Jump to content

TGN's Review Methods


wox33
 Share

Recommended Posts

So for the sake of transparency are you getting all of this new gear pre release of retail to keep at a reduced cost or free? It seems like a pretty nice gig and it’s awesome if that’s the case but shouldn’t the terms be clearly stated as to not skew the reviews/opinions? To me unless you paid for a product at retail when it was available to the public it almost seems like paid for advertising by these companies. I know there was a call for retailers/manufacturers to identify themselves earlier as to not show bias and this kind of seems to be in that same vein. 

Maybe I’m way off on this and it’s your site so you can do what you want but it just feels like all these posts about pre release gear should have some sort of disclaimer in the initial post. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, wox33 said:

So for the sake of transparency are you getting all of this new gear pre release of retail to keep at a reduced cost or free? It seems like a pretty nice gig and it’s awesome if that’s the case but shouldn’t the terms be clearly stated as to not skew the reviews/opinions? To me unless you paid for a product at retail when it was available to the public it almost seems like paid for advertising by these companies. I know there was a call for retailers/manufacturers to identify themselves earlier as to not show bias and this kind of seems to be in that same vein. 

Maybe I’m way off on this and it’s your site so you can do what you want but it just feels like all these posts about pre release gear should have some sort of disclaimer in the initial post. 

He's mentioned it many times, but he's buying this gear himself. I'm sure his ability to access this gear pre-retail has more to do with his "influencer" status than companies giving him this gear solely for paid advertising. 

It's good to question it though. I know I did when he was hard on the Brian's bandwagon at the release of the Optik 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@wox33 - Some gear is purchased and others is sent as a demo.

Anything purchased via The Goalie Crease is usually pretty clearly spelled out, but it’s not the only source I have for buying things. As example, certain pieces of gear I’ve been able to purchase at cost and been asked not to mention which piece gear or the source. I respect people’s wishes when they’re doing me a favor. 

Please realize, no one “pays” me to do demos. I make $0 doing this. There are other outlets out there that actually do charge the hockey companies to get their gear tested and featured on their stuff. It’s one of those things like player endorsements that will never be crystal clear. 

Any gear that is sent to me is sent with the understanding that I point out the good and bad. I also spend a lot of time talking with reps about gear to try and learn as much as I can about gear to help people. Everyone gets gear is expensive and no one wants you to buy the wrong thing. 

The relationships I’ve built with the companies is also hopefully deeper than product placement. Your AS1 skate questions would be an example of the level support I’m about to get. My CCM contact got back to me within 24 hours-ish. I’m trying to build relationships and use this website to help as many people as possible. 

As a rule of thumb, I try to focus more on the positives than the negatives because most of the gear I’m testing is top notch. I want people to focus on the best reasons to buy a product. However, I don’t shy away from the negative though.

I also won’t post a negative thing unless I physically experienced it myself.  So, unless my pads rip... I’m not going to say “these pads have durability issues” because they didn’t for me. I have no idea what happened to a set pads prior to the image being posted on IG of the pucks going through a pad. Just because it happened at the NHL level doesn’t mean it applies to us commoners. I did point out that both Brians and CCM wore out in exactly the same spot. 

As I’m not selling gear, I have no horse in the race. I don’t care what you buy or what sells best. That might sound small, but it also helps with the neutrality. As long my negative comments are constructive and not a dramatic click bait “this thing is a dumpster fire”, I’d anticipate getting more opportunities to test new stuff. Most companies are pretty realistic about their strengths and weaknesses are not too uptight about it. Also, if 2 companies send me demo pads, it’s basically a level playing field. 

You're obviously entitled to your opinion, so if you feel any demo gear I didn’t buy is tainted, that’s fine. However, I don’t see it that way and do my best to stay neutral. There are a couple products, like Pro Laces, I have done some design consulting for. I will mention that in the review and it should be obvious. With both of the companies I’m helping with designs for, i actually approached them because I liked their products so much but felt there was room for improvement. 

