Policy on affiliate links in reviews?

You still don’t get it.
Bias because one person like something more than another is just a personal opinion, which is why people watch reviews to inform themselves.
Bias because the person will get paid more for giving a certain product a positive review is not a personal opinion, and it misinforms the people that watch the review.
I don’t know why I’m even trying to argue with someone who doesn’t care about undisclosed sponsorship… :person_facepalming:

Wow! Interesting read. I have never given much thought to the whole affiliate link thing. Don’t really even understand how it works because I don’t do it. Now that I’ve been reading this, it occurs to me that if someone does a good enough job reviewing a light that it makes the product sell like hot-cakes, then they get some kick backs from that review (whether disclosed or not) it’s an aside that essentially makes it somewhat worth their time to have done such a good job on the review. But what I’m seeing here, what concerns some, is whether the review was taken on purely on that basis? I see that, still irrelevant in the end as far as I’m concerned. I still won’t use affiliate links and even if I posted a link (not being aware it was affiliate) I wouldn’t cash in the perks, as it were. In the same way I don’t use discount coupons at MTNElectronics or Banggood or GearBest, I just don’t use em. Simon offers BLF a discount, but Simon is a small shop (Convoy) so I don’t use his coupon, his products are well made and I like em, they’re cheap enough already, so I want him to make a bit more money and develop more models. That’s just me though.

When I get asked to do a review, I make sure they know I’m gonna call it like I see it. I’m gonna open up the light and inspect it inside and out. I’m gonna report where I see they’d done good and where I see they cut corners. If they know their product has some shortcomings, they better dang well know I’m gonna call em out on it and show clear close-up pictures. A really well made light will shine, in my report, same as a poorly made one will stink when I’m done.

As far as me getting a “free light” out of the deal, well, yeah, but one that’s been thoroughly dissected and sometimes marked up getting it apart if they glued it. 7-15 hours of work on it, so if it’s not a $400 light to begin with I’m losing money just working up the review. But then, I’m a flashaholic and a photographer and I have physical issues so I use the hobby aspect as a relief valve… that’s what I do it for and if I can show folks what is a great light vs a good light vs a nightmare then that makes me happy that I helped someone buy the right one or avoid the wrong one.

I don’t have a great many review lights in my collection, the vast majority I bought myself. And even those get dissected and reported on in the same way as a review light. Like the Nitecore TM03, I bought it, full price, and took it apart more than once, taking pics and modifying and changing he XHP-70 to an MT-G2 because I prefer the tint.

At any rate, I don’t make any money on any light that comes in here, but I know people that have as many lights as I do that only bought one or two. That’s they’re thing, this is mine.

Also, I almost never know if a company has other lights out for review or how many, so it’s usually a big surprise to me to see the same light I just posted on with multiple threads by other people. I know I don’t have the tech saavy to make all the charts and stuff, but I show the light for how I see it, inside and out, and if it gets destroyed in the process (a couple have) then whatever. Sometimes I end up using these review lights to do giveaway’s, didn’t cost me anything to get it, only cost’s me shipping to give it away. And so it goes…

Remember not long back when there was argument or debate about the Utorch UT02 being a clone of the Manker U21? Someone suggested that GearBest send me both lights so people could see what’s what. I did a quick review comparison on them, showed them inside and out, output levels and driver current pulls and all that. Then I sent the Manker U21 overseas to a noob that wanted that light but couldn’t afford it. So I spent $50 sending out an International package on a light I got for free. As if the review itself didn’t pay for the UT02, I took out of pocket money to send that Manker to a fellow member. I sure didn’t have to do that. Just felt like it for a Pay-it-Forward sense of doing the right thing.

Dang near put the UT02 up for a giveaway on my post count just yesterday, but I sure do Like That Light! :stuck_out_tongue: (so far, it’s staying here. Will be looking at others though as my post count demands it.)

Im sorry , I think you dont get it !

Who gets paid for reviews ? I have never been PAID for a review !

I don’t think after 25 years I know anyone that has been paid for a review !

The only person I know who was PAID for doing reviews was a magazine writer , and it was the magazine that paid him for the review … I am also aware of some websites / blogs that apparently pay people for reviews . I am not aware of any SPONSORS that pay for reviews . And I am pretty sure that BLF does not pay for reviews . Again ……………………………

Again ………… I invite you to do more than SPAM ! , I invite you to make me a believer … Please , some evidence of your innuendo ! If your not prepared to offer some evidence of your allegations perhaps its time to head on over to candlepower . And see how they treat spam !

