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News Scan and bit-tech team up

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 28 Apr 2010.

  1. Sifter3000

    Sifter3000 I used to be somebody

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    Sure, we do charge for the magazine, but the mag doesn't subsidize the site - bit is its own business, and this is a deal on bit-tech.

    Reading the situation this way, yes, there is a possible conflict of interests - and to be honest, there's no real way I can *prove* to you that it won't affect things, other than to say, it won't: the Scan integration is optional for the editorial team, in that if the CMS picks up a price for a product Scan stocks, it appears at the top of the review. If Scan doesn't stock an item, no price is surfaced and we're under no compulsion to review items Scan stocks - in fact, it actually works a bit in reverse. Because bit-tech readers tend to like buying hardware, it's in Scan's interest to stock that kit, so often our editorial interests impact on Scan's catalogue, rather than vice versa.

    I don't mind debating the business side of things, and I'm obviously keen to keep the readers informed about things. However, I would say, keep the tone of the thread civil.
     
  2. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD What's a Dremel?

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    I can't see the issue here. Scan don't actually manufacture the hardware being reviewed, except for the odd PC such as Dream PC, and how many of those do they sell? Scan having a little partnership with Bit-Tech isn't going to change what products get what score at all. I would find it a lot more distasteful if an actual manufacturer which has big sway such as Asus/Gigabyte/nVidia entered into a deal with Bit-Tech, since they actually make the stuff in question, so there would be an obvious issue of bias with reviews. People have free will, if an item gets a good review, theres a multitude of places to buy them and check the prices if you want to buy it. The fact theres a little Scan forum where you can get free delivery doesn't change a whole lot.
     
  3. cybergenics

    cybergenics What's a Dremel?

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    Put it like this, if this tie up was with Overclockers, who treat anyone trying to return a product with all the contempt that Rose West would deserve, it would be controversial !

    Scan run a pretty tight business, have had issues trying to return products with them in the past. But I think they improved since then. This was the days when their returns dept was a little office at the back of the showroom with a guy in it, who never smiled. His stock response to anyone trying to return a motherboard that was faulty was 'the pins are bent'.
     
  4. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil What's a Dremel?

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    Word^.

    Assuming BT dont start lying about the specs & performance of PCs entered into any CPC contests by various companies, then I cant see it being a real issue- the testing methods and pricing are the two main factors, and you can check those things for yourself easily enough, just incase you want an unbiased opinion. Meh, dont care that much- free shipping is always a nice little perk for loyal readers :)
     
  5. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

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    QFT.

    Scan don't make any of this stuff, they're just trying to sell it to us. If you can accept that as a necessary part of business, this is a screaming deal. Scan stock from all sides of the major PC component factions - nVIDIA, ATi, Intel, AMD etc ad nauseam - so there's nothing for them to influence BiT to write. What's the point of getting BiT to say "Product X is better than Y" if it isn't, when they stock Product Y too? All Scan are offering is the means to buy from them. Since there are ten billion retailers online, a price comparison is only a click away. In addition, since most of BiT's forumites are relatively well informed, I can't see anyone clicking the links in "What Hardware?" and assuming that Scan is the sole vendor of the product...
     
  6. PaulGreyhead

    PaulGreyhead What's a Dremel?

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    With this deal Scan now have access to more potential customers; probably thousands more. Most articles will start pointing to Scan as a retailer and recommending them to readers.
    This might be good business for Scan and bit-tech, but I think bit-tech's reputation will suffer from this partnership.
    CPC mag already suffers from 'Scan syndrome' and will probably just get worse from now on.
    I wonder when my subscription is due to end...
     
  7. cybergenics

    cybergenics What's a Dremel?

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    There is incentive for any site with a tie up to a retailer to push certain products. Those products being the ones that bring in higher profit margins for the retailer. Not suggesting that this is or will be the case, but that is how some partnerships pad out.

    For example, I used to frequent a Hifi Forum that had strong tie ups with a chain of Hifi retailers. I knew the manager of one of the stores, and he told me without any affectation, the reason that the mag always pimped brand X of speakers was because they were the highest profit margin of all the speakers the shop sold. They certainly were not necessarily the best, but they usually received accolades come review time and in the 'What to Buy' section.

    All that happened in the long run is the magazine lost credibility, and readership. People aren't stupid, they see the commercialism in there and it puts them off long term.

    A partnership of a magazine / website and a retail outlet or brand is for one purpose only. To increase profit. PC parts retailers aren't interested in selling you an AMD or Intel CPU, they are interested in which one makes them the most money.

    There are also two types of company tie ins. Obvious sponsorship, like Coronation St, and Cadbury's, or the sort where you go into your favourite newsagent and pick up the magazine you feel should be an impartial guide to customising PC's and offering great hardware advice and find that it is little more than the literary marketing arm of a PC parts retailer which costs money to read.

    All I would add to this little tale, is that CPC are lucky that the only other viable PC magazine, as in, readily available in the UK, PCF is complete tosh. If they had any real competition, I expect the magazine would be less focussed on promoting retailers and more in providing the maximum information value.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2010
  8. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Just reading PureSilver's post and PaulGreyHead's post, then thinking about my own joke of making a deal with Newegg it crossed my mind that I couldn't really grasp why it's a problem to provide a link to a certain etailer on reviews. Assuming the reviews are unbaised and this is simply a link to Scan's product listing in addition to the "UK Price as Reviewed", what's the matter? This actually helps give readers more etailer options since the current price link is often from a non-Scan site.

