Is it advised that I buy every product I 'review' on my review page/site?

28 replies
I imagine it could be advantageous as it gives a more informed review of the product but do most people do this?

Can I 'blag it' provided I knew about the niche without having to buy the product?

For now I imagine it would turn out to be quite expensive business costs wise to buy every product.

I'm only talking about clickbank products for now.

What do most people do?
#advised #buy #page or site #product #review
  • Most people will blag it as you put it. I'm not suggesting that is the way to go but thats unfortunately what happens.

    And yes I totally agree with tpw, if you are not going to buy each one, class it as an overview.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Don't call it a "review" if you don't own it.

    If you don't own it, then present an "overview" of the product -- sell it...

    If you do own it, "review" the product, and explain that you do own it, and your review is based on your own experience.
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    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    I personally think a reader can 'tell', perhaps intuitively, if the reviewer really owns /uses the product. Most faked reviews stand out like a sore thumb, imo. I think it pays to see if the product seller would give you a review copy, before settling for a fake review.
    _____
    Bruce
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Fladlien
      There is nothing wrong with promoting products you yourself haven't bought.

      If that was the case, only people who own jets could sell them.

      However, I wouldn't call it a product review if you haven't reviewed the product. Instead, what you do is be straight forward and explain why you're recommending the product even though you PERSONALLY haven't bought it or use it in its entirety.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by Jason Fladlien View Post

        There is nothing wrong with promoting products you yourself haven't bought.

        There is nothing wrong with this.

        Just don't lie and call it a review, when you have not reviewed it.
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        Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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        • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
          Absolutely. You should buy every product you review.

          On a completely unrelated note, I have some products I'd like you to review.
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      • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
        You could start with products that you do own and can honestly recommend, but if there is a small downside I would include it because your reader will trust what you are saying more. You could ask for a review copy, you never know you might get one.

        As TPW said if you don't own the product and use bits from sales copy and feedback to write about the product then it's an overview and I believe that to call it a review is misleading. It's very frustrating searching for proper reviews about something that you are interested in because many so called reviews are obviously fake affiliate sales efforts.
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  • Profile picture of the author yankforlife41
    Overview will work just fine. Give them what you think the product is about and what it will help them accomplish and you should be fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Wow! Why are people always looking for shortcuts? If you'd concentrate on providing REAL value, you'd find success easier to achieve.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mohammad Afaq
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      Wow! Why are people always looking for shortcuts? If you'd concentrate on providing REAL value, you'd find success easier to achieve.
      Ok this is NOTHING to do with the OP.

      He is asking a legitimate question and "providing value" is not an answer to the question.

      It's either a Yes it's ok, or no it's wrong.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
        Originally Posted by Mohammad Afaq View Post

        Ok this is NOTHING to do with the OP.

        He is asking a legitimate question and "providing value" is not an answer to the question.

        It's either a Yes it's ok, or no it's wrong.
        It is NOT "legitimate" to "blag" a review. Period. It's deceptive and non-value added. Its an oxymoronic question; essentially asking, "Can I write a review without actually reviewing?"
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

          It is NOT "legitimate" to "blag" a review. Period. It's deceptive and non-value added. Its an oxymoronic question; essentially asking, "Can I write a review without actually reviewing?"

          It is almost to the level of, "can I make money without doing any real work?"

          Of course you can... Buy a lottery ticket and pray hard...

          But some may argue that praying is hard work too... LOL
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          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author steadypay
    Well the overview route seems like the way to go then.

    Or I can just leave it ambiguous like- this is what it does and not allude either way to having read it or not.

    Like i say, initially I'm going to be doing this in a niche I know loads about so even without buying the products I would be able to get a good read on what it's all about anyhow.

    I have gone through tons of products in the niche myself anyway so can prob just tell what one is all about form another by just the sales page.

    So if people are saying many affiliate marketers do submit fake reviews does that mean there is an advantage to calling it a review rather than an overview?
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by steadypay View Post

      Well the overview route seems like the way to go then.

      Or I can just leave it ambiguous like- this is what it does and not allude either way to having read it or not.

      Like i say, initially I'm going to be doing this in a niche I know loads about so even without buying the products I would be able to get a good read on what it's all about anyhow.

      I have gone through tons of products in the niche myself anyway so can prob just tell what one is all about form another by just the sales page.

