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DPReview launches GearShop

By dpreview staff on Jul 17, 2013 at 21:00 GMT

Introducing GearShop

After a two-month beta period during which the store was available only to logged-in members, we're excited today to announce the official opening of DPReview GearShop. In celebration of the launch, GearShop customers will be able to claim up to $150 in free accessories with select camera purchases now through July 27, 2013.

GearShop is a unique photo specialty store that utilizes DPReview's comprehensive testing and research to select and recommend cameras, lenses and accessories. Designed for photographers, by photographers, every product in the store has been approved for inclusion by the DPReview editorial staff.

But GearShop is about much more than a carefully curated selection. The store is run by a small team of photo enthusiasts dedicated to finding the very best products and to ensuring that product pages have the most comprehensive information anywhere on the web. Combining original DPReview content with 360° views of products, sample images and exclusive video content, our product pages cut through the usual marketing speak and sales materials and present honest, factual information to shoppers. The Gearlist feature allows us to give you personalized recommendations and product news, and the store also offers free 2-Day shipping on cameras and lenses.

Please note that at launch, the store can only ship to US addresses. We are of course well aware that two thirds of our audience is outside the USA. At present, all we can say is that we welcome feedback from you, wherever you are in the world, and we will use it to help us evolve and expand in the future.

A message from the DPReview Editors

For many years we’ve played with the idea of building an online store that offers encyclopedic knowledge and personal recommendations from passionate and enthusiastic experts. A store that utilizes DPReview’s comprehensive testing and research to provide photography enthusiasts with expert guidance when buying cameras, lenses and accessories online. 

GearShop is an important initiative for DPReview, because it allows us to fund more camera reviewers, more engineers and an even better DPReview in the future. Although the DPReview team is not involved in the day-to-day running of GearShop, we are working very closely with the team behind it and are excited to be lending our name, our expertise and our experience to this new venture. But we would be naive to think everyone will welcome this latest development, and many of you will question how we can maintain our independence as we enter into such a close partnership with a retail business.

We want to reassure you that we’ve worked hard over the last 14 years to earn our reputation for unbiased, objective assessment of digital photography equipment, and we have no intention of throwing that away.

The existence of a DPReview branded store and our involvement in the product selection process does not in any way affect the tenets and principles that guide our work on our site. We are and will remain 100% independent. GearShop is staffed and managed by a totally different team, and our involvement is restricted to product assessment and selection approval, and to the sharing of content from our site to the new store.

We retain full control over the products we choose to write about and review, and over what we say about them. We are not involved in any business discussions with suppliers, and we have absolute veto over what goes onto the site or into the store. We will not, ever, sell our credibility.

The GearShop pledge to you

  • We will only sell products tested, approved or recommended by the DPReview editorial staff, and we will not shy away from telling you about a product’s weaknesses as well as its strengths.
  • We won’t sell you things that we wouldn't recommend to our friends or use ourselves.
  • DPReview will retain 100% editorial independence. Our writers will not be thinking about selling. cameras, just as they currently don’t think about selling advertising.
  • DPReview editorial staff will have no involvement in the day-to-day running of the store.
  • Neither GearShop staff or their suppliers will have any influence over DPReview reviews or other content.
  • We will remove products from the store immediately if we feel we can no longer recommend them, based on our own experience, and/or customer feedback.
  • We will always prefer our own content over manufacturer-supplied words, pictures and videos.

FAQ

Why are you doing this now?
Firstly, because we really want to build an amazing specialty camera store for the photo enthusiast. We are full of ideas (and will welcome your input), and the GearShop team is excited about making those ideas come to life on the site. But this is also an important initiative for DPReview, because it allows us to fund more camera reviewers, more engineers and an even better DPReview in the future, without turning to advertorials or intrusive ‘roadblock’ ads that we hate as much as you do.

Why should I buy from GearShop?
We hope the features and deals on the store will give you good enough reason. We’re working hard to give GearShop customers some real savings, but buying from GearShop also directly helps DPReview continue to expand its editorial team and build cool new features. You are, of course, perfectly free to buy your camera anywhere, and you can still use features like Gearlist even if you don’t intend to make a purchase on GearShop.

Why is XYZ brand / product not listed?
We’re launching GearShop with an intentionally narrow selection of products – those we have tested, those we use and love and those we know to be essential (system accessories etc). The GS team will be expanding the selection gradually over the coming months based on DPReview’s testing, their own evaluation and customer feedback. 

Beyond this, there are several reasons that individual products or entire brands might be missing from the site. If we cannot get stock, get bad feedback or discover a flaw we may de-list an item. Certain brands may just be absent from our inventory because the GearShop team is still in talks with those companies.

Will this change the way DPReview covers products?
Emphatically no! This would destroy everything we have built over the last 14 years. We would gain nothing and potentially lose everything by sacrificing our independence. Under our existing ethics policy editorial staff are not allowed to accept perks, products or discounts from suppliers.

But won’t you just recommend products you want to sell?
Again, emphatically no! The DPReview editorial staff will not be involved in the running of the store, will not meet suppliers, will not have access to the sales data and will continue to write exactly what they want. And you are of course free to continue shopping elsewhere if you want.

Does this mean I can’t mention other retailers / deals on DPReview?
Nope. Go ahead.

So DPReview reviewers are now shopkeepers? Will they be answering the phone?
No, editorial staff are editorial staff. They will not be involved in the day-to-day running of GearShop beyond approving new products to be listed and providing test results (as part of the normal review process).

Are you going to start spamming us with emails/plastering the site with banners?
No. We will allow you to opt-in to member-only deals and we’ll let the GearShop store manager stick a message at the bottom of our newsletter, but we don’t want GearShop to intrude too heavily on your enjoyment of DPReview.com. You’ll see a few extra links on product pages and we will replace some of those terrible 'Lose Belly Fat in a Week!' ads with GearShop offers, but it is absolutely not our plan to change the feel of DPReview or annoy our visitors.

Where can I talk about Gearshop?
We have set up a dedicated GearShop forum which will be actively monitored by the GearShop team, so feel free to have your say! Please note that GearShop threads created in other forums will be moved to the new forum.

Comments

Total comments: 327
123
louslens
By louslens (9 months ago)

I would question a little more closely any of your recommendations. If you expect us to believe that they will not be skewed in favor of products you are trying to sell, I have a bridge to sell. BAD DECISION on the part on the part of DPR

11 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (9 months ago)

OK, let's run through the logic here, from our point of view.

