Why Create This Page in the First Place?

While a detailed overview of HighYa’s vision can be found on our About Us page, this How it Works page is intended to provide two things:

  1. Complete transparency in front of our readers, and
  2. To give our readers an in-depth perspective into how HighYa operates and what we strive to provide.

In order for any company to become successful, they must create an inherent sense of trust with their customers, which takes a long time to build, but which can be lost in an instant. And as a company that provides product reviews and helps you make more informed purchasing decisions, we fully understand the responsibility we have to build a foundation upon factual, trustworthy content. As such, we want to be as open and transparent about how HighYa works so that you have a better idea of what we’re all about.

Having said this, did you know that statistically speaking, consumers are more likely to leave an online review when they’re extremely upset with a company/product than they are if they’ve had a neutral—or even a positive—experience (although some consumer review sites might disagree with us on this)? The point is that, as you can imagine, online reviews tend to run the gamut from totally negative to wholly outstanding, but often favor the negative end of the spectrum.

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And truth be told, it’s never pleasant when a company receives a negative review, but the fact of the matter is that people’s experiences, perspectives, and personalities are different. As such, what might be considered “water under the bridge” for one consumer may be the most horrible experience imaginable for another. These differences in opinion mean that even great companies will sometimes receive negative customer reviews, regardless of how awesome their products are, or how far they go to please the people who buy their products.

On the other hand, it’s always nice to see a company that works hard at providing quality products and services receiving the recognition they rightly deserve.

How Does HighYa Make Money? Do You Promote Some Products More than Others in Order to Increase Revenue?

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Truth be told, money can be a sensitive subject, so we thought we should get this out of the way first: Under no circumstances does HighYa endorse, sell, promote, or favor any of the products and/or services listed on our website over others. Why? Because if we did, this would be in direct conflict with our stated purpose, which is to help you avoid internet scams and to become a more informed consumer. We do however have affiliate links and ads on two products (Bowflex Max Trainer, Casper Mattress, HD Mirror Cam), where if clicked by a user, he/she is taken to the company website where should they make a purchase, HighYa will earn a commission. These products are not promoted, however. The affiliate links of these products are only located on the URLs associated with those products and are not promoted on any other URL throughout HighYa. Learn more here, at our Advertiser Disclosure.

In other words, if this were the case, it wouldn’t be fair to our readers, as our revenue would be directly tied to the number (and quality) of customer reviews for each product, thereby creating a dysfunctional business model. After all, can you imagine if we promoted a product that accumulated a ton of negative reviews? In the end, you wouldn’t be provided with unbiased information, which is the antithesis of what HighYa’s all about.

Instead, HighYa’s revenue stream is based solely on the advertisements (and the single page containing affiliate links) you see while you’re browsing the website. While our plans are to incorporate additional revenue models in the future, at which point we’ll be sure to remain 100% transparent with our readers, as of now, this is the only way we make money. True to our values and to our business model, there are no hidden or deceptive practices built into HighYa’s revenue stream. We strive to provide the necessary disclosures throughout our website.

Keep in mind that these ads are automatically generated using Google’s AdSense algorithm, which means that we have no control over what products or services appear in them. As such, you’ll likely see similar (or even identical) ads across many other websites that you frequently visit, since they’re primarily based on your browsing history. These ads are also “contextual,” which means that they’ll often display content based on the current page your browser is on. This means that if you’re reading a HighYa article dealing with a weight loss supplement, the AdSense material might show other weight loss-related products and services.

To really hone in on the concept of using these ads as a revenue stream, take the following as an example: If you decide to click on one of the advertisements displayed on HighYa, this “click” is tracked and sent to a third party, which lets them know that someone browsing our website clicked on an ad. And for each click that occurs, we earn a predetermined (e.g. determined by third-party algorithms, which are not disclosed to us or even to advertisers themselves) amount. However, if someone visits HighYa and does not click on one of these advertisements, we earn nothing. It’s really as simple as that.

Despite this revenue model, regardless of whether you click on an ad or not, every reader always has the exact same access to HighYa, and we never attempt to encourage or to deceive you into clicking on an ad—which is against Google’s terms, as well as HighYa’s focus on trustworthiness. Instead, if you find one of these ads interesting after you’ve read one of our articles or reviews, you can choose whether or not you’d like to click on it.

With this said, prior to basing our revenue stream solely on AdSense and Media.net advertising, we did have an affiliate marketing program in place (see our Affiliate Disclaimer for more information), but only for a handful of carefully selected products that either:

  1. We used ourselves.
  2. Or We were certain would serve those interested in a particular niche well.
  3. Or We were sure was 100% legitimate and useful for this target audience.

