Despite that, the reviewer rated each of the products, giving a grade or ranking to each one, strongly recommending the one that came out on top. Each of the links was an affiliate link, of course.
I know that review sites are a popular model in affiliate marketing. If you offer review sites, how do you ethically review a product unless you've used it? Have you successfully made sales from review sites like this? Were you ever persuaded by this kind of review site?
Beyond review sites, I get tons of emails every week from affiliates raving about products that haven't been even been released yet, by marketers they don't actually know. (Not speaking here about jv's that are given preview copies, etc).
Isn't this the model of nearly every affiliate network since affiliates aren't required to purchase a product to sell it?
Not to take this too far, since every store worldwide sells products the owners have never tried, but, in the im industry where the claims can be so persuasive, and so much is based on trust and building relationships, is the bar a little higher?