Detector Reviews and Field Test Reports
( or should they be called manufactures cozy little write ups
Metal Detector field test reports
are never worth the paper they are printed on. They may have some use as a guide
to general appearance and features of a detector but that's about it. There have
been hundreds of field tests done over the years and if you read any of them, criticisms
of any sort is a very very rare thing indeed.
So why is this? Basically Field
tests are just another form of marketing. Magazines do field tests in return for
advertising and so their hands are tied. Manufacturers/Importers are very touchy
about criticism in any form and will not advertise in any publication that finds
faults with a detector. The thing that amazes me is that most people are taken
in, hook line and sinker by these reports. How often do you overhear at rallies
or club meetings the phrase " I bought it because it got a good field test
report ". Nothing gets a bad field test report it just doesn't happen, even
if its a complete bunch of crap.
Quite a few years ago one magazine was foolish enough to mention that there was
very little repairs and servicing backup on some imported detectors, Something
that still applies today ! This led to a major importer at the time from pulling
all its advertising for several months, with the resulting loss of quite a few
thousand pounds in advertising revenue to the magazine. This was a rap over the
knuckles for the publishers and they have never forgot it. They know their place
and do as their told.
Many field tests are done by the
Manufacturers/Importers themselves. The tester will have some fake name. This
saves the publishers the time and trouble. The really great thing about
field test reports from the point of the Manufacturers/Importers is that they
can exaggerate performance and make false claims for a detector without any come
back. Its the testers point of view, nothing to do with them. If some invented
tester with a fake name goes out with the latest detector from brand X, and
finds a gold coin two feet down. Who can say he didn't. There is a pecking order
though. The bigger the advertiser the more you can get away with. Money talks!
The customer always comes last.
The process goes like this.
A new machine arrives on the scene.
Metal detecting forums are suddenly full of brave souls rushing to buy one.
Adverts appear in the magazines.
Picture on the front cover.
Dodgy field tests appear. Testers get to keep the test machines. ( This could be you ) They are looking for new names.
Without adverts there is no cover pic and no field test.
It all links together. Its called Stealth marketing.
So next time you are tempted do your self a favor. Look in the mirror and shout. " I am not a plonker. I will not be fooled by this any more.
Basically, field test reports or product reviews are shit, and at the time of writing so are Chinese made metal detectors.