Review Crusher

So Mike Filsaime's Review Crusher came out today, or, more accurately, was to come out today but was pre-released 4 days ago. (I'm not sure what kind of strategy Mike had in mind there or how successful it was.) The offer is now on hold. Several (okay, 87) refunded copies are still available; he says he won't be selling any more. [Update: as of July 29, the offer is again active.]

The video promoting Review Crusher was a bit long-winded, at times aggravatingly so. After approximately 50 minutes—much longer than it would have taken me to read even the longest sales letter I've seen—Mike gave the price and the page to buy the product. I did stay the course to the end and I have to say that I was impressed with the feature set. However, I won't be buying the product. Read on to find out why...

What is Review Crusher, anyway? Well, in a nutshell, Review Crusher is a custom CMS (Content Management System) that makes it easy to setup and maintain a review website. I'm not entirely sure, but I believe that in addition to commenting on reviews, visitors to your site will be able to submit initial reviews of their own. Also, a voting system is in place to allow visitors to rate reviews on the site.

Reviews can be listed in any category you choose: not just IM products, but restaraunts, household goods, coffee,... —anything you want. Mike and his team even start you out with a package of reviews you can import into the site.

Obviously you need to monetize the site, and Review Crusher makes it easy to add advertising. As I understand it, you can create one or more ads that will show up for a specific review or category of reviews, then show those ads in several areas of the page. I imagine you can also rotate different ads in each review, category, and position.

Mike promises phenomenal support and hinted at additional review packs, plug-ins and themes (the software comes with one) to come in the future, although there will be an additional cost for those. Sounds like a great product.

So why am I not buying? Well, there are two reasons.

First is price on the back end. Although it's no longer available, one option was for a flat $1997. The other option was for $497, with an additional $67 per month for the next 11 months. While the total of $1234 for Option B sounds much better, it's really a thinly-disguised move to get you into Mike's Job Crusher continuity (membership) program. Your payments don't stop after 12 months unless you cancel your Job Crusher membership—and Mike's betting that you won't do that.

However, Mike didn't sell me on the value of Job Crusher. And I'm not sold on Review Crusher at $1234 or even $497.

With just a little more effort, one could set up a WordPress blog with all the same features as Review Crusher and the net cost, exclusive of time, could be as low as $0. Zero! That's my second reason, again coming down to price, but this time on the front end. Yes, not everyone has the technical know-how to do all the setup, but there are a lot of video tutorials to step you through it (Expert WordPress, for example) and written instructions to install various plug-ins.

For those of you with a Review Crusher-like blog, what CMS are you using and what plug-ins have you added to give you the functionality you need? I've long advocated a review marketing strategy and my readers would like to know how you're doing it.