Getting Paid to Review Products is Unethical


I’ve been reviewing products since 2004 and I’ve literally done thousands of them. I stopped counting at 1,000 and that was years ago, it was fun to count but then after that many it’s just tedious then to keep counting.

Recently Amazon has sued a bunch of people over paid reviews, guess you could call it reviewgate2015 and I think it’s a good thing.

Amazon has decided to crack down on paid review through Fiverr where people are offering 5 star review for $5. There are also many other sites that sell reviews and I think it’s wrong.

Getting paid to review a product is unethical and a conflict of interest in my opinion. I think that companies who pay for review are expecting a positive review and I think the reviewer takes a different view of the product being reviewed meaning there’s a bias there and pressure to post a good review.

Yes money is nice and I could be rich right now if I was paid for my reviews, but I refuse to accept payment for doing reviews. My wife even disagrees with me, she thinks I should be paid as well, but I don’t. Yes we get all kinds of stuff, some of it is stuff that’s useful and well worth it, some of it is stuff that I had planned to buy or wished for but just never bought for lack of money. Some of it is stuff I will never use that ends up going in the attic in a box or I give it away to friends and family. My wife thinks I should get paid but if they’re paying you chances are you’re not keeping the product then.

I refuse to do loaner products at all for numerous reasons like it’s just a hassle for me as I no longer have a Fedex or UPS office near me and many companies won’t even pay to have the product returned so you have to pay out of pocket, then take your time and gas, so even if I was paid to review the product then I’d be using part of that money to send it back to them. UPS and Fedex can come and pick up your stuff, but there’s a surcharge to do that for residential pickups I found out so that’s even more money there out of pocket. It’s not even about the money though I like getting stuff to review, I enjoy reviewing products.

You could technically say that you are getting paid to review the products as you’re keeping them, it’s a form of payment possibly but you can’t review the product without having the product. Yes some things can be refurbished by the company and re-sold but not everything. I get in-ear headphones for review, who wants used or refurbished headphones really? If you think about it it is kind of nasty.

One company asked me to review a shower curtain, how would that be sent back and refurbished? It wouldn’t, it would be thrown away.

Another company just asked me to review underwear, I don’t think that would be something that would be sent back either, that’s nasty as well.

Cooking utensils, again not something to be sent back to be re-sold.

Something else is that I don’t want to be responsible for it. If there’s something they want back I have to take better care of it as it’s my responsibility. I’ve got dogs and I’ve got kids, if something happens to that product that I’d be responsible for it and most likely have to pay for it, not worth the hassle at all.

That’s just a few examples, to me I don’t consider the products I get payment for a review, they’re not, you need the product to review the product. If it’s mine to keep I can test it and use it as I see fit without worrying about it really.

About positive reviews, there are some companies that just expect a positive review even if they give it to your for free. I’ve agreed to review stuff and then companies email me back saying something like ‘we look forward to your positive review’ and I’m like I never said I guaranteed a positive review for you, and some are ok with it, and some aren’t too happy.

I get all kinds of requests to review things and I don’t review it all.

I got an email last night asking me how much would I charge to review their product. I emailed them back and said I don’t accept payment for reviews and that I just wasn’t interested in reviewing their product anyway. They weren’t exactly happy about it and I think they were a bit confused that I turned down money, but oh well.

Back to the Amazon and Fiverr things, yes it’s really wrong to offer money for positive reviews, I don’t know how they expected to even keep doing that really, it’s just false advertising.

There are even sites out there offering positive reviews for money and I think they’re not going to be around much longer either. it’s gaming the system and it’s hurting consumers really.

Getting paid to do reviews though is a bit different, I guess if you can keep things separate then it might work but I don’t think it will. You’ll have companies who won’t be happy they paid for a bad review and you’ll never hear from them again. Even I don’t like to post bad reviews, but I do, even if there’s a chance the company won’t ever send me anything again. Oh well, if it’s bad, it’s bad that’s it.

Oh well… my thought for the day…