What do we consider to be self promotion?
Broadly speaking this involves some representatives of a business trying to post their deals on site. This will also include that business asking others to post deals up on site.
Why do we not allow self promotion?
Our members should be able to trust that the content on site is unbiased and that this has been shared because it is genuinely a great offer.
Isn't a deal a deal regardless of who shares it?
Mostly likely, no. Consider an example away from hotukdeals - you're new to a town and you're looking for a new restaurant to try. Most likely you'd check out Tripadvisor. Imagine if the top restaurant had 30 reviews but 20 were left by staff. Sure the restaurant might be good but those staff are only looking to increase business regardless of how good their restaurant actually is. The same happens with deals. It could be cheaper elsewhere but all the merchant cares about is getting their content on site.
If a deal is voted hot, what is the issue?
Our voting is a good benchmark but there can be different levels of 'hotness' when considering a deal. That function therefore might allow a poor/average deal (and self promotion) to attain hot status for those not able to consider the discussion and advice from each other. It might never reach a super heat level but it still showing as hot.
Does this stop us seeing great deals?
Possibly, yes. However, we are largest deal sharing community in the UK (and part of the worlds largest deal community being Pepper) so if there really is an amazing deal we're sure it'll find its way into site from our community (or Deal Editors) without the need for the self promotion.
Can't members just read the comments and view the deal heat and decide for themselves?
In an ideal world yes, this would sort this out. But we have many many users who aren't members and can't, therefore don't, vote or comment, and an increasing numbers wanting to access us by app or mobile web. This leads to a quicker, more transactional experience and risk people thinking something on our site is a deal, when it isn't.
Do merchants have options to avoid self promoting?
Yes. Merchants are able to alert our Deal Editors, via the Partnership team, to promotions that have not yet found their way on site or to give them a heads up.
Isn't allowing merchants to ask you to post their deals the same as them asking their customers to?
No. Our Deal Editors are under no obligation to post deals for a merchant and they apply a strict review policy against each and every deal. They have criteria to go through to ensure that the deal is something the community want to see or in the past this is something which has gone done very well. They aren't paid per post. Their reputation (and that of the site!) is incredibly important.
On the flip side, many merchants (understandably!) think that their offers and products are better than their competitors - and don't always recognise cheaper prices from what they see as 'smaller' sellers as being legitimately better. That's one of the reasons we have the filter of offers being analysed by deal editors, then rejected or accepted and written up in their own words.
In the past you've posted some deals which have come from store insiders. Why?
We consider those working in a head office (including a store's back office) to be different to someone working on a shop floor of large retailers. These (for the sake of example lets call them 'shop floor' workers) are generally people looking to share because they believe they've found a cracking deal and not because they've got targets to meet or certain products to sell - most commonly they are longstanding community members who have posted a range of deals from other retailers beforehand. We have to make a judgment call with these.
How do you spot self promotion?
Just like a magician never reveals his secrets, we can't say too much here apart from we never go on just a hunch. We need to be absolutely sure.
What do you do when you find self promotion?
The member will receive a message to explain we do not allow self promotion. If it continues then they will receive an infraction. Merchants get informed when it reaches a point that the staff member has not listened to the warnings. Our partnership managers usually pick that conversation up with their business contacts.
When do you suspend merchants?
Suspending a merchant is ALWAYS a last resort and only because the self promotion has continued after multiple warnings. We never want our community to suffer. So we have an escalation process where we give merchants chances to investigate and show they are taking action - if this doesn't have an effect, we let them know a suspension is the next action if the self promotion continues. Not many high profile merchants ever go past this stage, but if we do continue to see instances after that point, the final sanction is a suspension.
Is a ban/suspension permanent?
Nope. The idea is to not punish the merchant but instead to allow them the opportunity to change their approach to hotukdeals. If we get reassurances from them that they'll change (and it is their first suspension) they could be returned quite quickly.
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This is not a complete list of merchants currently suspended. We'll use it to update on those larger merchants. (edited)
Nope but they aren't included here because the suspension is not down to self promotion. It is not something we can discuss but I hope when they are returned we can update the community on why we had to do what we did.
...and i'll say it now...it has nothing to do with money!!
Well for me it's all about getting the best possible deals which isn't possible with the suspensions / bans.
I recall an Iceland easter egg deal a few weeks ago that went hot and the prices equated to over £1 per 100g when Asda (who are banned/suspended) had the same but smaller eggs on offer for around 75p per 100g which was a much better deal.
That's the type of thing that really doesnt sit well with me especially when we keep getting told you are doing things for our benefit and want us to get the best deals.
My local store is an ASDA, so i miss being able to load up HUKD and search ASDA deals and going on the hunt. I have no affiliation to ASDA, i do the same when in other supermarkets, its just because ASDA is my closest.
Thanks for the reply. I will make my mind up when I see one positive review for a claim someone makes & gets paid out.
You have a getsafe customer service post justifying they were not on trustpilot. What they didn't say is that they are a company only formed in November 2019.
Yes you may have allowed it but you wouldn't do that for any other company. No feedback, No history.
No offence. (edited)
To be fair, huawei cared enough about the custom on this site to self promote in the first place, so it must hold some value to them
I know, naughty naughty, I mean seriously why on earth would you self promote something that's not as good as what others are already posting from your site, a very reputable company have let them selves down here and lost out on many sales, more fool them!
