Here at The Coffee Concierge, readers come first. As a result, I strive to make my reviews 100% transparent.
While it's impossible to eliminate biases completely, I am acutely aware of them, especially in the context of receiving a product for free and/or with additional compensation.
Most sponsored reviews are simply an exchange of money and good press, and this doesn't sit right with me for several reasons:
- This is basically advertising disguised as something else
- It puts the sponsors before the readers
So how are Coffee Concierge sponsored reviews different?
As I mentioned earlier, while it may be impossible for me to eliminate all bias from my sponsored reviews, I do not guarantee favorable reviews to those who opt for the sponsored option.
Instead, a sponsored review guarantees the following:
- A preview of the review, sent to the sponsor a week before the impending publication date
- An option for the sponsor to “veto” the review's impending publication if it is unfavorable
- An expedited and guaranteed publication date, within 2-4 weeks of the product submission
Alternatively, products and coffee can be submitted for review without additional payment, but I can't guarantee that a review will be published, nor that it will be published within a short time frame.
So yes, I give sponsored reviews priority in their publication dates by moving them to the front of my editorial calendar, but the products are still reviewed the same way they would have been reviewed if I purchased them myself or received them without additional compensation.
Unpaid reviews aren't going anywhere
Given that some of you will still remain skeptical, and perhaps rightly so, one thing you can trust is that I will never stop producing reviews of products that I've purchased myself.
I believe a trustworthy review site must have at the very least, some products that were purchased by the publication itself.
If a website only published sponsored reviews, I would stop reading it, even if “sponsored” meant what I defined above.
In the future, I hope to have the resources to phase out sponsored reviews if readers/viewers like you are not happy with them. Still, this is a business with plenty of expenses, and I have to monetize it to continue to make it a valuable resource.
If you have some feedback, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or send me a private message here.