Option 1: We skew editorial to recommend products we want to sell on GearShop for any reason. Lots of readers buy over-recommended products, feel let down, and neither read the site again nor buy from GearShop again. BAD DECISION

Option 2: We review as we always have, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of cameras and lenses as impartially as we possibly can. Readers know what to expect when they buy, so are much less likely to feel let down. They continue to come to the site, and hopefully buy from GearShop. BETTER DECISION

It's simply not in our interests, as a business, to try to get people to buy products by over-hyping them, just in search of a quick profit. We know it wouldn't work long term. So we'll go on reviewing impartially, as we always have, and hope that readers will be happy with their purchases. Meanwhile the income from GearShop will hopefully help keep DPReview going.

4 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

@Andy - I believe in your sincere intentions here. You probably believe that you can stay as neutral as today, but still sell goods. And your example above seems water proof. But ... the future is hard to predict. You have made a choice. Some years from now that choice is going to be very important for this site. For good or for bad? Hard to tell. But the choice do matter. A lot.

5 upvotes
Makinations
By Makinations (9 months ago)

In the future letting people down, having them not read the site and never buying from gearshop will become a good decision?

3 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (9 months ago)

Here's my take on this. By and large the profit on a camera or lens is x%. That's roughly the same for Nikon, Canon, Sigma, Tamron, etc. etc. So, why would GearShop want to sell Product A vs. Product B, C and D?

Granted, occasionally a manufacturer offers a spiff (a bonus for selling a certain product) but it's not huge and is for a limited time. Would it be possible to time Reviews so they coincide with the period for this (spiff) bonus to GearShop??

I like conspiracy theories too but in this case, I don't think there is a practical method for Amazon.com to profit by getting DPReview to slant reviews toward certain products. And does Amazon need to do so?? They will get tons of extra sales via the GearShop because of the *massive* number of DPReview readers in the US.

2 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (9 months ago)

Option 3 was missing from Andy's no doubt sincere reply. No gear shop!

Why is it there at all? One reason only and that is to make money. As soon as you do that it is simply impossible to get round the suspicions and conspiracy theories already aired.

A big issue is DPR sometimes takes an age to review a camera or even never gets round too it. As such it won't be in the Gear Shop and is effectively damned by faint (well no) praise.

Gear Shop is not actually needed anyway from a users point of view given all the extended information is already on DPR. People use DPR and other sites to aid their buying decisions and unless they then go to the local camera store will 99% of the time buy from the cheapest reputable place on net.

If Gear Shop is competitive people will buy from it but its existence comes at a price.

1 upvote
MSHewes
By MSHewes (9 months ago)

DPR does not seem to understand the concept of independence, or if they do, then they are admitting that what they do does not deserve distinction. They can't have it both ways. On the other hand, maybe you all should get over it, it's only camera gear!

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

@Peter - for some reason or another resellers got favourite brands in their stores. Maybe for financial reasons, maybe for personal reasons and maybe only to limit the products they have in store. When that happens, it might be a bad idea to recommend something not in store.

One possibility is the choice of cameras to review. It is much easier to review a camera you have in store. Much more fun for the reviewers also. And also more beneficial for the gear shop.

Not saying this will happen. Just saying what is not all the unlikely to happen.

0 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (9 months ago)

<<<sometimes takes an age to review a camera or even never gets round too it. As such it won't be in the Gear Shop and is effectively damned by faint (well no) praise.>>> Right ... and here's what will happen:

Example: DPReview posted a review about a camera a month ago indicating it was just OK (more Cons than Pros). Amazon is trying to promote that camera because there is a bit more profit if they do so this week. But the camera is not going to sell very well because of the mediocre review. .... Another reason why I am not convinced that there is any conspiracy.

Yes, with the new Gear Shop that shows camera info AND the Review info, Amazon should sell more product ... in general. But why is that something that should be criticized? Both need to make a profit to survive.

Many readers prefer B&H, of course, and they will continue buying from B&H. And I live in Canada so I will keep buying from Henrys.com and vistek.ca ... So, all is still well with the world.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (9 months ago)

Classic ad-edit conflict.

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
11 upvotes
billbourd
By billbourd (9 months ago)

At first glance I do not like this concept. I do shop often at Amazon and am quite happy with my experiences there and I have always gone to DPReview for information on anything photographic. However this puts a different slant on both.
I have been a longtime subscriber to Consumer Reports. They have a reputation for true independence on their reviews and if they opened a shopping site I would feel betrayed for having been an avid subscriber. I know that might seem irrational, but the fact is that is how I would feel.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and to wonder if I will be able to feel comfortable continuing to be a follower of DPReview amd shopper at Amazon.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (9 months ago)

Wow, you just validated the long held belief (by some) that your reviews are clouded by Amazon marketing. What were you thinking? I like Amazon sometimes. And I read reviews posted by Amazon customers. But I also like B&H and Adorama and National Camera Exchange and a bunch of others. Maybe they should buy a forum and hire "expert" reviewers. This is over the top. DPR Gearshop? No thanks. I can find stuff to buy all by myself.

9 upvotes
bigrgib
By bigrgib (9 months ago)

Why do I log in to gearshop when I log from DPR?

Pushy, are we?

7 upvotes
Low Battery
By Low Battery (9 months ago)

Totally Agree! Why do we have to lot into gearshop (and have the gearshop cookies) just to log into this site?

11 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (9 months ago)

There's a decent chance needing to log into the gearstore and DPR is simply programmer convenience.
Since it appears that they are using user reviews for DPR in the store, they need to make jtan163 on DPreveiw is the same jtan163 as on the gearstore.
The easy way to do this is use the same underlying account. Stuff like your wishlist in DPR will translate nicely etc.
I'm not sure about the "goodness" of the gearstore idea yet, esp from the long term editorial independence POV, but I think that the shared accounts between the two is for convenience of both programmers and users, and probably saves a few bucks in development and ongoing maintenance (no need to export and deconflict accounts between sites) and is not necessarily sinister. Probably they'd have used openid with facebook or google if starting from scratch, except they need to keep it backward compatible with existing DPR users.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
windmillgolfer
By windmillgolfer (9 months ago)

All prices are in $. Is there a UK version?

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (9 months ago)

Amazon.co.uk ;)

7 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (9 months ago)

UK version...in this global facebook world we live in free trade is still not a standard...sad in a way.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (9 months ago)

But the GearShop prices etc. are only for the USA.

Like other on-line retailers that have stores in other countries (Canada, the UK, etc. etc. etc for Amazon) they do not ship to outside the USA.

1 upvote
jfjal
By jfjal (9 months ago)

Hello Gearshop!
Goodbye trusted rewiews!
DPR suddenly got less interesting.

