Disclosure Policy for Product Reviews
As of December 1, 2009. the Federal Trade Commission is requiring 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 Todaysmower.com, Toolboxhero.com and Movingsnow.com:
I am never paid to do a review. I never accept money to review a product or service. I invest my own time to review products. I pay out of my own pocket the cost to produce and post these reviews on my sites.
I don’t pay for products I test. If I do test a product I will be upfront with you and explain how and where I got the product to test. I do pay for products I review for long term use.
I don’t return the products after I test them, though the company supplying the product is welcome to come and get it when I am done. If they chose not to retrieve the item once I have done adequate testing, I will donate them to a select few local charities. Specifically, tools are donated to charities that use the tools, not charities that resell items to make money. From time to time I will offer some units as prizes to my readers.
If I create a link to a product in a review, and you click on the link, I sometimes get paid a commission if you purchase the product or service. In general I get commission from direct sales from companies like Sears, Northern Tool, Amazon, etc. In other cases I don’t get any compensations ……. the owners of the companies I know and have a long standing relationship with. For example, I’ve known Gary at Acrease Mowers for years and have spent hours and hours discussing his product. In another example, Eric of Peterson Computer Consulting (hire him) is my son-in-law. If you ever have a question about this, ask me.
Just so you know, I worked five years at a Target store in Joliet, Il, two years at a True Value store in Chippewa Falls, Wi and currently work a few hours a week at the Sears in Eau Claire, Wi. I receive nothing monetarily from those companies in relation to this blog but this experience in retail and an understanding of how those systems (companies) work helps me to answer questions that other tool bloggers usually can’t answer such as how to get parts, where items are made, and how to get repairs quickly and accurately. If Menard’s ever allows a Home Depot or Lowes into my area, I will go work there to learn their systems. (I have a lot of experience in analyzing management systems and for me it is fun to observe companies, how they operate and why they treat their customers the way they do)
I want you to be sure that you can trust me. That my opinions are my own. And that they are based on my experience ……… not how much I am paid. 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.