One last thought is that demo gear has me trying stuff I never would have tried. It exposed me to stuff outside my comfort zone and forces me to get on the ice and try it. Without these experiences, I would have slept on some really great products. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never once said anything you didn't buy is tainted. I said put a disclaimer in the post so everything is a level playing field and people are aware that you may have a biased opinion. I'm not saying that you do as you have very positive things to say about everything but people should be able to know all the facts before using said opinion to make their decisions. There are a lot of younger users on this site that are probably heavily influenced by your posts.

I'm not coming after you or saying that all of this doesn't create great content. I actually really appreciate that nothing is click-bait. It was just a simple request for transparency.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, wox33 said:

I never once said anything you didn't buy is tainted. I said put a disclaimer in the post so everything is a level playing field and people are aware that you may have a biased opinion. I'm not saying that you do as you have very positive things to say about everything but people should be able to know all the facts before using said opinion to make their decisions. There are a lot of younger users on this site that are probably heavily influenced by your posts.

I'm not coming after you or saying that all of this doesn't create great content. I actually really appreciate that nothing is click-bait. It was just a simple request for transparency.

It’s just one of those topics that I take seriously. That’s why the response was as long as detailed as it was. My opportunity to address this and probably won’t do it again. 0% directed at you. If anything, it’s directed at negative DMs I get on the IG 😂.  

As I mentioned above, I’m operating within the boundaries given to me to be a gear tester. Calling something a demo is the appropriate term. You can read into that what you will or that in other reviews, I might say “I picked these up here” or “I bought this”. 

If I thought I was doing anything to mislead kids or convince their parents to buy bad products, I’d stop tomorrow. I try to point out as many “NHL only” options or skinned sticks as possible as on IG; hopefully that helps kids understand not everyone is using a $300 stick and they’re using a 4 yr old one.  

Saying company X sent me product Z for free ahead of launch is not something my partners are comfortable with. It’s just going to open them to 10,000 more DMs asking for free gear or upset retail partners who may have been excluded from a particular demo. This has already happened a few times and that’s why the rules are what they are 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, TheGoalNet said:

It’s just one of those topics that I take seriously. That’s why the response was as long as detailed as it was. My opportunity to address this and probably won’t do it again. 0% directed at you. If anything, it’s directed at negative DMs I get on the IG 😂.  

As I mentioned above, I’m operating within the boundaries given to me to be a gear tester. Calling something a demo is the appropriate term. You can read into that what you will or that in other reviews, I might say “I picked these up here” or “I bought this”. 

If I thought I was doing anything to mislead kids or convince their parents to buy bad products, I’d stop tomorrow. I try to point out as many “NHL only” options or skinned sticks as possible as on IG; hopefully that helps kids understand not everyone is using a $300 stick and they’re using a 4 yr old one.  

Saying company X sent me product Z for free ahead of launch is not something my partners are comfortable with. It’s just going to open them to 10,000 more DMs asking for free gear or upset retail partners who may have been excluded from a particular demo. This has already happened a few times and that’s why the rules are what they are 

I appreciate the willingness to talk about the topic as a lot of places would have just shut it down and deleted the post. I do totally understand the restrictions placed on you by the manufacturer and I work closely with the marketing department at the company I work for and know that we have agreements in place with certain customers for certain things. This site and everything that you've built with it has been really great ever since the old gsbb died a painful death. In no way was I implying that you say you got something free or per-release as like you said everyone and their brother will then try to reach out to CCM/Bauer/etc asking why they didn't get the same deal. I was more down the lines of maybe even a sponsored tag or something like that just to signify that there are special circumstances to that particular product.

Reading my initial post I can see it was far more accusatory than I intended for it to be as I understand why companies are giving you product as your posts get lots of eyes and that's a good thing for them as well as a good thing for us as I like most on here are really into new gear. And as the site grows your going to get even more opportunities to get your hands on those types of products so that's where I was coming from with this whole thing.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, wox33 said:

I appreciate the willingness to talk about the topic as a lot of places would have just shut it down and deleted the post. I do totally understand the restrictions placed on you by the manufacturer and I work closely with the marketing department at the company I work for and know that we have agreements in place with certain customers for certain things. This site and everything that you've built with it has been really great ever since the old gsbb died a painful death. In no way was I implying that you say you got something free or per-release as like you said everyone and their brother will then try to reach out to CCM/Bauer/etc asking why they didn't get the same deal. I was more down the lines of maybe even a sponsored tag or something like that just to signify that there are special circumstances to that particular product.