To state that you are independent while selling the gear you are reviewing is just laughable, no matter how many times you try to tell us!
The history of business development tells us this. You are facing a very steep uphill battle.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
31 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (9 months ago)

Don't you think dpreview is going to get slaughtered in the comments, when they start favouring certains brands/products?

0 upvotes
Toccata47
By Toccata47 (9 months ago)

You are aware that dpr is owned by Amazon, right?

2 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (9 months ago)

And? Amazon is a gear manufacturer? Amazon sells almost every brand.

1 upvote
sebastian huvenaars
By sebastian huvenaars (9 months ago)

I used to work in a gearshop for a while.

You don't wanna know how many offers we (as salespersons) got to push product A or tell story B when selling product X. Hot air balloontrip here, 1000 euro's to be split under colleagues there. All of this after meeting certain targets ofcourse. Not to mention direct financial commissions.

This manipulation came from within the company itself to clean out old stock and high margin sales or from manufacturer representatives trying hard to make us remember the perfect salespitch.

There's no concrete reason to believe DPR is letting itself in on this kind of stuff, you've got a (good) reputation to protect. But i got a pretty decent idea how marketing structures function and this Gearshop development makes me weary to say the least...

Manufaturers on the one hand, consumers on the other and the Amazon/DPR deal to generate traffic inbetween, sounds to logic not to be true...

6 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (9 months ago)

I think the Leica X Vario has a great and positive review coming our way!

1 upvote
Peter Bendheim
By Peter Bendheim (9 months ago)

Amazon repackaged and rebranded.....Amazon won't ship to international, neither will it's clone. All you do is built a nice new front end interface, stick on Amazon's related product database onto the back end...and Voila!...you have a"shop"

8 upvotes
Gryfster
By Gryfster (9 months ago)

Amazon will ship international to certain countries. Not necessarily the cheapest option though.

0 upvotes
gnewsch
By gnewsch (9 months ago)

What's the deal with the US shipping only? You'd think that an e-commerce giant like Amazon would have the know-how to help set up an international shop from the start. That would have been vastly more interesting than this test run in a market that is already saturated with a lot of good online shopping camera stores.

3 upvotes
groucher
By groucher (9 months ago)

Amazon won't ship to the UK because their prices (after taking tax into account) are far lower in the US - they don't want to take business away from the UK arm.

0 upvotes
ABDurbs
By ABDurbs (9 months ago)

Nothing to do with Amazon not wanting to or being able to ship internationally. It's about brand licensing in Foreign countries where Nikon, Canon, Sony etc have brand licenses in place.

1 upvote
fz750
By fz750 (9 months ago)

Amazon UK denied once that this was the reason (and which would arguably be illegal under EU law as I was going to make a formal complaint) and warranties have to be EU -wide anyway..

They used to send abroad (US and Uk..) but now it seems that everything is getting worse with Amazon and I have to rely on amazon partners that may send to international destinations..

(but partners are useless, if they are still around, when there's a problem...)

0 upvotes
gnewsch
By gnewsch (9 months ago)

Seeing how neither Nikon, Canon nor Sony are US brands, I don't see how licensing would be any more complicated in Europe than in the US.

0 upvotes
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (9 months ago)

ABDurbs "Nothing to do with Amazon not wanting to or being able to ship internationally. It's about brand licensing in Foreign countries where Nikon, Canon, Sony etc have brand licenses in place."

You have that completely wrong. It's everything to do with Amazon and I suspect it's to prevent customers taking advantage of exchange rates to get a lower price than the local Amazon store. It is already possible to buy stuff shipped from the US and have VAT applied from other retailers.

B&H will even calculate the VAT and import duty up-front.

That said for the most part it often isn't worth it. I would be more expensive to import a Nex6r + lens from B&H than buy here in the UK for example but you can do it.

However sometimes products are only available in the USA and it would be nice to have the option to buy and vice-versa I presume. Amazon prevents this.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

there is something of a contradiction in stating 'it's because they don't want you to get the lower price' in the same post as 'it would be more expensive to import'. There are many reasons GS doesn't offer shipping outside the US, but this isn't one of them.

0 upvotes
smatty
By smatty (9 months ago)

"Apologies to our International customers. The store can only ship to US addresses???"

International customers? I thought dpreview started in the UK...

21 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (9 months ago)

They are situated in US now, and so is the store.

1 upvote
h2k
By h2k (9 months ago)

A "curated store" ?

Is that how you call it now? Will you be the MoMa of online shops?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (9 months ago)

Amazon has one of the best return policies going. But you must be very careful when purchasing from Marketplace Vendors or Amazon Fulfillment. Often the merchants seem to be rotated. I always check the Return and Refunds policy of the exact seller first. To a certain extent, there is much less control on Amazon than in the past. The buyer has no way of knowing what controls Amazon places on individual sellers.

Thus, GearShop can be a good competitor by consistent policies and practices, a la, in my experience, firms like KEH, Adorama, Cameta, Beach Camera and B&H.

I thought DPReview might go to more "sponsored by" features or store links? How will GearShop handle a camera or lens that isn't good from the start, or when a package gets damaged in shipping, etc. Time will tell.

As to other spinoff income, you should consider e-book tutorials, even photo classes a la Mike Reichmann and others. All the staff seem to be good folk and I expect would be fun to know.

1 upvote
Benarm
By Benarm (9 months ago)

I guess the ratio of bad-to-good reviews will sink even further.

17 upvotes
fad
By fad (9 months ago)

Where are the shipping, return policies and so forth?

What is the value to the consumer of Gear Shop over having a list of recommended products with links to purchasing them on Amazon? Why should we buy from you?

What states do you collect sales tax for?

1 upvote
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (9 months ago)

Shipping: http://gearshop.dpreview.com/help/shipping-info

Returns: http://gearshop.dpreview.com/help/returns-and-refunds

Sales tax: http://gearshop.dpreview.com/help/sales-tax

1 upvote
fad
By fad (9 months ago)

So there is no benefit to us customers from using Gear Shop over Amazon?

One has to guess it was just set up to increase the paper profitability of the dpreview tentacle within the Amazon octopus, since it does nothing that a list of recommended products would not do as well.

Am I missing any benefit for customers?

2 upvotes
Janbro
By Janbro (9 months ago)

From above: "We will only sell products tested, approved or recommended by the DPReview editorial staff." What does this mean exactly? For example, does it mean that products won't be sold unless/until a favorable preview/review is published? If not, what other criteria are used?