Problem is ! There is more than one type of affiliate link . ( affiliate program ) Now there are people out there that are exceptionally good at using these . There are people earning thousands of dollars , others who earn tens of thousands and I have even heard of one earner that took it over 100, 000 Dollars … ( apparently ) I don’t think anyone is making anywhere near that from reviews on BLF . Seriously you would need hundreds of thousands of link backs , and then a decent % of those to make a purchase . ( To earn ) The other thing to keep in mind , visiting a product page earns nothing except kudos to the reviewer as well as data to the sponsor . ( lets not lose sight of this ) . What does it cost some one to click on an affiliate link ? Nothing , nada , zip , zero … The price of the product does not change , what does change is that the referee may earn a small % if a sale is made ( again depends very much on the type of affiliate program ) … Reviewers earn very little ! from sales , probably the least earning affiliate link there is … ( like working at McDonalds )

I am guessing here , but the two affiliate programs I am seeing on BLF are … The affiliate program for reviewers , which is the least rewarding . And the other is the get it free program , where if enough people buy something you get it for free … So depending on the affiliate link used , results will vary for so called earning . So how does this affect YOU ! It doesn’t … Imagine say that 400 people on BLF were interested in a flashlight , and some member of a online store saw that flashlight on sale for lets say 25% off and it usually sold for $100 ( keep the math simple ) … That’s a saving of $25 hard earned . The person posts said deal on BLF with an affiliate link . The cost to anyone clicking the link is Zero . The price of the product does not change ! ( your not paying more ) . In fact you are saving 25% . The person posting the affiliate link will earn a small % ( depending on the affiliate program ) commission on sales for directing people to the sale . Now , apparently this is wrong and immoral . No one has been hurt - robbed - or murdered , but its wrong ? I will never understand that perspective .

If anyone is actually getting paid for doing reviews - Sweet lord tell me how ! ( Because so far its costing me money ! ) Even when I am sent product I am in no way earning ! ( While I am here ) …

I was looking at a online store one day when I spied a product ( yes I will name it ) , the IrangeX IRX4 multi protocol module . This module goes on the back of RC transmitters allowing the user to bind his / her transmitter to a massive amounts of models all using their own protocols ( proprietary transmitters ) . I saw it and wanted it ( Badly ) , and a quick email latter I was granted the privileged of receiving a review sample . That was a few months ago . Since then I have posted reviews - stories on the IRX4 - as well as DIY videos on topics such as throttle hold , binding , flipping your quad using the IRX4 … Some weak minded person might think I made of like a bandit . But if you look past getting something for free . There is the responsibility to not only post honest information , but to also trouble shoot and help people . I don’t want to think about the hours I have put into the IRX4 , what I think about is . Hopefully I did justice to the sponsor ( link backs ) , I am doing justice to anyone reading the reviews / DIY guides / and stories I have posted on the IRX4 . Now it.s not just about the IRX4 , but also the firmware ( software ) you need to run to utilize the IRX4 . A lot of people have problems with the firmware . So you have to write about that as well . If I were to calculate the hours invested in the product over the last few months . The value of the product VS time - just no contest , I lost $$ big time .

I can not speak for anyone else , I like doing tests / product reviews . If I see a sale I will share a link ( affiliate ) to said sale ( not on BLF ) … This way the sponsor knows that those visitors are VIA me ! And have I earned $17 USD from those posts ( another forum that allows them - no troll attacks ) . Is that over 12 something months I have earned $17 USD . ( How Horrible of me ) And for affiliate links in reviews . ? I can only suggest some turn off their computers and go outside . ( Enjoy life - get a girl friend - Buy a 4x4 and go wheeling )

I just might go fly a micro quad now …. ( Yes utilizing the IRX4 )

First of all this thread is about affiliate links in reviews, not affiliate links in general.

Sponsored reviews are little more than ads in non commercial parts of the forum. Some people don’t mind ads, other people do (adblocker isn’t popular for nothing). Long posts about how little people are making from these ads doesn’t change the mind of those who dislike ads to begin with.

Nice job on the anecdotal evidence. So now just because you don’t get paid for reviews, nobody does? :person_facepalming: :person_facepalming: :person_facepalming:
There are many people who get paid for reviews, not just with free products but also with money.
Paid affiliate links are one of the ways.

For example, a youtube channel like LTT needs to disclose what sponsorship or funding they receive when making a product review, otherwise they can get sued for undisclosed sponsorship in the US.

If someone posts a monetized affiliate link without saying that it is making them money, it is not very easy for someone to know that it is an affiliate link and it is impossible to know if it is monetized.
For all you know, the person wrote a positive review to get more people to click on his link and make him money.
For all you know, the person is making tons of accounts on many forums just to post his useless review in order for more people to see and click the link.
It seems like you have trouble understanding how “behind your back” money payments work in the review industry and why it is illegal in the US to not disclose them, so I’m just going to stop trying to argue with this brick wall.

Holly smoke Batman !

Can you R.E.A.D ! (?)

Whats that saying ? Cant have a reasonable conversation with unreasonable people ! I strongly suggest you re read what I wrote … And please , what I put in print is not open to interpretation or imagination or libel . Oh by the way - I am not in the USA - in fact a huge amount of people in the world dont live in the USA … And a lot of people on this forum are not from the USA . And it’s very obvious YOU have a problem with affiliate links and you have a ax to grind . Again , rather than going attack troll , make your argument ( back it up ) .

Here I will help you ! Blog Disclosure Statements: Are You Following The Law? - Chronic Illness Bloggers For those in the USA - you should read this ! Those in the UK - apparently you should check your regs as well . Those in Australia , we have no such laws , we have guidelines ( not laws ) , so the Ozzi government is saying - please do it like this - it is not law . I haven’t checked the regs for the UK … Also youtube has some regs to check out ,

Are Affiliate Links Allowed on YouTube? - YouTube!

