The age of the internet changed a lot of things, one of those being the way people interact with the products and services they buy. With so much information at the tips of your fingers, there’s no excuse for being misinformed about what you’re spending your money on.
Where to get the information you’re looking for, though?
The official information available for pretty much anything these days is available from the manufacturers and service providers themselves. But isn’t the whole point to get unbiased information? It can be kind of hard to trust the very person or company to be objective about something they’re trying to sell you.
This just leaves other consumers, other people, on the internet. If you have any reasonable experience with the web sphere, you’re aware of how trustworthy information can be there.
This leaves us at a bit of an impasse. You don’t want to just rush into buying, but reliable information is hard to come by.
How to Get the Most out of Online Reviews
You simply need to be aware that user reviews are much like the products they claim to examine. It’s a matter of approaching your reviews with the same amount of healthy skepticism that you approach products with. What does this mean, though?
Let’s start with some statistics. Some studies have shown that as much as 70% of user reviews on Amazon, for example, are not made by users. This is a common marketing strategy nowadays: companies and manufacturers regularly use these so-called user reviews to praise their products or criticize their competition.
Other times, these reviews are made by people who are simply not qualified to make an objective, educated opinion.
The issue here is that pretty much anyone can post anything online. You simply cannot be sure about who is making this content and if they have any ulterior motives.
On the other hand, there are quite a lot of product reviews online made by people who want to help their audiences. It can just be hard to set them apart from everything else. These are actual experts products reviews made on websites whose main purpose isn’t to sell you anything.
Spotting a Good Online Review
So how do you tell an expert review apart from a shady marketing tactic? Here are some ideas.
- Be mindful of where the content is posted. What you want are websites dedicated to getting the best value for their users. For starters, not anyone can post on these: they usually have dedicated teams of experts who know what they’re talking about. Secondly, they don’t stand to gain anything from being dishonest.
- Make sure the writer’s case has proper argumentation. Experts who have a well-formed opinion about something know exactly what they are saying and why they are saying it.
- Look for a second opinion. If opinions vary wildly, this product might warrant a closer examination.
- Watch out for “perfect” products. Nothing is perfect, and products are rarely completely terrible as well. A proper review looks for both the good and the bad, and any “absolute” judgements might imply that it’s not an honest, balanced opinion.