    Also, please don't take this as a complaint, just an observation, there's a huge variety of UK etailers out there and a large number of them are used for current price links. Now look at the links for the "US Price as Reviewed" and get ready to see a lot of Newegg. It's pretty much the etailer for North America, should Bit not get flak for always using them as well? Just seems a little odd to cry monopoly without looking at that.
     
  9. cybergenics

    cybergenics What's a Dremel?

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    Let's break it down. Site A produces review results for certain products, contrary to site B, C and D, and in this case, sites F, G, H, J, K, L, M. N...ok you get the picture. Site A has a tie up with a retailer X who gets preferential stock availablity, lower purchase price of stock and therefore maximum profits on certain product brands / lines.

    Therefore it is in the interest of Site A, to promote retailer X.

    Not that I would suggest anything like that is occuring here. Its just a theoretical situation, but it explains the mechanism. I'd like to call it 'WHAT*HIFI' syndrome.
     
  10. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    I just dont see the problem.
    I think most people are like me and buy what they want to buy regardless of any review.
    We are old enough to make our own minds up.
    I dont just read one review and go with whatever it say's.
    What can I say free postage yes please!
     
  11. cybergenics

    cybergenics What's a Dremel?

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    There is no 'problem' except that some people don't like it, the rest either don't care or don't realise. I don't see paper magazines having much longevity now the internet has evolved, or rather much profitability, so as long as the industry tie up exist, as long as they are 'free' (as this site is) that's fine.
     
  12. hardtailstar

    hardtailstar "insert title here"

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    woohooo im going to start posting more as i use scan almost every month :)
     
  13. FreQ

    FreQ What's a Dremel?

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    I use a different email address for buying things and registering on forums. This apparently is a problem.

    Anyone know what to do? Looks like I have a valid Bit Tech account and a valid Scan account but can't take up the offer just because I use 2 different e-mail addresses... :sigh:
     
  14. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil What's a Dremel?

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    @ FreQ- Open a new scan account with the same email as your bit tech one; scan dont care about what email you use- it just has to match your bit tech account. I can see an issue with your payment details and address being in two scan accounts, but Im sure they allow for multiple adresses or card details ( use work address for delivery & pay with a different card or paypal for example ) - try adding the same details to the new account and see if it flags up and issue...
     
  15. smc8788

    smc8788 Multimodder

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    You don't even need to do that - just go into your Scan account, change your e-mail address so it's the same as your bit-tech account, register it for free delivery, then change it back afterwards. The free delivery is still linked to your Scan account.

    Why would you need to post more? You're already eligible since you have more than 20 posts,,,
     
  16. humdrumian_monkey

    humdrumian_monkey What's a Dremel?

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    Great news! Scan offer good prices and service!!!!
     
  17. Shagbag

    Shagbag All glory to the Hypnotoad!

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    I must admit I'm quite surprised by some of the strong reactions to this. CustomPC magazine is owned by Dennis Publishing. Dennis Publishing is a business. CustomPC magazine costs a not insignificant amount of cash to produce month on month and advertising revenues are a key source of the magazine's profitability. Ownership constraints demand that major advertisers receive favourable editorial treatment or, at least, no unfavourable treatment. Scan is THE biggest advertiser in CustomPC so it should come as no surprise to see their name referred to throughout the magazine and in its awards. This is not a criticism, it is just a reality.

    Now that Dennis Publishing owns Bit-Tech.net I don't see what is so surprising about Scan's involvement. Advertising defrays the costs of running a website resulting in increased profitability for the Dennis Publishing group. It's simple economics and I can't believe, for one minute, that ANYONE but the most naive believes the reviews in CustomPC are without bias. Impartiality in print media is uneconomic.
     
  18. G0UDG

    G0UDG helping others costs nothing

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    Nice one guys as I buy all my pc components from scan uk the discount will be greatly appreciated,love the magazine BTW I bought the Enermax revolution 85+ 1250w psu on the back of your review its brill and will be perfect for my new build pc just got the 6 core 980x just waiting for the corsair ram, motherboard and your review of the new advanced media format hdd's don't want to go down the ssd road because of The trim and firmware issues.
     
  19. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    My post specifically mentions that it is assuming Bit's reviews are unbiased. Under this assumption no review should be contrary to any other site, unless those sites are biased or there is an honest mistake in some site's review.

    Now if we can please follow along, a link to Scan's pricing is some simple advertisement, nothing more than the wonderful flashy boxes littered around any website. It's also a little mutual advertisement for Bit-tech. As for review writing, it helps add more current pricing for people reading reviews from a decent amount of time in the past. It also adds an aspect of consistency. The Price as Reviewed being drawn from a random assortment of sites may lead to slight inconsistencies in price compared to the actual average price as the chosen site may either be abnormally low or high, always having Scan let's users a) have two etailers for reference and b) see prices in relation to Scan's normal pricing levels.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2010
  20. acsnet83

    acsnet83 woopa

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    Wow cheers guys :)
     
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