Disclosure Policy for Product Reviews
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 AsktheBuilder.com:
- I rarely am paid to do a review. In almost all cases, I never accept money to review a product or service. I invest my own time to review and test products. I absorb the entire cost to tape and post-produce all videos I tape about products. If I am ever paid to do a review, it will be clearly annotated at the end of the review.
- I don't pay for the products I test. They are sent to me by the manufacturer. Rarely, do I request a product. In almost all 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, sometimes I may get paid a commission if you purchase the product or service. I'll disclose that in the review. If you don't see that disclosure, that means I'm not getting paid any commission.
- If you click a link from one of my columns or newsletters and it delivers you to a website selling that product (e.g. Amazon.com, etc.), I get a small commission from that
website should you buy.
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.