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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Ratings and Reviews - part of the problem

    One reason shoppers don't know which dealers to trust is that many reviews and some ratings sites are corrupted. The consumer website I cited in another thread gives examples of phony reviews and explains why ratings systems can be unreliable. That site is www.sheddingsomelight.com. It also uses the specific examples of ShopCartUSA and DigitalSaver to illustrate the relationship between dealers and shopping-comparison sites.

    Then there are dealers who actually pay for good reviews. Here's a hidden page on PriceRite's site as one example: http://www.priceritephoto.com/priceritephoto/offer.htm

    The truth is, it's common sense and good business. If you are selling widgets, and widget-shoppers look at reviews to guide them, and you can improve your reviews on the web for less than the cost of a single full page ad in "Popular Widgetry," won't you do it too?

    Please pass these links to anyone who is planning an online purchase. Education is the best defense.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by acepho99
    Then there are dealers who actually pay for good reviews. Here's a hidden page on PriceRite's site as one example: http://www.priceritephoto.com/priceritephoto/offer.htm
    Sorry, but your information is slightly askew. The link above says nothing about posting "GOOD" reviews. It just says post 3 reviews on these sites and you will be rewarded.
    Quote Originally Posted by Website Quoted Above
    qualify for FREE ITEM you must post a Review on top 3 Sites.
    To qualify for both items you must post a review on all sites..
    After Your Reviews have been posted, please copy and
    paste the reviews from All Search Engines
    and send them to reviews@priceritephoto.com
    This is the same tactic used by Circuit City, or any other well establised retailer. If you go to Circuit City and look at your receipt, you can win a $10,000 shopping spree for posting a review on Bizrate.com. I don't see anything wrong with paying or rewarding for reviews. I guarantee you 99% of the people who have negative feedback will post a review the second they get that opportunity, but I also would estimate that 10% of the customers with positive experiences will post a positive review. By rewarding people you are getting a more accurate example of how trustworthy the company truly is.
    As I stated in a previous post, the review sites work. If you go www.resellerratings.com B&H Photo/Video and Newegg have VERY high reviews and are VERY well regarded companies. If you search for Royal Camera or USA PhotoNation they have pathetic reviews. And I doubt you could pay an angry customer enough to post a postitive review about USA Photonation.

    Here is a challenge- Go into the "Where to purchase your camera" thread and look at all the negative and positive comments on companies. Then go to www.resellerratings.com and look up the reviews of all the companies listed in the DCRP thread. While there will be one or two customers angry at B&H for some ridiculous reason, you will see angry customers mad at USA Photonation (0.75 out of 10) and Royal Camera (1.73 out of 10) and you will see people happy with B&H (9.2 out of 10) and Newegg (9.64 out of 10) and buydig.com (8.3 out of 10). As far as I am concerned thats sufficient for me.

    Last edited by ktixx; 12-28-2005 at 07:56 AM.
    Canon dSLR User

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    You're right, Ktixx, that PriceRite doesn't specify "good" reviews in its solicitation. But think of the context of their offer: who does the salesman tell about that page, the customer who appears pleased or the one who doesn't?

    But I think the larger problem is the obviously fraudulent reviews you see on so many of those sites. "Fantastic experience!" "Will recommend them to all my friends!" "Polite and helpful salesman." And so forth. When you see these comments show up in clusters on PriceRunner or ShopCartUSA, and see them duplicated word for word, complete with details of the transaction, for multiple, supposedly-separate dealers, don't you smell a marketing tactic?

    ResellerRatings and BizRate are clearly among the better sites. They both have some form of verification, and they often identify which dealers are operating together. Some of the other sites don't bother -- they are paid to promote their dealer "affiliates", and they make money when shoppers click through to them.

    PriceGrabber was just bought for $485 million. (http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/ap/...ap2391149.html) There are many small and medium sites out there trying to emulate their success. I'm just saying that the people who run them, and the dealers who pay fees to them, may not have the consumer's interest as their prime motivation.

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