Most ‘reviews’ are actually not reviews

Of just about every product you can buy online, you can also find ‘reviews’ online. Youtube, for example, contains thousands of them. In most cases, however, what is passed off as a product ‘review’ is nothing more than a product presentation. The product is being shown and the specifications are listed. In all honesty – I can probably find all that information on the manufacturer’s website.

What is a review

So what’s the difference between a review and a presentation? First of all, the added value for a potential buyer. If it’s all the same information that the manufacturer already provided, there is no real added value for the review. In my opinion, a proper review offers a bit more. Yes, it usually offers a quick description of the product, what’s it designed to do, perhaps what sets it apart from competing products. 

But most importantly, a review contains a reviewer’s verdict, based on experience. Has the manufacturer succeeded in the problem or demand they set out to address? Is the product any good, or should you really get the competing product? Just like a book review, or a review of a play, or film – they always incorporate the reviewer’s judgment, be it very personal and subjective.

Sales

In most cases, these reviews-that-are-actually-presentations are put up by retailers selling that very product. I completely understand these businesses seeking extra attention for these items. And I also understand they don’t want to be too critical about it either – they have to sell the product, after all. But at least give us a bit more information than what we can find ourselves. Even if it’s just a breakdown of its strengths and weaknesses and who the product would be best suited for. 

Personally, I am quite weary of the honesty of these reviews by sellers or professionals sponsored by the manufacturer. Their motive – I think – will always be making money by selling or promoting the product. Which is fine. But for a proper review of the product, I’d rather get that from an independent user that views it from a consumer’s perspective. That’s what I am, so that’s what I would relate to most.

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