Fear of making an honest 'negative' review

Etymologically the word toiletry comes from the word toilet, so toilet paper in this case is indeed part of the toiletries; and hand soap is still soap used to wach a part of your body, so toiletry as well. Given the very definition you quoted,

any item intended for personal hygiene is a toiletry article. On the other hand, these are not health articles in the proper sense although they contribute to it, by avoiding carelessness, which a symptom of many pathologies. If you find a reliable source with knowledge, I will be happy to read it.

Anyway, if you look at the semantic of my question, I was obviously asking this in the specific context of housitting as it caught my attention. We all know what a toiletry item is. Fortunately the vast majority of hosts provide the minimum (and some much more) to make your stay enjoyable.

However, I couldn’t understand that:

Slang I guess.

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To go back to the last posts of this thread, I think @Catin88 did a fabulous job on using her right to answer and I see her feedback as very informative, clear, detailed and yet respectful to the sitter. I would more likely sit for someone as honest as her than someone who depicts a perfect sit who then turns out to not be as portrayed.

I think the other review their more recent HO left was so wrong and rude to the HS. They should have explained their reasons at least to warn future HO if they neglected or caused harm to the pets or the house; or were very rude and irresponsible. I personally would never sit for that kind of person who are capable of ruining other’s reputation in a snap, with zero points. And what if they got expectation that even a paid sitter couldn’t fulfill?

Wish these HS would leave them a feedback as well or at least answer to that horrible review they got. Moreover, if you look at these HO’s history on the app, 4 out of 5 sitters chose to not leave any feedback for them, this speaks volume.

I must say I am even more surprised that such a devastating review is allowed by THS as these HO gave no explanation at all in it; while the review system is supposed to be tamper-proof.

Hi @Lost.In.Translation, Katie was making a play on words and a musical joke. Wordy = lots of words. Rapping = a singing style, more chanted, typically using many words quickly. And ‘Wordy Rappinghood’ is a song by Tom Tom Club from the 1980s (you can google it).

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I’ve googled it prior posting and couldn’t find, except the song, a proper translation so thank you @Ketch. I guess I do express myself in that style too then :laughing:

They should adjust the terms of service to provide that sitters cannot leave a sit we’ve agreed to UNLESS the owner has misrepresented something in their listing or our communications with them before arriving. It’s completely unfair that we can be subject to surprises like this and have no leverage since HOs know we can be accused of abandoning a commitment and lose access to future sits.


Hi there,
this is an old thread but some very real issues are touched on here. As an experienced sitter I do ask prospective home owners to tell me about their cleaning routine. I agree the question how clean is your house, requiring a yes or no answer is too confrontational. I usually pave the way by saying I have to ask due to a dust allergy (very genuine on my part). So far we have only lost one house-sit because of wanting to know the cleaning routine.

One lady who was new to house-sitting told me when we met up that she was taken aback by my question over the phone but after she gave it some thought she agreed that, yes of course, a sitter would want to know about cleanliness when staying in a house for 2 weeks. Ideally all owners with empathy would understand this.

Just my two pennies worth! I would say be brave and ask in an indirect fashion about cleaning routines before committing.
Good luck

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I’m new to this forum and wanted to offer some ideas. I have 25+ years of experience in home exchanging through two major platforms and reviews are always a hot topic. I also moderate a FB page about all forms of home exchange. I had a recent petsit situation where my car sustained some damage and it got me thinking about how I can still offer my car but not be out of pocket thousands of dollars. I’ve created my own “Car Letter of Confirmation” that is based on an old home exchange form that was standard for many years. I have customized it for my own use and if I have a petsitter who needs a car, I’ll test drive it (ha, pun!) and see how it works. It is not intended to be legally binding, more a way to confirm what both parties “heard” when discussing car expectations. I also have an extensive “home and pet book” that describes my home, quirks, pets, surrounding area, etc. So I’ll probably discuss/agree to the care exchange form before they arrive and include a copy in the home/pet book. I’m thinking of adding a “Check Out” portion as well. Not punitive, just a nice checklist of what they should expect as they get ready to leave. Th is standard in home exchanges and I think many parties feel more comfortable knowing ahead of time expectations. Not laborious or extensive, but rather than guess what the host wants done with the sheets…just put it on the list. In my case, I appreciate sheets and towels stripped and left by the washer.

