Policy on affiliate links in reviews?

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Virisenox_
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Policy on affiliate links in reviews?

I’m very new here and I was wondering about what the rules are for including affiliate links in reviews. I was told by the company I’m reviewing for to include a specific link in the review, but I also don’t want to get in trouble with the forum. I looked at the “Affiliate Linkers” post but I’m not trying to sell anything so I’m not sure if that applies. Would it be cool if I included the link and just mentioned that it was an affiliate link?

Reviewer for ThorFire, Olight, Sofirn, and others.

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DavidEF
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I haven’t read up on it lately, but IIRC, you can put the link in your review and let it be known that it is an affiliate link. For a bit more “good will” you can also include the non-affiliate version of the same link. There are some members here who have strong feelings against affiliate links. You will probably hear from them. But there isn’t a policy problem unless you’re trying to be deceptive.

EDIT: If you look again at the Affiliate Linkers thread, you’ll see the name of the person who posted it. That is the site owner and admin here. There are no other moderators. If you want a definite answer to your question, you can PM him directly.

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Manufacturers sometime give me specific links to post with reviews. I assume that it is so that they can track the amount of traffic coming from my reviews specifically or perhaps traffic from that sales representative/initiative. However, I don’t get any compensation for using those links, so I don’t think that this really counts as an affiliate link per se. I think that is the case for you (no additional compensation from those links), so you should be fine. Most people consider a link an “affiliate link” if you are personally profiting from using that link.

I personally have no problem with people posting aff links (as long as there is full disclosure) but I think that posting aff links with no disclosure is somewhat deceptive by way of omission.

In your case, if you want to be safe, you could disclose that the link was provided by the manufacturer but that you receive no further compensation (unless you do).

stephenk
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As per the above comment, I’m sometimes provided with a link so that the vendor can record traffic from that review to their website. However I receive absolutely no payment based on this traffic, though poor traffic may question whether the company want to send me more lights for review!

The same method is however used for companies to record the traffic from people who post deals, who may get an affiliate payment.

Thus it is actually quite complex for admin to know if an “affiliate link” is really an affiliate link or not. Personally I state in reviews that I receive no payment other than a free light.

Lexel
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I got the same special link to add to the normal product link

I was asked if I want have codes and own aff links but I refused

jon_slider
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here is what I think
a review of a free light, is a form of compensation
an affiliate link gets the salesperson from the vendor, a commission, even if the reviewer does not get a commission in addiotn to free lights

to me the whole review thing is a sort of ploy by the vendor, to use our site as a marketplace, in general discussion. They don’t want to just post in the commercial forum, they get more sales if they give away some lights and in return they get multiple new threads in the non commercial forums.

imo, IF you want to talk about a light you received for free, do NOT start a new thread IF there is already another “review”. Just add your own Original thoughts, NOT the website copy paste info, so we don’t get SPAMMED with multiple reviews of free lights.

IF otoh, you bought the light with your own money, Please share your thoughts in the non commercial forums. Just don’t SPAM us, because you got a free light.

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jon_slider wrote:
to me the whole review thing is a sort of ploy by the vendor, to use our site as a marketplace, in general discussion. They don’t want to just post in the commercial forum, they get more sales if they give away some lights and in return they get multiple new threads in the non commercial forums.

Of course vendors do it as a sort of advertising and sometimes they send out too many review copies to the same group of people.

jon_slider wrote:
imo, IF you want to talk about a light you received for free, do NOT start a new thread IF there is already another “review”. Just add your own Original thoughts, NOT the website copy paste info, so we don’t get SPAMMED with multiple reviews of free lights.

I do not like that idea, my reviews are usual late, but I would not accept to post them in some other review thread (If it is chargers or lights is the same for this discussion).

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

jon_slider
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HKJ wrote:
my reviews are usual late, but I would not accept to post them in some other review thread

Put it wherever makes you feel heard, Smile
Im interested in your Original content.
imo, no need to post specs and stock photos, that are available with a link.

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jon_slider wrote:
HKJ wrote:
my reviews are usual late, but I would not accept to post them in some other review thread

Im interested in your Original content.
imo, no need to post specs and stock photos, that are available with a link.