However, we soon realized the potential conflict of interest this setup presented, so we ceased our affiliate program participation altogether in early 2014 soon thereafter for many of the products. This is primarily because, although not all affiliate marketing programs are scams, we understand that the industry as a whole has a negative reputation (we even wrote an article about it here), and wanted to distance ourselves from this while remaining 100% transparent with our readers.

Do You Actually Use Any of the Products You Review?

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Because we believe that the internet allows your voice to be heard better than any other time in history and that consumer reviews are the most important aspect of HighYa, our main goal has never been to test every product featured on our website, but to create a community where consumers can truthfully review a variety of products and services based on the experience they claim to have had with the company and/or product. As such, unless specifically stated in a product review or an article, it’s safe to assume that we have not personally used the product, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that we haven’t used any of the other products we’ve reviewed. Rest assured, we will never claim to have used a product when we actually haven't.

With this said, it’s important to keep in mind that many of the products featured on HighYa are “As Seen on TV” products, nutritional supplements, weight loss programs, and work at home opportunities. And as sad as this is to say, these niches tend to have more problems associated with them than most others, often related to billing problems/unauthorized charges, autoship programs, customer service issues, not to mention problems with the products themselves. Because of the immense amount of research we perform on each product we review, per our observation & opinion, we’ve learned to identify certain trends and “red flags” that may indicate a less-than-stellar product or company, and then pass this information along to you. Ultimately, this means that we can provide you with a highly informed opinion without having tested the product ourselves.

To accomplish this, we use publically available information including, but not limited to, the company’s/product’s website, reviews accumulated through other credible third-party websites, reputable articles, and others. We then compile this information into an easy-to-read observation and opinionated review that helps you “peek behind the scenes” and to draw your own conclusion as to whether or not the product’s right for you. By remaining “strategically observant” and reading between the lines, we believe that our opinions and user-generated reviews can provide an immense amount of value and help readers dissect the claims made by many of these manufacturers, without having used the product first-hand.

At HighYa, we understand that it can be difficult to separate hype from fact when you’re excited about a new product, which is why we take it upon ourselves to give you fact-based, unbiased product reviews that you can implement in order to make a more informed purchasing decision. If you’re looking for additional information about this, be sure to read through our About Us page.

With this in mind, at no point in the past, present, or future will we ever pretend to have used a product or service just to make our content appear more credible, which we can’t say for some other review sites. But why would a company do this in the first place? Because when they claim to have used a product and that it’s great, it appears to be recommended by a credible source (e.g. someone who’s had a positive experience), and they’ll conveniently include a link directly next to the writeup encouraging you to purchase it. And if you decide to buy the product after clicking on the link, that website will earn a commission. In short, they’re not informing you, they’re simply trying to sell you.

Finally, although numerous customers may have had a negative experience with a product or service, our goal is to never “bash a company over the head” in one of our reviews. However, we will certainly remain factual about a company’s online reputation and inform you of this. Ultimately, you can rest assured that we’ll never fabricate information in order to “bulk up” any of our reviews and that any conclusions we draw are based on tangible evidence. In the end, while we may initiate the conversation by posting an article on the product or service, we want our readers to do the all the talking, as they have every right to express their joy or frustration about a particular product or service. And because we rely on HighYa’s customer reviews to provide first-hand information about a product, all of our content is regularly updated with relevant information based on these reviews.

Can I Trust the Consumer Reviews Found on HighYa?

As mentioned above, we believe that every customer, whether they’ve had a negative, neutral, or positive experience, has the right to express their opinion anywhere they like, regardless if this occurs on HighYa or another review website. However, the reality is that many less-than-reputable companies will post fake reviews on websites in order to offset a large number of negative (but legitimate) reviews or to mislead customers into purchasing their products. In fact, some companies will even write false negative reviews about their competitors in order to increase their market share.

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Even though fake reviews have been a big problem since the rise of online review websites, HighYa’s staff diligently monitors all customer reviews in order to help ensure that everything published on our site is legitimate. There are a number of proven (although purposely undisclosed) factors that we take into consideration in order to help detect fake reviews, which we apply to each and every one we receive prior to posting. If we identify any of these red flags or even have the slightest doubt about the legitimacy of a review, we simply won’t post it. And if we do post a review but later learn that it is fake, we reserve the right to immediately remove it from our website. For full details about why HighYa will publish some reviews and not others, please take a look at our Review Guidelines page.

With this said, we here at HighYa will never skew a product’s reviews one way or another (e.g. posting only negative or only positive reviews), as we have nothing to gain from this since our revenue is not based on the number of stars a product receives. On top of this, we never have—and never will—accept any form of payment from a company in order to remove legitimate, negative customer reviews about their product or service, or to boost their reputation through posting only positive reviews. This isn’t to say that many companies haven’t tried, but we’ve always declined and will continue to do so in the future.

