1.02.2015

The Deal with Passionfruit

The problem with using Passionfruit ads for blog sponorships

I believe in bloggers helping other bloggers. I also believe in honesty and telling my readers the truth. That's why I think it's important to share my feelings about Passionfruit and tell you exactly why I will no longer sponsor bloggers who utilize the service.

When I first started offering sponsorships (the first time) back in 2013, I went with Passionfruit. Everyone was using it, the customer service was great, and they only took a small percentage of your income. It was by far the best service available for managing sponsorships. Then, something changed.

The customer service became AWFUL. E-mails and tweets that were once answered within a few hours stopped being answered for MONTHS. Refunds that were owed were not given and errors on the site became more frequent. Twitter seemed full of other bloggers attempting to get their questions answered and frustration when those questions were not even acknowledged.

This is why I have made the decision to no longer support Passionfruit. From now on, I will only sponsor blogs that use some sort of alternative such as Adproval or PayPal. I recognize that this unfortunately harms the blogger, but I refuse to give my money to a service that does not hold up their end of the deal. Too many bloggers, including myself, have been cheated, and I refuse to support that business model.

If you are looking for an alternative, I would HIGHLY suggest Adproval. Although the "new" Adproval is still getting some kinks worked out, the customer service is unbelievable. I have never gone more than a few days without my question getting answered or my problem being resolved. Matthew, the owner, is open to feedback related to improving the website, and is always willing to offer insight into why things operate the way they do (which is usually to protect us as bloggers).

Adproval also offers a great program that connects you with business such as Three Avocados and Loxa Beauty. It is a great way to collaborate with other businesses while also growing your blog (and getting free samples)! I cannot say enough good things about Adproval.

Have questions about my decision or switching to Adproval? I'd love to chat more!

I was not compensated in any way for this post. All opinions are honest and my own.

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45 comments :

  1. While I never had too many issues with Passionfruit, I kept seeing and hearing about others close to me having these horrible problems. So I switched. Like you I just can't use a service like this if people are being cheated. I still sponsor bloggers who use it though, but I'm weary about doing do. Eventually I may just contact the blogger I want to sponsor and negotiate around Passionfruit using PayPal. But I absolutely LOVE Adproval. The customer service is amazing and you're right about Matthew, he really does listen to our feedback.

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  2. I don't offer sponsorships on my blog but when I was considering it passionfruit wasn't even an option. I heard wayyyyyy too many bad things about them to even consider it. I'll still sponsor the blogger who chooses to use them b/c I don't want to punish them for their choices but as for my own blog, I'd never use them.

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  3. Passionfruit has been awful I agree. I have been on the fence so many times with changing but I have heard people say the same thing as you..."I won't support a blogger that uses Passionfruit" AND "I won't support a blogger that uses Adproval" (because of their payment system. To please BOTH sides I have a section on my advertising page that gives people the option to set the ad up with me and pay through Paypal and not go through Passionfruit. I may be switching too because the customer service is awful although I think they are starting to get the message...I actually saw them responding to tweets last week. A Christmas Miracle!!!

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  4. YES. if there is an option for PayPal I usually prefer that. I got a tweet after months of harassing Jason for a refund. Luckily on adproval you can still do custom contracts then invoice via paypal!

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  5. You can? Hmmm.....several bloggers told me you had to pay through Amazon (I think that's what it was) and told me that they wouldn't support blogs that did that. I never knew the payment system (Paypal vs the other) was such a hot topic. I'm more along the lines of if I like the blogger I will sponsor them not I like them but I want to pay using this payment system or that. I fully understand and support a decision to avoid using Passionfruit though because their reputation is so awful. You would think with all of the discontent they would be jumping though hoops for their customers.

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  6. They switched and now use Stripe instead of Amazon! It's much better. And I agree, I'll try to figure out some alternative for sponsoring bloggers I love even if they use Passionfruit :)

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  7. He does! I've never felt like my voice mattered more with a company!!!

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  8. Thanks for posting this....you have given me more food for thought. I really appreciate it!

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  9. I haven't had any issues with Passionfruit recently, but I know that there are a lot of bloggers who have. I don't understand it, because it used to be so great and everyone was raving and them/him. I'm personally not ready to jump ship just yet, but it's something to consider, for sure. Does Adproval take a percentage of sales like PF does?

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  10. I definitely think this needed to be said, so I'm glad you said it! I think the guy who started it just got in a bit over his head with it all (which isn't an excuse AT ALL) but I think eventually he'll figure it out/right the ship. It's too bad because it is a nice platform.

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  11. I totally agree. I wish he would at least come out with an explanation or apology and try to come back from it!

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  12. Yes they do. They use a service called Stripe and so far it works basically the same as Passionfruit but the money transfers directly to your bank account. I'm not sure if you can change that setting. It has worked really well for me so far.

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  13. Passionfruit has had a lot of issues lately. Luckily any I had were handled. Though I am pretty bummed that the performance stats are down & have been for a while. I do not want to use adproval right now since you can not use Paypal so I do appreciate it when bloggers like you & Amanda allow me to pay you through Paypal so I can sponsor you. I feel like I will need to do the same for bloggers wanting to sponsor me but not go through Passionfruit. [ & the reason I prefer using Paypal online is so I do not have my CC # out in the internet world floating around ready to get snatched up & used! Ha! ]

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  14. I totally understand! Adproval uses something called Stripe, which doesn't require a credit card and works basically the same as PayPal :)

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  15. They switch to Stripe, which I love because they deposit your money straight into your account instead of holding as a balance somewhere. and Adproval has these amazing self-managed spots you can create for bloggers who prefer paying a different way. It's a win win if you ask me :)

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  16. He really needs to say SOMETHING about all of this mess. It's almost rude and a disservice to his customers by not doing so.

