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?

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.

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).

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.

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

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.

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.

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).

Put it wherever makes you feel heard, :slight_smile:
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?

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

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.

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

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

@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. :slight_smile:

Looking forward to your review. :THUMBS-UP:

Welcome to BLF also……. :slight_smile:

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.

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.

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!

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 )

^ well written post!

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.