Product Reviews - Trying Each Product

20 replies
If you have a lot of knowledge in your niche, is it necessary to actually try the promoted products? I find so many fancy pages or product reviews and sales letters, I find it hard to believe all these writers actually buy the products in order to review them.
#product #reviews
  • Profile picture of the author dahlgren_m
    If I am reviewing or recommending a Internet Marketing product I always test it.

    It really depends on what type of business you are in. Like for instance, if you do amazon it would be very inconvenient to purchase all the products before you write the review, and it is unnecessary considering that so many people have reviewed it before you.

    So, if you are passionate about guitars and learn guitar niche, it's not necessary to try all the guitars before you review them, you got a basic understanding of what a guitar is and does, and I don't think people will notice.

    On the other hand, if you are promoting a guitar learning course, it would be very smart to completely test it, especially if you have a base of followers.
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  • Profile picture of the author DylanJames
    The main product I push online is the best $8 I spend per month (it's a subscription).

    It converts well, and EVERYONE loves it.

    I think that if you truly love the product you are selling, it's much easier to sell. My main business (I own quite a few) is a chain of retail stores that sell baby products. My kids have been out of "baby" stuff for quite some time but we still sell the stuff very well.

    There are very few products that everyone agrees is "good".
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Armstrong
      It's okay to review products you haven't tried before as long you as you don't make any claims that you have tested them out.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Personal experience is great, if you can get it. When you own and use a product, your words tend to have a ring of authenticity about them.

        That said, sometimes it isn't practical to own everything you want to review. In those cases, I try to avoid even using the word "review", which does imply personal experience for many.

        I'll call the piece a 'buying guide' or a 'product spotlight', and even tell people flat out that, rather than one person's opinion, they'll be reading the combined experiences of many users.

        Does it always work?

        Nothing always works. But this approach lets me offer products I haven't used myself with a clear conscience.
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        • Profile picture of the author masterweb
          Of course it would not be appropriate to state claims for a product you haven't tried. Although it could help to experience it first, but it's difficult if you buy every hot product on the market. So would a 'buying guide' or 'product spotlight' be attractive to buyers?

          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Personal experience is great, if you can get it. When you own and use a product, your words tend to have a ring of authenticity about them.

          That said, sometimes it isn't practical to own everything you want to review. In those cases, I try to avoid even using the word "review", which does imply personal experience for many.

          I'll call the piece a 'buying guide' or a 'product spotlight', and even tell people flat out that, rather than one person's opinion, they'll be reading the combined experiences of many users.

          Does it always work?

          Nothing always works. But this approach lets me offer products I haven't used myself with a clear conscience.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by masterweb View Post

            Of course it would not be appropriate to state claims for a product you haven't tried. Although it could help to experience it first, but it's difficult if you buy every hot product on the market. So would a 'buying guide' or 'product spotlight' be attractive to buyers?
            Done well, it can be very attractive. Here's my basic recipe...

            > I point out that a lot of reviews are designed to get you (the reader) to purchase the product. This is a conclusion many readers already have reached, so I score trust points right out of the box.

            > I extend the logic by pointing out that even an honest review only reflects the perception of one person.

            > I tell them that I take a more 'journalistic' approach. I read multiple reviews from multiple sources on multiple similar products to find out what people consider important.

            > With that list in hand, I apply it to the product I'm covering, both the good and the bad.

            > If I come across any kind of recall information, I link to it (open the link in a new tab or window).

            > If my research says that the product is best received by a certain type of user, I say so.

            > I end the guide by giving a little plug to the site I want them to go to (usually Amazon), and link them to the product page to see the current price.

            I have found that this works better for physical products, although it could be applied to other types of products.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Alves
    Originally Posted by masterweb View Post

    If you have a lot of knowledge in your niche, is it necessary to actually try the promoted products? I find so many fancy pages or product reviews and sales letters, I find it hard to believe all these writers actually buy the products in order to review them.
    Most of them don't buy them. However, they are not going to succeed long term in this business. You should always know what you are promoting. It doesn't have to be bought. You could try contacting the owner to get the product for free, but you should know whether it's valuable. The last thing you want to do is recommend a product to a customer base that doesn't work.
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    • Profile picture of the author masterweb
      It would get too expensive to buy a whole bunch of them. Any tips on how to get the product owner to trust you with a free product?

