This is an open letter to Nootriment.com to stop shady marketing practices and use their power responsibly to educate nootropics and brain health enthusiasts rather than bilk them out of as much money as possible.
A letter like this might seem hypocritical because Nootropedia is a nootropics media website that generates revenue by earning a percentage of any product we sell, but I’ll explain in detail why the two sites are beyond comparison.
If Nootriment can heed my warning and advice, I believe they can be a powerful force for good in educating millions on how to better use nootropics and cognitive enhancement tools.
Unreliable Information and Shilling
A “shill” is defined as an accomplice of a swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others . I do not believe Nootriment is intending to be malicious, but they are certainly over-enthusiastic about products to the detriment of their readers.
Through good authority, I know Nootriment earns around $10,000 per month from providing free trials of OptiMind to their readers. The owners of OptiMind pay around $15 per customer who signs up for the free trial. This means around 670 people sign up for OptiMind free trials every month.
If OptiMind was a great quality product, this wouldn’t be such a problem. However, OptiMind automatically rebills customer credit cards in order to keep them as customers after the free trial is over. This costs users extra money and many don’t even realize it has happened.
The biggest problem is how Nootriment does it. Nootropedia also earns revenue from this nootropic, but our OptiMind review is transparent.
We serve the advertisement for the free trial only to people who are already interested in the topic and we make it clear the product is not of high quality, can be made cheaper at home, and has been known to use shady marketing.
In contrast, Nootriment readers who are looking at their citicoline page (for example), find a pop-up advertisement pushing them to try OptiMind. Providing nootropics reviews as a service is valuable, but promoting only the most lucrative offer (despite being low quality) is putting money before readers.
Is Nootriment Reliable?
It seems that some of the Nootriment content has scientific studies and evidence, but any reliability goes out the window because of the marketing tactics. Even if you aren’t inundated with OptiMind spam, there will always be half a dozen or more products on the page, many of which are irrelevant for what you are reading.
I’m not the only one who believes Nootriment is unreliable. This Reddit community post dated 2014 suggests many people (including a moderator and Nootropics Depot owner) don’t trust them:
Again on Quora, when someone asked “Is this website containing information on neuro supplements trustworthy: nootriment.com?” the answer was “No” .
What Separates Nootropedia and Nootriment?
If both Nootropedia and Nootriment are information portals providing smart drug and nootropics recommendations, what makes the two different? We certainly promote nootropic products, but on further inspection we do so quite differently.
Besides the poor marketing practices of Nootriment, they essentially sell for the highest bidder. For most bulk nootropic powders and commodity smart drugs, they sell for Absorb Health, which is a vendor with a shady reputation… but also provides 25% affiliate commision.
These reviews on our own Absorb Health page suggest this isn’t a highly reliable vendor:
Again they have taken something, which could have been valuable for the audience (a reliable source of the nootropic readers are interested in purchasing) and bastardized the entire process. By selling out to the highest bidder at 25%, they’ve lost credibility and value.
[UPDATE: As of May 2017, it looks like Absorb Health products aren't even what they claim them to be. See evidence and details here.]
In contrast, Nootropedia provides only vendors we have thoroughly vetted and in some cases have even visited in person. We promote Nootropics Depot products over Absorb Health, which provides less than 10% commission.
Of course, there is a big financial difference of over 15% in commission rate, but that isn’t the worst part. Nootropic drugs are compounds that alter our brain chemistry, which is inherently risky. We are changing our body and brain, which means extra vigilance is of the utmost importance.
A couple of years ago a fellow Redditor and friend living in my city was sent the wrong product by an unreputable vendor . For this, he had seizures that sent him to the emergency room on two separate occasions. Within a few months he had passed away in his 30’s .
If a reader is interested in purchasing a nootropic, it is valuable to give them a reputable source for safety purposes. The Nootropedia method of promotion aims to provide more value for readers as opposed to generating more income. This is the difference between the two.
Beginners Need Help
In less than a year, Nootropedia has grown well, but we receive nowhere near the number of visits as Nootriment. Even still, I get many heart-felt pleas for help:
I’m no doctor and I cannot provide her with medical advice, but she is genuinely seeking help. I’ve probably received 20 – 30 emails like this over the past 8 months and hundreds more with questions about nootropics.
Imagine if I had just recommended she get OptiMind.
It is saddening to think there are tens of thousands of people with similar stories, but we never know of them. Instead of emailing, they rely on reviews and information to make their purchasing decision. To me it’s unconscionable to mislead them for financial gain.
But that hasn’t always been the case. I’ve made mistakes in my past and I’ve owned up to them. We all deserve a second chance and so does Nootriment.
Building Better Brains: My Ask of Nootriment and Community
Making money by providing information about nootropics is not wrong. The way Nootriment does so puts dollars before readers and that is the problem.
With hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, Nootriment reaches many enthusiasts of nootropics and cognitive enhancement. They also reach thousands of elderly individuals navigating a minefield of poor quality brain health information. Nootriment is currently failing many of their readers.
Nootriment: don’t be lazy anymore. You can still make money and serve as a valuable resource for our readers. They deserve better.
- References (Click to Expand)
- His death cannot be attributed to the nootropics 100%, but they seem heavily related.