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(NPR)   Ric Romero decided to join the crew at NPR, tells us Amazon reviews aren't all by normal consumers   (npr.org) divider line 35
    More: Obvious, Ric Romero, NPR, Amazon, toothbrushes  
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2866 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Oct 2013 at 6:12 AM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



35 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-10-29 11:52:54 PM
I was here when the first Ric article broke on Fark and here for all the other fun RicRealizationRolls including his shoutout to Fark during his KABC charity event and all that (water is wet!), but even applying Ric to other stories that aren't his are getting a bit old.
 
2013-10-30 02:22:38 AM

DanZero: I was here when the first Ric article broke on Fark and here for all the other fun RicRealizationRolls including his shoutout to Fark during his KABC charity event and all that (water is wet!), but even applying Ric to other stories that aren't his are getting a bit old.


You should ask for your money back.

Film at 11.
 
2013-10-30 02:26:21 AM
I heard that story and, boy, that was news to me.  I had no idea!
 
2013-10-30 02:29:42 AM
"I've got enough lithium ion batteries in my house to blow up a city block."

Not the greatest turn of phrase there, Mikey. ATF will be stopping by later for a chat and your Guantanomoing.

I buy stuff from Amazon constantly, like twice a week or so. Despite all the sock puppets I still think it's relatively easy to get a grasp of what something is/how it will perform from reviews if you have a reasonable sample size and the basic observational skills to weed out the "wow I love this and it would be a totally awesome gift for friends and family and Popular Gizmology for September 2013 says it is 22.8% better than than the model 822A6 of its closest competitor!" reviews. At least I've bought lots and lots of stuff and have never been significantly surprised by the real product vs. what I was expecting.
 
2013-10-30 02:31:44 AM
Marcus Aurelius: You should ask for your money back. You'll get over it
 
2013-10-30 03:27:30 AM
 
2013-10-30 06:16:14 AM
It's pretty easy to figure out which reviews can be trusted and which can't.

Bogus Amazon reviews are old hat, though. Apparently fake replies on food.com is where it's at.
 
2013-10-30 06:18:08 AM
NPR Today:  *Crickets*.
 
2013-10-30 06:39:18 AM
Vine Voice reviewer here. I'll be honest that we have some people that are flat out shills for the corporations because they think it'll get them money. At the same time many of us are pretty honest about what we get, most of which are things that we will pick because they're things that we're pre-disposed to like. If I like books about vampires falling in love with mortal women, that's what I'll be most likely to pick from the monthly lists, which means that I'm more likely to review it positively.  The same policy extends to people on the top lists who get offered free crap from people e-mailing them. Most of them will decline the stuff they know they don't want and pick the things they're more likely to want or use. Same principle goes for people who belong to book review programs like NetGalley or Edelweiss.

There are still negative reviews and the Vine reviews are all clearly marked with "Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program", complete with a link to what the program's about, so there's little chance of anyone really mistaking those for reviews that weren't comped in some format. Most people will have some sort of disclaimer on their reviews if they received the item for free.

The worst offenders on Amazon are the people who will never admit they got their stuff for free or benefit from writing a positive review in some manner. By this I mean the authors who trade reviews with other authors, people paid to do reviews for products they've never owned/used, or reviews by the seller/author/company themselves. These are usually pretty obvious, but sometimes they can be a little hard to detect. Not everyone is a Robert Stanek posting obvious fake glowing 5 star reviews for themselves. These are unsurprisingly the last type of reviewers people usually point a finger at since it's sometimes hard to prove and isn't as satisfying as saying "OMG, that person reviewed toilet paper they got for free, they're obviously someone who like the payola".
 
2013-10-30 06:44:51 AM
The British do it better:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Veet-Men-Hair-Removal-Creme/dp/B000KKNQBK/ref = sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383129831&sr=8-1&keywords=veet+for+men">http://ww w.amazon.co.uk/Veet-Men-Hair-Removal-Creme/dp/B000KKNQBK/ref= sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383129831&sr=8-1&keywords=veet+for+men
 
2013-10-30 06:55:48 AM
The amazon reviews that tick me off are the people who review an item negatively for something that has nothing to do with the product. I've seen people who had an item damaged in shipping, or have an issue with the manufacturers political affiliations, give an item a bad review. Of course nothing is as bad as the fake positive reviews, but stupid people are a close second.
 
2013-10-30 06:59:48 AM

Battlestar Girlactica: Vine Voice reviewer here...


So *you're* the one that Mr. Book complains about in every single Deal of the Day!!!
 