      Originally Posted by John Alves View Post

      Most of them don't buy them. However, they are not going to succeed long term in this business. You should always know what you are promoting. It doesn't have to be bought. You could try contacting the owner to get the product for free, but you should know whether it's valuable. The last thing you want to do is recommend a product to a customer base that doesn't work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    Some of my best reviews have came from products I actually owned, but I certainly do not have to buy a product to review it. There are many ways to put together an honest and real review without having to buy the product.

    Benjamin Ehinger
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    • Profile picture of the author Rashell
      I personally dislike finding the types of "reviews" which are just a rehash of the product features as listed on the sales page. (A technique I see used a lot)

      By seeking a "review" I'm looking for info to overcome the few objections the sales copy left me with. A rehash of the sales copy isn't going to help.

      No, I don't think you have to buy everything before you promote it.

      An honest recommendation (reason why you think it's a good fit) is good enough.

      But... IMO, a review should be for something you've had experience with.

      BTW-- I see a review and a recommendation as 2 separate things.

      Hope it helps.

      Rashell
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      • Profile picture of the author masterweb
        You are right about that one. I see rehashed reviews myself. Except the tactic I'm talking about is not to "butter up" or "hype up" the product too much by saying how great it is. The health and wellness, beauty niche, for example, is my best niche in which I have a lot of experience in.
        So what I've been doing is even before I nail down a review about how great a product is, I first write something catchy of how most other products I tried are useless and cost too much money, which is what I also experienced. I do not mention which ones to avoid legal trouble. Then I write just a few short lines about a good, popular product I recently found. In fact, I even include a few critical sentences about what I don't like about the product because I can easily recognize the negative aspects about it. So 90 % positive and 10 % negative is my strategy.

        Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

        I personally dislike finding the types of "reviews" which are just a rehash of the product features as listed on the sales page. (A technique I see used a lot)

        By seeking a "review" I'm looking for info to overcome the few objections the sales copy left me with. A rehash of the sales copy isn't going to help.

        No, I don't think you have to buy everything before you promote it.

        An honest recommendation (reason why you think it's a good fit) is good enough.

        But... IMO, a review should be for something you've had experience with.

        Hope it helps.

        Rashell
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        • Profile picture of the author Rashell
          Originally Posted by masterweb View Post

          So what I've been doing is even before I nail down a review about how great a product is, I first write something catchy of how most other products I tried are useless and cost too much money, which is what I also experienced. I do not mention which ones to avoid legal trouble. Then I write just a few short lines about a good, popular product I recently found.
          I would call that a semi-review of the products you actually have used but not of the one you've just found.

          I'd see the whole process as a sales pitch for the "new product". And I'd just leave the page looking for a real review.

          Usually when I'm looking for a review of a product. I'm looking for the real world "results" someone got from it.

          Hope that helps,

          Rashell
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          • Profile picture of the author masterweb
            That does help, thanks!

            Originally Posted by Rashell View Post

            I would call that a semi-review of the products you actually have used but not of the one you've just found.

            I'd see the whole process as a sales pitch for the "new product". And I'd just leave the page looking for a real review.

            Usually when I'm looking for a review of a product. I'm looking for the real world "results" someone got from it.

            Hope that helps,

            Rashell
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        • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
          Originally Posted by masterweb View Post

          I first write something catchy of how most other products I tried are useless and cost too much money
          A bit of advice... starting a pitch with negativity puts the reader in a negative mood. I get that you are trying to relate with the reader, but I suggest relating to them with something more positive. Asking a happy person to buy is much easier than the uphill battle of getting a dissatisfied person to buy. Why create a hill?
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    Yes I almost always try out the products I share unless it comes highly recommended by others and in that case I will share it in a third person way.

    When you write reviews on products you are experienced with you will add authenticity, provide genuine value and do so much better.
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  • Profile picture of the author finleyjohn90
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    • Profile picture of the author masterweb
      True, except from my experience, I focus on the product itself when I buy it, rather than just the review. Sometimes popular products can be found just by googling instead of reading a review outside the sales page first. So it's also a hit and miss with reviewing as long as you don't copy or plagiarize someone else's review. I, as an experienced writer can see a review and I just giggle sometimes thinking, "Come on, I just read this by another author a few days ago." Not that the product or the review is bad, just that too many writers also coincidentally say the same things.

