The London Parchment is a blog mostly dedicated to the multitude of analogue writing tools we use to capture and document the environment around us. It’s been running for nearly three years now, so I receive offers of free or discounted stationery products fairly often. The London Parchment does not receive any sponsorship (i.e. there is no advertising on the site, paid posts, etc) and does not contain any affiliate links (where the writer/blog earns a small fee from products bought through links contained on the site). I’m just a Londoner using stationery and analogue tools because I’m incredibly passionate about doing so, and because I love to create and collect and write and draw and doodle.
I have written my approach to reviewing products both from the reader and brand perspective below.
If you read this blog, thank you! I hope you recognise the sincere effort I take to consider the stationery I’m using, and the whys, whens and hows of using it. As a reader, you can be sure that I will always:
- State in the post if I have received the product at a discounted price, if I received that discount because of my blog;
- State in the post if I received the product for free;
- State if I have any other relationship or arrangement with the brand;
- Make sure that my views are not swayed by any of the above. That may seem an easy thing to say, but generally, I believe that small businesses and stationery companies are not looking for whitewashed reviews. It’s not fair to you as the reader or the company who sent me the product to hide elements that I feel could be improved upon. I always try to write in a respectful and constructive manner about the product and brand, whether I bought it myself, or not;
- Ensure that I have properly used and tested the product. That generally includes use on a daily basis for at least one to two weeks, with a multitude of tools (e.g. pens should be used with many different types of paper and vice versa, etc), being transported in my bag, etc. I will do my best to photograph the product before I started using it and after using it, to show you what I see.
If you would like me to review a product of yours, thank you also! I am very happy to hear about from you, whether I’m aware of your brand or product already or not. The best way to get in contact is by emailing me at email@example.com.
However, I ask you to note the following:
- Please allow me to fit the use of the product into my life as I wish. It’s very unlikely that I won’t be using another version of what you’re sending me already. For example, I prefer to complete notebooks I’m using before getting onto another one (which usually results in me wasting paper), unless I have a specific use for another notebook. I will do my best to let you know when I’m likely to actually start using your product.
- Please allow me the time to use the product. I won’t do small tests to evidence how I feel about a product (e.g. a few lines of writing). I need to genuinely use it, see how it deals with wear and tear, see how it ages, and see how it fits into my life. I will do my best to estimate for you when I am likely to have formed my thoughts on the product.
- You are, of course, more than welcome to tell me that my estimated use and review timescales do not fit with your expectations, and offer your product to another writer to review.
- Please tell me any key points you would like me to bear in mind when using and considering the product. For example, does it use recycled materials? Is it locally-made, or not locally-made? What are you proud of about it?
- I own the copyright to any photos I take of your product. Please do ask first if your brand would like to share it for any other reason than to link to my review.
- I might courteously decline your offer to receive a free or discounted product. I don’t wish for you to waste your product on The London Parchment if I’m not going to use it. If you are interested, I would be happy to explain to you why that is (perhaps I already have the product, I don’t feel like it would fit into my uses/preferences/routines, I feel uncomfortable with aspects of your brand, etc).
I hope that tells you everything you need to know about how The London Parchment works and my approach to writing. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!