Who Doesn’t Love a Good Deal? …the dilemma of advertising

Growing up my momma and I went to yard sales every weekend during “yard sale season” (it was kinda our version of hunting season).We’d get up before the sun, drive to the “big town” about 40 minutes away, and shop until the $20 bill was gone. Most of the time we’d punctuate our spree with a fast food lunch before we made the trip back home. We’d spend the afternoon cleaning our finds, talking about how cool they were, how much money we saved, etc.

Fast forward a few years. No longer am I out yard saling with my mom (although I do still love yard sales), but I’m currently in the season on kid consignment sales. Kids grow so fast out of toys and clothes, and I’m not about to pay full price for hardly anything. Why? I almost always feel like it “wasn’t worth it.” The kids wear it for a couple months before they grow out of it, or their Backyardigan phase is over and I’m left with overpriced books that they don’t read (actually, I’m not because I got them at a sale for like, 50 cents each, hehe).

I love deals. I get a kick out of saving money. I feel proud of my finds and I find it fairly easy to fit clothes and toy shopping for kids to fit into our mom-stays-at-home-and-hubby-is-a-full-time-grad-student-at-an-ivy-league-school-you-do-the-math budget. The sales are filled with adrenaline and bursts of excitement (and disappointment- like the time I saw a mom grab up a great outdoor toy that I was heading on over to snatch up myself).

But I always have to straddle the line of – do I need this stuff? Do the kids need another toy? another book? another puzzle? Do they need another shirt or dress or pair of socks?

And that leads me to the BIG question- as a blogger who is thinking about taking it to the next level and trying to make money (don’t worry, not this blog), what is the ethical way to make money? What kinds of ads do I/we allow on our blog? What do I endorse? Is it wrong to encourage people to buy things they don’t need? What does ethical blogging in this category look like?

The fact is, in America, moms are the major buyers. They shop a LOT, and companies are targeting mom blogs to propel their sales. In a recent post, I reviewed a product by a company that I’m impressed by. To me, it’s not your average company; they are fairly new, and I think they make quality products while maintaining good corporate values. I was sure to write a disclaimer that I don’t think “things” will make anyone any happier, and that the products would make a good gift for the special day when gift giving is done. I felt good about the post, but I wonder how many times I can promote something with that disclaimer, you know?

These are the questions I wrestle with as I’m falling asleep at night. I’m not sure how we’ll proceed, but I do know we need some serious discernment.

Lord, guide us as we venture out into this new territory. Give us discernment, insight, and wisdom. Help me to stay true to the values I hold dear- simplicity, integrity, goodness- as we make decisions.

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