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  17. Thank you so much for this post! I recently started offering sponsorship on my blog and just used Passionfruit since I already had an account with them but as you've mentioned I can't help but notice people practically BEGGING for any communication back on Twitter from whoever runs PF. Thanks to Adproval's great customer service I was able to sweet talk myself off of the wait list for their new Beta website but haven't taken the time to fully set my shop up yet because of their payment system. I haven't heard of Stripe before so I'm a little hesitant to give them my banking information but after reading the comments on this post, I feel much better about it all :)

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  18. I totally agree with this entire post! :) I switched to Adproval back in August, and although some of the kinks have been a little inconvenient, it's totally worth it because of how awesome Matthew is and how willing he is to help you work around the kinks and get things updated quickly! :) I've heard a lot of people say that they won't sponsor a blog if they can't pay with Paypal, so I just let people know they can still pay with Paypal, they just have to contact me and I'll set it up! Plus... no huge fees to use Adproval, that was a big thing for me too!

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  19. Im so glad you said something!! i quit using them a few months back because of a refund that I still have yet to receive! its such a great service but its so sad how terrible the customer service is!

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  20. Yes, I totally agree with all of this, Cassie! I loved Passionfruit at the beginning because at it's core it really is a great platform but the customer service lately has been terrible. I've currently have my sponsorship program on hiatus but I'll be checking out Adproval when I start it up again!

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  21. I have had nothing but positive experiences with Adproval and Stripe! Let me know if you run into any questions about either, I'd be happy to help!

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  22. Yes to all of your points! So glad you agree!

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  23. The same thing happened to me. It really is unfortunate.

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  24. I'm totally with you. It used to be great! Let me know when you bring sponsorships back and I'll try to get you into the new beta Adproval! :)

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  25. I am currently going through a dilemma with Passionfruit that has been kind of frustrating. My hesitation to moving however is that the primary blogs that sponsor me/I sponsor them continue to use it. I have a feeling I would lose a significant following or sponsor opportunities from some of my most loyal followers. At this point the compromise is not worth it to me but I am open to what might change in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. I have never hopped on the ad bandwagon. I am actually not sure I understand them (clearly I'm naive). Glad you found a better option that works for you!!!

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  27. I've experienced the exact same thing! I'm glad I only signed up for the cheapest plan, unfortunately for an entire year though (I hope at this point if I stick with it the entire year i can at least make back what I spent on it). I've asked the same question (which was about upgrading my plan - which I will no longer do obviously) through multiple channels, multiple times with no response to this very day. I've also experienced technical issues with the site deciding to not work, which seem to be resolved at least.

    I'm debating going back to adproval after this, or just going through Google Adsense's new beta ad program which I'm blanking on atm. Basically they handle everything you just send the sponsor a link and they get a spot in your adsense spot at the normal google rates which are based on your traffic, I think google takes like 25-30%.

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  28. Stripe is awesome! it sends the money right to your bank account and people can pay with a cc. I use stripe as part of my payment system in my freelance work, and I've had so many fewer issues with it than I had with paypal.

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  29. I completely understand. I have found that those who I used to sponsor through passionfruit still sponsor me now that I have adproval. Although I know that might not be the case for everyone!

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  30. I had tossed around the idea of switching months ago...looks like changes have been made! Impressive. Now I definitely have to revisit the thought of switching. Thanks for the updated info ladies...so happy we can learn from each other!

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  31. I've never checked out Adsense's new program! Thanks for the info

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  32. So glad you've had such a positive experience with Adproval! (Matthew and his team are the best!)

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  33. I never tried Passionfruit because I knew I wouldn't be earning enough from ads to even cover the monthly fee they charge, so from the start, Adproval was better for me, and I have been astounded at their service. They are so on top of everything and you can tell they truly care. I've heard lots of similar complaints about PFA, and that's really too bad.

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  34. That is helpful to know, something to consider when the time may come :)

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  35. So glad you've had a positive experience!

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  36. Right now I only offer ad swaps because I'm not at a place where I can devote the proper time to sponsors. That said, when I do open up my blog to sponsors, I plan on managing the html myself and taking payments via PayPal.

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  37. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like to call this #passionfruitwoes.
    I posted about this a few months ago, and I have not sponsored a single blogger who uses Passionfruit since then. It's been tempting, but I didn't do it, on principle. I know several bloggers who were at the point of filing a complaint with the BBB, even over a few dollars, just because it was such a pervasive pattern.
    At this point, I have made enough blog friends through past sponsorships, commenting/reading, and belonging to facebook groups that if I ever want to participate in a giveaway, I have the opportunity. And I happily swap buttons with other bloggers (via AdProval) since that is a way to support each other, too! I will even let people who want to promote something (like fundraising for adoption) guest post on my blog or swap features with people, I really don't think things like being featured in a post are as helpful for promotion as participating in link ups, commenting, and being part of a blogging community. The people you have guest post for your marriage series are wonderful, so I do hope that's good exposure for them. I'm so glad that you wrote about this, too! (Sorry for the essay!)

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  38. Phew! Good luck! Self managing is time consuming but definitely great if you have the time and organization to do it!

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  39. Hahaha thanks for your input. I couldn't agree more. I think also contacting bloggers directly and paying them through paypal instead of Passionfruit is a great alternative. Some bloggers have lost a lot of money so I don't blame them for wanting to file reports with the BBB!

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  40. they are the worst! i had to finally file a complaint against them with the internet crimes unit https://complaint.ic3.gov/default.aspx? because they owe me $300 and they will not repsond- yet the owner is active on social media and throws parties at his office! worst service ever!

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  41. Oh, I can definitely relate. They have been submitted to the BBB many times that I know of! So frustrating!

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