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  1. #1
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    Product Review Site Question
    Hey all--

    I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. I searched around for the answer to this question and didn't really find an answer. If it's been answered already, I apologize for the double-post.

    I get the point of a product review site and why people visit them. I'd have to be relatively daft not to. What I DON'T understand is this: How do you do the reviews? I can review the living hell out of the iPod...because I own one. I can't, however, review the Creative Zen Nano...because I've never had one.

    I would think that an EDITORIAL review would require taking the gadget out on the road for a weekend(for more examples of this, see Kevin Maney, David Pogue, etc). So when we talk about product review sites, are we really just talking about great big spec sheets? Pages and pages of info that have been collected from the manufacturer's website? Do you get the companies to send you these products to review and send back or are you just spending 90% of your waking life on the returns line at Best Buy?

    Any explanation you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all

    -Rob

  2. #2
    Affiliate Marketer Rogi's Avatar
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    You could let your customers/visitors review the item (and you approve their reviews if they seem legitimate)...

    or (this is what many do) buy the items for testing purposes under your business account. Get a good accountant and put tax claims on those items, since they are purely a business expense. (the same way some people I know claim all their travel expenses, because they run a travel site and offer reviews of countries, etc)

  3. #3
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    "Reeeaaaally", he said, stroking his non-existant beard.

    I sure wouldn't mind having an excuse to buy and test all this different gear. But even if you're not paying taxes on them, high-ticket items like Digital Cameras and other consumer electronics would get pretty damn pricey real fast...

    I know for a fact that the big boys who do reviews for the major papers(and even the major blogs) get their stuff for free direct from the companies. Unfortunately, my name badge doesn't say USA Today...closer to McDonalds actually.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    You don't need to own them all to compare battery life, how many songs they'll hold, how much they weigh, how large / small they are, what earbuds are compatible with them, which ones work with which music downloads services, which ones have the accessories that everyone wants, which ones have the best signal-to-noise ratios and a whole lot more.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    You don't need to own them all to compare battery life, how many songs they'll hold, how much they weigh, how large / small they are, what earbuds are compatible with them, which ones work with which music downloads services, which ones have the accessories that everyone wants, which ones have the best signal-to-noise ratios and a whole lot more.
    Yea, that's getting back to the idea of a blown-out spec sheet. Can't exactly write about how you had trouble shooting the shoreline from the deck of the riverboat if you've never actually held the camera...but you can obviously tell about the things you mentioned(battery life, weight, etc).

  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    You do need to own them to compare battery life.
    Apple, Creative, Sony all exagerate the battery life. When you put an iPod through real use and a creative zen micro through real use the battery life sometimes is less then what its advertised.
    Do we need to mention the class action suit against apple about the battery life of their 1G 2G and Some 3G iPods?

    You are not a review site unless you actually held it and reviewed it. You're a comparison site if you just compare Specs.

    Writing a review on something you have never held or used is basically false advertising and gives validity to claims that Affiliate marketing is a Sham and most real reviews with affiliate links are bogus just to boost the sales of the product they promote.

  7. #7
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    *cough* Of course you could research the reviews on cnet.com and write a review based on the majority reviews there. I find the cnet editorial reviews to be an invaluable source for all our electronics purchases.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  8. #8
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lstolze
    *cough* Of course you could research the reviews on cnet.com and write a review based on the majority reviews there. I find the cnet editorial reviews to be an invaluable source for all our electronics purchases.
    Thats just as bad as plagiarizing

    Just made a site and link the product to different sites that have reviews.

    And then using those reviews you basically give it a rating

  9. #9
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    If you aren't copying text, it's not plagiarism. I don't think it should be done, and prefer user review setups better (for this purpose). That being said, much of what they (cnet) talk about you can find on any number of tech sites. They discuss the features, battery life etc. I just happen to think they're much better organized for my purposes. Just giving another possible scenario that someone might choose.
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  10. #10
    Fear and Arrogance jrrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lstolze
    If you aren't copying text, it's not plagiarism. I don't think it should be done, and prefer user review setups better (for this purpose). That being said, much of what they (cnet) talk about you can find on any number of tech sites. They discuss the features, battery life etc. I just happen to think they're much better organized for my purposes. Just giving another possible scenario that someone might choose.
    So what packages do people use for user reviews? Or does everyone roll their own in php/mysql?

    -John.
    There's a reason army's wear uniforms even though it makes them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power, and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear. And, as any good operative knows, there is no more effective weapon than fear.

    Hosting Comparison - HostScope - jrrl.com

  11. #11
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lstolze
    If you aren't copying text, it's not plagiarism. I don't think it should be done, and prefer user review setups better (for this purpose). That being said, much of what they (cnet) talk about you can find on any number of tech sites. They discuss the features, battery life etc. I just happen to think they're much better organized for my purposes. Just giving another possible scenario that someone might choose.
    It is plagiarism if you read a review and then write your own from the contents of that review and also a violation of copyright law.

    It's also unethical.

    Why should someone else benefit from my work or any one elses review?

    I review products for a living. I recive 5 to 10 products to review a month. It isn't easy testing them it takes time and your own money.

    Using someones review to write your own is just as bad as ebates and other parasites a lot of affiliates here complain about.

    Defenition of plagiarized:
    To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own.
    To appropriate for use as one's own passages or ideas from (another).

    You do not need to copy word for word to plagiarize

  12. #12
    A Real *and* Darn Cool Member! lstolze's Avatar
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    I never said it was ethical. But it isn't like rewriting someone's graduate thesis and passing it off as your own. It's writing about a product in very general terms of it's use and abilities. I never disagreed with you, except that I think the word 'plagiarism' is harsh in this instance. JMHO. Also, how is this different from all the affiliates on here that rewrite a product's description on their site to avoid looking like a copy site....?
    ~Lisa - Brilliant Mastermind, or Nut? You decide!

  13. #13
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Product descriptions are 99% of the time provided by the Manufacture and they are giving everyone permission to rewrite it and what not when they include it on their products box or press release when the product is released. Product descriptions fall under fair use.

    A review is different because someone actually had to play the device sit at their desk and write something up on it. They are sharing their opinion on the product not whats generally known about the product. Reviews aren't product descriptions but the descriptions of what the reviewer thought of the product.

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