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Old 04-07-2008, 09:33 AM   #31
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Giving your customers something back for their support is one thing. Paying (<--used loosely here) your customers to plug your product on forums such as this is advertising no matter how you look at it. Might as well have bought that banner add. If you want to give something to your customers to thank them for your support, just send them a free t-shirt with one of their orders. It's pretty black and white if you ask me.
Why not just send an email saying "Hey, if you like our product, tell your friends"?...because you knew very well that giving a t-shirt away will make people who otherwise wouldn't, post a review, just for a lousy shirt. I think the information on this site is great most of the time. I hate seeing it clogged up with this type of spam.
Furthermore, acting like you don't think anything is wrong with what you did is a pretty bold move. Obviously you are a business man, you knew very well what you were doing. Regardless, coming on here and responding to it is the right thing to do. Just don't act all innocent.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:39 AM   #32
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Foolio,

Let me ask you this...

Have you ever gotten an RC product for free and then talked about that same product on a forum? Would that be considered spam?

-Austin
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:47 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by austinelse View Post
It never occurred to me that anyone would think negatively about a promotion like this… I can assure you that I am not one to do anything that could be construed as “shady or unethical”.
CEO MaxAmps.com
Welcome to RCTech or any forum for that matter. Negative is the the one constant around here. Keep it up Austin, MaxAmps is about the best thing going in RC these days, and one of the few companies that actually puts customer service at the top of their priority list. You don't need to give me a T-Shirt to say that!
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:53 AM   #34
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I have to say that after receiving the same e-mail posted earlier and now reading through all of this, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

IMO, it is a form of Spam.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:06 AM   #35
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Thanks Mike!

I just can not imagine someone who does not like MaxAmps, posting a positive review about MaxAmps to get a free MaxAmps T-Shirt.

So if they would be willing to recommend us anyways, I don't understand where the trouble is. As I look through the posts on this forum, there are thousands of product reviews. I guarantee that some of those reviews were done on products that were given to the reviewer for free. Is that also considered spam?

If this theory were true then every sponsored racer on this forum would be considered a spammer. I am sure that you would not agree with that statement...

-Austin
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:10 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by austinelse View Post
Foolio,

Let me ask you this...

Have you ever gotten an RC product for free and then talked about that same product on a forum? Would that be considered spam?

-Austin
To answer your question, no, I have not. I am not good enough of a racer to be sponsored by anyone.

Keep in mind, this is just my opinion. If most people disagree with me here, then so be it. That's part of what makes these discussions educational.

Back on topic, the problem I have here is intent. It's different when I buy a product with my own money, and come on here and say, "Check this out guys, great product!" I have done that. To me, those kinds of opinions are valuable. You said, "If you do this, and show me proof, I'll give you something for free."

It's the same reason "paid actors" are disclosed when giving fake testimonials. By not letting the reader know that, he or she may think they are getting an unbiased opinion, when it reality, they aren't. That's misleading. The original poster did not say, "By the way, I am getting a free t-shirt for doing this." That's why I said in the earlier post, just tell your customers that you would appreciate it if they spread the MaxAmps word. You are only "rewarding" loyal customers if they post testimonials for you.

Just for arguments sake (And I do not want a free t-shirt) I told people at my track that I was happy with your batteries...that's the truth. I don't know if it resulted in any sales. The fact is, if you make a good product, it will sell itself.

For the record, I don't have a problem with MaxAmps batteries or battery technology. I just hate the fact that I am/could be a victim of underhanded advertising.

Last edited by foolio; 04-07-2008 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:10 AM   #37
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We are not giving out $100 bills, it is $10 T-Shirts we are talking about here. We give out T-Shirts to our customers all the time. We gave out 500 of them at iHobby this last year just for coming by our booth. I guess I just don't see the harm in a free T-Shirt.

-Austin
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:15 AM   #38
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if maxamps looked on boards and gave free shirts as a thanks to people who had posted positive reviews on their own accord, that would be great and fair.


I would also imagine that would make the customer feel better about the product as well, imagine that you get some great batteries, then make a post, and then get a PM asking for your info so that they could send you a free shirt


offering free stuff for reviews that the customer would not have posted on their own is spam flat out

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
Spam /spæm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[spam] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, verb, spammed, spam·ming.
1. Trademark. a canned food product consisting esp. of pork formed into a solid block.
–noun
2. (lowercase) a disruptive, esp. commercial message posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail.


bribing customers to make ads is spam
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:15 AM   #39
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there is no harm , its just some of our opinions its sleeeze , ray
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:18 AM   #40
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I think the difference is that we are not "paying actors". These are all real customers of MaxAmps. They have an experience, good or bad. They can choose to post a negative review and we will still give them a free T-Shirt.

The logic of an unhappy customer posting a positive review for a free MaxAmps shirt does not hold up. If it were $100 bills then maybe, but not for a T-Shirt.

I understand the difference between someone posting a review on their own or posting a review because they were asked to.

In theory, your statement is true "The fact is, if you make a good product, it will sell itself."

Over time this is true, however if you want to grow quickly, you have to advertise and promote to get your name out there. It has to start somewhere. I could not make a great product and just store it in the shop and hope that someone stumbled on to it and eventually told someone about it.

-Austin
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:19 AM   #41
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I think Austin makes a good point about the sponsored guys.

They are being "paid" more than just a $5 t-shirt. So really, we should be critical of their positive comments on forums too. Sometimes sponsored guys do get criticized when they lay it on a little thick and it becomes shameless plugging.

I do see how this type of tactic results in testimonials that we might find as biased, worthless, or even fake, because they are "paid" to talk. But that depends on how skeptical the audience is.

And, it's the same game that other companies play... it's just not something we usually see advertised publicly like maxamps is doing.

I don't think it's unethical, shady, etc. Keep in mind they are only offering stickers or a $4.99 t-shirt... so the conspiracy lovers can get too excited.

But I might find a new promotion at this point.... although "there is no such thing as bad publicity"...
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:20 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray3619 View Post
there is no harm , its just some of our opinions its sleeeze , ray
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:20 AM   #43
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I prefer this version

1. Trademark. a canned food product consisting esp. of pork formed into a solid block.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:21 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinelse View Post
We are not giving out $100 bills, it is $10 T-Shirts we are talking about here. We give out T-Shirts to our customers all the time. We gave out 500 of them at iHobby this last year just for coming by our booth. I guess I just don't see the harm in a free T-Shirt.

-Austin
Fine then, I've said my piece. We'll agree to disagree.
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:26 AM   #45
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Ray and Leodis,

In my opinion, I think the "sleeze" part comes in where you have people acting as customers but secretly working for companies. There is a ton of this happening online and I agree 100% that this is unethical and wrong.

We are talking about real customers who have our products and have tested them. We are not giving them a "script". They do not work for our company.

The RC Magazines get free products to review all the time. Would you consider that sleeze also?

-Austin
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