If you are looking for a new piece of sim racing tech and you like what we do here at RaceDepartment you can now support us by purchasing products via the affiliate links in the brand new RaceDepartment Store.

Right now you will find "brand stores" from Fanatec, GT Omega, Thrustmaster and Sim-Lab plus products from authorised RaceDepartment vendors. Browse the entire catalogs of all the featured brands and make better purchasing decisions based on user reviews. The intention is to feature all sim racing products supported with RaceDepartment and user reviews. Keep an eye open for more brands being added very soon.

That was the TLDR. Below are the details about why we are doing this.

Why are we adding a RaceDepartment Store?

As you may know, RaceDepartment is close to hitting two million registered members and the traffic to the website has shot through the roof over the last year. Last month alone we served over 250 Terabytes (that's 262 million MB) of data to you guys in the form of downloads and media consumption. We want to keep doing that but we will need to implement some upgrades to our infrastructure, which of course adds costs to our already substantial server bills. We also want to improve the content we provide on the website and YouTube channel and production costs are increasing too.

I think it's a good time to be transparent with everyone about the ways in which we raise money to keep the lights on here at RD. Before getting into that though I think it's important to remember that we aren't a mega-corporation with offices all over the world with unlimited resources, we are just a small team of passionate sim racers and we do what we do with RD because we love sim racing.

How do we raise money to pay the bills?

Firstly, we run ads. Yeah I know, nobody likes ads. But we only run the minimum amount to be able to keep the website up and fund our content production. We get approached by ad agencies all the time telling us that we can make zillions of dollars if we just added the most obstructive, annoying and offensive ads imaginable. We obviously turn those requests down as we want to improve the site not make it worse. We work with an ad agency that respects what we do and the decisions we make. We block offensive or misleading ads and we only place them where secondary content usually lives, like the side bar and footer. We do experiment from time to time but we always leave the centre of the screen clear for content.

Secondly there are premium accounts. These accounts are a direct contribution to our running costs and we are extremely grateful for those which choose to upgrade. In return we remove the ads, provide offers and discounts from partners from time to time as well as a few other perks. We are also happy to announce that we will be offering discounts to premium members via the RaceDepartment Store in the near future. Stay tuned for those. In reality though this is your way to directly support us. I'd love to say that the majority of the two million members here on RD are premium users, well, they're not. In fact the number is quite small. If you would like to upgrade your account to premium you can do so here

And now, there's our RaceDepartment Store. Not only is it a way to support RD but we actually think this could become a really valuable resource for the community. The long term aim is to have every sim racing product available to browse and leave reviews to help others with their buying decisions. A few of us have already started leaving reviews on products we own or have used to get the ball rolling. For example you can see Paul Jeffrey has left a review of the Sim-Lab P1-X, a cockpit that honestly he doesn't shut up about whenever the conversation moves on to aluminium profile. (Side note: Love you Paul)

So how do you leave reviews? Simple, if you own or have extensively used a product we invite you to leave your review by clicking the "write a review" button above the description of the product:

How to leave review.jpg

We don't do any transactions or shipping, we simply link to the respective brand's web shop. These are essentially glorified affiliate links that you might find in the description of your favourite YouTuber's videos. If you do decide to purchase something using our affiliate links then we make a small commission on that sale. Again, this revenue goes directly to towards paying our bills and improving the quality of content across RD channels.

Now before anyone jumps to any conclusions. We did this off our own backs with no help from any of the brands featured. We would have added more stores but honestly it's a lot of work so we will add more in the near future. If you represent a brand and would like to have a brand store please get in touch.

We have also added a store for authorised sellers. These are brands which pay to advertise their products in the RaceDepartment hardware forums. We have added products from each of these vendors in the new store. We don't make any commission from sales made by these businesses but we don't care, they have supported us for a long time and it's the very least we can do to help amplify what they do. Thank you dear Authorised Vendors, you are legends!

Hopefully this gives everyone a bit of insight to how RD works but also provides you with a new resource to help finding new sim racing tech easier. If you have any feedback on the new RaceDepartment Store please feel free to keep it to yourself you ungrateful bast.....I mean, let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading this far. Happy sim racing.
The RaceDepartment Team.