But then you are into doing a quality evaluation of the reviews, if they are above a certain quality they can post their own thread.
And how would a reviewer decide if their quality was above that level?

My website with reviews of many chargers and batteries (More than 1000): https://lygte-info.dk/

jon_slider
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HKJ wrote:
then you are into doing a quality evaluation of the reviews

actually I leave it up to you, the person posting the review.
Im happy to learn your Personal impressions about a product.

I have no interest in stock photos and specs consuming pages of info that can be had at the click of a mouse.

a quality review IS original, no need to repost stock photos and specs, at all, in MY Personal Opinion

will34
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jon_slider wrote:
imo, IF you want to talk about a light you received for free, do NOT start a new thread IF there is already another “review”. Just add your own Original thoughts, NOT the website copy paste info, so we don’t get SPAMMED with multiple reviews of free lights.

IF otoh, you bought the light with your own money, Please share your thoughts in the non commercial forums. Just don’t SPAM us, because you got a free light.

Many of us actually spend a lot of time writing these reviews and it’s not because we got a free light, but because it is part of the hobby and we love doing it.

Trust me, for the hours I spend writing a review, doing charge/discharge/runtime tests, making the graphs, going outside to take beamshots, taking pictures with my camera, processing them on the iPad and then uploading online, it’s not worth what the light costs.

I understand your point when you say the forum gets flooded from time to time with reviews of the same light, but that’s the manufacturers fault for allowing nearly anyone who asks for a free review unit to receive one.

jon_slider
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will34 wrote:
the forum gets flooded from time to time with reviews of the same light, but that’s the manufacturers fault.

correct, the Vendor uses free reviews to spam the forum

I know the reviewers themselves are just getting manipulated by the Vendor, to bypass the commercial forum, so even if I click the Not Commercial link at the top of the page, multiple reviews will show up in the discussion forums.

I appreciate your Original content, the only thing that irks me is the reposting of the same MFG info that can be found with a link.

some reviews are LOOONG reposts of info already available, with little more than one paragraph at the end that says something like, Pros and Cons..

I Do value runtime graphs, and other real info that the Vendor site does not offer
thanks for your contributions

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Lexel wrote:
I got the same special link to add to the normal product link

I was asked if I want have codes and own aff links but I refused

You mean you turned down the opportunity to save us money?

 

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@Virisenox_ Go ahead and post your review and your link…. you will be in good company as most do the same thing. You have tried to be upfront it seems to me.

If you do have questions, best to address them to sb56637; the forum owner. That way you can get a true answer rather than opinion.

If some consider your post ‘spam’, so what; they do not have to read it. You will never please or satisfy everyone. Smile

Looking forward to your review. Thumbs Up

Welcome to BLF also……. Smile

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Unless you’re getting paid for the amount of traffic going through your link, there’s nothing wrong with it.
Like most links on the internet they contain a part that helps the site track metadata and statistics.

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will34 wrote:
Trust me, for the hours I spend writing a review, doing charge/discharge/runtime tests, making the graphs, going outside to take beamshots, taking pictures with my camera, processing them on the iPad and then uploading online, it’s not worth what the light costs.

This is the very reason I’ve refused all of the review offers I’ve had from various manufacturers. I value my time more than I value the free lights.

It’s also the reason I appreciate the people who do write good reviews with plenty of tests and original information. They’re willing to do something that occasionally helps me too, but which I’m not willing to do myself, and that deserves my thanks.

Thank you all.

stephenk
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jon_slider wrote:
here is what I think
a review of a free light, is a form of compensation
an affiliate link gets the salesperson from the vendor, a commission, even if the reviewer does not get a commission in addiotn to free lights

to me the whole review thing is a sort of ploy by the vendor, to use our site as a marketplace, in general discussion. They don’t want to just post in the commercial forum, they get more sales if they give away some lights and in return they get multiple new threads in the non commercial forums.

imo, IF you want to talk about a light you received for free, do NOT start a new thread IF there is already another “review”. Just add your own Original thoughts, NOT the website copy paste info, so we don’t get SPAMMED with multiple reviews of free lights.