7 upvotes
Laura@GearShop
By Laura@GearShop (9 months ago)

We've launched GearShop with an intentionally narrow selection of products – those we have tested, those we use and love (and would feel comfortable recommending to other enthusiasts) and those we know to be essential (system accessories, etc). The GS team will be expanding the selection gradually over the coming months based on DPReview’s testing, their own evaluation, and your feedback. I consult with vendors and continuously monitor numerous sources (obviously including DPReview announcements, news articles, and reviews) looking for new and interesting products that are appropriate for photo enthusiasts. Ultimately DPReview has the final say, though there are several reasons that individual products or entire brands might be missing from the site. If we cannot get stock, get negative feedback, or discover a flaw we may choose to not list or delist an item. Certain brands may be absent from our inventory because the GearShop team is still finalizing details with those companies.

1 upvote
kgreggain
By kgreggain (9 months ago)

I think it is going to be a challenge for Dpreview to remain objective. A negative review is shooting their sales in the foot.

Time will tell I suppose.

7 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (9 months ago)

Editorial, by definition, is not interested in selling cameras. We review them. Doing anything else will be obvious. As you say, time will tell whether we can continue building on our rather large body of thorough and honest reviews. There are enough good cameras out there that we have never needed to do anything but be honest. To do differently would hurt the business.

4 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (9 months ago)

As I commented yesterday on that sensational revelation that not all online reviews are accurate or honest, this is the way things have always been. Amazon owns DPR; DPR has reviews with links that (surprisingly!) go to Amazon.

The reason I would not be too concerned is that frankly, DPR is usually quite generous in their reviews so it's hard to see how they could inflate things further just because the store is now on their own page instead of Amazon's. The guys at Camera35 magazine (which was really tough on products) liked to joke "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything".

Even without the store, DPR could never have gotten this big by writing harsh reviews. Do you think a manufacturer will give a "pre-production" camera to a site that's that's known for emphasizing flaws and being overly critical?

I don't mean to be rude but I can tell you already that whatever replaces the D800 will get at least a silver award and my bet is on the gold. Care to wager?

4 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (9 months ago)

So writing harsh reviews is the definition of integrity? It's true, we don't review too many crappy cameras. There are plenty out there we will never touch because we know no one's interested, and our resources don't allow us to get to all the popular cameras, so even signing the shipping form on some cameras isn't worth the time. But I'm pretty sure we get blasted regularly for our criticism of features, performance, or lack thereof on almost every camera we review.

I've been called biased against every brand of camera, even cameras I gave a Gold award, as well as biased in favor of a few times as well. But as usual we post page after page of evidence to support our verdict, complete with photographs to back it all up. We always welcome you to look at it all yourselves and make your own decisions. DPR has always sold ads and linked to camera stores; it hasn't affected our objectivity so far. It will be no different going forward.

7 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (9 months ago)

As for the Nikon D800, that is an excellent camera, as was its predecessor; anyone would be a fool to take your wager that one of the most successful camera companies in the world couldn't make another to earn a gold award; whether it does, though, is up to any future model's performance, the performance of other cameras on the market at the time, and our writers' observations. There are sites that will be harsh for the sake of it, but there's no good reason to do that. That might make a site you would prefer, but it wouldn't be honest.

0 upvotes
PenGun
By PenGun (9 months ago)

I google every purchase. I buy from many different places and have been doing so for years.

The problem for DPR is whether they can even come close in price to what is available worldwide.

3 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (9 months ago)

Not true! Have you seen that the RX1 is $1.99 off?

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (9 months ago)

Did any cameras or gear make the "Not Recommended" list yet?

5 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (9 months ago)

didn't see any Lytro cameras.

3 upvotes
Deutsch
By Deutsch (9 months ago)

I'd like to see the final price BEFORE I have to enter all the shipping and payment info, not wait till the end to verify.

6 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (9 months ago)

I don't have an issues here. I would guess the inventory here would be from amazon warehouse. Amazon sells all types of camera so they don't really push one camera brand/type/genre vs another. Since they don't need eternal advertisement they are less influenced there too. With influx of money now for dpreview I expect more from this sit too.

2 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (9 months ago)

I'm a bit old fashioned, I still buy my goods mostly at physical stores, now is that here no problem with stores like Yodobashi Camera and BIC camera, with fycical stores you have service differences...I just wonder what this offers more than the speedier Amazon and all others with reviews also, and because DPreview is part of Amazon (correct?) what is the reason for this site?

2 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (9 months ago)

Scroll up and read in the FAQ: What is the reason for this site?

1 upvote
veroman
By veroman (9 months ago)

Something is not right about dpreview having gear for sale. I don't quite have a handle on it yet, and I'm not sure if it's a conflict of interest situation or something larger or newer, ie a whole new breed of integration between reviews and sales. But, whatever it is, I know right now that I'm not comfortable purchasing gear from a web site whose primary reason for being is gear reviews. Something is not right.

On another note: GearShop's web site design is pretty clunky. It's no match for Amazon's or B&H's. Needs correcting badly.

10 upvotes
Thomas Kachadurian
By Thomas Kachadurian (9 months ago)

Get to the heart of it though. It's too bulky for shopping, too commercial for reviews.

Big mistake and a very clumsy interface. Easier to shop at amazon.

They'd have done better just to have a buy it now link to amazon whenever there's news or a review. Only guess that would make it too clear the old objective DPR is gone.

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

except we've had those links for over a decade.

3 upvotes
Antonio Abreu
By Antonio Abreu (9 months ago)

It's just another Amazon but specialized for cameras.

3 upvotes
Mikhail Tal
By Mikhail Tal (9 months ago)

Isn't there a serious potential conflict of interests here? DPR reviews photography gear, and is now in the business of selling that same gear. How can we be sure that you do not give a product a more favorable review because you have a greater incentive to sell more of it compared to other products?

12 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

because they say so.. you either believe them or not.
there is no way to prove it.

i worked for a print car magazine and it was usual that a car company could "buy" good/enhanced reviews.

the writers did not lie... they just did not write much about negative things.

8 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (9 months ago)

This is not a new issue. If you chose to continue trusting DPReview after they were purchased by the world's biggest online retailer (Amazon), why would you have questions now?

10 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (9 months ago)

When they do camera reviews, Consumer Reports doesn't have any financial conflict of interest. The problem is, they don't know what they are talking about.

Web sites have advertisements, so there always has been some degree of conflict of interest.

My understanding is that camera companies send DPR cameras to review. That is also a conflict of interest. If DPR's review is too critical, they could stop sending them new cameras to review.

The real world is filled with conflicts of interest. That's the way it is. Deal with it.

14 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

To whom are you saying "deal with it?"

The members here seem to recognize the conflict of interest, and several have listed examples from their own personal experiences and jobs similar to this situation; it is the staffers that have attempted to deny it.

