The Truth About Treadmill Reviews
If you've been researching treadmills you’ve probably run across a lot of treadmill reviews on the Internet. Have you noticed that many treadmill reviews seem to merely be rewordings of product brochures? Do these reviews really give a deeper understanding of the product? Or do they jusr recite product features? Sometimes it can seem that the writer has never even used the treadmill being reviewed. The following paragraphs can help explain what is happening in these reviews and offer some things to keep in mind when reading any treadmill review.
How Does The Site Make Money?
It's important to first understand how websites make money. The most common way a website with treadmill reviews makes money is an affiliate. At the end of a review, affiliate sites typically link to the website of the manufacturer of the treadmill being reviewed. When the reader clicks on that link, the manufacturer's site is able to identify where on the Internet the visitor came from. If the visitor buys from the manufacturer’s site, the affiliate site that reviewed the treadmill gets a commission. This is a nice business for the affiliate site. Because it makes money if it says good things about a treadmill, it's easy to see how reviews on such sites may not be objective. Treadmill World has been offered cash from manufacturers to post review of their products, but we have not accepted.
Another common way for websites to make money from treadmill reviews is through blogs. Blogs can be affiliates, but perhaps more often treadmill manufacturers pay bloggers to write reviews and post them on the blogs. Links to a manufacturer's website help its rankings from search engines, so manufacturers often pay bloggers simply to link to their site through links on their blogs. Sometimes the blogger merely mentions treadmills on their blogs and links to a manufacturer's site without even writing a review. Thus, for example, if you see the word "treadmill" mentioned in a review, or even just casually in an unrelated post on an blog unrelated to treadmills, the blue underlining of the word "treadmill" suggests a paid link. In other words, the blogger provides the review in direct exchange for a review. There are entire networks devoted to buying and selling such links.
Then there are reviews on the manufacturers' own sites. Of course, manufacturers want people to buy their own models and not buy other brands. As a manufacturer is unlikely to say bad things about its own products, reviews on its site can also be tainted.
What's a poor treadmill shopper to do? Is anyone motivated by something other than making as much money as possible? There are objective sources like consumer magazines and their websites, but these sources review a limited number of models and often these reviews are not freely available.
There is another source of reviews. A few websites are actually authorized dealers for multiple manufacturers, the same status as a specialty sporting goods store. They are motivated by profit too, but are not motivated to sell one manufacturer's model over another's. Manufacturers have offered Treadmill-World prepackaged reviews from in the hopes that they will be published as original. Treadmill-World has even been offered free treadmills with the implicit suggestion that those treadmills would receive favorable reviews. However, Treadmill-World was not an authorized dealer for these manufacturers and no review or treadmill was accepted from these manufacturers.
Authorized dealers don't get commissions by linking to the manufacturer’s site like an affiliate does. Instead, they are compensated like a retail store. They answer questions and provide other customer service. Their incentive is to provide customers with what they want and to keep them happy. Selling a poorly-made treadmill that does not suit the customer does not help such a store. Because of the nature of their business and their relationship with the customer, authorized dealers are motivated to sell only good treadmills that are appropriate for the customer.