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Leaving Feedback on sites like Amazon
Old 02-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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Leaving Feedback on sites like Amazon

I was going to edit my last post under my Linksys Router thread, when I decided it might make an interesting new thread.

In my search for a new router I came accross a Vizio XWR100 router for $60 which is a Dual ban. This is a good price for a dual ban, but since it is definitely out of the main stream in routers, I took interest in reading reviews on Amazon and anywhere else I could find them. In my travels, I came across another forum talking about phony reviews on Amazon for another no name router. Two people stated that they purchased the router, and posted less than glowing reports on Amazon that were never published (gave it 3 stars)

I know these phony reviews are a fact. I just wonder how big a percentage of them are not from real consumers. I have only posted a review two times, and both were because I loved the product. I think I might have a hard time posting a negative review, so I can't say I could test the theory that negative reviews were withheld. In fact, I sometimes get annoyed with posters who seem to jump the gun in leaving negative review.

I have always been a fan of Amazon for their fast and reliable shipping and return policy, so I would hate to find out it was a serious problem and that a good majority of the reviews were by paid posters.

Anyone else have any insight on this?
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:20 PM   #2
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I have always found my purchases to be consistent with the verbal content of reviews if there are at least 30-50 reviews posted.

Sometimes the five star items are rated that way on the basis of a couple of reviews, so I am cautious about items with very few reviews. I'm sure some of the reviews are phony, most likely, but I think most are genuine.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:10 PM   #3
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I put more faith in the 2 to 4 star ratings. Frequently the 5 star people have just opened the box or, as mentioned, are shilling the product. Often the 1 star people are confused as to what the product is supposed to actually do, or had shipping gripes.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #4
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I put more faith in the 2 to 4 star ratings. Frequently the 5 star people have just opened the box or, as mentioned, are shilling the product. Often the 1 star people are confused as to what the product is supposed to actually do, or had shipping gripes.
Good point. I really like the verbal part of the reviews that some give with their ratings. I got an exercycle yesterday from Amazon, and some of the verbal reviews were very helpful in the assembly (since the included assembly instructions were inadequate). Other than that I love it so far, and would be inclined to give it 4-5 stars were I to rate it today because I haven't had it long enough to find any flaws.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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... and some of the verbal reviews were very helpful ...
And that's a reason to read 5 star reviews, because the enthusiasts can sometimes be really thorough in commenting. Bad customer service problems can turn up in the 1 star reviews, so I read those, too.

I agree that it's good to have lots of reviews.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:52 PM   #6
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I do Amazon reviews. I try to be detailed. I think the detailed (or at least to the point) reviews get the most favorable responses. For example, I did this review a few years ago, it is still shows up as being the second most helpful review. It is a negative review for the most part: Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The New Health Insurance Solution: How to Get Cheaper, Better Coverage Without a Traditional Employer Plan


This review of mine got the most positive feedback for the particular product: http://www.amazon.com/Catskill-Craft...cm_cr-mr-title The review is short, mixed and likely was helpful because it points out an issue that is not readily apparent with the product.

All of my Amazon reviews have been published and one was a totally 100% negative review that said the product was worthless. (The product has since been removed).
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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Usually I find the Amazon reviews accurate for a product. That's where I go first to read if other like a certain product. Of course, for the most part, the more reviews the more accurate.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by modhatter View Post



I have always been a fan of Amazon for their fast and reliable shipping and return policy, so I would hate to find out it was a serious problem and that a good majority of the reviews were by paid posters.

Anyone else have any insight on this?

I think when you see reviews for a product they are usually real . Some sellers may get some friends to write overly fantastic reviews if they are new . I recently was toy shopping on Amazon and the reviews were negative . Not for the toy which is great but for the price which was double other retail sites . Those reviews were definitely real & honest . I love Amazon but that made me realize they are no longer the best game in town as far as prices are concerned . It used to be that ebay was noted for this but they have really reined in their bad sellers . Any sellers with too many bad ratings are suspended .
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
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A while back I wrote a negative review on a S107 model helicopter which I bought from Amazon. It was a piece of junk.

Amazon deleted the review. I even offered to have them examine the heli to see if my review was factually correct, then re-instate the review. They declined.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:24 PM   #10
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I do alot of Amazon shopping personally for all kinds of things, and I have found that the difference between 4 and 5 stars is nil. Many times you read the 4 star reviews and they go something like this: "This is the best product of it's type I've ever found, and I totally happy with it..." But they gave the product 4 stars!!! It just doesn't make sense, so I just figure 4 and 5 stars are equal.
I've even gone so far as to total all the 4 and 5 stars and then all the rest and do the math = the percentage of happy customers vs. those who aren't so happy.
Regardless, I really love shopping on Amazon generally speaking. I try to get the free shipping--and love the lack of tax, since I'm now in sales tax happy Phoenix (9-1/2% or higher I think...it's too high I say). Saves wear and tear on my car, my gas and my shoe leather.