      So if people are saying many affiliate marketers do submit fake reviews does that mean there is an advantage to calling it a review rather than an overview?

      You cannot always tell the quality of something by its sales letter...

      I have found some of biggest pieces of **** behind a great sales letter...

      And I have found some of the greatest little gems in the world behind the most bland sales copy...

      Sell it, and make no bones about selling it...

      Or Review, and be perfectly honest that it is a review of a product you have seen...
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      Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        It depends what you mean by "review".

        There's always the Lear Jet salesman to think about, as Jason mentioned.

        But if you're effectively telling the person reading that you yourself have seen/used the product, then you have to have seen/used it, which means you need to own it.

        That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to buy it, as some vendors will give you a free copy, but that typically depends very much on how you ask and who you are and what you've done before, and it probably happens less often when you're "starting off".

        Some people will wrongly tell you otherwise (in fact, quite a few will), but there's nothing wrong with buying a Clickbank product to review for this purpose through your own affiliate link, as long as you don't then ask for a refund if it's unsuitable for you. (You shouldn't then ask for a refund even if it's crap, in my opinion, because the purpose for which you bought it was to assess it, and you've done that!).
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    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
      Originally Posted by steadypay View Post

      Well the overview route seems like the way to go then.

      Or I can just leave it ambiguous like- this is what it does and not allude either way to having read it or not.

      Like i say, initially I'm going to be doing this in a niche I know loads about so even without buying the products I would be able to get a good read on what it's all about anyhow.

      I have gone through tons of products in the niche myself anyway so can prob just tell what one is all about form another by just the sales page.

      So if people are saying many affiliate marketers do submit fake reviews does that mean there is an advantage to calling it a review rather than an overview?
      There may be an advantage to calling it a review rather than an overview, but there is far more advantage to owning a product that you can honestly recommend. Also if you become known as an honest reviewer people are more likely to buy from you.

      When you say submit fake reviews do you mean to article directories? I for one have had a no fake review policy for a long time and I should imagine that EZA and other discerning directories have a similar policy.
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      • Profile picture of the author tpw
        Originally Posted by PatriciaJ View Post

        When you say submit fake reviews do you mean to article directories? I for one have had a no fake review policy for a long time and I should imagine that EZA and other discerning directories have a similar policy.

        But we all know how inept EZA editors are most of the time... Just saying...

        No offense Chris, but it IS true...
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        Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
        Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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        • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
          Originally Posted by tpw View Post

          But we all know how inept EZA editors are most of the time... Just saying...

          No offense Chris, but it IS true...
          Ok I was being nice for a change. Seasonal goodwill etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmatiesto
    I wouldn't call it a review. How do you review something you don't have access to or have used etc...

    Jim
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    One of my pet peeves are all these fake review sites popping up where people are posing as "expert reviewers" but yet have "0" experience with the products they are reviewing.

    There are authority sites and blogs that are dedicated to this where people pretend to be an expert reviewing products but in reality they are posting fake reviews in order to either promote an alternative product as an affiliate.

    Its not a review if you have not owned or used it. You'd be lying to call it a review.

    Beware of "expert" reviewers and reviews that sound too much like a plagiarized or bs filled grade school book report by a student who did not read the book and only skimmed the "cliff notes".
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  • Profile picture of the author Franck Silvestre
    I don't really like those "fake review" sites... "How I lost 10lbs with this ebook" style.

    As said above, explain why you recommend the product.

    Think about Amazon affiliates and ebay affiliates. They can's buy all the products (I know they are not reviewing, but you get the point).

    Franck
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by steadypay View Post

      Well the overview route seems like the way to go then.

      Or I can just leave it ambiguous like- this is what it does and not allude either way to having read it or not.

      Like i say, initially I'm going to be doing this in a niche I know loads about so even without buying the products I would be able to get a good read on what it's all about anyhow.

      I have gone through tons of products in the niche myself anyway so can prob just tell what one is all about form another by just the sales page.

      So if people are saying many affiliate marketers do submit fake reviews does that mean there is an advantage to calling it a review rather than an overview?
      The Internet is constipated with flogs and splogs, especially when it comes to Clickbank products.

      You may know loads about the niche, but have no clue what the product will do. All you know is what the sales letter or affiliate tools say it will do. And that is often two totally different animals.

