How do you view reviews?
What do you think…would the title make a good Frank Sinatra chorus? ;)
I was thinking about this issue of reviews when I wrote my last post, and had been talking to my family about it a couple of days ago.
When I’m looking to buy something from Amazon, something about which I don’t know that much, I do look at the reviews.
in the moment, it feels like I make the decision quickly, but I’m an analytical person…have you noticed? ;)
One of my main fascinations for years has been how people come to conclusions. Why do we think what we think, and how do we get there?
So, I’m going to tell you somethings about what influences me…and then ask you about what influences you.
One of the factors for me is the how many reviews there are. Let’s say I want a non-fiction, reference book on a particular topic. Maybe I can see the review count and average for five titles (perhaps under “people who bought this also bought this”). One of them has two hundred reviews, and the others have ten or fewer. I would consider that large number of reviews more important than a minor difference in ratings…if a title with three reviews had five stars, and the one with two hundred reviews had four and a half stars, I’d be more impressed by the two hundred review title.
Another thing I do?
Look at the 1-star reviews.
I want to see if the 1-star reviews (which are dragging down the average), make sense to me. They often don’t…well, I shouldn’t say they don’t make sense, but they don’t seem like a legitimate complaint. For example, somebody might give a 1-star review to a product because it isn’t available for their device. I wouldn’t do that…I don’t think you should review something you haven’t viewed. :) It’s legitimate to complain about that, but I wouldn’t do it in a product review, personally.
I’m curious about how recent the reviews are…especially the bad reviews. When people write a review, they typically don’t go back and change it if the product changes. If there were bad reviews in the beginning, but none for months, that suggests that the problem may have been fixed.
If I’m interested in a particular feature (“Does it talk about x?” “How’s the battery life?”), I may search the reviews for that.
I also look at the “most helpful” reviews.
Now, I’m not saying I make the decision solely based on the reviews all the time, but I do think it’s one of the most valuable tools Amazon gives us…thanks, Amazon!
How about you?
I’m going to poll the group about reviews.
I’m excited to do this one! I do think this information may be useful for authors, for one thing.
If you have other things to say about reviews, feel free to comment on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.