IF otoh, you bought the light with your own money, Please share your thoughts in the non commercial forums. Just don’t SPAM us, because you got a free light.

Putting all reviews for the same light in one thread won’t work, especially if there are links to the light being sold by different vendors. Different reviewers also concentrate on different areas e.g. some may focus on runtime graphs, modability/teardowns, beam shots, or useability. Few reviews cover everything, so reading different reviews of the same light can be very useful. Also, reviews can take a lot of time and effort, hence reviewers wanting their own thread for each review.

If you have an issue with multiple review threads of the same light, then just ignore them. No one is forcing you to read them!

old4570
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Dont know why affiliate links irk some so badly .. You think you just shot their dog or something !


I am not sure if everyone is aware of just how active some of the online retailers are in providing product for review ? I was thinking of one the other day , and it occurred to me that they must send out 10’s of thousands of dollars worth of goods out for review every month . Think about that !


Now is it reasonable for these companies to do so expecting no return ? ( No data or feedback or link backs )
Some of these sponsors want ( demand if you will ) affiliate links ..
1) Obviously to see how many link backs they get
2) The sort of response the product generates
3) The response to you ( the reviewer )


I did reviews for a company on and off for many years .. And then they said – Become affiliate ! Obviously to track the response to product reviews I did for them . I would say some were good and some not so good but in the long run I have hopefully helped them as much as they have sent me stuff !


Affiliate links are not evil …
I know some people push product ( affiliate programs ) , if enough people buy the product you get it for free .. ( Obviously some people hate this with a passion ) And there should be some sort of guidelines / rules for this … ( honestly – So what ? as long as they dont do it in the wrong place ) Obviously this is happening ( stomp on it ) But when it comes to product reviews – It is expected by the sponsor of the review so they can collect data . ( Gauge results ) .
So if you are lucky enough to be picked by one of the larger sponsors of reviews , chances are they will ask you to become affiliate and use a affiliate link so they can analyze you and your review and possibly the product being reviewed . ( Not all products are interesting )


I don’t know what the problem is ? It is quite simply the way things are going ! More and more sponsors will jump on the bandwagon because of the data they can collect .
And YES , this is all commercially motivated , but so what ?
No one is going to send out thousands of dollars worth of goods if it did not benefit them .
But think past that ! Think about the hundreds of reviews they sponsor , all the information being shared because of the reviews .
And yes , the sponsor is getting something , the reviewer is getting something ( besides a lot of work doing a review ) . And the reader of the review gets something .
You want to end that ? Why ?


I guess if people are abusing what is a review , then you may want some guidelines to follow !
I would assume something like :
This light is great , buy it …..
“Affiliate link”


Would not really qualify as a review ..
But genuine reviews with link backs or affiliate links ? ( Just don’t see the problem )

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

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^ well written post!

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old4570 wrote:
Dont know why affiliate links irk some so badly

It’s because often affiliate links are used to make money by the user posting them, basically getting paid off of other people clicking your link without disclosing it.
Not all affiliate links are for making money though, but it is usually the case.
DavidEF
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Enderman wrote:
old4570 wrote:
Dont know why affiliate links irk some so badly

It’s because often affiliate links are used to make money by the user posting them, basically getting paid off of other people clicking your link without disclosing it.
Not all affiliate links are for making money though, but it is usually the case.

Not trying to start yet another war over affiliate links, but what’s wrong with someone making money off your click? If you click on the link and buy the product, then you have obviously decided that it’s a worthy product. In that case, why shouldn’t the person who posted the link get a little money for doing so? It has been shown over and over again that the money doesn’t make your product any more expensive. In lots of cases (around here anyway), the link even gives you a better deal than you would have gotten on your own, so it’s actually saving you money!