And just to be more accurate !

I went and checked on the link given by my sponsor for reviews and it is not a PAY link … Looks like its only a DATA link … I can’t find anything related to it on the sponsors site that would suggest earning from it . The earning I mentioned comes from affiliate programs I only use on my web ( advertising ) … So the review link is strictly for Kudos … So there are two types of links . The earner and the data . So where do we stand on data links ? And how are you going to tell them apart ? ( Yes , I think I know ) .

I enjoy doing reviews, but before I will work with any product I make it perfectly clear that they are going to get my opinion good or bad. I will include things I like and things that I think are problems in the review. If I cannot be honest, then there is no point in doing the review and yes… I have sent product back because they manufacture was not willing to take a less than 100% positive review! I have never used an affiliate link, I do link to the product page and feel that is only right. I also feel that it is fine to include a discount code with a review, if it is worth reviewing and buying then why not take advantage of a better price. Not sure if that counts as a affiliated link or not.

I do not have the gear to do output graphs, and accurate runtime graphs and I really wish I did. But, considering I make nothing off the review when considering time spent… it is hard to justify a bunch of extra expense. But would love to know how to get good runtime graphs if someone wanted to share how they do it.

I stick to my “make nothing” statement because I also do not feel it is right to sell a light that I was given as a review sample. I may from time to time give them away however.

Yep , never sold a flashlight that was sent for review . I have them all . ( Unless they died ) . I have no idea how many I have , but I have no interest in parting with them for $$ . If it was sent for review I keep it and use it for as long as possible , till the next fancy comes along . So to all those sponsors out there …. Thank you ! ( And not just those that sent me something , but rather all of you for supporting the flashlight community )

old4570, that is my plan as well. I do not see the review process as a bad thing. Just got to look at the X7R, helluf a light, would I have bought it… not likely can’t justify the cost. But to those who can, at least there is an objective opinion out there now.

I think old4570 doth protest too much.

Protest what ? exactly ! U made a very vague innuendo about what ? Want to step up or U just spamming ? If your complaining about me taking this seriously then there you go , good for you . But let me be quite clear , I don’t like BS . So if I have done something wrong , spit it out … Don’t be a coward !

old4570, you and I may both have to just realize we’re wasting our time with some of these. There have been whole threads devoted to this “issue” in the past. I tried to have a nice debate thread about it myself once. But “nice” isn’t what some people want. As someone said earlier in this thread: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” Thanks for trying though.

In all these threads that you speak of, have you still "never seen anyone give a truly logical and completely thought-out, fact-based reason for not liking affiliate links?"

If so, you are the blind troll that chooses not to see.

And what happened to, "I do get a little bit passionate at times. But I’m through now. No more arguments from me."

I haven’t read all those other threads, but I haven’t heard of a good argument against affiliate links, as long as they are disclosed. If the reviewer fails to disclose any compensation he may get, then yes, I certainly see the problem.

I’m not arguing. I’m trying to give old4570 a friendly bit of advice. But, since you re-engaged, let me just say this: Your personal feelings don’t qualify as logical, or fact-based, or reasonable. That’s because, by definition, “personal feelings” are emotional, not rational. And also, I have never approached the definition of “troll” with any of my posts on this subject. But you know who has? :wink: Thanks for playing though. No hard feelings here. I hope you can say the same. :smiley:

I asked for evidence as to how affiliate links do harm , are bad and none has been forth coming . Sure attacking me is proof of affiliate links being bad … But just saying so does not make it so ! Here is a very simple way to prove something … I call it the Hammer . A hammer is a object , incapable of doing anything by itself . It’s an object , a tool . But his tool can do harm and cause damage and it can never BE immoral , certainly it could be used in a immoral way but thats not on the hammer , thats on the user … ( Have I lost anyone yet , is this too hard to understand ) .

The Hammer : Joe Six Pack goes to his local hardware emporium and buys a hammer along with some lumber and nails . At home he begins his summer project , cutting lumber , making joins and hammering nails . Joe’s neighbor , ( Lets call him Dip Stick ) hates the sound of hammering ( never mind it’s the middle of the day ) . After a little while dip stick has had enough runs outside and yells abuse at Joe Six Pack . Joe not having had the best day wanders on over to his neighbors house and knocks on the door . Upon opening the door Joe Six Pack buries the hammer into Dip Sticks skull killing him instantly …

Can anyone refute that the hammer did harm or caused damage ? ( I dont think so ) Now allegations have been made about Affiliate links , that they are bad , do bad things , are immoral (?) Well I am calling BS on this , and I am simply asking for proof ! It’s not hard , make me believe !

For those that might be confused , I don’t give a flying B17 about affiliate links . What I have a problem with is ” stupid ” and ” BS ” . If your going to say something , be prepared to prove it ! I have played the Devils advocate because I hate ” Stupid ” , and everyone is capable of being stupid , and if I do something stupid , I am much harder on myself . But in this case , I am still waiting for the proof . Prove your argument !