      It would be like taking sex advice from a nun...or a hooker. One has no direct knowledge of the practice, the other a commercial interest in which advice you take.

      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      It depends what you mean by "review".

      There's always the Lear Jet salesman to think about, as Jason mentioned.

      But if you're effectively telling the person reading that you yourself have seen/used the product, then you have to have seen/used it, which means you need to own it.
      This is the difference between the jet salesman and the OP. Even though the jet salesman may not own the jet, he has direct experience. He's flown in the jet, if not actually piloted it. He has access to the tech manuals and the engineers behind the jet.

      What the OP proposes would be like being a jet salesman after having read the brochure at the airport or an ad in a magazine.

      As I see things, the OP has three choices, maybe four if you count actually buying and trying the products.

      He can do an overview, as Bill suggested, using his niche knowledge to call questionable elements of the sales letter to light and running down the promises made.

      With a little work, he can do a "consumer report" type collection based on the reviews of others - if he can find any honest reviews.

      He can lie, which is what he originally proposed...
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    Hey I love this awesome MP3 from a new band you've never heard of.. OK OK, I haven't listened to the MP3 yet, but I just know you'll love it. Click my link and buy the MP3 here so I can take 75% commission. Honestly, I know it's perfect for you.

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  • Profile picture of the author steadypay
    The worst ones are on porn site comments, erm...so says my friend *whistle*

    "Hi, I'm mandy you're cute come talk to me at XXXXXX bye bye".
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    • Profile picture of the author Brian Alaway
      I get a lot of emails from gurus promoting other affiliate products. If I'm the least bit interested, I come here first. And more times than not the reviews here are not kind - crap, garbage, rehash, relabel, etc.
      So I would guess that they either don't have the product or have never actually used it. Which seems even worse as most are well known enough to get a free review copy. You'd think they'd at least try the thing out before spamming their list but guess not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    Once your site has a little bit of content on it, you should be able to get review copys from the seller if its a clickbank product... I get guys asking me for this on some of my stuff and i will usually give it if it looks like the guy has a legit review site and he is gonna really try to promote it.
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  • Profile picture of the author infomum
    Disclaimer - this post refers to review sites in general not any one in particular.

    Good reviews provide an overview of the product, a discussion of its good and bad points and often an indication of who the product would suit most. It may include a recommendation to buy or not.

    Honesty in reviewing is the best way to gain a reputation as a good reviewer. This means being prepared to say a product is rubbish if it truly is. Look at theatre critics. People hang on their every word and invite them to every opening, accepting that the review will be brutally honest. A genuinely honest, negative review IMO should be a signal to the vendor that they need to improve their product (not that it will always been seen in that light). Also it will signal to people reading the review that the writer gives honest opinions, not sugar coated pap aimed at selling the product.

    If people use reviews to drive traffic through their affiliate links astute readers will recognise this and leave the site.

    Since we don't know who visits our sites, we can't tell if they have already tried one(or more) of the products we have reviewed. If they see a glowing review of a product they have bought in the past and know to be rubbish how likely are they to believe any other review on that site?

    Finally reviewing is an art. It is much more than saying "this is a good product so buy it". Anyone who wants to write reviews should educate themselves in the art of writing a review first.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Brian Alaway View Post

      I get a lot of emails from gurus promoting other affiliate products. If I'm the least bit interested, I come here first. And more times than not the reviews here are not kind - crap, garbage, rehash, relabel, etc.
      So I would guess that they either don't have the product or have never actually used it. Which seems even worse as most are well known enough to get a free review copy. You'd think they'd at least try the thing out before spamming their list but guess not.
      Brian, you left out the most obvious possibility. They just don't care.

      I won't use that four-letter g-word, but many marketers who have successfully positioned themselves as successful view their customers and subscribers the same way the carnie at the ring toss booth does. As 'marks', amorphous blobs whose only purpose is to cough up money.

      Others end up owing a lot of favors to people who promoted for them, so now they have to pay the piper. They end up promoting crap they wouldn't otherwise touch, lest the crap seller and his buddies not be there for the (g-word)'s next product launch.

      Lastly, if you opted into a list with the expectation of receiving future product offers, and you get those offers, it isn't really spamming. It may be boring, annoying, even offensive, but it isn't spam...
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