Poll: Are affiliate links on BLF ok?

You can see the archived poll results on the Wayback Machine:


I vote no..

Here are some reasons

Honest links = better community

-There is something nice about having a marketing/commercial free place. Let all links be honest links. Free from personal gain, money motives etc.. Let a good deal be a good deal because its worth sharing... Or share a link because you want to help others, not yourself.


-Affiliate links in general contribute to pollution if form of excessive links. Due to affiliate links, more links gets posted. Links to products people would not normally bother to share.

«Honesty» with a sales pitch

-Reviews with affiliate links can have a tendency to be overly positive in order to sell more.

Its just the nature of things. Put someone on "paycheck" or bonus, and they have a tendency do a little extra, or «bend the honesty» in order to make some extra bucks. Reviews without affiliate links are generally just more neutral and honest in their rating.

Paid advertising everywhere, no thanks

-Commercial sellers have to stick to the commercial sellers area. Once a commercial seller gets its own personal pawn/or pawns these people have a tendency to do "commercial promoting/advertising" out in the open. A vendor then have an advantage getting advertising all over the forum. Advertising which the vendors pays for. I am no fan of excessive advertising. Especially not if its hidden. People don't need advertising throw in their face by fellow BLF members.

Keeping small businesses alive

-Affiliate links are mostly connected to the big companies. Not the small ones, the ones who try to to make an honest living just by having good customer service and selling good products. Its generally the smaller vendors who are the better ones and the shops we flashoholics need to keep alive. Promoting the big vendors does not help the small ones..

Edit; included reasons

I have no problem with the links themselves. I have problem with people making posts just to put their link in there. I voted against them as people started to exploit it too much. BangGood deals thread is one example of it.

I don’t mind aff links as long as they also provide a link without it.

If members want to thank someone for sharing a product, they can use the aff link.

If not, they can use the normal link.

I get the impression that most people here who use those links are not writing posts just for the link, but I do not like to have to wonder about it (I can not help it, I do). So I voted no.

But I know that most of us here are on a budget, so I can understand that people are using them.

I don’t have a problem with affiliate links as long as the posters are up front about it. In many cases the “hey, check this deal out” loses much/all of its meaning knowing that the affiliate link is done on the sly. That’s why as an Amazon affiliate who makes a few bucks on my blog, I generally don’t post them on other boards. If I post an Amazon link here, it’s as an enthusiast who spent his hard earned money on some cool flashlight (like this one arriving today) not as someone making a buck.

But if someone starts a ‘deals thread’ and is up front about being an affiliate, and it actually has good deals, then I don’t see a problem. It’s all the people piling their own affiliate links on top of these posts that bugs me.

I agree with this. Few members even trying to get better deal from sellers. I think that deserve to be rewarded in some ways.

As long as they stay in the bargain/deal section or in the opening post of a review thread I think they are fine, the banggood thread we did go a bit silly in there though :zipper_mouth_face:

I know the ones I’ve posted have only been because I think it is a good deal.

You have to bare in mind that some of the coupons such as the banggood 3400mah panny ones are likely to have come around only because of affiliation

I don’t care as long as they are honest about it.

i don’t care about them, even if the poster does not say nothing. if I want to buy the item, I don’t really care if the announcer will have some gains for it, as long as i don’t have to pay extra!
about ” banggods deal thread”, yes, its a bit crazy. i posted a link to a EA4 because they offered me a coupon to share in the forum, and I posted it without any aff link… but later others came to post that aff link for the product. i didn’t like that behavior, so i edited to include the aff link myself

Who do you think pays the people posting affiliate links at the end of the money chain?

The deals posted with affiliate links would have been just as good, if not better if there were no affiliate links attached to them..

As a web developer I wonder what it would take to add code to sense affiliate links and highlight them in a different color or something.

I like JohnnyMac and _the_ too. Both nice people.. But I would like them even better without all the (hidden) affiliate links... :)

I don't know about you guys, but in real life my friends don't try to make money off me. I don't think it should be any different here.

If you're providing such a valuable service, ask for donations. Or sell the stuff yourself. But then, that wouldn't be hidden behind a URL.

I'd like to ask the 'affiliates', if affiliate links are OK, but straight up asking for cash donations isn't, what's the difference? Why does one make you feel uncomfortable and the other doesn't?

Probably because buying via an affiliate link has no effect for the buyer, indeed most people wouldn’t even know they had done so. Also banggoods affiliate scheme is for points which can be exchanged for money off coupons not money itself.

No problem with affiliate links as long as they are used ethically...

No posts for no reasons other than to post an affiliate link...

No affiliate links for pure Shilling... Keep it appropriate to the subject, for personally tested and proven hardware and vendors...

I used to post affiliate links for Manafont, until they started going downhill... I haven't posted a Manafont affiliate link in ages as I don't use them any longer... I did not post affiliate links for products I didn't have myself or wouldn't purchase myself. I always made sure to mention that I didn't own or recommend a specific product based on experience when I posted a link to such products...

Some people will abuse the system and post shilling threads. Learn who those users are, and just don't read those threads.

That completely doesn't answer the question.

The affiliate link does have an effect on the buyer if he/she does not know there’s possibly an ulterior motive for posting the link. How do I know that as an affiliate, you are not steering me toward a more expensive but inferior model just to get a couple extra bucks from the link?

So, saying “it’s harmless and has no effect on you, the buyer” doesn’t tell the whole story.

Even when I post affiliate links on my own site, I generally prefer to only post links for products I have personally purchased with my own money from the same link I am posting.

this is a good example of a non ethical behavior. But if the links are only in a deal thread, like those for FT or BG, and only to inform, and not giving advice to another member about which light to buy, seems fine to my eyes

Maybe they should do some research as a buyer instead of buying blindly on the guidance of one post?
I know I try to get as much info as I can before I buy anything I am unsure on, I also check the prices to make sure a “deal” is actually a deal.