Many will be enticed by discounted prices in big box stores – but before you go out holiday shopping and scoop up that “great deal” there is one thing you should do: check the reviews.
Reviews can save you time and money
- sometimes a lot of both!
Did you know that many name brand products have really bad reviews? And what ends up in big box stores? Last year’s models and models that don’t sell well. Bad reviews can cause that so you’re more likely to find bad products in a discount store.
Before I buy anything I go to the sites that tend to have a lot of reviews like Amazon and major review sites and check the ratings. Then I read the best reviews and finally I read many more negative reviews to find out what the issue is with that product.
Some people are just negative about whatever they review. Others never give 5 stars to anything. You can easily tell that by looking at additional reviews written by that person. People who have written more than one review for businesses located in the same general area are likely to be the most reliable.
I encourage you to learn to judge the value of individual reviews.
If you read many reviews that sound like they were written by the same person, that is a red flag. (Some businesses have not learned that they should NOT be paying for reviews. When they get outed they will live to regret that.)
PRODUCT REVIEW SITES
Amazon is a good site to read reviews on, but there are so many complaints against Amazon that I will not buy from them and I encourage others to buy directly from the businesses and not from sites like Amazon that act as middle men.
Yahoo! Stores has a very good review system with large quantities of reviews of both products and the ecommerce site itself. The volume of product and store reviews they publish makes it easier to evaluate both.
Products are not the only reviews you should read. Businesses also have reviews in Local Directories including Google Plus Local (formerly Google Places), Yahoo! Local, Yelp and Merchant Circle.
There have been complaints about Merchant Circle and especially Yelp removing positive reviews and offering to remove negative reviews if the business with buy advertising. Yelp has been sued to no avail.
INDEPENDENT REVIEW SITES
Angie’s List is the best known independent review site, but you have to pay to use it. There have also been many Angie’s List complaints. What we really need is a review site that does not charge us for posting reviews that is impartial and not only in it for the money.
There is a new review site planning to launch in the near future called WikiReviews. Unlike Amazon that only does products or local directories that only cover businesses, WikiReviews will be one site where you can review anything and you can share anything you want reviewed.
Their interface is going to be extremely simple and easy to use – unlike Wikipedia and other sites that are so difficult to update.
“WikiReviews.com goes beyond what other review websites offer by letting users review everything from local businesses and products to public figures and movies. If the site doesn’t have the category the individual is looking for, they can request that it be added.
There is no other site out there offering the magnitude of reviews WikiReviews.com will cover.”
You can read the WikiReviews PRWeb Press Release for more details. What I most want to point out is that the founders want to ensure that the reviews are trustworthy.
- Members can flag reviews they feel are fake and vote them off the site
- Anyone can ask questions about listings and reviews to get additional information
- There can be multiple ratings. For example, a restaurant will have ratings for service, food, and ambiance.
- Reviews are portable. If a hairdresser changes salons, or a write
WikiReviews is a major undertaking and are asking for support from the businesses, artists, musicians, and buyers who will use it. They have an IndieGoGo campaign running we can support by donating, sharing, commenting and /or writing about them.
Every little bit helps so if you like their concept, but money is tight,
donating even $11 will make a difference.
If everyone who read this post donated $11 and shared the link to their fundraiser there is a possibility they could get A LOT more visibility and raise the money they need to make launching soon easier.