To this date, I still have never seen anyone give a truly logical and completely thought-out, fact-based reason for not liking affiliate links. People just “don’t like” them and it’s all about the “feeling” of not liking them. Just like me and Brussels Sprouts. Sick

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DavidEF wrote:

Not trying to start yet another war over affiliate links, but what’s wrong with someone making money off your click? If you click on the link and buy the product, then you have obviously decided that it’s a worthy product. In that case, why shouldn’t the person who posted the link get a little money for doing so? It has been shown over and over again that the money doesn’t make your product any more expensive. In lots of cases (around here anyway), the link even gives you a better deal than you would have gotten on your own, so it’s actually saving you money!

To this date, I still have never seen anyone give a truly logical and completely thought-out, fact-based reason for not liking affiliate links. People just “don’t like” them and it’s all about the “feeling” of not liking them. Just like me and Brussels Sprouts. Sick


Often times people do not disclose that it is a paid affiliate link, and that basically makes it spam.
Rather than posting the link because it is a product they are interested in or to help people find the product, they post the affiliate link in order to make themselves money.
It is no longer about the product, it is just greed.
Same thing when people are shills and give good reviews in exchange for money or products, it’s all just self-interest.
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Whats Wrong with Brussels sprouts?

But seriously isn’t this just a question of trust.

If I see a review where the customer bought the product and has clear info and opinions about it (this has some value as a data point) aka I have reason to trust them.

If I see a review where an individual has been compensated for (explicitly or implicitly related to the review) I have a reason(s) to trust the review less.

First compensation is not limited to cash, so the “I did not get paid for it” is a red herring.

Second it is safe to assume that any adult capable of buying on the internet is familiar with the basics of capitalism. Point being knowledge and acceptance capitalistic relationships are nothing new, and are not an issue.

Clarity about which of the two product to reviewer relationship(s) is in place matters. Blurring that line of Trust is what company(s) want to buy at a discounted rate, aka a good deal for them.

As long as we call a “Shovel, A Shovel” there should not be any issues.

To my mind this comes down to

Clarity
and
Compensation

P.S.
HKJ is one of the few reviewers who sets the gold standard for Trust and Information. He is successfully managing his affairs in such a way that I don’t care which side of the fence he is on. It is also why Vendors wait in line for him to do a review.

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I saw a post where some people ( not sure who ) where whining about white people living in comfortable houses ..
Apparently these people want the white people to give them their homes ? ( What the parking lot ? ) For nothing !

If some one has the gumption to get off their bee-hive , do something to earn some green …. Why would people have a problem with that ? ( That sounds crazy to me )
Is it going to harm you ? , shorten your life ? , cost you money ? , make you go bald ? … I don’t think any of those things ! are going to happen .
So what is the root problem ? You don’t like people earning money ? ( That’s the problem ! )

You do know that when you go to a store and buy something , some one is making money from the transaction ? The retailer , the wholesaler , the manufacturer , and the TAX man . And anyone else in that particular chain of supply . ( Like the transport company – package manufacturer and so forth ) ????????? I am confused why some one with enough ounce to do something , is such a bad person . ( Unless of course they are breaking the rules – off course ) One would think they would be applauded rather than attacked .. Once upon a time people with gumption were held in high regard .. ( ? ) What happened to that ?

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
― Theodore Roosevelt

TR – A doer ! Wonder what he might have complained about today ?

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

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old4570 wrote:

If some one has the gumption to get off their bee-hive , do something to earn some green …. Why would people have a problem with that ?

It is morally incorrect to profit off others for personal benefit by not disclosing stuff like sponsorships, and monetized affiliate links are a type of sponsorship.

This is why it is now illegal in the US to make reviews or even youtube videos without stating the compensation you are receiving in the form of products or money.

old4570
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Enderman wrote:
old4570 wrote:

If some one has the gumption to get off their bee-hive , do something to earn some green …. Why would people have a problem with that ?

It is morally incorrect to profit off others for personal benefit by not disclosing stuff like sponsorships, and monetized affiliate links are a type of sponsorship.

This is why it is now illegal in the US to make reviews or even youtube videos without stating the compensation you are receiving in the form of products or money.

