I think EF has been VERY generous with their programs and I can see that there may need to be business model changes as time goes on and their customer base changes.
However, I also love the reviews here that help me decide which new (or old) products to purchase. For the most part, the reviews I find on EF are the most thorough and helpful of any website anywhere, and the community members are very helpful with answers to questions. Honestly those things, plus the chance to contribute to the wonderfulness (and get a discount too), is what keeps me here. I would hate to see the quality and availability of the reviews (and reviewers) decrease. I think the "powers that be" at EF are showing that they know how important the reviews (and other member contributions) are by how they are obviously thinking this through and considering our input.
I hope there will still be a reasonable incentive to try new toys, write good reviews and/or edit reviews, and mentor others, since obviously a lot of work goes into this and the very active community members here are a very cheap work force for EF. I don't think anyone continues to do these things for very long if they are just in it for a free toy, but it is nice to be rewarded for a good effort, and I hope that the new model will allow for the people who deserve it to continue to be rewarded.
The free shipping is something I have always appreciated, and when I have a review order with free shipping I almost always use it to include something (or several things) that I have wanted for awhile that may be less than the $35 free shipping level. I wonder if these add-on purchases might make the free shipping worthwhile if EF could continue giving free shipping for review orders, but instead of using Priority Mail, use the least expensive option? Maybe even do it on a trial basis to see what the financial impact of this is after the changes?
Thanks EF for reading & considering our input.