Brett being totally transparent

Posted March 25, 2016 by Brett Rutecky in Training Articles

Time for Brett to explain why he is changing the way he does reviews:

One thing I always pride myself is on being upfront, open and honest with people. Doing this means I need to be compleatly transparent and explain myself at times. In the last few months, my regular readers might have realized that I have changed the way I do my reviews. Well because I always want to be totally honest with people I felt it is only fair to explain why:

When I started doing product reviews the process was simple. I would find a product, test it, and then write about it saying exactly what I though. If I liked the product I would put an APPROVED link (which is an affiliate link) under it. If I didn’t I would stamp it REJECTED.

This was great and I felt like I was really helping people but it was also a flawed way of doing this. The problem is the vendors. In order to be able to do a review I need them to give me review access (or at least not blacklist me and let me buy their product). In short I need their cooperation to some degree. In the last 2 years product vendors have learned that Im not afraid to say what I think and this has had two consequences that I didn’t think of initially.

  1. People who make totally bad products just wont give me review access. So I cant write about the really junky products because I never get to see them anyway in many cases.
  2. People who make good products are afraid of what I might say in my review, and some of them are scared to give me review access as well.

Now when people started being afraid to let me review their products my first though was, “well if they made something good they would have nothing to worry about”. But it has gotten to the point that none of the ‘bad’ vendors will even let me see what they have, and the vendors who make good and bad (no one is perfect) products are afraid of me. Heck, even the vendors who normally make good products are starting to get afraid. They are starting to think to themselves “why take the chance”?

This is no good, product vendors need to see me as a way to help them make their product better, as a person who can point out flaws, not as someone they need to run and hide from because they are scared. So because of this, I have decided to stop posting REJECTED reviews. The simple fact is that without some kind of trust / relationship between the vendors and I, I cant help anyone.

Now this does not mean Im not going to point out the good and the bad when I do my review. Nothing is perfect. A good example is the Youzign review I recently did. I really liked Youzign, but the UNDO feature was all messed up and I was probably the only person who pointed it out in my review. However what this does mean is that if there is nothing good to say about a product, if its total junk, I wont be writing a review about it.

Does this mean your going to be left hanging with these products? Not at all. If your wondering why I didn’t review something you can head over to my Facebook group (click here to join it) and ask me, if I didnt review it because it was junky Ill tell you and Ill tell you exactly why. I’m just not going to make anymore public posts about something that has no good qualities to speak of. Though as I said, I will still write the good and bad about things I do like since nothing is perfect.

In order to do reviews I need to have a relationship with the customers, they need to trust me, and I need to have a relationship with the vendors, they need to not be afraid of what I might say. I hope you can understand why this change is needed in order to continue to offer services to both the vendor where I help them create better products and to the customers where I help them make more informed purchase decisions. If you have any questions or feedback please feel free to post a comment.

Thank you!


 A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review. However I make no promises to them regarding the results of my tests or what I will write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

About the Author

Brett Rutecky

Brett Rutecky is a full time online marketer, web developer, and entrepreneur. He has developed scores of Facebook apps, dozens of custom web sites and hundreds of scripts.


    Phillip Lopez

    Totally understand this Brett.

    Love your stuff man, glad I found your blog bro.


    David F

    I have no problem with your logic. In fact, I may have a product that I might submit to you for review when it is finalized so I’m glad I can do that without fear of ruining my launch if the review turns out bad.


      David F,

      Why not just use the feedback to better improve your product?

      Just give Brett a review copy or access, let him try it out and then take any negative feedback and use that to make improvements BEFORE going to launch?


    Nothing wrong with that.


    Sounds more than fair Brett. Thanks for sharing the new way of doing your reviews and why with us. Makes sense.

    Happy Easter


    Hi Brett,

    Well, its a good stand not being neutral, but you are balanced in every way. We continue to trust in your honest reviews.



    I understand your predicament and theirs and am glad the bulldog is still on patrol. You have elevated the IM Market place Brett, THANKS

    Barry McCoy

    Hey Brett,

    Followed your training and ran into the same problems as you have with “shady” vendors.

    When I post reviews of products on my review site, the only products that I actually post are products that I either purchased myself – or did receive review access to.

    I have seen “review” sites that the operator actually just copies and pastes material right off the sales page or the vendor’s affiliate page…without actually testing the product out at all…why – to get a commission.

    Thanks for clarifying how and why you do what you do so well.

