Why You Don’t Need to OWN a Product to Review It.

Last Update: May 10, 2022

People fear the idea that they “don’t own something” so they are not qualified to review it. Though it can be of benefit to own something, you cannot be expected to buy every single thing you offer advice or insight on...nor is it required.

As you build out your website and work to become an authority within your niche, you are becoming an industry expert. Part of this process is researching products/services to help your audience make an educated decision before they spend their hard earned money on something.

You are a curator of this product-related content, in other words you are performing the research and publishing that so that the prospective customer doesn't have to go through that arduous task. This certainly doesn't mean you have to buy it.

Let’s look at an example, to really exemplify what I am talking about…

You go into BestBuy, and let’s say you are interested in getting some new “ear buds” headphones. You ask the BestBuy employee what the best ones are and they start to share information with you.

They tell you the Apple Airpods are popular and are good quality, but they are expensive. They then go on to say the Beats ones are also good they say, and they are very “popular” with the younger demographic, but if you are looking for something more cost-efficient and the bigger bang for your buck you should go for the JBL ones because of their “true wireless technology” which produces amazing sound.

You can then make a purchasing decision based on that info, or you can ask further questions.

This employee surely doesn’t own all of these products, but they understand them, they communicate with a relevant audience regularly, they get feedback, and they are constantly immersed in the subject matter.

Sound familiar?

That is YOU with your blog and website. You are very similar to the employee at Best Buy, sure you may own some products that you are offering help on, but certainly not all of them. Nor do you need to own all of them in order to be VERY qualified to offer help and support on those very products.

The person helping you make a decision hasn’t bought every product in the store…the same way the person selling you the car doesn’t OWN every car on the lot, yet they are subject matter experts and they know A LOT about the product, thus can help you.

So never feel like you need to own a product in order to review it. Whether you are reviewing a product in a negative or positive light, you need to be factual, you need to understand the products and research them in detail before you write, and you truly want to have your audience's best interest at hand. If you can do that, you can be very successful with your reviews.

Now get out there and create reviews with confidence, and create reviews that matter! ;)

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
Mattylinc Premium
Thanks HEAPS Kyle, this is very helpful & TIMELY info, as trynna dig into my reviews deeper atm & had been concerned bout coming off as a fraudster if I didn't actually own the product.

I'd never thought about the examples you've used, with car sales people etc, but so true, so thanks again, this is fantastic 👊👊
Kyle Premium Plus
Quite the opposite actually. You come off as an expert if you offer a comprehensive review that considers the pros, cons, and the idiosyncrasies of a product within the review.

A user of a product isn't often qualified to offer a quality review, someone that can curate information amongst LOTS of consumers and their feedback along side a solid understanding of your niche, will allow you to create amazing reviews.
skmorrow Premium
I agree with you 100%.

BUT we will see what Google says about this with the product review update. Maybe they want to see original pictures of people using the product. Maybe they are just trying to eliminate all the garbage content that merely summarizes the features. Time will tell.

I always read customer reviews to learn more about the products. Unfortunately, products in my niche are expensive, so I can't buy all of them. Even the big tech sites don't always buy everything they review.

If you understand a product category, I believe you can add value without using the products. For example, you can tell people what features are essential and why. Or you can explain why a product costs more and whether or not it's worth the extra features.
Kyle Premium Plus
Yes, people read customer reviews if they don't get adequate information elsewhere. It isn't all that useful when a large percentage of all customer reviews are fake though and they don't offer full coverage of a product.

That is why authoritative reviews are so important and why most people doing their research on a new purchase tend to go far beyond JUST customer reviews.

If you understand the category, understand how to do research, and understand how to articulate it within a well design reviewed you are a much more credible resource than someone that simply owns a product.

Is everyone qualified to review an iPhone because they own it. No. They can offer their personal experience, in the way that THEY use it, based on their level of knowledge. But you cannot not assume that level of knowledge is high.
Safia369 Premium
The goal is to be "credible resource" in my niche.
JTeston Premium
If I don't own the product, I spend time researching and reading customer reviews and ratings on the product they purchased. If a product has an overall rating of 4 stars or below with lots of negative reviews then I would not recommend that product in say like the best 10 products list.
Kyle Premium Plus
Of course, you are the curator of a comprehensive review. You are in essence doing the dirty work, with your sophisticated understanding of how to put together a quality, insightful, fact baed, and useful review.
Safia369 Premium
yes, is is really dirty work as I went through the details to see the benefit or drawback of any product so that I can provide the readers with insightful review before he buy!

Thanks Kyle for being in this World!
Have great day and every day.
Tblessings49 Premium Plus
True! Thanks for the advice! Anyone can be a great promoter even if one hasn’t tried the product! Just be some peoples’ testimonies you can tell which product is good no matter what is the price!!! I believe that as a sales person you can’t have tried everything but you are able to talk and hear people’ testimonies!!!!people can tell you with this you will reach “heaven” and you’ll never know what is heaven like as you’ve not been there or even the other person until “you die” first! So what can I say,”try death first” and you’ll know which one is heavenly or which one is “hell”! This is really a hard subject-all I can say is “hope” for the best! Sometimes “cheaper products can be good as well!!! And last longer! Promote what you believe is the best from what other people say and you believe in!!! Sometimes, you can get a “lemon” even with the known to last longer brand, like “apple”. So I believe, in actually asking other people and what they say! Believe in your “gut”feeling! Or just believe in YOU!
Kyle Premium Plus
You can offer a better sales experience than a sales person, or a customer if you research before your write on ANY product/service.

That is the reality, your goal is to offer your audience the most comprehensive review and you can draw on other customers reviews (which are often times not that useful, but sometimes will offer great insight).
Obviously, it can be understood there is no need to buy or own a product to review. Extensive research and bias less writing is the key to presenting a review. Maybe buying or owning a specific product and considerable use of it can help more authentic which is certainly not possible in most cases.
Kyle Premium Plus
It would require "considerable use" as you mention, to offer a useful review on any product. I personally would rather leverage 100's of reviews available to me and industry experience as an authority, versus trying a product to attempt to offer a review on that very product.

How could someone effectively try and know 100 product inside and out...it simply isn't viable, and it would lead to inferior reviews.