Reading my initial post I can see it was far more accusatory than I intended for it to be as I understand why companies are giving you product as your posts get lots of eyes and that's a good thing for them as well as a good thing for us as I like most on here are really into new gear. And as the site grows your going to get even more opportunities to get your hands on those types of products so that's where I was coming from with this whole thing.

Why would a sponsored tag be necessary in this case. I don't mean to speak for @TheGoalNet but he already explained that he isn't sponsored. Sponsoring would mean they paid him to review the product and to make it favorable. If companies or retailers are giving him demo gear or he's purchasing it on his own to give honest reviews, that isn't sponsored. In all my time watching his videos, never once has he tried to push anybody into anything. In fact he freely admits and points out instances where a person's personal preferences might differ and where potential shortcomings are. I tend to look at his reviews as objective rundowns of aspects of gear that is not covered by marketing material.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, wox33 said:

I appreciate the willingness to talk about the topic as a lot of places would have just shut it down and deleted the post. I do totally understand the restrictions placed on you by the manufacturer and I work closely with the marketing department at the company I work for and know that we have agreements in place with certain customers for certain things. This site and everything that you've built with it has been really great ever since the old gsbb died a painful death. In no way was I implying that you say you got something free or per-release as like you said everyone and their brother will then try to reach out to CCM/Bauer/etc asking why they didn't get the same deal. I was more down the lines of maybe even a sponsored tag or something like that just to signify that there are special circumstances to that particular product.

Reading my initial post I can see it was far more accusatory than I intended for it to be as I understand why companies are giving you product as your posts get lots of eyes and that's a good thing for them as well as a good thing for us as I like most on here are really into new gear. And as the site grows your going to get even more opportunities to get your hands on those types of products so that's where I was coming from with this whole thing.

If I would have gone with @TheGoalNet‘s model, I could have had a less contentious and easier time doing a bicycle product testing blog. Full transparency isn’t always all it seems, as it can prevent getting to test the absolute latest and greatest products. Looking back, a testing and reporting model like  Mr. Net’s (see what I did there, @TheGoalNet?) would have still allowed me to test a lot more stuff and still would have allowed me to test great things with a great degree of latitude. In the end, being more in the vein of Consumer Reports for bike parts made the project go bust because people don’t want to pay for content and I was running out of money for the meagre amount of slim advertising revenue (as I could not allow even so much as a bike shoppe to advertise due to my strict “independence and transparency” rules) my blog was bringing in.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, goalieThreeOne said:

Why would a sponsored tag be necessary in this case. I don't mean to speak for @TheGoalNet but he already explained that he isn't sponsored. Sponsoring would mean they paid him to review the product and to make it favorable. If companies or retailers are giving him demo gear or he's purchasing it on his own to give honest reviews, that isn't sponsored. In all my time watching his videos, never once has he tried to push anybody into anything. In fact he freely admits and points out instances where a person's personal preferences might differ and where potential shortcomings are. I tend to look at his reviews as objective rundowns of aspects of gear that is not covered by marketing material.

I guess sponsorship was a bad term for it. It's more of an advertisement as it's coming out of company X's marketing budget to get these products into the hands of people that they know have a following and hoping to get a favorable coverage. I'm not accusing him of doing anything wrong or him pushing anyone to purchase any specific product but these companies are doing what they are doing for a reason.  If any of these companies come on here and don't like what he wrote about said product they aren't going to send him any more. That's just the reality of it. If @TheGoalNet needs to do things how they are currently being done to continue to bring in content that's okay in my book and more on the Brands than anything. I was just suggesting some more transparency as things start to shift for someone buying things on their own and writing about them to a place being targeted by goalie companies to get eyes on their products. I know that if I was given something free as opposed to buying it outright I would be more inclined to gloss over some of the smaller nit picks that I would normally have. Not that any of that is happening here which I don't think it is but it's just something to think about when dealing with major manufacturers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, wox33 said:

I appreciate the willingness to talk about the topic as a lot of places would have just shut it down and deleted the post. I do totally understand the restrictions placed on you by the manufacturer and I work closely with the marketing department at the company I work for and know that we have agreements in place with certain customers for certain things. This site and everything that you've built with it has been really great ever since the old gsbb died a painful death. In no way was I implying that you say you got something free or per-release as like you said everyone and their brother will then try to reach out to CCM/Bauer/etc asking why they didn't get the same deal. I was more down the lines of maybe even a sponsored tag or something like that just to signify that there are special circumstances to that particular product.

Reading my initial post I can see it was far more accusatory than I intended for it to be as I understand why companies are giving you product as your posts get lots of eyes and that's a good thing for them as well as a good thing for us as I like most on here are really into new gear. And as the site grows your going to get even more opportunities to get your hands on those types of products so that's where I was coming from with this whole thing.

Like I said, more just opened a door for me to get something off my chest. I get a 100 DMs a day from 10 years asking how to get free gear. The test gear is amazing perk of doing this, but I would have figured out others way to test gear I was dead set on testing. I have actually turned down a few opportunities because I don't have enough time to test more than I already committed to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/9/2019 at 4:20 PM, TheGoalNet said:

Like I said, more just opened a door for me to get something off my chest. I get a 100 DMs a day from 10 years asking how to get free gear. The test gear is amazing perk of doing this, but I would have figured out others way to test gear I was dead set on testing. I have actually turned down a few opportunities because I don't have enough time to test more than I already committed to.

To be honest I don't know how the hell you have the time to do what you already do.  Married, full time job that you do some traveling for, and I know you have at least one kid, right?  There is no way in hell I would have the time to do all of this.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, SaveByRichter35 said:

To be honest I don't know how the hell you have the time to do what you already do.  Married, full time job that you do some traveling for, and I know you have at least one kid, right?  There is no way in hell I would have the time to do all of this.

Well, if you are legally married, but not an active participant in a functional marriage, and you have biologically fathered a child or children, but do not have anything to do with them since birth, and you have a full time job, but it's a union shop, which essentially allows you to screw the pooch day-in, day-out, without consequence, then yeah, doing the goalie stuff ain't no thang.

LOL!

Just jokes, @TheGoalNet - I am also amazed at your efforts. Respect, man!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple other points that probably should be considered:   First, anyone who works for a LHS is getting some kind of price break on gear.  Depending on the store it may only be 10% or so, but it's still less than the general public pays.  So it's not like TGN is the only one around here who's not paying full retail.  Secondly, there are several stores out there who will offer free demos of gear, including one in the US who will ship demo gear to you.  So while TGN gets to keep his demo gear a little longer than most, the option to try gear is out there for most of us if we're willing to do the legwork for it.

I personally find TGN's approach to be as impartial as possible when it's just one man's opinion.  I may not agree with him on every subjective assessment, but I find his objective points regarding strengths/weaknesses to be fairly spot on with what I observe on store shelves and the feedback I hear from customers.  This year will be the first time he and I overlap on a set of gear (EF4) so it'll be interesting to see how our impressions line up there.

Edited by Puckstopper
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Puckstopper said:

A couple other points that probably should be considered:   First, anyone who works for a LHS is getting some kind of price break on gear.  Depending on the store it may only be 10% or so, but it's still less than the general public pays.  So it's not like TGN is the only one around here who's not paying full retail.  Secondly, there are several stores out there who will offer free demos of gear, including one in the US who will ship demo gear to you.  So while TGN gets to keep his demo gear a little longer than most, the option to try gear is out there for most of us if we're willing to do the legwork for it.

I personally find TGN's approach to be as impartial as possible when it's just one man's opinion.  I may not agree with him on every subjective assessments, but I find his objective points regarding strengths/weaknesses to be fairly spot on with what I observe on store shelves and the feedback I hear from customers.  This year will be the first time he and I overlap on a set of gear (EF4) so it'll be interesting to see how our impressions line up there.