In home exchange, it’s expected you will give feedback directly to your exchange partner if there are issues. I hate for people to be surprised when they see a review (if they thought things went well) and always advocate for a kind but accurate review so others can determine if the home is a fit for them. I’m not seeing any mechanism on THS for private, meaningful feedback so I’m going to add this to my own process. I’ll let the sitter know up front that I’ll address any feedback with them directly and sometimes face to face isn’t comfortable so I’ll offer to do this in my own feedback form (maybe email it to them before I submit my review). I’ll probably make this part of my car exchange form. The Airbnb version of this is the “private feedback to your host” feature but it’s also integrated right into the review. I think sometimes I’d rather have a discussion about any major issues separate from the review process, so that’s where I’ll add mine.

For me, things go much more smoothly when everybody knows what to expect. I’m seeing in this forum a LOT is left to chance. Learning experience for me (on my car for sure).


This is why reviews should be allowed to be posted anonymously. I do not like the way the reviewing process is done by both sides. I have done a few sits that are less than satisfactory and the only thing for me to do is say nothing because I didn’t want to have a negative review from the HOs


I really like this!! I can see it working both ways for sitters to become better sitters and HO’s to become better hosts. Win win!

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@Myhnabird And I can promise you my “feedback mechanism” goes both ways. i will definitely be asking my next sitter about what I could do better–and I will encourage them to be honest so I can improve.

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Ha. I’m on my first sit, and I’m sort of disappointed after reading all the stories of what other HO’s leave for sitters. My HO left me nothing. Like, not even milk and sugar for coffee or a clean sponge to wash dishes with. Just cat food and litter.

Hi @LIQ , I think the HO on the forum who leave welcome gifts for their sitters are the exception. I have only rarely been left anything by the HO. (although I am thrilled when they have). I never expect anything. They usually have sponges or dish cloths, though, but many times I use my own anyway. I’ve had several HO send me thank-you gifts afterwards, which is more than wonderful. Just do the best job you can, regardless, to give your HO peace of mind (if they want frequent updates make sure to send them)and a happy pet and clean home to come home to.


Nah, I’m not really bothered by it. :slightly_smiling_face: I just think it’s funny reading all these comments about HO’s cooking/leaving nice meals, fetching the sitter from the train station, etc. Mine didn’t even offer to help carry my bags up two flights of stairs even though I was obviously struggling. But of course I will make sure the pet is happy and the owner comes home to their home as they left it, including clean sheets in the room I used.

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@LIQ , congratulations on getting your first sit, I hope you enjoy it.
That is a little deflating for you when your hopes had been raised by reading about gifts.
I think out of all my sits there have only been 2 that didn’t leave me a welcome gift. I have found owners to be very generous and welcoming. I have certainly always had basics like milk, sugar, coffee etc left for me.
I do quite often buy a cloth or sponge for doing the dishes but that’s because sometimes I’m not sure which cloth is for which job and don’t want to wash the dishes with something that’s been used for the floor.
It may be a cultural thing, who knows. Hope you get some nice surprises at future sits.

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Everyone, I was only joking!! I don’t expect any gifts or anything at all. A few basics would have been nice, but I’m really fine about it!!! If they had left me anything (like wine and food), it would have gone to waste because I don’t drink and I’m a vegan. I’m obviously really terrible at kidding around… sorry, all!!

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This is the norm and all you should expect. Leaving more is the exception, not the rule. Best to have accurate expectations so you’re not disappointed. The HOs are under no obligation to leave anything for you.

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Of course, they aren’t.

Sitters are under no obligation to leave anything for HOs too actually.

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Be careful with the use of the words “expect” or “expectations”. I don’t what is it about that word that makes it so taboo.