Now I Get It

 Posted by at 12:30 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 122011
 

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not real bright, but eventually even I get it, whatever “it” happens to be at the time. Maybe not right away, but sooner or later I can figure most things out. Unless, of course, they are mechanical or feminine. With those two, I’m always lost. 🙂

Anyway, I was confused for a while when a fellow named Seth Norman contacted me a week or so ago and sent me not one, not two, but three 1,000 to 1,500 word press releases about a new footstool that he is marketing for RV passengers to use when on the road, in the co-pilot’s seat. The press releases included several studio quality photos of the product. The following (in italics) is from Mr. Norman’s cover letter:

“Nick, I never miss your daily log and love it, and while I am not a subscriber to the highly respected Gypsy Journal, your reputation for excellent unbiased writing is something every RV scribe must envy. I know that with your wide readership in the blog and RV paper you have exactly the audience I hope to reach. I know that good coverage of our product on your part can help us achieve our initial sales goals. Please use the attached photos and product reviews in your upcoming blogs and printed edition. Thank you for being on our team.”

We have a policy that we only review products that we have actually used, or that one of our readers has used and given us a good report on. How can I tell you that the new XYZ Gizmodo works perfectly and will give you years of good service, if I have never seen the thing? We feel that if a company will not supply us with a review sample of their product, it is not fair to our readers to give it our endorsement, because we’d be lying.

I responded to Mr. Norman and told him that if he would send us one of his footstools, we would try it out and write an honest, non-biased review. He immediately e-mailed back and asked for my credit card number, to cover the purchase of the footstool and shipping. Huh? He wants me to buy his product, and then give him free publicity? I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. I could go broke in a week or two buying everything that gets offered to me for review. I replied that if Mr. Norman wanted to send us a sample footstool to review, we’d be happy to do so, but we don’t pay for items to review. Here is his response:

“Nick, You’re kidding me, right? You want me to send you a $75 footstool for free, in exchange for a review in your paper and blog? And you don’t even have to write the review, I supplied you with three of them! Who do you think you are, the New York Times? You publish a tiny little rag with a limited circulation. Get over yourself!”

Like I said, sometimes it takes me a while, but eventually I do catch on. I guess if I’m giving away free publicity to an audience of thousands of RVers, I have a “highly respected” publication. But if I expect somebody to supply me with a sample of their product to review, it’s just a “tiny little rag with limited circulation.” Very interesting. So I guess this means I’m off his team too?

Well, I tried, but I guess if you want to read about Mr. Norman’s neat new footstool, you’ll have to look elsewhere. We are not worthy. I bet the rest of those RV scribes out there don’t really envy me either. 🙁

Thought For The Day – Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  43 Responses to “Now I Get It”

  1. Thanks for sharing this with us – it was a great laugh! Some people are just too, too funny.

    I wonder how much free publicity he is going to drum up?? Seems like the answer would be “none” – but I’m usually wrong about stuff like this. 🙂

  2. Like you, Nick, I publish a specialty magazine, and all I can say is “Been there, done that.” Hardly a week goes by that I don’t get a solicitation to run somebody’s fluff piece. And like you, my policy is only to review products I have tested. And like this guy, most of them are offended when I won’t give them free publicity. I feel like, if they won’t invest in the cost of one of their items to let me review it, why should I invest pages in my magazine to tout their products?

  3. I think he has now managed to keep his product from being purchased by the all the motorhome readers of your miniscule rag and all of the rest of your readers who might be interested in a footstool. I imagine the majority of us will also start looking for ads for footstools to try to figure out who this jerk represents so we can pass the word about him to our friends.

  4. What an idiot that guy is! He doesn’t get what he wants for “free” so all the “flowery” words to you turn to “barbs”. But great fodder for your “blog”.

  5. What an idiot! (Seth, not you.:) When I first started reading this entry, I was excited to learn about the product. I frequently stick a toolbox on the passenger side to put my feet on when traveling. When I saw “RV footstool” I thought “Cool! Where can I get one?” After reading about this jerk, I think I’ll stick with the toolbox.

  6. I thought the foot stool sounded like a good idea. I end up putting my feet up on the dashboard. But given how he dissed YOU, I wouldn’t pay a nickel for his product. There was NO CALL for the personal insults, esp. after the original “compliments”. Sheesh!

  7. Seth Norman is a fool with a stool. He goes from stating that your publiction will make his product a success, but he won’t send you a free sample — which would cost him all of $20 plus S&H. Talk about not putting your money where your mouth is at.

