This site succeeds by long-term commitment to reader value, by providing valuable information and judgment calls to readers, to the best of our ability. Recommendations and advice are based on objective testing, subjective evaluations, and the sum total becomes the best advice we can offer.
We can't spell out every possible scenario here, but the core principle is unwavering: the best guidance we can offer our readers, we tell it like it is, and under no circumstances are there any “paid reviews” of products.
It would be financially infeasible to review equipment without loaner equipment, especially high value equipment. Loans are of a limited time-frame, typically 1-2 months, but occasionally longer to allow for more in-depth coverage, or longer-term usage conclusions, but it would be rare to exceed 3 months.
This site does not accept free cameras, lenses or other photographic equipment of any “substantial” value. Ditto for computers and related materials, bicycles and related items.
Substantial value is defined as approximately $400 per item (lowest street price), or higher. The time (especially) and cost of returning items takes away from our valuable workday, and costs money, hence such lower cost items might or might not be returned.
This site accepts free consumable items in quantities necessary for substantial evaluation over time (e.g. nutrition products, bicycle tires, batteries, etc).
Under no circumstances do we accept products for review that involve a quid-pro-quo understanding. Vendors that propose such an arrangement are blacklisted.
Any unusual situations will be disclosed at the time of the first substantial coverage of that item (blog, review, etc). Continued coverage of an item previously reviewed or discussed is not grounds for a fresh disclosure.
Advertisers and discounts
This site accepts compensation from general advertisers because that's inherent to the business relationship: this site charges for ads like any other publication; commissions, product discounts, free shipping or anything similar are all forms of compensation and are mandatory for financially viable operation. Readers should assume that if an advertisement is presented, that there it is an ad paid for by the vendor.
We avail ourselves of any discount available to at least some segment of the buying public.
We avail ourselves of any reasonable discount when purchasing equipment for testing purposes, because this expands the variety and range of equipment we can review— this site cannot operate by paying full price for every product reviewed, as well, many products simply cannot be obtained for evaluation, and therefore must be purchased or not reviewed. We accept like-value equipment exchanges and updates of older models when it serves long-term testing purposes in the interests of readers.
We choose what we want to review. This site has never, nor will it ever accept payment for review of any product or service. This does not rule out a consulting arrangement (real work) where we use our expertise to provide services to a vendor; a product review might later ensure as a natural consequence. Such arrangements will be disclosed, should they ever occur; we cannot work for free.
Advertisers and links
Click-through commissions for sales made through this site are implicitly assumed. Such links are a part of the financial support of this site.
It is the policy of this site that “commission” links are provided only on a win/win basis: your price is no different than if you visited that site directly, bypassing the links provided by this site.
This site accepts advertisements from a very small number of vendors, hand-selected selected for service, reliability and value, and based on our own satisfied customer relationship.
This site is compensated for advertisements by general vendors, just as any magazine or other web site or publication would be. This income makes the site financially viable.
This site accepts free software regardless of cost (though we cannot always get it), because wide-ranging testing is often performed, sometimes on a sporadic or ongoing basis (see MacPerformanceGuide.com). Our general policy is to never buy software when it can be obtained free of charge.
We deem free software a win/win for readers because it allows exploring much more than otherwise financially feasible. Software is deemed to have no significant value, because we can't possibly use but fraction of the software we review, plus it's just about impossible to buy and return software that has been opened and installed (unlike hardware). The ongoing upgrade costs would also be financially untenable.
Software is not returned; manufacturers don't want it "back". That said, the stuff this site uses heavily (eg Photoshop) has long since been paid for and paid-upgraded many times over, at the usual street prices.
Consulting, lecturing, trouble-shooting
We charge for our time. Consulting and lecturing and trouble-shooting and the like that consume time or effort on behalf of another party constitutes a work for hire arrangement. We charge for this.
Here's an article on the new FTC requirement for bloggers, social media, etc to disclose their relationships. Here's the FTC site itself. Guidelines are vague, and mean whatever someone wants them to mean, so we'll do our best to spell out what this site actually does.
This policy is effective Dec 1, 2009, but is consistent with past practice. Our intent is the highest ethical standards.
You can contact me —Lloyd Chambers