Reviews on Amazon are dangerously close to containing a smidgen of helpful information amidst the trolls, paid reviews, and the opinions of those who should never be left without supervision. To keep this from happening, I’m offering a list of ways you can keep your Amazon review from contributing to this rash of usefulness!
- Write a superficial review that generalizes your feelings about the item, offering no detail whatsoever:
“So yeah I read it and it bit the big one. No one should read this book”
This is called an opinion, not a review. The purpose of a review is persuasion–to convince a potential customer to purchase an item, or move along to greener pastures. Two sentences conveying dislike says more about the reviewer than the product. Extra points for the puerile imagery, as well.
- Review the product based on customer experience:
“I’m sure the actual product is fine, but instead of the explicitly described item “Osprey Ultralight Mapwrap” I was instead sent the “Osprey MapWrap Stow-on-the-Go™ Map Carrier”, for which I have absolutely no use. WTH.
- Make the review about the reviewer instead of the product:
“I was really excited to see Lindsey Sterling in concert, I think she is an awesome musician. My boyfriend bought tickets a month ago for the Madison show for tonight June fourth. However, when we got there, there was not any concert or any signs letting us know why. We found out that she had changed it to the Monday before from The Comedy club we got the tickets from, and even though he got his money back it doesn’t make me feel any better. So me and my boyfriend took time and money to see her and didn’t get to.”
The reviewer’s life story doesn’t make for terribly interesting reading. The review is retaliatory in nature rather than having anything to do with the product being reviewed. Whining is what Twitter is for, not Amazon!
- Purchase a product in complete ignorance of what it is, then complain that it isn’t what you expect:
“I WANT MY MONEY BACK! This is a comic book and it’s awful! Don’t buy this ” book” ! Trust me…not worth it.”
This was on a review of a graphic novel in Neil Gaiman’s excellent Sandman series. One might wonder why on earth the person purchased the item in the first place. “Ooh, this looks interesting! I’m going to buy it RIGHT NOW without reading ANY MORE about this item!” (And the funniest part of the whole thing is that the reviewer wants us to trust them, when they’ve self-admitted their own total ignorance.)
- Don’t use the product, but review it anyway:
“A great map that I intend to use this coming Summer while at a conference in Bar Harbor, ME next Acadia NP. I use the Rocky Mtn. NP map last Summer and it was great!”
I am glad the reviewer had a previous good experience with another product by the same company, but nothing about this review inspires confidence that the reviewer is in a position to make a sound judgment about whether this item a good product or not.
- Ramble about something related to Amazon rather than the item:
“You’ve just made a year subscription worth nothing. I do amazon prime for the free shipping, and VoD, but, an add-on sub-script? Get bent. This is the worst comedy to be berated by you.”
I can just picture the reviewer thinking, “Here I make my stand against all that I dislike about Amazon Prime! With this product review, I shall change the world!”