10 upvotes
tritx
By tritx (9 months ago)

I'm working in a car magazine. I know very well about those conflicts. But can you imagine a car magazine selling cars?

12 upvotes
Ken Phillips
By Ken Phillips (9 months ago)

Hey, tritx ... at least one car magazine now has a setup similar to this marketplace. It doesn't shock me.

1 upvote
tritx
By tritx (9 months ago)

I see some very anxious replies from dpr team. I cant remember all these years such a busy day. The Boss must be pleased.
The end of an era! So simple, so sad.

4 upvotes
ozgoldman
By ozgoldman (9 months ago)

The fact that DPR are essentially ignoring 70% of their clientèle does not make good business sense to me.
It clearly alienates and degrades the vast majority of those that visit this site.
Q. How do get off side with your readers? Do things like this all the time.
As global users of this site, we deserve better from DPR.

13 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (9 months ago)

I agree with your desire to do something with the broader range of DPR users, but you have to start somewhere. First step and then expand.

4 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (9 months ago)

Online store rollouts are often geographically constrained, not because of any desire to "ignore" other people, but due to taxes, laws, and banks. DPReview could decide not to launch a store until they could serve 70% of the globe, but you might still wait just as long for that to happen as you will be now.

3 upvotes
ozgoldman
By ozgoldman (9 months ago)

I must disagree. DPR has Gear Shop - which is US only, now this, which is US only.
Attitudes of this nature certainly alienate clients, and that is not good business.
If you are expecting the 70% of people that visit this site from outside the USA, DPR needs to cater for them.

1 upvote
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (9 months ago)

About conflict of interest: I agree that there can be conflict of interest if the gearshop and site advertisements were dominated by one brand. But that doesn't seem to be the case. Quite a few brands are featured prominently in the gearshop and DPR advertisements. The reviewers would be equally biased towards each brand, and the bias would cancel out.

The other possibility is bias if one sponsor is contributing significantly more than others. There's no way we can know that, though. If that's the case, we can only hope that the reviewers aren't tempted by money. That's somewhat believable, since they imply that their salary stays the same regardless of which one they favor and people in charge of making money aren't reviewers.

1 upvote
Gesture
By Gesture (9 months ago)

When we look at a preview, review, camera in the archive, there's are always links to Amazon and some other retailers. Will there now be GearShop links?

1 upvote
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

if you're in the USA, yes.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (9 months ago)

Never mind all the crap negative vibes of members...

If you could offer a price sweeter than the other mob, I will buy from you.

Money talks, cameras snap, recorders listen.

.

1 upvote
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (9 months ago)

Amazon is one tough competitor.

Just ask Apple.

.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (9 months ago)

Amazon is DPReview.

DPReview is Amazon.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/15/amazon_buys_dpreview/

.

2 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (9 months ago)

Right now on this very site you can get a brand new Sony RX1 for $1.99 off retail. I would call that SWEET.

1 upvote
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (9 months ago)

I am very happy about this. I always dreamed there could be a store where they would sell only electronic products considered good and the best cost vs benefit in the market; if I had money I would do such thing. That's great this is exactly about it, and hope they keep it that way. And I also appreciate the use of own words, pictures and videos. Many online retailers already repeat the company's material A LOT.

Congratulations!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Create Dont Imitate
By Create Dont Imitate (9 months ago)

So long everyone... taking this site off my favorites and canceling my membership.

I haven't been here long... but this site cant possibly be unbiased... if they are SELLING THE GEAR THEY ARE REVIEWING.

Good luck to everyone.

8 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Sorry to see you go - I suggest you read the Q&As above though, which you might find reassuring.

2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

i should point out that we aren't selling any gear....

6 upvotes
Create Dont Imitate
By Create Dont Imitate (9 months ago)

No I don't find any of that reassuring. Does anyone know how I can stop my membership to this site... it appears to be pulling an Adobe and wont let me cancel.

MOD... anyone know how to cancel my membership...?

1 upvote
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (9 months ago)

Hey, bud; Stay for another cup of coffee :] Give them a try. If they are biased we will find out, because, though they are one of the best (if not the best), they are one among many good review websites, and some of us happen to be checking others, so it won't be difficult to find out they're being biased.

2 upvotes
Create Dont Imitate
By Create Dont Imitate (9 months ago)

iae aa eia...

No way. Ive seen this scam to many times. All of the old line photography magazines are all nothing more than shills for the camera companies... it's why everyone stopped reading them.

It's NOT POSSIBLE to be unbiased if you are SELLING THE EQUIPMENT YOU ARE REVIEWING.

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

We're not - see Simon's reply, above.

1 upvote
Create Dont Imitate
By Create Dont Imitate (9 months ago)

Do you take us all for fools? You think you can play us? I'm not buying anything you are saying... which is just making my opinion of you even worse by the minute.

It's not possible to be unbiased if you are SELLING THE EQUIPMENT YOU ARE REVIEWING.

How do I unregister from this site... or are you now attempting an ADOBE scam...?

3 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

^^ don´t trust anyone if he wants your money. :)

it´salways good to be suspicious of intentions and agendas...

2 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (9 months ago)

Why didn't you cancel your membership after DPReview was bought by Amazon a while ago? It's not like Amazon doesn't sell camera gear.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (9 months ago)

Sorry to say but no one here will miss your drama. Good bye sir

4 upvotes
BillSprague
By BillSprague (9 months ago)

Amazon bought dpreview on May 14, 2007.

See: http://www.dpreview.com/news/2007/5/14/amazonacquiresdpreview

Dpreview opens a camera and gear store on July 17, 2013! I'm surprised it took 6 years.

I enjoy shopping at Amazon. The GearShop experience should be at least as good.

Above somewhere, it says it is OK to mention other retailers, so it should be noted that B&H does not charge the 9.8% sales tax collected where I live in Washington State. dpreview, Amazon and GearShop have to charge sales tax. So everything at B&H starts as a "10% off sale"!

B&H has one store in NewYork and, so far, is not required to be tax collectors for the other 49 states. My understanding is that with all of their distribution centers Amazon has to collect sales tax for many, if not all, states.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
reginalddwight
By reginalddwight (9 months ago)

Amazon does not collect sales tax for 40 of 50 states. In case you're wondering, no tax also for District of Columbia residents either.

**********
"Items sold by Amazon.com LLC, or its subsidiaries, and shipped to destinations in the following states are subject to tax:

Arizona
California
Kansas
Kentucky
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
Texas
Washington"

2 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

I will never shop at B&H specifically due to the tax issue.

It is far more convenient for me to shop directly through a site that DOES collect the tax, rather than have to keep track of each and every internet purchase in order to then declare the relevant values and pay the tax every April of the following year.