  8. Nick;
    I’m not so sure you’d want a stool sample from this guy.

  9. $75 for a footstool ! I think we paid $8 or $10 for a plastic one that folded and tucked away when not in use. It worked fine and was light-weight.

  10. Nick
    If I ever see a footstool for sale at $75 i’ll know for sure not to buy it. I think this clown is the one who should get over himself. That’s why I like you and your blog you don’t make any lame compromises. Guess that means I won’t see you running for congress soon.

  11. He should try to get one of those newspaper that he has great respect for to give him the publicity that he thinks he deserves by offering this “wonderful” footstool” to such a “respected” paper.

  12. Haha! Actually, boo hoo. I pity him a little, because whatever time and materials (? $75) he put into it would have made a great investment in his company’s future. Better than buying advertising. And, if that wasn’t possible, he couldn’t say “Bummer, I wish I could afford to do that. It would be a boon to me to have you rest your lovely feet on my product”?

    Good Sam made me a similar “offer.” Kissy kissy what a great blog smooch really valuable, then “use these keywords and make them link here.” I asked if she was offering me a paid writing gig, and our correspondence ended abruptly.

    Roxanne

  13. Thanks again for the laugh of the morning. My cup of coffee and your blog – great way to start the day!

  14. Another example of someone who may have a good product but doesn’t know how to run a business.

  15. LOL. Always up for a laugh first thing in the morning !!! The RVing community is a wonderful tight group but we always get a chigger or two now and then. LOL.

  16. I was just thinking how different this is from the Strongback chair. Based on your review, I purchased one for the DW. She could not be happier … she even drags it into the mh to use sometimes. Most everything we buy for the mh is based on personal usage by others. If you buy something for the house and it does not workout, it goes to storage … in the MH it just gets in the way.

  17. To Seth c/o Nick

    Sir: (I’m from the South and was raised to be polite)

    Since I don’t have a motorhome and no blog, send me one. I’ll try it out and won’t tell anybody what I think.

    Sincerely,

    Mike

  18. This guy Norman is unreal! I have had several small businesses over the decades and couldn’t imagine writing something like that after I asked for a positive review. When we had a manufacturing business we used to run ads in trade publications and they cost us thousands each time. We used to spend $100k/year doing this and really appreciated when a publication would run a new product announcement at no charge or include us in an article or quote us on something. So this Norman guy proves himself to be an idiot since he couldn’t bring himself to spend the cost of a sample product to gain hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of advertising and product endorsement. Priceless!

  19. Gypsy journal rags. I like the idea. Maybe they can be sold at the rally.

  20. The jerk won’t give you a free footstool but he wants you to give him free advertising. How does he see that as fair? Plus, he wants you to use a review he wrote?!!!

    For those of you who were tempted, this foot stool is getting rave reviews from people RVing in Sprinter based motorhomes and it is on sale for $25. http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/X6.aspx?GrpTyp=PRD&ItemID=1912acf&submit%20search.y=0&Ntt=Studio+Cooper+Folding+Ottoman&SearchString=Studio+Cooper+Folding+Ottoman&Ne=4+840+877+878+5+961+6+968+29+3+598+11+15+12+506+10+23+585+596+963+579+1031+8+1022+1014+586+1007+879+1027+18+904+903+969+833+949&hdnOnGo=true&NOffset=0&submit%20search.x=0&Nao=0&N=4294959029&SO=0&PSO=0&CmCatId=searchresults

  21. Don’t fret over the one percenters out there. Although they are somewhat like gnats.

  22. Makes me wonder if this guy has a Marketing Plan or has ever heard of a Business Plan. Your reaction to a very potential money maker idea just blew out the window. Perhaps, he needs to get ove himself and take take time out to learn how to run a business. Good luck Dude with the stool! 🙂

  23. People are just the most entertaining thing on earth, aren’t they??? While I’m not an RVer, I enjoy reading your blog and don’t want any free advertising for anything. All I can say is that some folks have a lot of nerve. I enjoy Bad Nick too. He tells it like it is. Keep it up.

  24. So this guy wants you to promote a product that you haven’t used, based on his review. If it turns out to be a piece of junk, you have ruined your credibility with your readers that you have worked for years to establish. Gee, i don’t know why you didn’t jump on this Nick!!!

  25. For a couple of years, I’ve been tempted to order a foot rest from Magellan’s but, thus far, haven’t. There are a couple of interesting possibilities in the foot rest category that I look at periodically at this site: http://www.magellans.com/store/In_Flight_Comfort___Foot_Rests

    Maybe something there would appeal to some of your other readers, Nick. But as tempted as I may be to buy a foot rest in the near future, I won’t be giving ANY consideration to “Seth Norman”….you betcha!

