Is It Ok To Write Negative Product Reviews?

32 replies
Hey folks

As an affiliate, would you say it was OK to do negative reviews for products?

Say you were in the weight loss niche. We all know there are tons of tremendously bad weight loss products out there that are selling really well due to good marketing.

As the go-to weight-loss guy, occasionally doing a negative review of a popular product that your subscribers should NOT buy, would make you come across as more authentic.

Is there anything wrong with this say from a legal standpoint? Could you get into trouble for publicly saying that you think so-and-so product is totally crap!?
#negative #product #reviews #write
  • Profile picture of the author ezekielseo
    if you truly do think their product is total crap - no there is no problem with that, but don't go bashing someone's product to make you seem more authentic.

    List the pros and cons, and what you feel they should've improved on.
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  • Profile picture of the author webmonopoly
    Originally Posted by Snow_Predator View Post

    Hey folks

    As an affiliate, would you say it was OK to do negative reviews for products?

    Say you were in the weight loss niche. We all know there are tons of tremendously bad weight loss products out there that are selling really well due to good marketing.

    As the go-to weight-loss guy, occasionally doing a negative review of a popular product that your subscribers should NOT buy, would make you come across as more authentic.

    Is there anything wrong with this say from a legal standpoint? Could you get into trouble for publicly saying that you think so-and-so product is totally crap!?
    I don't think it will benefit you much, your better off choosing good/average products and writing authentically. You wont make any sales on your negative review, I don't think its worth the time for the limited amount of traffic that might perceive you as more genuine.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    So long as the review you write is factual and based on your own real experience, you can write whatever you like.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slin
    I've had good experience doing this, it lead me to hire conversions.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I read in another thread some time ago that a Warrior managed to sell a few Amazon products even after writing a negative review about them.

    This means that sometimes the public doesn’t want to believe in reviews.

    Thus, you can write a (sincere) negative review with the intention to show to your readers that you are not merely promoting a certain product, but you are an objective reviewer, and at the same time, sell this product to those who will disagree with you, besides also selling the products you will write a positive review about.







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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    For me, it's been more profitable to offer both pros AND cons for a particular product
    and review.

    In other words, instead of saying the product is the greatest thing since sliced
    bread, or saying it's a piece of crap... i like listing both the benefits AND the drawbacks, and here's why.

    When you're listing out both pros and cons, the pros may outweigh the cons... and lead
    to a purchase.

    So, you can say something like..

    "Even though the ebook was not very organized and it was sorta written without
    the best spelling, the information on diet and nutrition alone was worth the price."

    Or....

    Overall, the ebook wasn't very detailed and it was kinda generic and not very specific... but with that said, the one tip on page 48 alone made me $1,000 from Google
    Adwords"

    Those are just examples, off the top of my head, but for me, I'll do product reviews that list out a lot of benefits and drawbacks.

    I'll list out 10 benefits and 10 drawbacks.

    and many, many times I make sales as an affiliate off those review pages, even though my review wasn't all positive or negative.

    All it takes is one overpowering benefit for someone to outweigh the negatives, and they buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
      I like Shawn's approach. An honest review that discusses all the features of the product, warts and all, gives potential buyers the information they need to make that decision - and it also makes them trust the positive information in the review. And that can convert very well.

      I think it's important to differentiate between an honest review that generally includes whatever negative points there might be in the product, and a "negative" review that just trashes it.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    You will get more respect if you act with integrity. Respect leads to trust. Trust leads to cash.
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  • Profile picture of the author AvrilWriter
    Honesty is the best policy. I respect people that give honest reviews a great deal. It wouldn't hurt you in any way as you would become more trusted within your niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author TTGSteve
    You should always be honest in your reviews. If the product sucks, you should let people know that it sucks. Don't rip people off.
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  • Profile picture of the author thomasjohnson
    freedom of speech.. should be fine. plus, your community will trust you more when they know youre not afraid to give your real opinion
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Seeding fake bad reviews for link bait?

    Scumbaggery. The lowliest form of affiliate suckitude. Potentially actionable.

    Finding a product to be crap, then explaining how you arrived at that conclusion?

    Good work. Never be afraid to tell the truth.

    Also, remember that bullshit comes back to haunt you.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Your review needs to be truthful. If you fabricate negative statements for the purpose of creating a bad review then you could be sued for defamation. One initial question will be whether you bought the product the product.
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  • Profile picture of the author wesawu
    Writing negative reviews is ok so long as you don't tell a lie. You might want to include in the review an alternative product. Keep in mind, what you might perceive as a negative my be perceived as a positive by the reader.
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  • Profile picture of the author KevinChapman
    As long as you truly believe that the product is useless and you are completely honest in your review then I think your subscribers will appreciate it. I'd be careful going to overboard though, make sure you explain fully why you don't like the product and if there are any positives, include them!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jtraits
    i don't think that there will be a problem but don't be too hursh on the review ... there is also the saying "if you have nothing good to say, better say nothing"
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  • Profile picture of the author mialove
    I always prefer to buy from sites that list also bad reviews, it's a psychological thing...i trust them much more
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Campbell
    Honesty is the best policy, there's absolutely no need in trying to deceive anyone so I say go for it, if you've ever watched Top Gear then you'd see a great example of it there. If they review a car and think it's utter crap they're going to tell their viewers about it.