    Miles Austin

    I have been writing reviews of Sales Tools for almost nine years Brett, and you won’t find a single review/post about a bad one. I have made it clear over that time that when you see something on FilltheFunnel that I own it, am using it and that I endorse it. Seems to have worked for me. I like your idea of entertaining questions in your FB group from readers that are wondering about a product and if you have seen/reviewed it. I might just borrow that idea from you. Once you have the trust of your readers it is worth fighting to the end to protect that.

    Daniel Theiler

    That is absolutely fair and sounds logical. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your new way to do reviews! Why there aren`t more Internet Marketers like you Brett?? The IM Space would be definitely a better one!

    Happy Easter!

    Keep up your great Work!

    Dennis ORourke

    It all Makes sense to me Brett. Watching your video I was wondering though just how we would know if you reviewed a product and didn’t like it if you do not post that review but you answered that with the FB group. Thank You Again Brett … Have A Great Day!

    David Stringer

    Hi Brett,
    I totally agree and understand why you are now doing this differently.

    Why shoot yourself in the leg if it’s going to prevent you from either earning a living or helping us out in the long term?

    Thanks again for your total honesty in explaining it to us, much appreciated.

    Happy Easter!

    Amos Patterson

    Makes sense to me. Keep on keeping on

    Andrew Speers

    Good to hear you say that you had painted yourself into a corner and become the most feared and hated man online . You do produce some great products but perhaps you have realised there was something lacking in your approach . I did enjoy reading you were a coffin maker at one stage that seemed to be fitting and perhaps led your undertaker persona . Nothing like a little self analysis good on you Brett onwards and upwards .. Keep on trucking and riding the motor cycle ..


    Looks like there are some legal implications you can get into by doing reviews that way, openly, that’s sad.

    But at least you can discuss it in the private facebook group.


      There are no legal issues. Critical reviews are not subject to ‘defamation’ suits unless you make stuff up. There are suitability issues though, if people dont let me review their stuff, then I will not be doing any reviews.


    Makes perfect sense and helps me to understand here you are coming from when you do do a review. I read and enjoy all your reviews and often buy the products that fill a need in my business. Thanks for you transparent and objective reviews.


    Very cool Brett.


    Totally get this as you obviously make money by providing reviews and if no one will let you review then no money.

    But, doesn’t it negate your “Most Hated Man In IM” image you built your success on?

    Furthermore, what makes you any different than most of the other reviewers out there now?

    Your original reputation got you to where you are so I am sure you can keep those followers and have continued success for the time to come.

    But, didn’t you just basically bend to the will of product vendors and most likely cut out the “little guy” vendors.

    Seems to me you were getting denied review access or banned from purchase and let them win by changing your stance in the market.

    Don’t get me wrong… I have bought your products and have been following you and like your work. Not sure if that will continue with the changes but will keep an open mind.

    Just now I feel that all I will see from you is the “good” products. This brings another problem… are we to assume if you didn’t review it then it wasn’t good. I know we can ask, but it is now like half of your website is missing… I just see “good” products that you recommend I buy through your link just like every other review site.

    What message does this send marketers trying to break in via Brett’s Inner Circle method? You can pull off this change as you already were very successful and have an obvious following. But, a newbie putting up a review site like every other… IDK.

    And, this further solidifies the top marketers club… heck, your last 10+ reviews are of all well-known successful marketers/vendors. I have seen this trend for quite a while… all the top vendors and affiliates pretty much only run in the same circle and you rarely see them let anyone in.


      Well I did say that anyone can join my group and as why I didnt review something. Also as I said I will continue to point out the bad aspects of things I promote, since nothing is perfect. “Honest” does not mean I have to tear people up.


        You’re right Brett, you don’t have to tear people up. Honest just means being honest. I can see how some vendors will fear that honesty. And it seems like you might be caught between a rock and a hard place. I follow you and value your opinion based on all the points that Mike has made. I think you’re one of the good guys. I cant speak for everybody but I would like to wager that many are like me and like your straightforward way of speaking.

        I like to speak in staightforward fashion too. Vendors should not run scared. The legit ones anyway. Flip it around. if they write quality software like yourself (and no I aint blowing smoke up your ass, I say it like it is) then they are going to be able to rest assured it will sell well.

        Even if some software has good value but has a flaw or two. I can accept that. If customers can trust vendors to correct stuff, they’ll still buy, even with teething problems. It’s good you’re still going to point out flaws. I/we are your customers Brett, say it like it is, and we will follow you. Have a great day 🙂

    David Gruder

    I’ve been concerned that the unintended impacts you mentioned could ultimately catch up with you, Brett. I believe that the solution you’ve come up with is a wise one. I know how tough it can be to be an integrity leader, believe me. Deflecting arrows shot at us by other people’s fear comes with the territory. Blessings to you.


