It’s going to be a busy week.
First, I’m rebuilding this website after a crash. The bad news is: I didn’t have adequate backups.
The good news is: I can reconstruct some from social media posts. It’ll simply take time.
Meanwhile this morning, the post office delivered a very large stack of boxes to me. All are from Amazon. The larger ones contained six to eight items, each.
Unpacking them and breaking down the shipping boxes took about 30 minutes. Then I spent another 45 minutes photographing what had been in them, unboxing style… and that was just half of what had arrived.
Then, Amazon nudged me to catch up on reviews. I’m in their Vine program, which means I have lots of opportunities to review products.
What it’s like to be in Amazon Vine
Often, the Vine products I select are things I might have purchased anyway, like the great wooden coat hangers that arrived this morning.
I also receive cool things from my “maybe/someday” shopping list, like the drone camera we tested this past week. (It was kind of a dud. That’s an important reason for honest reviews by Vine members: We can steer Amazon customers to – or away from – products we test.)
Another favorite in today’s shipment: An absolutely wonderful multi-purpose cordless vacuum cleaner.
My husband thinks it’s hilarious that I go all starry-eyed over cool vacuum cleaners… but he also likes how clean our home is.
(February 2023 update: I’m still using it, daily, and still love it.)
And… well, that’s the positive side of Vine. Lots & lots of fun items!
Being in Vine isn’t “free stuff on request.”
If you’ve visited the Amazon Vine page, you’ve seen that I can select products from a list of thousands of items.
However, I also have to test each item and then write a thorough review for every one of them.
One-line reviews don’t cut it. Not for me, anyway.
And, since it’s me…
Well, I write long, chatty reviews. I tell people the kinds of things I’d like to know before buying the respective item.
Amazon has guidelines I must follow, but I do my best to be frank in each review, even when the product disappoints me.
There are three points aspiring Vine members need to be aware of:
- The items we receive are considered “income” (on our annual 1099 form) at full retail value, even if the item turns out to be awful. We can’t return it. (As of 2023, I’d say that 80% of what we’ve received is going to Goodwill or the trash. It may not be awful, but it’s not what we’d expected, based on the product description.)
- We can’t give away or sell those items for at least six months, though we can discard them. (I recently threw out a three-figure “towel warmer” that had a really disgusting odor.)
- Vine members are expected to review items promptly, and we have a minimum quota of items we must request, every six months. So, being a Vine reviewer can take considerable time, daily.
In the near future, I plan to scale back my Vine work to the minimum, so I have more time for my creative projects, travel, and just relaxing!
Meanwhile, at my easel…
We’re still bringing my Blue-on-Blue painting to quirky locations, taking photos of it.
A couple of weeks ago, we scrambled over rocks at Rye, New Hampshire, to photograph it surrounded by rocks and with waves crashing in the background.
This weekend, we focused (no pun intended) on scenes including fall foliage. Here’s one of those pictures.
This project is for a book I’m working on. Sort of like “the roaming gnome,” but with a very large, geometric painting.
We’re having tremendous fun with this!
And then there are my websites, like this one.
October is always a busy catch-up month for me.
Halloween is just the start of what can be a hectic time for content creators like me.
Soon, it’ll be Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. After that, it’s New Year’s.
Every one of those holidays provide easy themes for content, and – housebound by wintry weather – many people are eager to read articles, watch YouTube videos, and so on.
So, I’m busy. Really busy.
This week, I’m testing products, writing reviews, working on art, photographing my Blue-on-Blue painting, creating content, and preparing for a busy and fun holiday season.
Not necessarily in that order.