    Same applies to any product and if you can save your subscribers/customers some money they'll love you for it and obviously you'll come across genuine, and we all know about the benefits of that.


    As long as your not bashing anyone and do it in a respectful manner then there is nothing wrong with a solid product review, good or bad.

    Cheers

    S.C
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Of course.

    If its one of my products, no.
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  • Profile picture of the author Assetus
    I'm always slightly suspicious of sites who only say positive things about every single product, particularly if those things involve comments like "best ever" and then a week later something very similar is getting the same treatment. It just sounds more honest to lay out who should buy it, who isn't as well suited to it, what it does/doesn't do etc.

    Likewise I find it ridiculous to see reviewers on Amazon who give 5 stars to nearly every book they've reviewed. I'm not talking spam accounts either, legitimate authors/reviewers who only have nice things to say about every book they review, but I understand why. They're likely living in fear that if they offer an honest opinion on a crap book, their own material will get a torrent of bad reviews as revenge. A legitimate fear given the state of Amazon reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edman15
    If you have experienced the product yourself and found it crap, you can write up anything you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor Edson
    If it's an honest review... then DO IT. People who are reading your reviews don't want you to bend over backwards and praise everything you see and claim it's near magic powers, especially when you didn't even like it.

    Your readers want to know you're like minded and trying to help them out. If you warn them about a product being low quality... you'll build a better relationship with them as someone who's honest and not someone just trying to sell everything they see.

    Keep your reviews honest and don't be afraid to not recommend a product if you don't like it.
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  • Profile picture of the author tomerep
    I guess you should be honest on your review. If you think it sux, it sux. Just say the truth. Otherwise just choose another product to prmote. I guess being honest could be refreshing to your own readers. It can also be your chance to promote another affiliate product that you think is better.
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    • Profile picture of the author MTVida
      One strategy that can work pretty well, is to write an honest review of a bad product, then lead your prospects to a review of a product that yo feel is much better.

      Something like: "Unfortunately product A doesn't live up to the hype. Product B may be a better option for people looking to lose weight. Read the review of product B here..."

      This way you can build credibility and make plenty of sales at the same time
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      • Profile picture of the author dvm3
        Originally Posted by MTVida View Post

        One strategy that can work pretty well, is to write an honest review of a bad product, then lead your prospects to a review of a product that yo feel is much better.

        Something like: "Unfortunately product A doesn't live up to the hype. Product B may be a better option for people looking to lose weight. Read the review of product B here..."

        This way you can build credibility and make plenty of sales at the same time
        Completely agree with this. With Amazon, works best for "popular" products which only get mediocre reviews. These products will still get search traffic but are not promoted by many. Promote the page of the poor product and lead them to the good product on your site.

        Having both the good and bad will of course make your site look more legit.
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  • Profile picture of the author DeborahDera
    If you haven't used it, you shouldn't be reviewing it - theoretically.

    You could probably write about the things you saw in the ads and reviews, and how you compared the pros and cons of yours vs theirs and chose yours, but writing negative reviews as if you've used something would be unethical (amongst other things).

    Originally Posted by Snow_Predator View Post

    Hey folks

    As an affiliate, would you say it was OK to do negative reviews for products?

    Say you were in the weight loss niche. We all know there are tons of tremendously bad weight loss products out there that are selling really well due to good marketing.

    As the go-to weight-loss guy, occasionally doing a negative review of a popular product that your subscribers should NOT buy, would make you come across as more authentic.

    Is there anything wrong with this say from a legal standpoint? Could you get into trouble for publicly saying that you think so-and-so product is totally crap!?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8299791].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author joaquin112
    A few months ago I wrote a few negative reviews about certain products that were bad. Then I recommended a totally different product at the end of the article and conversions were decent.
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  • Profile picture of the author ceenote100
    As long as you're not promoting those certain products, sure why not?
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  • Profile picture of the author docboulay
    If I buy a product and use it and promote it I will say whether it does what its supposed to do, or not. If its not OK then it gets a negative review. But even then, it really has to be bad to get a totally bad review. It might get one star out of 5
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    The net is FULL with fake and hyped-up lying "reviews", and people surely are getting sick of it, especially in the IM niche but also in weight loss and many more niche. ANY honest review (and I mean really honest) can only add something positive. In reality, any product or service might have one or the other downside. Your reviews should reflect this. Convince you visitors you are legit and in fact competent to review, rather than just joining the zillions of fail-marketers who write fake reviews where any idiot sees that their reviews only serve the purpose to make a quick sale.

    I cannot express my anger enough should I on occasion happen to look for a real evaluation of a product, say, in the IM niche...and all you got is *those* websites (we all know those kinds of websites) where you immediately see you cannot take one single word of those "reviews" serious.
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      I honestly wouldn't bother unless you want them to buy the product because it's a little useful.

      Why sh1t on someone else to make yourself look a little more respectable?

      I'd rather not mention crap products on my site and be known for the person who doesn't mention them.
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