    Hey Brett,

    Even though I’m not a product creator yet, I do appreciate your open honesty because I really like the fact that you let us know what’s good and bad about the products, then I can make my decision when I know all the facts, as well as, if it fits what I’m looking for.

    And some of the things wrong you’ve pointed out have been oh so, so true. Based on it I can then decide if I want to still make a purchase or not. And some times I have already purchased before your review comes out, and then you let me know what’s in store when I open it up.

    To me, what you do I consider as feedback and an attempt, not to scare but just providing customers quality unbiased infomation. The vendors shouldn’t be afraid, they shoud allow you access so you can let them know what needs to be corrected/improved upon, per se.

    On the things I’ve been interested in purchasing, you’ve always stirred me right. That way when I do buy I don’t have buyer’s remorse, I know what I’m getting.

    So keep up the good work!!


    I think a better solution would be to have a “shill” acquire the review copy and share it with you. That way you could continue the fair, balanced, and objective reviews that we have come to appreciate so much. You have saved me a fortune through your “rejected” reports. I, for one, will sorely miss them.


      I think it would be pretty obvouse when people started seeing reviews from me about things that they did not give me access to. Also Im not so sure that being deceptive and trying to trick vendors is a good way to run a business. I think I can be ‘fair’ without being negative.

    Don T

    I understand why you are doing this as well BUT if your site has all positive reviews it makes the site look like a “pitch fest” and all you are trying to do is make money….

    Personally, when I visit a site with 50 reviews and every review is positive, I leave because I don’t trust that person because all they are trying to do is make money and not give REAL reviews….

    Just an opinion….


      Your welcome to think what you like. Here is something to think about though. I write about 8 reviews a month. There are about 70 launches a month. Do you think that there are not 8 decent things out of the 70? Of course there are. When I write a negative review I am CHOOSING to be negative. In fact not writing reviews about the things that are total junk will allow me to provide a better service because I can now test more products a month and pick out the ones that have at least some good aspects.

      Do I expect my views to go down? Of course they will. Why? Because some people just want to read negative reviews for entertainment value. If all I was trying to do is ‘make money’ and run a ‘pitch fest’ I would not point out the flaws in the things I like, I would say its perfect every time. My goal is to give people information to make informed purchase decisions, its not to be entertaining, its not to say everything is perfect, its to say the good and the bad about the things I review. I can do that without being negative, and if you have a question about something, join my group and simply ask.

      Also something to keep in mind. Less than 25% of my income comes from affiliate promotions, I don’t ‘need’ to only be worried about making money with reviews. I make a very good living without them.

    Roscoe Chambers

    If there stuff is top shelve then they have nothing to worry about. In this business it can get expensive and shinny object driven. Your reviews have saved me from both, wasted money and fewer software. Keep on doing what you do…..Non developers online need you! 🙂


      .. you mean keep on posting REJECTED reviews? Very soon that wont help anyone. Why? Because people with bad products just wont let me see their stuff. How can I tell you when something is bad if Im not allowed to see it myself? This way everyone can be comfortable letting me see their product, and if you dont see me reviewing it, you know its probably not a good investment. If you wonder why I did not review something feel free to ask in my group. Really Im not stopping anything, Im just being less public about it 🙂

      Oh and as I side not, DONT buy ‘shiny’ objects, buy something because you need it for what your doing. Buy it because you have an issue in your business and the products solves that issue.

    Fred Ferguson

    This move made perfect sense to me Brett… I saw some of the problems with the vendors as they went down and this is exactly what I would do if I was in your position. It’s a win-win-win situation with respect to your credibility as a product reviewer and it’s the right thing to do – good on you!


      Well I really dont care about what they think of me. But if they just are to afraid to even let me test their products, thats kind of a problem 🙂 I cant write about something (good or bad) that Im not even allowed to see.

    kami ilmane

    Totally understand Brett. To be honest, there is no point of reviewing a product then reject it anyway !! This just gets you into trouble with some vendors and not worth the hassle.
    The best thing is just not to publish the review when the product is bellow par, and publish only the reviews about worthy products, pointing out, the bad points if any, in the hope, that the vendor will get the message and improve it further…
    Happy Easter Brett and to everyone here on this page.


    I’m sorry to learn your intelligent reviews are being restricted, for whatever reason, to only those vendors who are willing to be reviewed. I’m sure I’m not your only reader who is tired of vendors selling substandard products and burying mention of important product limitations in yards of repetitious sales hype and misleading video. I have been a long term reader of your reviews because I want alternate honest opinion about products I might purchase. If a vendor does not want a product reviewed and refuses you access, I want to know that because it means to me there is a good chance the vendor does not believe the product will perform as he claims. If you are refused review copies and not allowed to purchase the product, please email the offending vendor and then report the event and results on your web page and email list.