@RedNWhite mentioned here why they thought those deals had gone cold.
There does seem to be a percentage of people who cold vote simply because they see the same person posting from the same retailer multiple time in quick succession. Sadly because of this quite a lot of good deals go cold
As they were all similar items, at similar price points from the same retailer they might have done better had they been grouped together in one post. (edited)
The mysteries of HUKD
I think in this case it is because of the quick succession of the posts and them being the same type of product and the same price (on 2 of the products). That doesn't mean though they deserve that heat. I would hope with these types of products members looking for these items would look past the heat.
Sure the site is based on heat but if you click through to those threads you'll not see a single reason pertaining to the actual deal why they are voted cold. Not ideal but considering how many deals get shared it happens pretty rarely.
I've bookmarked those threads to run through the voting to see if anyone is abusing their voting privileges. Thanks for raising!
You say that retailers who self-promote aren't always bothered if the deal is any good or not. Under the latest regime, aren't any deals allowed only if they are the cheapest available price? I assume every deal posted is checked to make sure it's the cheapest so what difference does it make whether a deal is self-promoted or not if it is the cheapest available? I can't get my head around depriving members of potentially good deals on a point of principle.
how very daft of them, seriously ebuyer? u have enough members inc myself who post your "ebay deals".... we dont agree with ebays upshifting policy of that so called % fake discount, but we look past that and see total price after vs web price, just daft if they been encourgage staff to do it, greed.. us regs know whats good/whats not..... so leave it to us regs. (edited)
one of your helpfull team pointed me here, as i posted a deal, and they removed it, so i asked u mean ebuyer or the item brand lol. was a little confused cos i posted fair bit of nice ebuyer deals yest.
Oh no! hopefully not that will mean me "saving" even more money if you get a hold of their deals
It was good advice though as if I was a regular customer of theirs i'd be doing it too with Premier.
You need to mention this to your experts, as there is a 40inch 4k tv posted from ebuyer ebay posted 10mins ago.
This is the kind of thing that makes the whole admin side of things a joke.
Also means you let experts post without ever going into moderation. So if two people post the same deals at the same time the expert one will go through while the other one stuck in moderation will get removed as it's already posted. (edited)
They do have some genuinely good discounts
They have been partners for a while, including before we banned them. The ban was for self-promotion, and is unrelated to any commercial arrangement.
Hey @sarden84 We can't go into any great detail on this but this wasn't the first time they had been suspended for self promotion. There is only so many times it can happen before we need to take action. Insofar as the current suspension is concerned, the ball is in their court.
Maybe I should clarify that in the FAQ but as you say, its the other way around.
We're saying shop floor workers can share deals if we have reason to believe they aren't benefitting directly. Those types of employees are very different to those in charge of sales/budgets etc.
Maybe it isn't sanctioned from the very top but even still, once a member (and that employee) gets told what they are doing is not allowed you would hope at that point it stops.
I wasn't taking about employees I am talking about people on here that get paid to promote items which they haven't bought or used .
I am just saying it's NOT clear
That it's a PAID promotion
it's misleading that they have NOT bought from that particular retailer not have the bought or used the product .
I don’t think you need to have used the merchant either as long as it all checks out.
We get paid the same way as we usually do and that’s clear across the whole of the site.
Appreciate your feedback.
Getsafe didn't post their own deal. We worked with them on arranging a deal - £35 free credit - that we thought was great and users would benefit from, and then we wrote that up noting pros and cons.
Have a read of the above and you'll see that's very different from merchants posting any old deal they want, and not declaring who they are.
I appreciate you didn't think the Getsafe deal was good. That's fine, and people reading your comments in that thread - and other people's positive comments, and the 700 degree heat - can make up their own mind.
As we said in that post, the German facing part of the brand has been trading for almost 12 months, with lots of good feedback on mydealz.
We do definitely give a bit more leeway when posting deals from a company we have been in high levels of contact with, organising these deals in a lot of detail, than we do when someone posts an eBay seller with very few reviews, for instance. But we still do all the checks available to us to assure ourselves all is legit, and due to the relationship we have with them we can out pressure on if things did ever go wrong.
EDIT: this is quite offtopic now as not at all about self promotion. Don't want to delete above posts, but it you want to continue the chat, feel free to post it on the Getsafe thread or PM me. Thanks. (edited)
Why would we guess or take a punt when we'd have to deal with the backlash from the community?
We do not want to see any merchants suspended. I've already said this but suspending a merchant is always the last resort.
Possibly! In our experience though merchants really do care about their presence on site or else they would not attempt the self promotion in the first place.
They regularly have good deals on trainers for example.
Glad you found the thread! I'm about to update the messaging to direct members to this discussion so thanks for the reminder
There isn't, nope. That was another reason why we started this discussion thread so that we could keep those suspended for self promotion in here. So that part is very much a work in progress.
Hope they can play nicely then and come back as I believe they do have some genuine good discounts.
I feel bad that I was saying to folks consider buying Premier to save money on delivery as deal were posted on here all the time and then they got suspended so there were no more deals to make use of the free next delivery they bought