We never tried to hide the fact that RepArchive is financed through affiliate links. Unlike almost everyone in our scene we put clear disclaimers. What we have here for you is an old comment we made about the topic, that I didn't want to get lost because every now and then someone is upset about affiliate links.
I will give you a bold statement and address this: I'm helping repfam _because_I make money. And I'll probably get a lot of hate for it.
Now, let me explain and take you back to the start and go over some basic economics. Before I worked on RepArchive I started by making mods for multiplayer games. People liked them. I got donations and even made mods for an e-sports company. But in the end the rights belong to the publisher of the game and "making money" was strictly limited. It was taking up massive amounts of time and decent amounts of money. What this meant: I had to give it up. Because somehow I had to put food on the table. To this day I get asked to continue working or at least put servers up. But I cannot, financially.
What this has to do with your question: RepArchive.com is now 2 years old. It's impossible to operate RepArchive (or any other service) with a high quality and while not looking for an income. At least for people that have to pay bills.
Let me start with how I make money. This is easy: Affiliate links and seller promotions. Everything is tagged as such and there are no hidden advertisements. Affiliates are the much bigger portion and they only work for new users that are new to the repfam.
My first point, the financial costs: Sometimes I need to hire a programmer. I have to pay for the servers, the domain and I have to pay for licenses, for instance the search function.
The search function plugin is a good example: It tremendously increases the user friendliness. It's not cheap but I pay for it to provide a better service for the experienced repfam. As I just said I can only make money from new users. They mainly come in from google because they typed in "XYZ replica". They won't use the search function on my site before they decide to register or not. So this plugin is a monetary deficit, but I still have it because I can pay for it with my affiliates income, not my lunch money.
Next example: Translations. The google translate API is not free anymore. So to match seller names that natively have Chinese characters as their name, I have to pay. Without this you wouldn't be seeing this post.
My next point in question: Labour costs. I spend hours of a full time job, 7 days a week, that I could spend working in the economy. But I know this doesn't matter to you because you expect me to work for free. Just these last 7 days I set up a completely new web server, moved the images to a image server, both because speed is what I was mainly criticized for on r/DesignerReps (understandably). I also added hundreds of items and named even more. I made this list. I wrote guides. I improved the speed of my bots that run in the background, which I constantly have to adopt to the changes on taobao. I worked on unreleased rep projects. Most of this isn't exactly "fun" but I know for sure that I couldn't do it if I had to worry about putting food on the table.
Here's what you have pay to use my service:
Here is what you get in return:
Furthermore here are some great services that are 0% money and 100% helping repfam, that are greatly appreciated by others:
I really don't see what's there to complain about or what negative impact this has on you. Seeing the site improve and providing a service that people enjoy is already worth it, but making some money on top makes it perfect. I rush home from work every day to work on this. I don't think I'd have the motivation and I know I wouldn't have the possibility to be where I am today if I just paid bills and got nothing. So I believe in my initial statement I'm helping repfam_because_I make money and appreciate all the support throughout the last 2 years.
Thank you [redacted], I also want to address your claim that there are more ads than content on the site. Yes, there are ads for the affiliate program. In my eyes there's more content but anyways. I take great pride in being "the original". Since 2017 I claim that I have the most ethical financing. Here is the difference to other sites and other subreddits:
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