      ” If you are refused review copies and not allowed to purchase the product, please email the offending vendor and then report the event and results on your web page and email list” – I think thats a great call 🙂

    Michael Rytter

    I think that with the following you have built, you have nothing to worry about anyway….I believe that your current readers trust you, (I know that I sure do..I have ALWAYS made MONEY using your tools and recommendations!), and I think that even with your new model, due to the high level of trust you already have with your current subscribers, that your readership will continue to grow regardless, just due to word of mouth. ( may not grow as fast….or who knows, it may even grow faster…!

    This might turn out to be a good test! 🙂

    Michael Rytter

    Thomas Dye

    Hey Brett, Thomas Dye Here !
    I think your right on the money, Now ! If you were going to sell me a car with
    3 new tires without telling me the 4th tire was bald And i didn’t know that ??

    Well! i think i would be pretty unhappy about that, it’s just a scenario ! So ?
    I think 99.9% of your followers are glad to have your opinion about up-coming
    products so’ we don’t get scammed on a really bad product. !

    I think these new products being invented should be reviewed should be honored to
    have you critique them and point out the good and questionable parts so’s it’s a really
    good product right off the bat ! “”Nothing wrong with that ?””

    That All Thomas

      Thomas Dye

      Hey Brett you remain Brett Rutecky, Don’t give in ! you keep doing what you do best as a critique’r of upcoming products, your followers depend on that ! You are not only a good person, Your also a great creator of awesome products that are very well set-up with all the training “Easy to follow and create awesome products
      quickly with ease And high quality results. You don’t bend for nobody, You just remain who you really are, We depend on you for that! Its Simple””Your Just Brett Rutecky”” SO what if they don’t like you for what ever reason, Ignore it! Your not gonna change, And you don’t have to !!!!
      Thomas …..


    I understand where you’re coming from Brett, but as a few people have mentioned above, it does make you appear to be knuckling under to pressure from vendors. I understand both sides of the argument.

    Here is suggestion for a way around it if you care to give it a try… Report who the vendors are who either refuse you review access and or won’t allow you to purchase their products. That then puts the onus back on the vendor to explain what they have to hide.

    To me as a product creator (and I am) that would be worse than a negative review because then it appears I have something to hide. Your reviews have always been fair even on products I have been associated with. I may not have have liked and agreed with them and I may have hit you up privately to try to correct any misunderstandings but ultimately I have respected your critiques.

    It’s just a thought but I’d hate to see you appear to be selling out. Regardless, it’s your decision and I respect you for it. Ultimately you have to decide on what is best for your business.


      If I was ‘selling out’ this post would not exist. I would have just kept on posting positive reviews for months until anyone noticed anything. If you feel you cant trust me them I’m sorry for that. My reviews need to be a ‘privilege’, vendors need to be bragging ‘Brett picked me, and approved me’ .. not afraid to even let me see what they are selling. As for calling out the vendors who dont let me do reviews. That wont do a thing. There are tens of thousands of customers who don’t know about me, these vendors made money for years before me, and they will make money without me. They don’t need me. Also very quickly my blog would be nothing more than me saying “I didnt get to review that”. How many people do you think will be coming around when there are no new reviews and just a ton of posts of me saying, oops sorry, couldn’t review that. This way I can review everything, and only let you guys know about whats worth considering.


        I understand what you’re saying and I’m not calling you a sell out. Poor choice of words and I apologize.


    Shame the vendors can’t see the “sales value” in you Brett. Imagine the headline–

    We’re So Sure Our Product Is The Best We Gave Brett Rutecky a Review Copy!

    I’d buy it. lol

    Seriously, I admire and respect your honesty. Thank you.


      Yep thats what Im moving to, I want people to start bragging “Brett picked me!” not afraid of what I might say. A side effect of this change in reviews is I will be testing A LOT more products, because I wont be spending time writing reviews about the total junk. I think I might make a page on here and list everything I have tested, just for accountability. Ill have to think about the best way to do that.


      Damn Roger…that’s a GREAT IDEA!


    Hi Brett. Thanks for continuing with the honest reviews.

