Building a reviews website: how can I get samples from companies to review?


I looking to build a niche CNET type of site. My niche is reviewing fitness products like FitBit. How can I get companies to provide me a review unit? I would return it back after testing it out and reviewing it for them.

Review Startups Fitness

asked Mar 2 '14 at 02:22
Brenda Carpenter
45 points
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3 Answers


Contact someone in their PR department with your intentions. If you're targeting a niche that they would like to break into then you'll have an easier time. Otherwise you might have to purchase fitness products at first until you build a more significant audience.

I used to write reviews for video games. It was notoriously difficult for new sites to get review copies of games let alone actual hardware. However, since I was one of the first sites to serve women gamers it was much easier to get the attention of big companies like Nintendo.

answered Mar 2 '14 at 18:29
Lindsey Wilson
565 points
  • +1 Excellent tip about contacting their PR people instead of generic support. – Chrissie Gray 9 years ago


This is a bit chicken and egg. If you have an empty site and no visitors, it's going to be hard to justify asking for test units.

As Garet Claborn says - you should just ask them.

If they say no, then you either buy a unit of your own, or borrow one from a friend, or find a stranger with one, and give them something small in exchange for borrowing. Once you'd got a bunch of products reviewed and traffic to your site, you'll find it easier to get test units.

answered Mar 2 '14 at 10:49
Nick Stevens
4,436 points


Have you tried simply contacting them? Many companies are willing to send products, without returns, to reviewers. Direct mail / cold calling a corporate office is rather hit/miss - so try to find the best positioned person within the companies to contact.

Aside from this, especially to get started, you can just go to a few gyms. Write down the model of different equipment you use and compare different ellipticals, resistance training sets, etc..

answered Mar 2 '14 at 02:40
Garet Claborn
324 points

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Review Startups Fitness