The LHS point is actually a great one I hadn't considered. I know 1 brand in particular offers up some juicy deals to nearly any shop kid to get him to try to the gear. In fairness, people working in shops should try everything so they are well educated, but there's such a bias.

If the kid at the local shop has brand X skates and likes them and isn't a superstar, he's going to tell you to get the brand X skates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah...my entire point. I literally referenced those requests that people who work for hockey stores/companies be identified as to not show bias. I was pointing out how this was should be treated the same if that's really what people wanted. But it's pretty obvious that its not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly it does seem like you're the most passionate one about this.  I do work for a LHS a few days a month to help defray the cost of my gear addiction, so I guess take that into account when you read my posts.

I feel I'm actually more neutral now that I work there.  Before having that opportunity I was a big time Brian's/Vaughn fan because that was the gear that worked well for me.  While I still LOVE certain gear from both companies,  I've been exposed to more info about the other options and had more time to get hands on with them.  As a result, I'm far more interested in making sure I give good advice that fits the end user's desires as opposed to simply pushing my love for certain brands. 

I think if you read enough reviews/posts it's pretty easy to tell who's pushing an agenda and who is simply trying to help out and provide their opinion.  Fortunately, I don't see very many of the former type on this board which is really refreshing after some of the boards I've participated in for other hobbies.

Edited by Puckstopper
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, wox33 said:

Yeah...my entire point. I literally referenced those requests that people who work for hockey stores/companies be identified as to not show bias. I was pointing out how this was should be treated the same if that's really what people wanted. But it's pretty obvious that its not.

I think the consensus was that members who are here to be representatives for their company all make it known who they work for.  Members who happen to work for a hockey shop but don't want their online persona to seem as if they're representing their shop would prefer to be left unknown.  I don't see the problem with that.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

54 minutes ago, Puckstopper said:

Honestly it does seem like you're the most passionate one about this.  I do work for a LHS a few days a month to help defray the cost of my gear addiction, so I guess take that into account when you read my posts.

I feel I'm actually more neutral now that I work there.  Before having that opportunity I was a big time Brian's/Vaughn fan because that was the gear that worked well for me.  While I still LOVE certain gear from both companies,  I've been exposed to more info about the other options and had more time to get hands on with them.  As a result, I'm far more interested in making sure I give good advice that fits the end user's desires as opposed to simply pushing my love for certain brands. 

I think if you read enough reviews/posts it's pretty easy to tell who's pushing an agenda and who is simply trying to help out and provide their opinion.  Fortunately, I don't see very many of the former type on this board which is really refreshing after some of the boards I've participated in for other hobbies.

I 100% agree that it is pretty easy to tell who is being bias. But I, like you it seems, have been around forums and message boards for a long time and have that radar for what BS and what's not. Some people don't and do blindly make buying decisions (or their parents) off of things people like Trav4 says in his videos. None of that is going on here and the mod team does a good job of keeping things pretty clean. My suggestion was just about the changing in how gear manufactures are doing their advertising as the stuff isn't just going to pros and reps anymore. They are taking online influencers and using them as cheap advertising. It's not a bad thing and like I said in previous posts I'm fine with however it's handled here. I was just making the point that there is a lot more free gear out there than before and it's good to be aware of that fact.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, wox33 said:

I 100% agree that it is pretty easy to tell who is being bias. But I, like you it seems, have been around forums and message boards for a long time and have that radar for what BS and what's not. Some people don't and do blindly make buying decisions (or their parents) off of things people like Trav4 says in his videos. None of that is going on here and the mod team does a good job of keeping things pretty clean. My suggestion was just about the changing in how gear manufactures are doing their advertising as the stuff isn't just going to pros and reps anymore. They are taking online influencers and using them as cheap advertising. It's not a bad thing and like I said in previous posts I'm fine with however it's handled here. I was just making the point that there is a lot more free gear out there than before and it's good to be aware of that fact.

You are not incorrect.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...