    One thing I would love to see is if you were to move your readers away from the continual stream of launches of shiny objects that seems to be a unique feature of the IM world and into a mindset of finding stable long-term products. Comparative head-to-heads, perhaps – sort of consumer-reports for IM. How about tools like indexers, spinners, captcha solvers, social posters, backlinking tools, expired domain tools, webmaster tools, scraping tools, video plugins, ecommerce platforms, affiliate platforms, payment systems, download protectors, online lead pages, even proxies, hosting, domains, email providers etc.


      I have reviewed most of those kinds of products. As for things being ‘shiny’ Ill be totally honest, its the consumers that make products in this space like that. Many people looking to make money online 1) Don’t want to work, but want money 2) Don’t want to pay a monthly fee for anything, but want constant updates 3) Don’t want to take action and are constantly looking for the magic button thats going to get them rich over night. The real reason there are so many ‘shiny objects’ is because people buy them. Want to stop them? Vote with your wallet and tell vendors this is not what you want.

      Its a shame to because anyone can make money online, if they just try.


    Thanks Brett I appreciate what you do and aI like the new approach . Does this mean if we have a question about a certain product we could ask you about it on Facebook. The reason I ask is I brought a product 8 days ago from one of the big IMs but the product has not worked despite repeated support tickets that have not even been answered. I won’t name the product here but if I join your FB and ask you could you tell me what you know about it?I haven’t always brought what you’ve recommended because after reading your review I’ve found that it doesn’t fit my needs even though the sales page made it sound like the best thing since sliced bread.Keep up the good work


    Always been a fan since I first found your reviews and I wanted to throw my two cents in. I have helped businesses in my local market who might have received a bad review(s). I tell them this is the cheapest R&D ( Research and Development ) they could ask for. If something is bad, you fix it to make it better and get people to rave about it. If you are consistently putting bad stuff out there without taking care of the problem and you see a consistent thread of an issue, shame on you for not fixing it. At some point you WILL go out of business.
    Conversely, if said business(vendor) has a good reputation and there is an issue, they are usually pro active to fix the problem and make it right so they don’t suffer the arrows.
    For the ones you liked but had a minor issue ( showing video openings…lol ) and you still gave it thumbs up, I don’t think that has hurt sales.
    I can tell which are the bad ones and which are the good ones and you don’t name names, but it’s obvious who the bad ones are and I don’t buy their products. It’s not your fault they keep putting garbage out there. I would not want my reputation sullied because I did crap work and not fix issues. Better to be loved than hated. ( I can’t wait to be loved at the House Of Blues )
    Glad you still will put your opinion out there anyway! Thanks so much!!


    Hey Brett

    I for one totally understand your point and appreciate were you are coming from. Thank you for your transparency and I am follower for life. Keep up the good work my friend.


    P. S. I have learned more from your blog than any other trainer out there!

    gil baller

    Sounds, like a plan.
    Hope you had a good time, in Orlando, Fl.
    Would like to hear your thoughts and insights.


      I can sum up MML in 3 words: “Lots of drinking” 🙂 .. but its cool, its good to get to know people on a more personal level, also if people like you personally they are more likely to do business with you in the future. Think about it, how would you like to approach a affiliate to promote for you, as a unknown person just saying “Promote for me” bla bla .. affiliates hear that 20X a day .. or to be able to say “Hey remember me, we had a a couple of beers and a few laughs back at MML .. I wanted to see if you could check something out I have coming” .. the second is obviously likely to get you a better response.

    Terry Luffman

    Hi Brett.

    Always respect your reviews.

    No problem with the changes you have made.

    Not many marketers are transparent unfortunately.

    You are one of the few I trust.




    IMHO I think the best solution is to stick with your own products and perhaps just a select few of very outstanding products.

    Reviewing everything under the sun, to me smacks of a business model of relying mainly on affiliate commissions, and that to me, says nothing about who or what your actual business is about. This type of business model has little on no continuity and has one forever chasing your tail.
    Yes, I do understand you promote affiliate products to help make ends meet, but do you really need to?.. I know you are a brilliant programmer and I personally would rather buy your developed products over others.

    I get dozens of emails every week from affiliate markets all purporting to have reviewed the latest and great product which they always highly recommend. The reason they always recommend it is because they are not truthful, and so the money comes before honesty. (not saying you do that).

    Mate, I have bought most of your products, I think they’re great.!!

    So my recommendation to you is this – Don’t review and recommend something unless you absolutely use it in within your own business or its one of your own products.


      Not sure where you got the idea that my reviews have anything to do with me ‘making ends meet’. Reviews are less than 25% of my online income, and my online business is just 1 of the 3 that I own 🙂 I don’t think its fair to imply that just because I’m not going to write rejected reviews anymore I might promote ‘everything under the sun’. You know, I did not make this decision today, I made it over 2 months ago, and no one would have even noticed anything different if I had not been upfront and pointed it out to them.


