always capitalize the first letter of the first word. Also, "Thank you" is two words, not one and should not be followed by a semicolon.

But, you're a great writer, so I'm sure you knew that already.


In a slight twist, I've decided to accept Tommy's offer and send him a box, because nothing would make my world more complete then to write a follow up post titled, This is the Worst Post Ever Written about My Company.

While the pitch technically worked, it's purely for my own trollish obsessions.

So, as they say, stay tuned ...

Published on: Sep 29, 2015
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