The Federal Trade Commission requires that I disclose any relationship I have between a product manufacturer or service provider when I write about a product or service.
Here are the guidelines I operate under at SmarterHomeTheater.com:
- I am sometimes paid to do a review. If I accept money to review a product or service, it will be made apparent. I pay out of my own pocket the cost to produce all videos, articles, posts, etc. about products.
- I usually don’t pay for the products I test. They are sent to me by the manufacturer. Sometimes, I request a product. In some cases, the manufacturer approaches me first via a press release or a phone call. If I feel it’s a product you might get benefit from, then I request they send me the product.
- I don’t return the products after I test them. In certain cases, the product is used up or destroyed. In other cases, the product may get damaged during the testing. I don’t have the staff or the resources to process the return of the products.
- If I create a link to a product in a review, I almost always get paid a commission if you purchase the product or service.
- I ALWAYS give honest reviews, even if I didn’t pay for a product. On occasion, I WILL pay for a product, just so the manufacturer does not get upset with a less than glowing review.
These are good rules and practices in today’s digital world. It’s important for you as a consumer to understand the relationship between a person reviewing the product and the manufacturer or service provider. If you don’t see a disclosure policy as part of a review of a product, that reviewer may be violating the law or at the very least the Code of Ethics.