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I’m back once again to help you navigate the confusing world of Amazon reviews. My hope is that following these five tips will save you several hours of scrolling and clicking for just the right product, as well as an extra UPS trip to send back a crummy product.
Tip 1: Consider any average rating below 4.5 stars to be a yellow flag. Yes, 4 out of 5 stars looks pretty good when you’re scrolling. But if you keep in mind that there often seems to be a disproportionate number of five-star reviews under any product, due both to possible systemic corruption and to buyers’ seeming reluctance to shave their enthusiasm down to three or four stars, you’ll realize the one- and two-star reviews may have figured prominently in the final count. Just a quick scan through the reviews, and you’ll quickly notice if you have to wade through a big batch of noisy, unhappy customers before you get to the glowing comments.
Tip 2: Note the distribution of ratings. This is important, too. You might have a 4 or 4.5-star average rating. But how did the ‘bot arrive at this figure? The more promising product for you must feature a low percentage of one-star grievances. Three or five percent, a couch leg missing here, a smelly blanket there—well, it happens, right? However, if the graph of dissatisfaction stretches to 7 or 10 percent, you’ve got yourself a defective product. Steer clear. Another way of saying this is that the percentage of lukewarm or angry reviews communicate more information than do the five-star ones.
Tip 3: Scan five-star ratings to ensure they are referring to the product in question. Yep, that Snore-B-Gone device might be decorated with four stars, but you’d better read on and check that the reviewers all bought the same product before you purchase. I’m sure it’s all just an honest mistake, but you might find enthusiastic summer hat-buyers all jumbled up with disappointed customers who thought the newest apnea device was going to be a game-changer.
Tip 4: Read the one and two-star reviews. Here you might find the best insights on the product, and possibly be entertained in the process. This exercise is sure to serve as a wet blanket, but sometimes a dose of cold reality is what we need before adding that silver bullet to our cart.
Tip 5: Factor in how the company responded as you read customer perspectives. Reviews are powerful, and companies care about them. They know a three-star average product won’t sell. So you might be fine buying an item you’re not sure of, only to have it replaced three-fold if it arrives broken or it fails.
I look forward to seeing your further tips in the comments!Published in