    Hey Brett,

    Perfectly understandable and AOK by me. You’ve always been one of the good guys in my estimation and have built up a very strong goodwill bank with me, and that will continue.

    i like you plan to sidestep the problem(s) as you outline them, and look forward to your continuing reviews in future.

    My take is this: Instead of any negativity from product vendors, IMHO they could so easily turn your honesty and integrity into a selling point for their stuff, and man up to making changes where and if necessary and/or to debate your point of view in a constructive way if necessary, for the purpose of giving their customers the best value for our money.

    The inescapable fact is that there are rogue vendors out there, and to me, someone like you is a safety net when I make a purchase

    Suggestion from this side of the pond is that you might want to consider doing comparative ratings of a couple of similar products, like WHICH? magazine does in the UK, (and has been doing so for YEARS!
    burt the downside is that it would take a lot more time and effort than you may want to exert or invest in….but certainly WHICH? mag has made a very successful biz model and reputation out of checking out other people’s stuff and services.

    Just me thruppence worth, m8…and hope it helps you….so, don’t get discouraged and keep up the good fight!!


      You got it exactly, I want vendors to be proud that I approved them, not scared to let me test their stuff 🙂 I always give vendors feedback and try to help them improve as well and now Ill have more time to do that and help make good products great since I wont be spending hours and hours continuing to test and write about something I quickly can see is a lost cause. Also Ill be able to go though more products to see which is good and which is bad.

    Ben Yost

    What is the FB group?

    Dave Sweney

    Hi Brett,

    Good discussion…Here’s my input…

    There are some review sites that look for scams and products only…These writers do not get access to the products they slam and often are shooting from the hip….Of course, the idea is to draw traffic to their pages, at times at the expense of the developer of the product…

    Then you have another set of review sites that write only glowing reports, as they are affiliates, and want the sale. They will give good (and often also a half-hearted review effort) ratings to products that are not necessarily as good as what they write…

    I have seen a lot of such “review” sites…They do not add much of value to the conversation regardng whether or not a product has value/is worth the money being asked for it…

    In the middle of these two extremes, you have the review sites that try to be objective. Reviewers do the research and actually use the product they are reviewing, when possible, and they report facts as to what they may discover, good and bad. Of course, there is going to be some subjectivity involved, after all that is a part of a review? That is what people reading reviews are looking for too…

    This is where I see you as being positioned with your site/reviews…

    My dilemma is a bit different to yours, Brett. I do not get access to the products most of the time, I end up buying and trying, then writing a review. There are some inherent disadvantages to this process. The reviews end up being posted/ranked later than those that get early access to the product, and if it is a launch, it results in missing out on that initial launch buzz/buying frenzy…

    Not ideal, but it helps me avoid falling into one the extreme categories of publishing a review I describe above…

    The solution I have come up with and use allows me to continue to write objective reviews selectively, sticking with products that I for the most part use and can vouch due to my own online marketing efforts.

    The consequence is I will miss out on some of the launches and sales, but it also means that I am not focusing on trashing products just to get attention, nor am I writing glowing reports just to get a sale…

    Having said all that…

    There are always exceptions to the rules, so on occasion I will do a review on a product that is less than satisfactory IMO for one reason or the other, and I also will do a review on a product that I personally have not bought. In the latter case, I do as much research as humanly possible before publishing…

    In regards to your shift in how you attack reviews…

    I understand and can agree not using the REJECTED label. Generally, there is SOME value in a product, even if it is ever so little…In such a case, I revert to the subjective and state that in my opinion, the product offers less than a stellar value and I personally would not buy or use…

    Another way your evolving approach is more effective and useful is that in your unique position as a product developer as well as a reviewer, you can address both sides of the reviewer equation.,.

    You can address the concerns of subscribers, who are looking for an honest and unbiased review prior to spending their hard-earned money, as well that of the product developers, who can take advantage of your expertise as a fellow developer to tweak and address the anomalies that may not see themselves due to their closeness to the project…


    Thanks for the explanation, and I think letting both the product developers and your subscribers/site visitors know your approach is useful for the IM world members in general.

    As I progress in this market, I am learning from folks such as yourself on what to do and what not to do…

    This watch and learn approach is one I have used successfully in other niches and in my earlier professional lives. I have been on both sides of this, as a student and as a teacher…

    When you share your knowledge/experience(s) with others, it helps the group/team…

    Keep it up and best of luck!