  26. Next he will want a free booth at a GJ Rally. Bet he doesn’t get that either.

  27. So glad you published this…and his name. There are too many bullies and scammers out there. Good for you.

    Oh, by the way…I’m so excited that I subscribe to a “rag”! I was always afraid to buy the “rags” on the newstands at the grocery because I didn’t want people to see what my guilty pleasures were. Now, I can read your “rag” without any guilt and without anyone knowing what I’m doing:) Thanks Nick for coming out and printing this article. It’s made my day.

  28. Your “rag” may have limited circulation but it is read by a very target market. Seth Norman has managed to insult all of us and make certain that we will NOT purchase his product. It WAS good for a laugh though. Since he reads your blog everyday, I certainly hope he reads this one…and the comments!

  29. I’m also slow to catch on. I use to have trouble with telemarketers simply because I was too polite to hang up. The thing I didn’t catch on to immediately is that they have put thousands of manhours into figuring out the ‘right’ answer to any question or attempt to pass on the gizmo. So, one day a friend of mine taught me his trick which still allows me to be civil but has drastically reduced the phone calls.

    I answer the phone, find out that it’s a sales call, and then politely say I am not interested. As the begin with the ‘talk through’ of my answer I once again say I am not interested and sit the phone down. Now they can talk on endlessly to themself – on their dime. It’s much like being a waitress, it’s all about turning over the calls and volume. I’ve now tied up their time with no possibility of a sale. And guess what, I’ve been polite but I’m off doing my things for the day. As I pass back by the phone I hang it up. Simply hanging up may seem right but try letting THEM tie themselves on a dead call and you’ll find that the calls start dropping off. ……and I’ve done my part, after all, I told them twice I was not interested – take a hint.

  30. We ran a family newspaper for years, and had the same thing all the time. And not one of the jerks looking for free publicity ever wanted to spend a dollar on advertising. What did our (or your) overhead matter to them?

  31. They say perception is reality and I wouldn’t buy anything or recommend buying anything from a man that trashes your magazine. If he reads your blog daily he would know that you don’t recommend things that you haven’t tried. I bet he doesn’t read your blog or know anything about you. What a con artist he appears to be.

  32. Love how some people think,, He’s just trying to sell his stool’s,,, When he should be trying to elimate his stool,,,

  33. Thirty-two responses and still nothing from Mr. Norman…

    Can you hear me now, Seth!

  34. I love how you handled this guy! This indicates to me your treasured experience in your field of work. We have a motorhome and the co-pilot’s seat has a built-in foot rest that extends with the forward push of a lever at the side of the seat. This Seth character will surely be hawking his “stool” in Q-site in January..

  35. Nick, I bought an app, actually 2 apps for my iPhone because of your mention of them. I am so satisfied with those apps that I have encouraged my traveling friends to look into them. The value of that kind of positive word of mouth advertising is apparently lost on Ol’ Norm. Shortsightedness could lead to failure of his product.
    Ol’ Ponts

  36. I sold advertising for a senior citizens’ newspaper for 19 years before retiring a year ago. I can’t tell you how many times the editor would receive something just like you did and would drop it on my desk saying “Looks like an ad to me!” Stick to your guns!

  37. I bought a fold-up plastic stool from rvsurplus.net the last time I was in Elkhart — only cost me thirteen bucks. BTW, I can never go into that store without coming out with more than I planned to get! 🙂

  38. Stick to your guns, Nick. You at least you were decent enough to reply politely to this “gentleman” and explain your policy. And you ended up giving him his money’s worth and more. Bad publicity like this can’t be purchased anywhere and now everyone has several choices recommended by fellow RVers that are only 1/3 of the cost of his. Can you say “out of business before you even start?” People asking for a freebie should be very careful of their responses. They can boomerang on them like this one did. Enjoy Elkhart and tell All H “Hi” for me.

  39. There is always someone who wants publicity for nothing. Enjoyed the story. It’s good to be able to laugh when people behave that way towards you.

    keep up the good work,

    cheers,
    Peter

  40. Well, I have one of those little fold-up step stools I bought at Camping World (but are available many places). It costs under $10 and sits on the step cover. I use it as a footrest if I happen to be in the passenger seat. It works perfectly and is easy to grab, fold up, and move out of the way when needed.

  41. OK, let it be known: Seth Norman is too tight to give a stool sample!

  42. What a jerk! You did the right thing Nick.

  43. First time reader, hooked already, you and your little blog are funny and informative. BTW I have a bridge can I sell you one to review?

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