Product Reviews May Save You Money – But Watch Out For Fakes
- Tracy East
September 18, 2019
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Before you purchase something, do you look at product reviews? Whether you are buying online, or in a store, a little bit of research and reading product reviews may save you money. Saving money is isn’t just about not spending money, it also means spending your money wisely.
When making a purchase the cheapest option may not always be the best option. Checking product reviews is an excellent way to find the best option at the best price for your budget, as well as evaluate both a product, and a merchant before you buy.
Roughly 82% of U.S. adults say they at least sometimes read online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing items for the first time, according to Pew Research Center .
When looking for online reviews, there’s nothing wrong with a basic Google search, but there are countless sites available -- their reviews may save you money and help you make informed decisions.
Helpful Sites for Product Reviews
- Cnet.com – Professional and user reviews of all things tech, from printers to software.
- Yelp offers everything from restaurant ratings, to ratings for doctors, dentists, salons and more.
- Amazon.com – Even if you aren’t purchasing a product, chances are if it’s available on Amazon, there are reviews as well.
- Youtube.com – Video reviews can be really helpful. Some of the best reviews take 2 or more similar products (cell phones, tablets, etc.), and actually compare them side by side so you can hear from someone that has hands-on experience with them and see the differences for yourself.
- Angie’s List can help you with reviews of service providers or professionals
A word of caution, however: Reviews are not always reliable. It’s not unheard of for a business to pay for reviews. Since legitimate user reviews give us helpful information, how can you tell the difference between a real review and a fake one? While it is likely impossible to recognize every fake review, but there are some signs to watch for that will help you sort out the bad apples and help you find the ones that will help you make an informed purchase at the best price.
- Check multiple review source instead of just relying on one. While reviews on a company website or product page may be helpful, they shouldn’t be your only source. To get the best information, dig a little bit deeper and look at more than one source of information.
- Read more than the first few reviews. Have you ever heard that there is safety in numbers? This can go for reviews too.
- Watch for red flags: Are there a lot of reviews from the same time period -- they might be fake. Does the reviewer use overly positive descriptive words and lack any sense of authenticity? Watch out for reviewers with generic sounding names or profiles without photos. If the review has multiple spelling or grammar errors it could be because it was hired out to an off-shore company written in poor English.
- Don’t trust perfect reviews. Nothing and nobody can be perfect all the time. If there are zero middle of the road or even a few negative reviews, you may not be dealing with legitimate information.
- Look for verified purchases. Many review platforms will verify if the purchase happened on that site or not. If it’s “unverified, it’s also more likely to be to be fake review.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.