Could use some of your opinions on this

by jdsonline 10 replies
Hi everyone,

I run a internet marketing product review website and I pride myself on actually being as honest as possible on the product that I review rather than making a "sales pitch". I occasionally get asked by marketers to review their products on my site. These people give me access to their product or service, so that I can provide a full and honest review.

My question is this, if I do not like the product very much, should I post a negative review on it? Clearly I wouldn't post a positive review because that would be a lie, but I could just let the owner know that the review would not be favorable and not post anything about it. It is great for my site when I get requests for product reviews, but I feel bad publicly bashing their products after they were kind enough to provide me with access for the review. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Do you think I am obligated to post the negative review for my readers or can I just not review the product?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #opinions
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  • Profile picture of the author grumpyjacksa
    let the webmaster know what you think first. that will give him / her a chance to try and fix it, or the product and recreate it.

    by refusing to publish the review, you are actually doing the owner of the product a favor .
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    • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
      Originally Posted by grumpyjacksa View Post

      let the webmaster know what you think first. that will give him / her a chance to try and fix it, or the product and recreate it.

      by refusing to publish the review, you are actually doing the owner of the product a favor .
      I agree...if the product is just terrible, let the owner know so they can make the needed changes. That way everyone wins. You have a positive review on your site to earn commissions from, they have a good product to promote, and those who purchase the product get their money's worth.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bon508
        I understand the concern... no one wants to be negative. But if every review is positive, won't JDSOnline and his review site lose some credibility?

        And does JDSOnline have the time to not only review the products, but also give the creators of "bad" products lessons on how to improve them? You know that could really mushroom.

        Perhaps the reviews of the "not-so-good" products could basically be a compromise -- say something nice about them, then mention the flaws, and conclude the review with a few suggestions for improvement?

        That way the site is more credible, the creators of "bad" products get genuine helpful feedback in a form that shouldn't hurt their feelings, and site visitors can learn from their mistakes, as well.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mary Gallivan
          Hi

          I was going to say much the same as Bonnie said.

          Start with the positive points then sandwich the not so good points in the middle and conclude with something helpful.

          With the not so good points rather than say 'This is rubbish...' say something like ' this could be better because....'

          If you know who the product is by/from and know of any other products by them, maybe you could say 'although this is not as good as.... it does have some good points'. That is, unless the entire thing is bad.

          Best wishes

          Mary
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        • Profile picture of the author artwebster
          You run a review site but you don't want to be honest with yourself or your readers?

          It is this sort of timidity that encourages and creates so much trash in the internet marketing world.

          There is an old phrase that goes something like 'urinate or get off the pot' - EITHER you have a review site that readers can trust OR you don't.

          If you only want to encourage the fluffy bunny world that most internet marketers think they live in, don't review anything - simply endorse it.

          If you want to be seen as an honest and thorough reviewer, do what you claim to be doing - write reviews!

          There was a time that review sites were valuable resources for people like myself but they have been mass produced and sold as the latest, greatest money spinner by gurus - especially if you use the word 'scam' in the title of your review (check out any I.M. product on Google to see what I mean).
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            A seller giving a free copy does not have a right to a glowing review - but would not expect a published negative review on another site to result from his request.

            When someone asks for a review, be honest and tell them if you review their product, you WILL post the review on your site whether it is negative or positive. To maintain honesty on your site - you should publish results of every review you agree to do.

            Best practice in my opinion is not to accept free review copies if you can help it - that removes any obligation you might feel to the seller. If you do accept such copies, I think you should contact the seller with your questions and concerns before publishing a negative review and give him a chance to explain or to make changes.

            It's a sticky wicket but your site and reputation will suffer if you pick and choose who gets a negative review and who doesn't.

            kay
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            • Profile picture of the author Bon508
              Best practice in my opinion is not to accept free review copies if you can help it - that removes any obligation you might feel to the seller.
              Excellent solution, Kay!

              Posting that publicly as the policy would also dramatically boost the credibility/trust factor among readers... especially in the cynical IM niche!
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          • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
            Originally Posted by artwebster View Post

            You run a review site but you don't want to be honest with yourself or your readers?
            I think you misread the first post. The question was not about being dishonest, but whether to publish a negative review or none at all. A dishonest person would give everything a glowing review, at least if a commission was involved.
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  • Profile picture of the author Pete Egeler
    Let's look at it this way.. Do you really think the New York Times contacts every movie producer and gives them a chance to re-shoot a bad movie before they post their review?

    The same can be asked about book reviewers. (And, they get TONS of free books!)

    Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author reclusivecopy
    You should be honest in your review, but that does not mean that you have to slam the product you are reviewing. Honesty is the best policy, and a negative review might be beneficial in the long run.
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