Amazon has greatly simplified my life by simply collecting the sales tax. In fact it's the best thing they've done in years.

0 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (9 months ago)

Unfortunately for me, I live 30 minutes away from a large Amazon hub so they hit me with taxes. But....if I want it, I want it and I'll pay the taxes if they have what I want, when I want it. Service has always been good for me from Amazon. Well, and service has been good for me at B&H too.

0 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

My state mandates the taxes, they are not a choice. If I purchase a product for use in this state, I must pay either sales tax upon purchase or declare the value and pay use tax afterwards, during tax season.

Since I have to pay the tax anyway I applaud Amazon for doing the legwork for me. This is why I won't shop from places like B&H (well, there are service issues also but those could have just been bad luck; the tax thing is the main issue). It's more work for me.

0 upvotes
Laura@GearShop
By Laura@GearShop (9 months ago)

The GearShop team is a separate team from both DPR and Amazon.com camera. Yes, DPR is owned by Amazon, so of course we would utilize some facets of Amazon that they have proven to do well. Specifically, Amazon handles our secure payments and shipments, which allows us to deliver fast shipping and a safe experience that you can trust.

2 upvotes
Ken Phillips
By Ken Phillips (9 months ago)

Actually, virtually all states REQUIRE that you pay sales tax on online purchases! Very few people do so, however. So ... if it's too much for you, move to a state with a lower tax rate.

0 upvotes
Stephen Scharf
By Stephen Scharf (9 months ago)

Great news! Congrats!

Now, where is that full review on the Fuji X100S? ;-)

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

I'm doing it, I'm doing it!

3 upvotes
Stephen Scharf
By Stephen Scharf (9 months ago)

Cool beans. Thanks! ;-)

0 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (9 months ago)

I don't need the full review (but looking forward to it anyway). The X100S is awesome. I don't regret buying it one bit!

1 upvote
Tapper123
By Tapper123 (9 months ago)

Not sure what to think... I just hope DPR maintains its standards and ethics in reviewing gear. Good luck with this new venture, I suppose.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
yonsarh
By yonsarh (9 months ago)

I hope dpreview doesnt sell open boxed items. if so I will buy from it here

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (9 months ago)

What would be something that would cause DPreview to remove an item? D800 focusing issue or D600 dust issue? Not picking on nikon here..just could not think of others.

6 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (9 months ago)

Or when Nikon would not sell repair parts outside of Nikon.

1 upvote
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

beside the obvious conflict i think this undermines the credibility of dpreview even more.

it has suffered already when amazon bought the website,

i worked myself 4 years for a car magazin and i know how things work in such advertising based business.

if you want independed reviews you need someone who is independend.
independend from money that comes from companys or through selling reviewed products.

unfortunately everyone wants to make money from blogs and websites these days....

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

so out of interest, do you think the site made no money from 1998-2007 (pre-amazon)? And if not, why was it so valuable that Amazon bought it?

1 upvote
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

why it was valuable?

i tell you: ADVERTISING!!

do you think instagram or nik software are worth 1 BILLION dollar?
i mean in actuall VALUE, like we determined company value in the 80s... before the internet "virtual value" was created.

today it´s all about how many people you can reach with your advertising and gathering DATA.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

I'm confused by your logic.

1 upvote
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

well but that´s not my problem, right? :)

to say it simple:

amazon did not buy dpreview because of it´s revenue.
it bought dpreview because of US... the USER BASE dpreview has.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Both, actually. But I'm pretty sure that even in 2007, Amazon didn't need to raise awareness of its existence.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

really? you think people are naive enough to believe that amazon does not want more advertising space?
please don´t think we are naive or even stupid.

amazon, like any other company, can never have ENOUGH advertising. why do you think they have a partner program just for that?

and please do a search about amazons tactics and how it uses all kind of gathered data for statistic purpose.

now again back to the instagram example.
instagram was not worth 1 billion in any physical value and they barely made a profit.
but the userbase was (maybe) worth 1 billion.

without the big userbase nobody would have payed 1 billion for instagram.
not for such a simple and cheap product.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

but DPR is not instagram. It was a highly profitable business with established revenue (thru advertising and affiliate schemes) when it was sold. To suggest that we became 'less independent' because we went from a situation where the editor (Phil) was selling advertising to a situation where an amazon team 1000's of miles away was selling advertising makes no sense. But then I have the advantage of actually knowing what i'm talking about, rather than conjecturing.

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

well .... nobody can prove your telling the truth or you really know what your talking about. no offense, but that´s a fact.

as i wrote.. i spoke from my experiences working for print magazines.
and you are not someone making the decisions at dpreview.. are you?
you are just writer... correct? not management?

so you don´t know what is going on behind close doors... so much about "knowing".

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

i am the general manager of dpreview. I make all the decisions about the site including this one. So yes, I am the one behind the closed door.

5 upvotes
KevinG
By KevinG (9 months ago)

Guys, I'm getting a "Page Not Found" message

1 upvote
Jim
By Jim (9 months ago)

Is this really Amazon in DPR clothing?

Jim

8 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

yes i bet it is basically.

and i noticed that some replys are deleted from this thread.. looks like the staff is well aware that this is a sensitive thing for us users but they don´t want to hear it.

5 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

It isn't. It's a different platform, a different (much smaller) selection, and obviously vastly better content.

As regards comment deletion, we actively moderate comments (always have) and offensive or flat-out trolling comments are deleted, same as always.

Constructive comments, questions etc., are welcomed and will be addressed.

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

so you have your own storage?
the stuff is not comming from one of the big amazon storehouses?

some of the comments are obviously not trolling as you answerd them.
it´s confusing to follow a thread if you delete them after you answerd.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (9 months ago)

But why do your own comments (Barney) get deleted (and then reappear after the disappearance is protested)?

1 upvote
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (9 months ago)

In answer to Barney; I looked at item pricing and the fixed price is down $1 a la Amazon style.

2 upvotes
Cameron R Hood
By Cameron R Hood (9 months ago)

You carry Pentax cameras, sort of, but you are NOT listing their lenses in the 'Brand' section, but then 6 K mounts come up under 'list by type', then actually about 50 Sigma lenses show up, and only 1 actual Pentax lens, the 18-270, and it says out of stock.

I think your database is screwed.

Cheers,
Cameron

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Laura@GearShop
By Laura@GearShop (9 months ago)

We have just begun adding Pentax into our selection. At the moment, all of the K mount lenses we have available are made by Tamron and Sigma.