      Originally Posted by finleyjohn90 View Post

      i read many reviews on products , seems like they even did not see that product and still writing about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    I want to add my two cents to some of the so-so comments in this thread.

    First, I would like to share the definitions of the word "review" with you:

    1. To look over, study, or examine again.
    2. To consider retrospectively; look back on.

    According to these definitions, I think hat it is pretty safe to say that in order to review something, you must have seen it.

    If you have not seen the product that you are "reviewing", then any review of that product that you offer is nothing short of B.S.

    There is a big distinction between giving a review of something and giving a description.

    A news reporter might tell you about a new movie by saying, "James Cameron is at it again with his version of Godzilla. The movie was shot with a budget of $120 million and stars Tom Hanks as the American reptile hunter that travels to Japan in an effort to once and for all put down the monster."

    That is not a review. It is a description, but it still makes me want to go out and buy a ticket.

    On the other hand, a movie reviewer on the same newscast might say, "James Cameron has done it again with a spectacular rendition of the classic Godzilla movie. The effects make you feel as if you are about to be eaten by the 50 foot reptile. I give this movie two thumbs up."

    Which of these do you think actually saw the movie? Yup, the reviewer.

    Imagine if Consumer Reports based all of their findings on the advertisements of the product producer. Everything that they "reviewed" would be fantastic.

    If you are going to be a reviewer, then offer a real review. If you are going to be a promoter, then break down the features of the product as described by the creator, but don't act as if you have first hand knowledge.

    If you use a star or rating system without having seen the product, then make sure that you state that you have never seen the product.

    I guarantee you that an honest description will be better for your bottom line than a bullsh*t review.
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    • Profile picture of the author masterweb
      I saw so many reviews that I could even tell at times that this person did not actually buy the product. In fact no one knows if the e-book they read about the product was actually forwarded from a friend of theirs.
      And speaking about reviews and descriptions, a sales page has to be descriptive, otherwise nobody would buy the product, especially if a sample of the product, Clickbank products for example, is shown, it's easy to identify the pros and cons, and mention them in a review, because too many pros is also another sales hype in my opinion.

      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      I want to add my two cents to some of the so-so comments in this thread.

      First, I would like to share the definitions of the word "review" with you:

      1. To look over, study, or examine again.
      2. To consider retrospectively; look back on.

      According to these definitions, I think hat it is pretty safe to say that in order to review something, you must have seen it.

      If you have not seen the product that you are "reviewing", then any review of that product that you offer is nothing short of B.S.

      There is a big distinction between giving a review of something and giving a description.

      A news reporter might tell you about a new movie by saying, "James Cameron is at it again with his version of Godzilla. The movie was shot with a budget of $120 million and stars Tom Hanks as the American reptile hunter that travels to Japan in an effort to once and for all put down the monster."

      That is not a review. It is a description, but it still makes me want to go out and buy a ticket.

      On the other hand, a movie reviewer on the same newscast might say, "James Cameron has done it again with a spectacular rendition of the classic Godzilla movie. The effects make you feel as if you are about to be eaten by the 50 foot reptile. I give this movie two thumbs up."

      Which of these do you think actually saw the movie? Yup, the reviewer.

      Imagine if Consumer Reports based all of their findings on the advertisements of the product producer. Everything that they "reviewed" would be fantastic.

      If you are going to be a reviewer, then offer a real review. If you are going to be a promoter, then break down the features of the product as described by the creator, but don't act as if you have first hand knowledge.

      If you use a star or rating system without having seen the product, then make sure that you state that you have never seen the product.

      I guarantee you that an honest description will be better for your bottom line than a bullsh*t review.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank42
    Obviously when you have an actual review of the product where you have used it and can make a video you will make more sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author greggy
    My best performing reviews are those from products I bought and reviewed. On one product, I average $122.00 a day to be exact since I bought it. Before then, I was using "paraphrasing writing" and wasn't taking me far.
    Believe it or not, I have reviewed very competitive products and made it to the top of google from a no ranking website (because people will link to you if they find information truthful) within 3 months. My goal is not to make it to the top but to make every reader searcing for reviews to believe what I am saying as true and feel the need to buy.
    I use no pressure tactic but always leaves a sweet craving suspense so that the reader feel the need to read more.

    My 2 centes
    Greg
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