Re: Information site directly selling products????
Our editorial has never been and will never be compromised by our advertisers or our E-commerce initiative. Print magazines make huge amounts of money from the very advertisers whose products they review. One print magazine alone makes $30 million from its advertisers and another $9 million from their subscribers and newstand sales. An advertiser who pays more than $100,000 per month in that magazine will spend less than that for a whole year's worth of advertising with us. Yet, somehow you suddenly call our credibilty into question. If you think print or other sites have more credibility, I suggest you rethink that conclusion. I would also refer you to a Wall Street Journal article in which a major advertiser, when asked about the cost of advertising in print, was quoted as saying, "but that's sort of the price of entry to get your car reviewed." Does that mean the more they spend the better the review?
It's blatantly unfair to question our credibility unless you've got something more substantial to go by. We have always been unbiased in our reviews, and nothing is going to change. We have no plans to review products which are currently available through Cycle Saver. Motorcycle.Com, like any commercial enterprise, needs to make a profit to stay in business. This is not a hobby to us, but a livelihood that has to support our employees and their families. We don't get the million dollar ad contracts like the print mags do, and you're not paying an annual subscription. The Internet is different than print, and we have to apply those differences, both the good and the bad, to our business model. Research shows that people want to purchase products online from "trusted" sources. Motorcycle.Com has been a trusted source for over six years. It's not in our best interest to violate that trust, so we've applied the same standards for quality and integrity in our thoughtful launch of E-commerce that we apply to our editorials.
If you can't live with us being a source through which our readers can purchase quality products at discount prices, than you had better stop reading motorcycle magazines and visiting other motorcyle sites, because all of them are either supported by large advertising dollars, sales of motorcycles or other motorcycle related products. I welcome the fact that our reader's trust in us is the ultimate check that assures we maintain our editorial integrity. But, I think that standard should be applied equally, not just to us or when it's convenient.