0 upvotes
LensLineup
By LensLineup (9 months ago)

does this mean DPReview will actually review some of the product that get the standard copy/paste press launch 'preview' along with the text "a full review will follow soon" (but a year later soon never happened) ... because you'll have a revenue stream that makes doing a review a worthwhile thing.

totally understand that dpr is a business - but surely this gear shop can only be a good thing for business - will we see the lens reviews that got started a few years ago and then abandoned?

will you be able to (slyly) name and shame the companies that won't supply you with test units or does that hurt the amazon ownership link?

will your gear shop have a volume bias (Sony/Nikon/Canon) in the same way that the reviews have or will you review other makers stuff?

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Some points of clarification here.

1: Our previews are far from 'copy paste'.

2: Reviews are always 'worth doing'. We just don't have infinite resources.

3: We have no difficulty getting hold of test units - that's never been an issue. What can be hard it getting hold of them quickly but that's a complicated issue, and is generally model-specific.

4: We still do lens reviews - they were on hiatus for a couple of years after our lab moved, but we've been publishing them again for months now. We published one already this week.

0 upvotes
Stephen Scharf
By Stephen Scharf (9 months ago)

Yes, but the title your site is Digital Photography REVIEWS, not Digital Photography Previews or Lens Reviews. Reviews should be Requirement #1, not 12.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

I'm afraid you've lost me. I respectively suggest you take a detailed look at our p/review content as a whole (you might be surprised by how useful it is) and at the countless comments and forum posts from dpreview staff where we explain our methods and priorities.

1 upvote
Stephen Scharf
By Stephen Scharf (9 months ago)

Hi Barney,
Not sure if you're reply was to me or the other poster, but all we're saying is that DPR should follow though on what it says its going to do when it comes to reviews. Stating In a preview that a full review will follow, and then it never does impacts the credibility of any review site. As a professional who teaches Voice of the Customer for a very large biotech company, what i see is that you're promising your customers something that never gets delivered. I understand that as a business, you guys have bandwidth and resource limitations, but one suggestion to manage customer expectations if there's a limitation on resources for a full review is not to mention that it will be done in the preview. If it turns it you have the bandwidth to do it, great! Post it, and your customers will be pleasantly surprised and happy. If not, you haven't disappointed customers by promising a full review of a Canon 1Dx that never appears. Just my 2 cents in making some positive suggestions.

1 upvote
offtheback
By offtheback (9 months ago)

No matter your level of integrity,it's very difficult to be thoroughly objective when money/your living is at stake.Best of luck.I very much like your site.

8 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

the editors of the site have no money/living at stake here. Our business has to make money to pay them, but that's not their concern.

1 upvote
JohnyP
By JohnyP (9 months ago)

1) editors have no money at stake here
2) business has to make money to pay them

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contradiction

1) steal underpants
2)...???....
3) make profit

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (9 months ago)

The point is that the writers are paid the same amount, regardless of which products we review, what conclusions we draw or how many units Gearshop sells.

Ultimately, the business needs to make enough money to pay us, but that's true of anyone in any job.

2 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

Our writers get paid the same whether gearshop sells 1 or 1 million cameras. Whether we're selling ads, getting affiliate revenue or charging for content makes no difference to the editorial staff - they do their job, and they answer only to their audience and the editor.

0 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

sorry .. but that´s a nice idea but in reality there are more things at work.

i know from my own experience and i guess everyone who worked a few years for print magazines knows the game.

7 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

"in reality there are more things at work."

Nope.

0 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

Stating that the writers get paid the same amount is in effect a strawman argument, as the OP has not questioned whether writers are on commission dependent on sales.

Ultimately, if a review is to be useful to anyone -- readers, writers, sellers -- it will influence sales. Otherwise nobody read it, nobody reacted to it, and nobody cared about its conclusions.

In a discussion further down, BB explains to me that the site's revenue stream is more complicated than I seem to understand. Here, however, BB laconically says "Nope" in response to a comment that there are more things at work. Which is it?

There is a contradiction for the staff -- on the one hand they assure everyone and I'm concinced they do believe they are impartial; on the other hand they are writing reviews read by potential customers, potential critics, etc. and these revues concern commercial products that the site conveniently sells...

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

The missing link here is that it doesn't matter to us, the reviewers, whether sales are influenced or not. A positive or negative review might very well influence sales, but a slip in sales will not have any negtative impact at all on the reviewer, and a boost will not benefit him/her.

These (understandable) concerns aren't new - the site has always been reliant on camera manufacturers advertising with us, and it's never influenced our editorial output.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

If it doesn't matter to you, perhaps it should. Consider the statement made previously in this comments section:

"By Simon Joinson (2 hours ago)

the GearShop team has lots of plans, but the key thing is that you help keep dpreview alive."

The success of the sales site is linked to the existence of this site -- the site on which you write your reviews. I am not questioning whether you consider yourself an independent reviewer; I am convinced you do.

I am pointing out that it seems your position as a reviewer is dependent on the success of at least one commercial site, as stated by key staff on this site. If that site doesn't do well, the implication is that dpreview will not do well. Isn't it logical to conclude that job(s) may be affected? Does that not matter? And if it doens't matter to you, does it also not matter to any other reviewers?

There is a clear conflict here in my view. I have no doubt you will do everything in your power to avoid it. I'm simply pointing it out.

1 upvote
steelhead3
By steelhead3 (9 months ago)

Will you support price fixing that sony and other manufactures have foisted on the consumer market?

2 upvotes
angrywhtman
By angrywhtman (9 months ago)

Three words sum it up. Conflict of Interest

11 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

We've always been independent, and we've always been supported by advertising. This is nothing new. GearShop is just an evolution away from relying on this as our sole source of income, and towards offering services to our readers.

The alternative is to take the exact opposite approach, and charge you to use the site. I can assure you that editorial content has never been influenced by commercial concerns or outside interests, and never will be.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
angrywhtman
By angrywhtman (9 months ago)

The pathway to Hell is lined with the best of intentions.

Listen. DPreviews character is not above reproach. Like it or not, every review we read, we'll have a little Latin phrase rolling around in the back of our collective minds "Cui bono"

There are better ways to make money than allowing your character to be questioned.

11 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

why was a comment removed barney replyed too?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

@ angrywhtman - I'm afraid it's beyond my power to stop the little voice in your head saying things to you in latin.

All I can do is honestly explain what we're doing, and why we're doing it. See Q&A in the news story (above).

3 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

Sorry but I don't understand the statement "we've always been independent," particularly when followed by "we've always been supported by advertising." Setting aside whether an independent site could remain so yet accept advertising, this site is owned by Amazon.

I don't know that there's an answer or solution that would please critics, frankly. This site, Amazon, the new site are commercial sites. Everyone has bills. To quote J. Lebowski, everyone has to feed the monkey. Not abnormal at all.

