Most people turn to the Internet in order to research products before a purchase. If you are one of them, you probably have already seen some reviews that are beyond glowing for products you know are actually quite average or downright bad quality. It is easy to believe that the people writing those reviews are being paid by advertisers, but on the other hand there are plenty of affiliate sites that offer extremely good and factual reviews, even if they only make money when you buy. So what’s the easiest way to tell if a review is authentic or just a sham?
Is The Review Duplicated All Over the Internet?
What are the chances of two people writing exactly the same review? Some businesses give “marketing kits” to their affiliates and distributors, and sometimes this includes a glowing review to be published on review sites online, under the name of the affiliate. Some affiliates just publish it right away, but since many websites no longer accept affiliate content, slightly more clever marketers rewrite them just enough to pass the filters. In both cases, the content of the review is the same, a glowing or mostly glowing review that the provider of the product wrote, instead of an objective, third party evaluation of a product. Generally products and services that use this kind of marketing do it because they don’t have a product good enough to attract original reviews by itself, and are better avoided.
Does the Review List Cons along with Pros?
There is no product that doesn’t have at least one flaw. Just one. A good review should aim to be balanced, and that means listing the ugly as well as the good points. Beware of any review that strongly emphasises the good points, but glosses over any negatives or just mentions some that are not negative at all to give an impression of balance. If you trust the reviewer it may be that you actually landed on a great product, but in most cases it’s just a sales pitch and not a review.
Does the Review Include Real Facts?
In most cases, if the review is just a sales pitch the reviewer won’t bother giving factual information about the product beyond what’s on the product feature page. Those reviews that look like the reviewer never used the product himself, but claim to “Have been using this product for years, and I can tell you, it works!” are usually suspect. Another version of this is when the reviewer gets his facts wrong, such as claiming to have been using a product since before that product existed, or in a colour or model that has never been for sale.