I do hope you read that in an evil, ominous voice as I had intended. It makes it sound much more interesting than it actually is.
As you are probably aware I work with a few different companies, suppliers and manufacturers as an affiliate. This means that if a sale is generated as a result of my video, I get a small commission from that sale. WAIT! I can already hear you say it.
‘BUT MATT SURELY THAT MEANS YOU CAN PERSUADE US TO BUY ANY OLD CRAP JUST SO YOU CAN GET YOURSELF A KFC ON THE WAY HOME'
And the answer to that is yes. I could do if I wanted to. However, the only issue with doing this is how long could I keep it up before I start contradicting myself? I struggle enough with my memory as it is. Let alone while I'm trying to recommend a tool as being ‘The Best' when I have previously said the exact same thing about 3 other competitors. There's only so long you can keep up the lies until you get caught in a big old web of Karma and are exposed as a fraud.
Honestly, this terrifies me. I've spent years of hard work understanding how to use tools, learning new techniques, making mistakes, fixing mistakes and invested lots of my own money into my business. For me to trade all that off for the sake of a 5% commission is ludicrous. I don't care what the financial benefit is, I will not substitute the long term trust I work tirelessly to build with my audience for the sake of a short term benefit.
You will see many links to products throughout this website, some of which are affiliate links, but most of which are not. Although to be safe in knowing that what you are buying is a trustworthy recommendation from me, firstly re-read the previous paragraph. Secondly, assume all of the links are affiliate links.
For transparency, below are the companies I am currently working with. While I will not disclose the numbers associated with some of these agreements. I'll do my best to explain how they work.
If I link to a product in Amazon I can get anywhere from a 1% to a 10% cut. This depends largely on the category of item being advertised and which country's Amazon I am advertising. For example Amazon UK would give me 10% from anything apparel related, and 1% from a smartphone sale. There is a lot of middle ground but most of the things I generally recommend are categorised as miscellaneous and will generate a 3% commission.
This is the fun bit. If you click on my affiliate link and don't buy the item I have listed, however you end up buying something else instead. I will get a commission from that sale for directing you to Amazon. For example, I once got £60 commission because someone decided to buy a laptop after clicking my link! Other examples have been toilet roll, hard drives and pet food.
More details of this can be found here: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/help/node
As of August, 2019. I am now an affiliate of Axminster Tools and Machinery earning a 1-5% commission on any sales generated as a result of my videos. This is not only on the items I recommend, but anything else added to your basket within 30 days of clicking the link.
You may be aware that I worked at Axminster Tools and Machinery for 5 years until I left in January 2019 and as you would expect I was entitled to an employee discount. This is how I have been able to afford the majority of my tools over the past few years. They have not been given to me in return for promotion. Every now and then, Axminster will ask me to promote a specific product or range of products that they offer. These paid advertisements will be fully disclosed at the start of the video and in the description below.
I am not an affiliate of Bosch nor do I receive a commission from sales generated as a result of my Bosch promotion.
Bosch do however sponsor me with certain tools that I have my eye on, or they want to get my opinion on. This is allowed to be completely unbiased without fear of being reprimanded by Bosch for sharing my true opinion of the tool/equipment.
Whilst I love using their tools now, I can say with the utmost certainty that this will be even stronger in the future. I have a lot of faith in the innovation and direction that Bosch are heading in the coming years.
(Despite not being a direct affiliate for Bosch, I may still recieve a commision from Bosch items if purchased through Axminster Tools and Machinery and/or Power Tool World.)
I am not an affiliate of Festool and do not receive a commission as a result of my Festool promotion.
Festool did kindly sponsored me a DF500 Domino to use in my videos, which has been a game changer in the woodworking industry, and is what I consider to be a Festool essential.
(Despite not being a direct affiliate for Festool, I may still recieve a commision from Festool items if purchased through Axminster Tools and Machinery and/or Power Tool World.)
While I do not use a dovetail guide for my work, I recognise that this is a very useful tool for getting instant results as a beginner. I wish I could have owned one when I was starting off! There are many things I do like about this guide and a couple of things I don't like about it. All of which are disclosed in this video. If any sales are generated through my affiliate link in the description, I will get a commission.
I am an affiliate for Surrey Timbers in the UK who supply the pre-machined materials for the projects in my Free Online Woodworking School. These can be purchased directly from their site by following the link www.mattestlea.com/projectpacks and will earn me a commission for each pack sold.
This service began in March, 2020 after I received many messages from viewers asking where they can buy pre-machined timber for the projects from.
I am occasionally asked if I am sponsored by Lie-Nielsen, Veritas and Benchcrafted; mainly because of my big beautiful workbench that's often littered with these tools. While I would love this to be true, unfortunately it isn't.
As for Lie-Nielsen vs. Veritas, I couldn't tie myself to either of them. Simply because I prefer using Lie-Nielsen bench planes over Veritas Bench planes. Although I prefer using Veritas joinery planes over Lie-Nielsen joinery planes. In the past, I have demonstrated on behalf of Veritas at the North of England Woodworking Show but would not hesitate to do the same for Lie-Nielsen. Both companies make incredible products that I have no problem with promoting. However I am always transparent in my recommendations and will say when I prefer using another tool.
As for Benchcrafted. I'm confident my Roubo Workbench series as well as my Benchcrafted Review video has generated many sales of vice hardware. However I do not have any agreement with Benchcrafted or their suppliers. So on that note, tell them I sent you!
RAID: SHADOW LEGENDS
I am often approached by mobile marketing agencies to promote the mobile game RAID. In 99% of cases, I turn it down purely because the ad read is rather intense. But if I need to generate extra income in a certain month, and we feel we can integrate it into a video, I will do the ad read.
I am comfortable taking on RAID as sponsors because it's very clearly an ad. If however a tool company approached me to promote their cheap, low quality tools and I said yes. This is where the line is blurred between advertisement and genuine recommendation. It will cause ambiguity, confusion and will affect my authenticity. For this reason, the answer will always be no.
Ridge approached me during the summer of 2020 asking to promote their wallets. As a user of traditional wallets, and someone who likes to be prepared for all occasions, I was skeptical at first.
But after receiving a free product from them to try out, I am a convert.
I forced myself to use it for a week before doing the first advertisement and was amazed by how little I missed carrying loose change and random gift cards from 2 years ago in my pocket. I now put all my spare change in a pot at home, my spare cards are in a business card holder at home, and I only carry what I use at least once a week. It's a brilliant product, highly recommend.
www.ridge.com/estlea (Use coupon code ‘Estlea' for 10% off)
See, it's pretty boring isn't it? As I said before, I want to be completely transparent with my viewers in order to retain my status as a trusted source of information. As soon as I star giving out untrustworthy advice, I lose out, the sponsor loses out, and most importantly the viewer loses out. It's a big ol' sack of disappointment for us all.
So please be safe in the knowledge that when I'm recommending a product, it's because I genuinely believe it's a great product. And using an affiliate link is a great way of supporting what I do and saying thanks for the recommendation!
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