Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beware of Some Piano Lesson Review Sites

I appreciate a good review as much as the next person. That is, as long as they're not biased.

Case in point. Some eager entrepreneurs ( I won't mention any names) set up review sites to review their own products.

Now, I wouldn't call that a review I could take to the bank.

The way you can tell is that only certain sites are reviewed. This is really an affilliate scam where when you click on the suggested site, another person gets paid.

Unscrupulous? Absolutely! And after I mentioned this to the cat on the piano, he had to take a nap. :)


  1. dprod8:38 AM

    I'm sorry to say that it seems all the more, that you can't trust people or bussinesses as in the so called (OLD DAYS), when you could take someone at their word and could rely on it.
    Thanks for the update.

  2. Anonymous10:12 AM

    i'll mention names Ron Worthy

  3. When I was first searching for online piano instruction, I came upon a few of these review sites. What a relief! At last, I would have some guidance through the maze of courses and much-needed help evaluating the variety of approaches.

    But the more I examined the sites, the more I began to smell a rat. It wasn't so suspicious that most of them championed the same courses (maybe they were the best), or that the reviewers didn't even name others which they said they had tried and didn't recommend but couldn't identify for so-called "legal" reasons. But I did find it peculiar that they all included a particular product which is only one of dozens which one teacher markets. Why didn't they even address any of his other offerings? And when I compared the top picks to others I had found--such as Quiescence Music--I couldn't justify their choices.

    So I did some detective work, and soon discovered that all of the products were part of affiliate programs. Now, I have no problem with these kinds of programs. They are an excellent marketing tool and can be an honest way to make a living, and many non-profit organizations use them to raise money for good causes. (My local library foundation affiliates with Amazon, so that if you buy through the foundation's site, you pay no more, but a portion of the proceeds goes to support the library.) But when affiliates don't disclose this relationship, and especially when they pass themselves off as unbiased reviewers, well . . . that's when the rodent odor begins to waft.

    I'm not necessarily blaming the product creators for this deception. But I think that they should all at least occasionally check up on their affiliates to make sure that their marketing is above board. If you have a good product (like Quiescence Music, and no, I'm not an affiliate of QM's, nor do I benefit in any way from making this statement), there are many ways to market it honestly. You don't need to betray people's trust.

    And I don't think this is a "good old days" vs "bad new days" situation. There have always been dishonest individuals and businesses. But the Internet has made almost everybody a potential marketer, so that people who in the past could only have hurt a small number of victims can now be snake oil salesmen/women to the world.