    Robin Carlisle

    One point that you didn’t make, Brett, may help folks understand a bit better. The JVZoo marketplace has a “blacklist” system where sellers can blacklist specific buyers from buying their products. Collectively, once a buyer has X number of sellers blacklisting, that buyer can’t buy on JVZoo at all.

    The need to have such a system is clear… in that there are shysters out there making money from buying products and either reselling them without licenses or making money with all kinds of “refund” processing scams or sharing all the access details and download urls on black hat sites. I’ve caught many such folks stealing thousands of dollars from my clients who sell on JVZoo.

    So I can attest this is a HUGE and very illegal problem faced by ALL IM sellers on ALL platforms.

    At some point, JVZoo took a proactive stance to try to curb that profit-draining problem by allowing sellers to create their own personal blacklist of buyers… and then collectively amassing a joint blacklist once a buyer is blacklisted on X number of sellers personal blacklists there.

    So what does that have to do with Brett?

    Unfortunately, there is NO JVZoo marketplace criteria requiring sellers to have a good reason for placing someone on their personal individual blacklists. And because of that the likelihood of Brett being placed on a LOT of seller blacklists in JVZoo is… well… HUGE!

    And does Brett and his readers who WANT to read his totally honest reviews absolutely no good at all! I mean, if Brett gets on that collective blacklist and gets banned from that marketplace, he won’t be able to get access to or buy anything there.

    THAT does not help anyone and totally hurts Brett!

    So I get why you’re doing this… and I hate it for you… but it is what it is. So much luck to you as you go forward… keeping under the radar… but while still honestly serving your readers in a manner we can all respect!


      Well its even worse than that Robin, vendors have an AFFILIATE black list as well. When vendors blacklist an affiliate the affiliate cant even see their products in JVZoo. Its like blocking someone on Facebook. If you think about it I have to have some kind of relationship with the vendors to do any kind of reviews, because I need their cooperation. Not rejecting products does not mean Im going to promote everything under the sun, I still will be rejecting things (by choosing not to write about them, and as I said anyone can ask in my FB group about things I did not write). Really Im not changing, Im just being more discrete.


        “Really Im not changing, Im just being more discrete.” – Ok that’s fair enough then. I really do see your point of view. I would imagine though that on the FB group you’re going to get a ton of asks about this or that product. I think a page on your blog here, as you suggest, with products that you’ve reviewed,and we can then draw our own conclusions, is a good call 🙂


    Read the latest review – push leads – that has a big green ‘Approved’ sticker. So, do all products now get that, or will there be other products where that doesn’t appear – and we can infer from that….



    Good for you Brett.

    I get a better understanding of how a product actually works from looking at your reviews.

    I often come back to this site to look at your videos if I’m not sure how to do something with a product I may have bought through your link.

    It doesn’t bother me one bit that you’re not going to be “rejecting” bad products.

    You explain stuff so well… Must be your ” Easy Manner” 🙂



    For a product vendor to NOT give you review access to their product/service based solely on the possibility that you may give it a negative review clearly shows that they themselves are not focused on providing ‘value’ but only on making a buck!

    For example, let’s assume I’m an established marketer and in the past, I’ve given you review copies of some of my products and you’ve done a great job in honestly describing the good vs the bad. If at the end of the day, even with a few negative comments, you feel satisfied to give it a ‘thumbs up’, and your customers feel good in making a purchase, it’s a win-win for both of us because we’re both making money from the sales!

    And if I’m taking your negatives into consideration, then I would be using that to improve my product and make it even better!

    Now, if you come out with a negative review of a recent product I’ve given you, and I value you as an affiliate who has proven himself as someone who brings in a lot of traffic and has a great conversion, I should be taking those negative comments as a way to once again better improve my product, because again, at the end of the day, if I improve it and you re-evaluate it and then change your position, sales will go through the roof!

    And if vendors won’t let you buy their product, just get a friend to buy it and then give you access to it long enough to do a thorough review on it. Can’t be that hard can it?

    I like your honesty and that’s why I subbed you on Youtube! I may not get a chance to always visit your blog, but that’s on me!

    Keep doing what you’re doing because you’ve inspired me to take this same approach in my own affiliate marketing business!

    And yes, duplication is the sincerest form of flattery! 🙂

    Nate Boyd

    Being that I do not know the industry as of yet, I rely on the “Brett” reviews. Unless it’s “Brett Approved” at this point, I am not going to make a purchase.

    jerry johnson

    Hey Brett,

    I understand and agree with your perspective,however there are two ways to see this. First, honest product vendors have no reason to fear any negative review, providing he or she is
    willing to correct the deficiencies detected in the review. If they are not, then that speaks to that vendors credibility.You obviously have been extremely successful in making that point
    with your reviews.