Unfortunately, some companies have gone so far as to attempt to hack our website in order to remove negative reviews, while others have made false accusations in order to discredit us. Fortunately, HighYa has a dedicated team that’s always on the lookout for these poor business practices, which keeps us strong and invulnerable to these underhanded attacks. Plus we work with IP Law attorneys from the extremely reputable law firms to make sure we operate well within the law.

In conclusion, we don’t compromise quality at HighYa, and you can rest assured that every review posted here has cleared our “pre-check” and appears to be legitimate and to be from real customers. This isn’t to say that there haven’t been instances where someone manipulated or “gamed” our system, resulting in a fake review being posted, but we’re diligent and always tweaking our processes to catch these, even if it occurs after the fact. On top of this, you’ll never have to worry about disingenuous reviews posted because a company paid us to do so—that’s just not who we are. Our goal is to make you a more informed consumer, and we never compromise this core value.

Why Does HighYa Have More Negative Reviews than Positive Ones?

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As we mentioned in the first section of this page, consumers are statistically more likely to leave a negative review if they’ve had a poor experience; even more so that they are to leave a very positive review if they’ve had a good experience. However, if they’ve had a “middle of the road” experience, they’re much less likely to take the time to write a review at all. Please see a breakdown of HighYa’s average review rating (updated based on 27,793 published reviews at the time of this page revision on 8/27/16, number of reviews change daily, for a current break down, email us at hi@highya.com) below as a confirmation of this:

  • 1-Star: 62%
  • 2-Star: 5%
  • 3-Star: 3%
  • 4-Star: 7%
  • 5-Star: 23%

With this said, while we do provide a diverse range of product categories on HighYa, most of the products we review are concentrated within the nutritional supplements, weight loss, work at home, and “As Seen on TV” niches, which are mostly unregulated and unmonitored. As such, companies in these sectors tend to make really big promises that “hype up” their customers with high expectations, who ultimately feel let down when they fail to perform as well as advertised, or when they experience poor customer service and/or unwarranted credit card charges. Because of this, these customers then feel “scammed” and vent their frustration in their reviews.

Despite this, we do have a number of highly rated products on HighYa, as well as the positive reviews to go along with them.

How Should I Read the Reviews Here on HighYa?

When using the information found on HighYa to gauge whether or not a product is worth your hard-earned money, approach it in whatever manner works best for you. However, we might recommend first reading our write-up and then reading reviews left by other customers, which allows you to get all the facts about the product upfront, and to then compare these facts with what other consumers are saying. Why? Because some customers may have been dissatisfied with something other than the product (e.g. customer service), and left a negative review as a result, although this doesn’t mean that the product is bad in and of itself.

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Also, for newer products, remember that one negative review doesn’t mean that they’re bad, just like one positive review doesn’t mean that they’re good. In addition, while we put a great deal of effort into filtering out fake reviews, the reality is that they sometimes get through. As such, if you only see one review for a product, take what you’ve learned at HighYa and expand your search for additional reviews before finalizing your decision.

On the other hand, many legitimate companies take a great deal of interest in their products’ online reputation, and will often respond directly to customer complaints left on HighYa. While you can’t please everyone all the time, this goes a long way in showing their dedication to their customers.

Finally, after reading our write-ups in conjunction with other HighYa customer reviews, see if you can identify any trends. Then, should you decide to expand your search to other review websites, you’ll be able to verify if this trend holds true. And if it does, you can rest assured that there is some legitimacy to their claims.

In Conclusion: HighYa’s Promise to You

Here at HighYa, our ultimate goal is to provide you with the most pleasant, relevant, and helpful experience possible, and we’re always thinking of new ways to improve functionality, while also planning, designing, and implementing features that provide immense value to our readers.

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Our product reviews are carefully crafted by a small team of dedicated and passionate writers, each of which loves their jobs and want to provide the highest quality content for our readers. Together, we’re always innovating and optimizing our content to create a better, more well-rounded user experience, based on two primary questions:

  1. Will this information benefit our readers?
  2. Will this information answer readers’ questions and arm them with the information they’ll need to make an informed decision?

Until we’ve answered “Yes” to both of these questions, we’ll keep refining our content. In other words, we’re not here just to rank well in Google; we’re here to put in the time necessary to provide you with immense value, without ever cutting corners or watering down our content.

At HighYa, we don’t just want to help make you a more informed consumer, we also want you to have fun here. As such, our commitment is to make all our reviews, articles, how-to-guides, and everything else, useful, enjoyable to read— and most importantly—accurate and genuine.

Sure, we might make a few enemies along the way because of this intense commitment, but this simply shows us that we’re doing the right thing, and will continue to do so. Have fun!

Last revised on October 24th, 2017