Getting reliable reviews on the myriad of RCs out there can be tricky. Enter: Real RC Reviews. We had the chance to interview Adrian Apodaca and his quest to get real (both positive and negative) reviews of RC products everywhere.
The Interview: Real RC Reviews
What is the name of your organization?
Real RC Reviews (www.realrcreviews.com)
When did you guys start this?
I started the site in February of 2014
Tell me the story – why did you start this?
Ahh, well, it goes like this. I started in RC almost 5 years ago, with ZERO knowledge of hobby-grade cars and aircraft. I had to rely on the guys at the hobby shop, videos on youtube, and countless RC forums. I felt pretty helpless. I originally put most of my stock in online reviews.
On the surface side, I found Jang from UltimateRC to be the absolute most reliable guy out there. Of my 12 or so cars/trucks, I think 8 of them were bought after watching his reviews. He stopped reviewing RC cars a couple years back, I still miss him!
On the air side, I found it a little more difficult finding someone who reviewed the aircraft I liked. One of my favorites has always been 2Brothers Hobby, but of course they don’t always review the stuff I am considering. I branched out a little more and tried taking advice from a few other reviewers. Seemed okay at first, but a few times I bought a plane based solely on the positive video review, only to get the product, and find that it was of sub-par quality, or it didn’t fly anything like the video had described. Like many RC folks, I don’t have unlimited funding for my hobby, so every dollar counts. Dropping a few hundred bucks on something only to hate it drove me insane! As I did a little homework, I caught on to the fact that a lot of the popular reviewers out there get a pretty steady stream of free or heavily discounted stuff to review. That and with the thousands of hits their channels get, they actually make extra cash that way. I have nothing against good old fashioned capitalism, but lying about a product when you know folks rely on your reviews is really not helpful!
Out of this frustration, Real RC Reviews was conceived. I knew I couldn’t compete with the guys with the hookups since I have to buy my own stuff, so as with many things, there is power in numbers. With a large group of RC enthusiasts, we could review a lot more stuff if we combined efforts. I started a Facebook Group and that worked for a few weeks, then between comments and discussion, it got difficult to find the posted reviews in the group. I have very limited web development skills, but figured I could pull of an actual site. I registered the name, made a simple design, and uploaded the existing reviews to the website. It made it easier to navigate and more scaleable. Fast forward a full year, and we are now approaching 100 unique and TOTALLY honest reviews.
What do you hope to accomplish by doing this?
What we hope to accomplish is nothing more than to help inform guys trying to make a decision on their next purchase. Some of the reviews are quick and to the point, but others are in-depth and really tell you most of what you need to know about a particular product.
What are the benefits for people that are involved with this site?
The benefits for people involved in the site (the contributors) is that they get their voice heard in a public place. I try to only edit content for readability, never for opinion or influence from a retailer or manufacturer.
How can others get involved?
The best way to get involved, that is, if you’d like to contribute a review is to join our Facebook Group. If you just want to hang out, see when the latest review is posted or discuss anything RC related, you can like our Facebook Fanpage. You can follow us on Twitter. And of course, if you just want to browse around, you can visit our website. I know it’s a lot of urls but folks do the internet differently and we want to cater to as many people as we can.
How can they contact you if they have questions?
If you have a question specifically for me, the site owner and admin, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, drop by the fan page and ask away!
What is the hardest thing you have had to deal with in regards to the site?
Keeping a steady stream of reviews is difficult sometimes. Since none of us are paid or sponsored, it takes the love of the hobby and desire to help others to make the time to write a review. I’m lucky to have a few contributors that write a ton of reviews and do so in an excellent and detailed fashion.
What is your favorite part about doing this site?
Knowing that our readers are getting the REAL DEAL. I have also, done a couple giveaways to my top contributors. One received a Dromida Kodo, and a recent winner got $50 to his favorite hobby retailer… courtesy of Real RC Reviews.
If you had one piece of advice that you could give to anyone that wanted to get involved in RC – what would it be?
DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Look at what reviewers are reviewing (is it always from the same company) and if they ever say anything negative about a product. Most of even the best products on the market have some cons.
Anything else that you want to share/tell us about?
Join us, read us, discuss us, spread the word! Your next hobby dollar could depend on it!