    Unbiased product reviews act as a form of “quality assurance”. Consumers need that in todays marketplace and kudos to you for helping achieve that.

    There are firms called ” Mystery Shopper” companies, who are actually paid by businesses to evaluate their product or service, sometimes the evaluators conduct their evaluations unannounced and sometimes the news is not good.

    The companies who do pay to have their product or service honestly evaluated are obviously very serious about providing quality to the marketplace as well as profits.

    At this point Brett let me apologize for being long-winded, but I just felt this point needed to be touched on.

    Having said all that, I close with this: I agree that no product should be rejected, as long as the vendor shows “good faith” and is willing to correct any “significant” deficiencies.(nobody’s perfect)

    You Brett are truly the IM Watchdog and “QA” specialist. Your work brings comfort and direction to online consumers. You’ve got the consumers back. If any vendor fears that, well that has to tell you something about that vendors integrity, character and ultimate motives.

    We Thank You and GodSpeed.


      First, honest product vendors have no reason to fear any negative review, providing he or she is
      willing to correct the deficiencies detected in the review.

      That assumes that vendors are willing to ‘report to me’, and there is no reason for them to do that when they can easily shut me up by simply not letting me see their products. Keep in mind vendors made money before me, they will make money after me, and if they just silence me then they have no problems with no real change to their business (since every one of my readers is likely on other peoples lists as well). This was not a choice I made, it was a necessity, either I move my review model to show only the best products, or I don’t do reviews at all. I would prefer to be able to say “I tested all the launches this week, and this was the one worth buying that I found” then to be forced to say “Sorry guys I was not allowed to review that … again”.

      Something to keep in mind, now I will be testing more products than ever. If you don’t see me writing about it, its very likely that I did not think it was worth buying.

    Moses Njoku

    i totally understand your approach here, you don’t have to tear people up to be fair. this way more people will let you have review access to their products good or bad and they can learn whats bad about it directly from you and try to correct it.


    Did I miss your review of Lazy Profit Engine Brett by one Brett.,…?

    Carlos Plaza Domenech

    Totally understand this Brett.

    Love your honesty man, glad I found your blog!




    Thanks for sharing your experience, if I want a product I go to you for an honest review or another site which tells me what all the OTO’s are upfront so you can decide properly which are best for you. I recently bought an IM product aimed at gullible suckers caled AppCoiner, and did a short, 1st atempt at a product review because many on youtube etc are all positive and misleading, to get the Affiliate Commissions. I love your honesty, especially when other Affiliates and the products themslves say “this will work in any Niche” and you say “maybe, but best for this niche, not so good for another etc.There are a lot of useful tools but not necssarily useful for your own Type of of businesss, which for me is eCommerce WITHOUT FB ADs.
    Thanks for all the advice, hope you can keep it up beauase I’m a sucker for FREE MONEY Offers. (I spent an embarrassing amount of time researching a “PayPal Income Generator” which is obviously fake, but so obvious I could only find sarcastic answers of “Yeah it’s that simple). I hope I can copy your strategy of being Completly Honest (“Radical Honesty” s a self help book that encourages absolute truth no matter what the consequences, ad you Zig when everyone else Zags, THAT’s what I wanna do! Be an Innovator not an Imitator, (although that’s slightly copying you but I read the book ages ago so It’s nt ecactly copying your Radical Honesty.
    Thanks for the honest review and advice , which is hard to find in this industry.


      The reason I dont review OTO’s normally is because I strongly feel people should only consider the FE offer when deciding to buy the FE offer. Either its a value worth investing in, or its not, what you may or may not be offered later should have no effect on that. Also just a FYI: There is no such thing as ‘free money’, please accept that.


    I believe that it’s really difficult to get an honest, objective and unbiased review. especially when there are lucrative commissions involved.
    My tip is, google Muncheye and find the JV page for the product, you will see the commissions on offer ,which typically can be 100% to 50% on the FE and then 50% on the rest of the funnel. Heavily promoted products typically pay more commission and will either have loads of/or expensive OTO’s bumping up the affiliate commission.
    My next tip is don’t rush to buy on early bird pricing you typically only save a few dollars, wait a few days and then wait and see who is offering the best bonuses. Brett has done quite a few exclusive Agency Licences of his products for Bonuses, I personally have bought products (FE only) just to get the Agency Licence 🙂
    That would be the only time I would purchase a product I don’t really need, as the Bonus is much better than the product I am buying!
    Thanks Brett for all of your awesome products. You really are unique in the IM space.
    All ways keep it real buddy!

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