I've found some great deals on used books on Amazon lately, too.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:49 PM   #11
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I review regularly on Amazon (it just goes to show you how much we purchase online!) As with Martha, I give concise information on the product review because I believe it's important. Information detailing the what, when, how, and why on a product lets potential buyers know if it's worth their money. I always end the review with a statement as to whether or not I would buy that product again. It also helps the credibility of the review if the user's real name is used in some form or fashion.

The product reviews are an important part of my purchase decision. Remember the thread on the rice cookers? The one I finally bought had lots of reviews, the vast majority of the reviews were good, and that the purchaser would buy the product again. I've been happy with my little rice cooker.

I will not buy a product without several reviews unless it's a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

I rarely review / rate a seller unless it's a used book seller from whom I purchased an out-of-print book. So far I've been happy with my used book purchases.

I will not buy a product unless it has free shipping. That's just one of my cute little quirks.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:53 PM   #12
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I pay some attention to Amazon review, but in general I google to find review on a dedicated site. So for a piece of electronics a consumer electronics site, like CNet, a computer game, a computer game review site.

In the case of books, Amazon is the go to site IMO. The problem is that there is a lot of crap reviews on Amazon and so it requires a lot of reading to get a good sense of how good something is.

On the other hand compared to the old way of looking at magazines, or reading the NY Times book review, or the paper it is huge improvement.
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:37 PM   #13
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I do Amazon reviews. I try to be detailed. I think the detailed (or at least to the point) reviews get the most favorable responses. For example, I did this review a few years ago, it is still shows up as being the second most helpful review. It is a negative review for the most part: Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The New Health Insurance Solution: How to Get Cheaper, Better Coverage Without a Traditional Employer Plan
I also read this book, at least the earlier chapters. I didn't actually formulate specific criticisms as you did, because IMO the book failed the basic "What is this guy smoking?" test. Since "I am healthy" is subject to extreme revisions on very short notice, almost anyone who qualifies for a policy outside of the individual market is generally better of avoiding an individual policy.

You review is excellent. Evidently the marketplace agrees with your appraisal of the book; used copies are selling for one cent.

I sometimes enjoy reading reviews as texts. It can be like reading someone's diary. "Well I bought this Cute Kate step aerobic DVD 'cause I needed to lose a few pounds (40) because well my husband isn't very interested anymore and it might just be the kids all over the place all day and all night and the baby's been croupy but anyway the steps are pretty good and I could learn them but not too fast so they didn't become boring too soon but I really don't like Kate's chirpy annoying voice I mean enthusiastic is great the leader really has to be enthusistic but chirpy I really don't think so."

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Old 02-26-2011, 07:48 PM   #14
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I've reviewed several purchases on Amazon. I try to be detailed about what I liked or disliked, the quality of the product (I usually don't review something until after I've read/watched/used it for a while), and any other details I can think of. I've read reviews of things I've considered buying, and have found most of them to be pretty accurate.

It does help if you know something technical about some products you're considering. Like if you're a movie buff and read reviews on a blu ray where people are complaining about grain, you can pretty much safely ignore them.

I've left several 1 and 2 star reviews for a handful of things, and they're still there. When 1 or 2 stars are left on a review where people are complaining about the seller (unless it's Amazon itself), they seem really out of place; if you go through one of the private sellers you can see reviews on them, so why bash the product itself?

With everything I've seen and read on the reviews there (and seeing how reviews on other sites compare, like consumer reports, CNET, other online retailers, etc.), I'd be amazed if they found the majority to be anything but customers.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:02 PM   #15
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I've left several reviews (second hand, as they were gifts).
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:32 PM   #16
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I also read ratings and find that many are useful. Consumer Reports had a small note on their back page recently about an amazon seller who was offering a shipping rebate for a 5 star rating.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:11 AM   #17
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I've only ever had to give one private seller anything but a 5 star rating, so that deal seems pretty good to me for both parties.
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Old 02-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #18
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I've found reviews on Amazon and other sites generally helpful although I "throw away" those at the extremes unless the consensus is all either good or bad. Often it is clear the reviewer either didn't bother to read the manual or had wildly unrealistic expectations from the start. As with other products there are some people happy with them and some not.

I wrote a review for a Lawn-boy lawn mower here Lawn Boy 20 in. Briggs & Stratton Gas Variable Speed Self-Propelled Electric-Start Walk-Behind Power Mower - 10642 at The Home Depot

And here's a picture of DW happily using it:
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:03 AM   #19
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Mowing the lawn wearing flip-flops? The Internet will not let her get away with that.

I have a saying that once you start reading the Amazon reviews, you're screwed, because you're going to buy the product.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:48 PM   #20
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Mowing the lawn wearing flip-flops? The Internet will not let her get away with that.

I have a saying that once you start reading the Amazon reviews, you're screwed, because you're going to buy the product.
It must be an individual difference. I am much less likely to buy the product the more I know about it, as usually the best way to sell me something is to not bother me with the details. Often the more I know about some change in my personal state, the more I like just where I am, without whatever I was considering, and without the hassle, purchase price, upkeep, opportunities to get a lemon, etc.

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