WOW ! Compensation ? Is the product you are reviewing considered compensation ? And how is it all factored ? Here is a common scenario .. Lets say you are sent a $50 product ( Value $50 ) What is time worth ? Lets call it $20 an hour .. A half decent job should earn you $20 an hour unless you work at McDonalds … Lets say you put in 10 hours for the review just for the hell of it .. That’s $200 in time you are owed … Less the $50 for the product being reviewed … Effectively putting you $150 in the rears ( out of pocket ) … Not even considering any costs that may be incurred .. ( For those guys at the IRS ) So while a review may look all attractive from the outside , the reality is quite different . If you want to get nitty gritty ! Most reviewers are actually out of pocket unless sent something truly valuable .. So if you want to get out your pocket calculator , you may realize that most people do this for the enjoyment ( some people enjoy Golf ) . Not out of any sense of getting $$ and building up a Ferrari fund , that’s for Doctors and Lawyers and such . I don’t know that you could even fund a bicycle doing the odd product review .. Again , this perception that people are earning from other people ( wait – that’s how the world works ) You don’t earn from the click on the link , you earn if people buy .. And the compensation for that might be (?) If it’s an affiliate link from a review ( I don’t know that you earn much of anything ) I do know that if you participate in their affiliate SALES programs ( promotions ) you might earn (?) this is variable depending on your affiliate level ( your graded ) . So the higher your graded the more you earn and I can’t remember what the high earners get … As long as some one is doing nothing illegal , as for this moral stuff ? There is an onion I don’t want to peel .. Whoa !!!! That’s a loaded gun … And the problem with that is does one apply the same moral code to oneself as one applies it to others ?????? ( Most people don’t )

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

old4570
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I had to check !
I have earned $15.50 … ( Youtube video’s ) I don’t know that I could buy anything Ferrari for that .. ( Maybe a Cap for the tire valve ? )
And I don’t even want to know how much I have spent putting video ( reviews n stuff ) on youtube , I would be lucky to have gotten a 1% return ..
I guess some one owes me $1500 …
I really don’t know about this EARNING ( BS ) … I don’t think that for the average joe six pack earning is the motivation .. If it was , would we not all be doing Girls with Guns video’s ? Now that guy EARNED Ferrari money ! ( No he really did ) . Simple concept ! Girls in bikini’s , large breasted girls ! Shooting guns with lots of jiggling when the gun went Boom ( slow motion even ) … A very simple , BASE , idea that earned $$
Yeah don’t know about the morals of it , but that guy made green . And in the end the only person hurt was him ! ( Was he shot in the head making a video ? Was that karma ? )

I just dont know , I have been doing reviews for a long time and I have never earned . If anything it has simply been a labor of love . And over that time ( must be like 25 years now ) , there has been this vocal minority that hates people getting product to review . Where this Ax came from and why people need to grind it ? This forum belongs to sb56637 , anything and everything else said is neither here or there … I have a review to finish .

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

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DavidEF wrote:

To this date, I still have never seen anyone give a truly logical and completely thought-out, fact-based reason for not liking affiliate links.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

"It's pretty obvious that affiliated links give people the opportunity to post items they usually have no personal experience with for the express interest of putting pennies into their pockets. It proves to what lengths a person will go through in grubbing up a few extra dollars. Affiliate links are notoriously banned in most forums for this reason." - FlashPilot

DavidEF
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raccoon city wrote:

DavidEF wrote:

To this date, I still have never seen anyone give a truly logical and completely thought-out, fact-based reason for not liking affiliate links.


There are none so blind as those who will not see.


“It’s pretty obvious that affiliated links give people the opportunity to post items they usually have no personal experience with for the express interest of putting pennies into their pockets. It proves to what lengths a person will go through in grubbing up a few extra dollars. Affiliate links are notoriously banned in most forums for this reason.” – FlashPilot


“There are none so blind as those who will not see.” – This I agree with! Wink

I wonder why when unfounded hatred for affiliate links in general is called out, someone always seems to bring up this one extreme example. Is it because that’s the lone case that warrants any animosity? Innocent

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

Mike C
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I just don’t get why some people don’t get why some other people dislike affiliate links in reviews. If a review is posted by someone who earns money of sales from that review, is it so hard to understand why some people might suspect that the review is biased?

bikenber73
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+1

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