So as most of you already know Garden State Plaza, the mecca of all things test scenty second only to Easton, is no longer a test store..at least that's what the word on the street is. The week after SAS, GSP had nary a test scent to sell yet Easton was chockfull of them. Naturally some folks like myself were a bit concerned. Time went by and rumours started circulating that GSP had stopped being a a test store though few folks were skeptical - it made absolutely no sense why such a huge store in huge mall in a prime location where there aren't many BBW/White Barn stores in the region would suddenly quit being a test store sans logic or reason. However over time, it was starting to look like the rumours were true. When folks called the store, SAs would rudely and without provocation announce that it was indeed no longer a test store and customers would have no choice but to simply do without. Utter bullshit!
I for one am pissed the f*** OFF!!! I moved all the way up here from the Deep South, the prospect of being so near GSP was one of the many perks of the move. When I arrived, things were fine; the Summer Sips had just arrived and things were all to the good. And now zip, zilch,nada, nothing!
And now fall test scent mania has taken hold of candle lovers across the nation. That very first week after SAS, folks were already showin off there fall test scent hauls on Instagram which spread from one candle group to the next on Facebook. All of the other bloggers were sharing their fall test scent info and a few well known Youtubers had already uploaded their candle hauls. I'll be honest...it was too much and I was getting more and more bitter and upset. Here are all of these folks showin off stuff that I wouldn't be able to get..or rather I wouldn't be able to get very easily or cheaply.
People are getting desperate. A few test scents are already available on Evil-bay. Some BBWers are even willing to make the long sojourn to Easton themselves from various regions. I've seen folks begging either fellow BBW'ers or friends and relatives who happen to live near Easton or the random White Barn stores who randomly have test scents to get candles for them.
My question is simply this...why? Why the secrecy? Why must things be so clandestine and hush-hush? Why must test scents be so exclusive? Why are there test scents and test stores to begin with?
You did away phone orders to GSP and Easton...you did away with phone orders to Customer Relations...and now, the cherry on top of the cake, you did away with GSP. Again I ask...WHY?
You can throw all kinds legal/business/marketing/consumer/capitalistic bullshit at people all you want, with talk of numbers and percentages and what have you. Bottom line is you're going to release wide whatever scents you want regardless of what any of us think, want or prefer. There have been scents that you guys have released in the past that had everyone scratching their heads in utter confusion, disappointment and overall "wtf-ery". Yet the scents that are good and that everyone is clamoring for (for example last spring's Lavender Marshmallow" are not released and are kept hidden and sequestered in test stores. Again, WHY?
Why can't ALLLLLL of these scents been available to EVERYONE?! Why can't all stores be test stores?! Or make testing scents "online exclusives"? No matter what you say to justify it, it's just not fair that test scents are available to some but not others, period!
Again I ask, why the secrecy? True test stores with the idea of truly testing potential products was well and good back in the Slatkin era where social media was in its fetus days and your average person didn't have a camera phone. However things have changed over there years. BBW/White Barn candles have blown up in the past few years thanks to SOCIAL MEDIA. You have bloggers and Youtubers giving people information and reviews, hyping up the goods scents and warning folks off the bad ones. Nowadays you can take a picture of a candle or the store itself with your phone and upload it to both Instagram and Facebook in a couple of seconds. You can't keep test scents secret anymore. People in the comfort of their homes can see and be informed about your "secret" candles. Naturally they are going to want them and some kind of way will get them. Which brings me to my next point.....
You are aware that, as I mentioned earlier, that fall tests are readily available on Ebay, right? This is nothing new and has been going on for years. You're soooo desperate to keep these scents so secret and exclusive and people are taking advantage of that. They're going to your "secret" test stores, buying your "secret" test scents, going home and selling them on Evilbay..and not cheaply. You could be making soooo much more money selling these test scents to EVERYONE but no, you'd rather them keep them "secret" for sake of testing and having pure numbers and percentages. So, all that money you could be profiting from are instead going right into these Evilbay sellers' pockets!
And now, the last bit of my rant. Due to the even more exclusiveness of test scents, the blog world has been become even more competitive with reviewers and even non-reviewers rushing to get pics and info out there first before anyone else does. And for the first time, I felt the crunch. I admit that sometimes I feel overshadowed by other reviewers but I never really let it bother me too much; my blog and Youtube channel and Tumblr were all for the sake of fun, purely shits and giggles. But now I felt the need to compete and stay relevant. Let's face it, we all like newness..that's a human trait that no one is devoid of. I figured if I talked about test scents, I'd be propelled from my lowly station to somewhat higher heights. Also I was looking forward to the prospect of getting test scent information on my own without having to gleam and regurgitate info already shared by other bloggers. Now with GSP done with, that can't happen thus I felt left in the dust. For awhile I considered calling it quits - shut down my blog and Youtube channel as well as deactivate Facebook . Reviewing and just BBW in general simply wasn't fun anymore, I lost my passion. But some very dear, sweet people on Facebook were real with me and talked me out of this decision...so as you can see, I'm still here!
In conclusion, this whole test scent thing is just getting out of hand! It's beyond absurd and frankly, I'm over it!