It's also normal to want to maintain standards an ethics, as the site staff have shown here and elsewhere is their intention. That's terrific.

However this site isn't what comes to mind when "independent" is considered. My statement isn't intended to be judgmental, positive or negative; just factual.

Anyway, it's a moot point at this stage. If you guys have good prices, good support, and collect sales tax for my region, I might actually buy from the new site too.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Editorially independent. Amazon doesn't exercise any influence on our editorial output. Never has. And GearShop doesn't change a thing.

1 upvote
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (9 months ago)

All publications are aware of the phrase 'conflict of interest.' We all understand the importance of impartiality in what we do. There are no review sites I know of that aren't supported by ads or clicks, and the same applies to magazines. All publications I've worked for do everything we can to make sure we separate the two entities, and we talk about it when we perceive a conflict.

If GearShop were filled with every product under the Sun, and all our reviews were Gold, I could see how you might suspect a conflict of interest. But they're not all gold, nor all silver and the selection is actually a selection that we sat down and decided upon.

1 upvote
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (9 months ago)

We will continue to review products as before, and if anyone tells us to look at something favorably, in typical journalistic style we'll instead look at it more carefully. It's how we are.

GearShop is similar to affiliate links and shopping clicks, only it has a lot more to offer. I was no more influenced by affiliate links and shopping clicks than I am by GearShop.

Ultimately, it does us no good to only review products favorably, as your post suggests we will. If we did, we'd only get positive responses in the forums from fanboys; instead we frequently get flamed for daring to list cons. There will always be good cameras and bad cameras, and we'll do our best to look at as many as we can and tell you what we think. It's what we do.

1 upvote
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

Unless I'm mistaken you are based in the USA? Are you aware of Consumer Reports? They are not supported by ads or clicks.

Serious scientific journals that publish research articles, on the other hand, do accept advertisements. However they only accept articles after peer review, and they label every article as an advertisement.

This site is neither labeling every article as an advertisement nor publishing independently reviewed articles.

Whether you try to eliminate the conflict of interest, whether you discuss it, and whether all your reviews are gold or not, does not affect the existence of the conflict of interest. It may (or may not) affect the effect(s) of the conflict of interest.

Accepting your statement that there are no review sites of which you are aware that aren't supported by ads simply means that each and every review site of which you are aware has a conflict of interest.

This site is one of them.

Accepting the conflict of interest is my only point.

1 upvote
angrywhtman
By angrywhtman (9 months ago)

Been around long enough and seen enough to know when money enters the equation, strange things DO happen. The first review published that even hints at bias and DPreview will be raked over the coals and you'll come out looking up at Ken Rockwell.

1 upvote
Gunnlaugur Gudmundsson
By Gunnlaugur Gudmundsson (9 months ago)

Do you plan to sell to international DPReview users? Do you have any idea when that might possibly happen?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Launching in more than one territory would simply have been too complex, logistically. We can't comment on future plans except to say that we're very aware that a huge portion of our audience is outside the USA.

0 upvotes
Tlipp
By Tlipp (9 months ago)

And just when I was getting rid of my GAS!

1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (9 months ago)

In the late 1980's a magazine called, "Astronomy" had an editor named Richard Berry. Berry was a straight-shooter and started to review telescopes and other astronomical products with a critical eye. This was a time when a lot of trash was being turned out because comet Halley's appearance was causing telescope makers to ramp up production and avoid proper testing. Berry said as much and shortly thereafter was relieved of duty of the magazine by the Board because he was slagging advertiser's products.

17 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Your point....?

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (9 months ago)

I'll have a go. I'm guessing he is raising a question about the conflict of interest that arises when you make money from selling the products that you review.
It won't be enough to say that you are simply above reproach.

12 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Thanks guys - to be honest, all we can really do here is just reassure you that there is no conflict of interest, and hope that you believe us!

0 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (9 months ago)

No, the conflict of interest is a given. What you need to do is explain is how you will control it. It doesn't just go away by your fiat.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
15 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Our editorial and sales teams are separate. Always have been. The GearShop team is separate too. Different people, different reporting structure, different physical location.

We share content between GearShop and DPReview, obviously (that's the entire point) but the tail isn't wagging the dog. It can't. It simply wouldn't work.

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (9 months ago)

That is definitely a better answer. The test will come when you pan one of their best sellers/earners, and/or praise one of their least profitable lines.
Of course, if there really is a chinese wall between you, then you have to question the viability of supposed synergies between the businesses. One tends to find that if synergies exist it is only where the chinese wall has holes.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

Keeping editorial and sales teams separate isn't sufficient to preclude a conflict of interest. The conflict of interest is inherent, assurances aside. You have a review site that is associated with sales in more than one way; for example, you accept ads, you are owned by a sales firm, and you are now associating with a sales site.

The way peer reviewed journals deal with similar -- though generally less egregious -- situations is by stating explicitly where the funding comes for each contributor to each article, and labeling each and every article as an "Advertisement."

Granted, this never was a peer reviewed scientific journal, however it also hasn't in the past as openly been a sales site.

Relevance? In my view, the farther from an unbiased "journal" style site your site goes, the less useful it is.

Good luck in your expansion endeavors.

7 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (9 months ago)

the car magazine i worked for had separat teams too... but we had ONE BOSS.

and what the BOSS said was law.

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (9 months ago)

Oh there's no shortage of bosses around here, let me assure you.

And @rallyfan - you're simplifying things somewhat. Our reviews are in no way influenced by sales. They're really not. It wouldn't work. We do not publish 'advertorial' content, and never have.

We're a modern business. Our revenue stream is waaaaaaaay more complicated than you seem to think, and inherent in that reality is the very simple fact that doing what we do in a crooked or dishonest way, by letting commercial concerns influence what and how we write etc., would actually be vastly more difficult than being independent. Plus you'd see right through it.

Occam's razor.

0 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (9 months ago)

@rallyfan. Here's the truth. DPR has ALWAYS - since 1999 - made money by selling advertising, and by selling cameras (thru referral schemes). By allowing GearShop to use our content and advertise to our audience we are less reliant on advertising to stay in business. But our editors have little to no interest in retailing, and as the 'boss' (General Manager) as well as the head of editorial, the buck stops with me. I entered into this initiative only because I could assure my editorial staff that I would never allow GearShop to influence what we write. It will not happen. I'm not ready to gamble with the site we all love and spend every waking hour working on.

1 upvote
rallyfan
By rallyfan (9 months ago)

I accept the above by SJ at face value, and as stated, as his sincere belief.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (9 months ago)

Amen.

0 upvotes
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