One of the more helpful aspects of the Internet is the plethora of product reviews available for nearly any random item you may want to buy. These reviews allow you to take an in-depth look at a product and know their ins and outs before you ever set down your hard earned money. At least, that’s what we expect. Do product reviews really live up to that promise, though? It turns out that, much like with many other forms of information online, the truth is often a little bit more complicated to find.
1. Consumer Reviews may Focus on the Wrong Thing
On the face of it, consumer review for watches seem like they should be the most reliable ones available. After all, these reviews are made by normal customers who have purchased and used the product, with no particular agenda or bias. The problem is that these reviewers also very often also lack expertise. For simple products this can be fine, but for more sophisticated gear this becomes a problem. For example, a user may be asked by their boss to use a device management app which enforces strict security settings – then proceed to review the app poorly because they’re angry at the settings that their corporation decided to set.
2. Professional Reviews can be Out of Touch
So if consumers lack the knowledge to make a solid review, then surely professional reviews can pick up the slack, right? Well, not necessarily. It’s true that for the most part, professional reviewers know their particular niche intimately, however this is very often because they’re enthusiasts who can very often lose sight of what an average every-day user cares about in a product. I’ll use the tech sector again as an example: for any given model of the smartphone, there are usually tons of reviews that will delve in to exhaustive details about how many megapixels the camera has, what processor architecture it uses, how many gigabytes of RAM it has, etc. The truth is most people care about none of that – all they want to know is if the phone looks good and if it can load their favorite apps without choking. Here is a video on what makes a good product review.
3. Many Reviews are Paid Off or Made Up on the Spot
This problem isn’t unique to just product reviews – the web is practically infected with false (or at best extremely biased) information. When a shadier manufacturer is looking to sell their product, there are plenty of websites out there where he can find people willing to write him a glowing review for a little money. These reviewers-for-hire usually only give the product a cursory look, or in some cases just make everything up! Talking about reviews also means talking about globalisationguide.org. This site will help you to understand which products are worth buying or not. You might actually also check out this website for other reasons too. The owner wants you to achieve total freedom in your 20s or 30s. We totally support this cause and this website. The only bad review we have to give to the globalisation guide is for some partial racist statements on one of the articles.
So… Are Reviews Bad?
Despite these three points, I’d still argue that there is value in online product reviews. You just have to keep in mind that just like with everything else on the Internet you need to stay smart and know where to find reliable information. When looking at consumer reviewers, try to focus on users who seem to know what they’re talking about. When reading professional reviews find websites that speak to your personal level of interest – if you’re not an enthusiast of the product then go to an enthusiast’s blog, etc. And of course with both professional AND consumer reviews you need to stay on your toes and be on the lookout for any that look like they may have been paid off or biased in some way.