Let’s talk about how Vortex Radar makes money and to what degree this impacts what I say in my reviews, articles, and videos.
I do make money through my website and my videos which allows me to keep doing this for you, though my top priority is always giving you the highest quality information possible, no matter what. It’s very important to me personally to remain objective and unbiased. That’s my commitment to you.
Time-wise, what I do is like a full-time job, and since I’m not an independently wealthy lottery winner ;), I have to make sure I can make a living doing this too. In full transparency, here is how I do what I do while also ensuring I can pay my bills like anyone else.
One way that I make money to continue testing and sharing information with you is via affiliate links. When you click on a link to purchase on a site like Amazon, I make a percentage of the sale from Amazon.
(At first I really avoided having money involved at all, wanting to keep everything simple and not involve money in any way. Eventually it started to dawn on me that if people were gonna watch my videos, learn, and buy something anyways, I might as well benefit from that too and allow myself to continue creating videos. So long as I never compromised on my core principles, I was okay with doing this.)
Products I Do and Do Not Get Paid For
There are some products I really like and recommend that I don’t make money on (ie. Valentine One, Escort Max Ci 360), but I will recommend them just the same. IMHO, you should run what is best for you, no matter if any online reviewer like myself makes a commission or not.
There are also lots of products I could make money recommending (ie. Cobra, RMR) that I won’t tell you to buy simply because they are bad choices.
No matter if money is involved or not, my top priority is to create the most accurate, helpful, informative, objective, and unbiased information possible. It’s the whole reason I started doing testing in the first place…
Why I Got Started Testing
You see, the reason I got started testing in the first place was because an online reviewer / salesman once recommended me something (an Escort 9500ix) that was good for his pocketbook, but not what was actually best for me (a Valentine One). As a distributor, he recommended me something he had the ability to sell and ignored everything else. When I realized this, I kinda felt cheated. Because of this, I wanted to spend time testing everything just to see for myself what actually worked best, and now that’s the information I want to share with you. I want to learn, and I’m happy to share what I learn.
In retrospect, I’m glad it happened this way. It taught me the importance of looking at all the options available and so you’ll notice I test lots and lots of different products. The temptation for me is always present, of course, to tell you to buy just the things that I’d get paid on. I’m not going to pretend that doesn’t exist. However, I’ve been on both sides of that and since I’ve personally felt taken advantage of by those who’ve chosen money over the truth, so it’s even more clear to me now how important it is to make sure I am straight with you.
Whether I make money or not, I will give you my actual and honest opinion either way. You deserve that and that’s really important to me personally. I get a get a huge sense of personal satisfaction in feeling like I’m making a positive difference in the world, and this is how I do that. Sure money is important, but creating awesome content is even more important to me. It’s really not all about the money.
How Else I Make Money
There are other ways that I make money as well including:
- Private Sessions
- YouTube ads
One thing I love about these additional options is that they are completely independent of what products I recommend. I’m not interested in being a salesman and I like being product agnostic, and these options further help me with this.
Buy whatever you feel works best for you and enjoy it. I just want to learn and chat about radar detectors. 🙂
Paid or Sponsored Posts
One thing I do NOT do are paid reviews or sponsored posts. I know they’re popular to do online, but I never take money to say anything good or bad about a product or company. Never have, never will. I don’t take money to do reviews in the first place, even when people offer. I simply test whatever I’m interested in testing and then share what I actually think with you. Simple.
I know sponsorships can be pretty lucrative and I’m probably missing out on a lot of money by declining offers, but that’s okay with me. I enjoy being free to say whatever I want and this freedom is more important to me than the few extra bucks.
Sometimes companies send me free products to test and review. Sometimes they’re pre-production or beta units so I can help them develop a product or get an early look of a new product to have information ready once it launches publicly. When I’m testing with beta hardware or firmware, I’ll you know. Other times I’m sent a retail / production unit. It varies.
What about when I’m done testing? Usually I get to keep the product after I’m done which is handy to keep you updated of changes and improvements over time. Sometimes I’ll send the product back after testing. Other times I’ll give it away as a prize. The biggest benefit to me of getting free stuff is that it allows me to test more things without having to spend as much money so I can accomplish more. That said, I’d prefer buying retail units whenever possible. Sometimes I borrow used gear from friends and forum members online which has been very helpful. Sometimes companies send me stuff to test for free. As always though, no matter how I acquire a unit, I’m going to share my actual opinion either way.
Speaking of free products, at first it was a big deal. “OMG! I get free stuff! I don’t have to pay for it? Cool!” After a while though, that novelty wears off quick, especially once you realize you’re going to devote hundreds of hours to learning about and testing something. At this point I get several requests a week to test and review yet another dashcam. Testing stuff in depth the way I like to takes a lot of time so just because something is offered to me for free, that doesn’t mean I’m even going to accept it. My biggest limitation at this point is actually having enough time to test everything I want to test which is why most of the requests I get to review stuff I decline in the first place.
So yes, I do make money through my website and videos. I actually stayed away from doing so initially out of the fear that it’d make me compromise on my principles, but now I’ve found a healthy balance that allows me to be true to myself and also do this in long term and financially sustainable way. I’m pretty proud about this.
I have set things up so that they are both good for me and good for you. This way, we can all benefit together.
Thank you for reading and for being a part of this journey with me! I really appreciate it. 🙂