2013-10-30 07:20:36 AM
NPR could hire Ric for a lot of their early morning news stories, so there really is no surprise here. Also, I usually get my best information from the negative reviews on Amazon so I know what issues I may need to look at to see if they really matter or not. As posted above, many people give positive or negative ratings on things totally unrelated to the actual product they are reviewing.
 
2013-10-30 07:29:12 AM
Mrs Snuffybud is a Vine reviewer. Usually she gets books to review as she's a voracious reader. There are other times when she scores some truly amazing products. She recently got a $2500 cappuccino machine (which she loves and uses daily) and yesterday we got a new wall mount for a TV (a $70 value). Sometimes she picks up products for me and I'm expected to let her know my thoughts. She got a beard trimmer for me a few years back and she wrote the review based on my experience (trims well, very long battery life, vacuums up 90% of the trimmings but a bit bulky in size). I'm not allowed to even open packages from Vine when they arrive as the manufacturer's packaging can go into her review, especially if it's poorly packaged.

She honestly reviews what she gets, it doesn't matter that she got something for free. If she likes it she'll let you know and if she doesn't she'll let you know that too.
 
2013-10-30 07:40:57 AM

Snuffybud: Mrs Snuffybud is a Vine reviewer. Usually she gets books to review as she's a voracious reader. There are other times when she scores some truly amazing products. She recently got a $2500 cappuccino machine (which she loves and uses daily) and yesterday we got a new wall mount for a TV (a $70 value). Sometimes she picks up products for me and I'm expected to let her know my thoughts. She got a beard trimmer for me a few years back and she wrote the review based on my experience (trims well, very long battery life, vacuums up 90% of the trimmings but a bit bulky in size). I'm not allowed to even open packages from Vine when they arrive as the manufacturer's packaging can go into her review, especially if it's poorly packaged.

She honestly reviews what she gets, it doesn't matter that she got something for free. If she likes it she'll let you know and if she doesn't she'll let you know that too.


Interesting thing about the reviews:  People are more likely to purchase something that has negative reviews than something that doesn't have any reviews at all.

So even if you get sent something and you don't like it and say so in your review, that still might be a "win" for the manufacturer.
 
2013-10-30 07:50:02 AM
I take the reviews as a whole.  I look at the ones, "used too much packing tape" and the fives which can sound a bit like advertising copy.  I look for patterns a lot of threes that liked the product but found the same defect.
 
2013-10-30 08:21:02 AM
What can I say. We farkers aren't normal
 
2013-10-30 09:11:21 AM

dittybopper: NPR Today:  *Crickets*.


Hey, I sponsor that dead air.
 
2013-10-30 09:16:17 AM
Meh, I buy on amazon and never review.
I spend enough time griping on here.
I buy a portable generator from Stanley and it arrives cracked on the outside.
Big deal. I duct tape it up and it works fine.
I get pickled walnuts and they come in a cracked jar, yeah, those are going back.
As long as I can get Fizzies delivered to the office, and not dropped off on my rural door step where the coyotes can get first crack at them, fine. But I'm not some mommyblogger who needs to validate herself by biatching out someone other than her husband.
I do then to skew the trends, though. You know the "Other people who bought this item also bought"
You could be looking at duct tape, and be guided to shovels, bonesaws, huge black bags, etc. . .
 
2013-10-30 09:21:10 AM
The Paula Deen cookbook reviews when she was going through that affair a while back...Christ. None of them were about the product. All were about how great Paula Deen was. I reported a ton to Amazon for being spam since they had nothing to do with the product, and were just stupid, old white people jacking off over some self-victimizing TV star.
 
2013-10-30 09:44:12 AM

BigBooper: I've seen people who had an item damaged in shipping, give an item a bad review.


eBay, where you mostly review the sellers and not the product, has the opposite problem. My dad had a 100% feedback score after selling dozens of old records and video games from friends and family. Then some kid gave him a bad review because "I did not like this game."
 
2013-10-30 10:06:55 AM

vudukungfu: dittybopper: NPR Today:  *Crickets*.

Hey, I sponsor that dead air.


I was taking a jab at myself.
 
2013-10-30 10:07:52 AM

agent00pi: The British do it better:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Veet-Men-Hair-Removal-Creme/dp/B000KKNQBK/ref = sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383129831&sr=8-1&keywords=veet+for+men">http://ww w.amazon.co.uk/Veet-Men-Hair-Removal-Creme/dp/B000KKNQBK/ref= sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383129831&sr=8-1&keywords=veet+for+men


Holy shiat, that's great. Also notice the "What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?" section.
 
2013-10-30 10:21:25 AM

DanZero: I was here when the first Ric article broke on Fark and here for all the other fun RicRealizationRolls including his shoutout to Fark during his KABC charity event and all that (water is wet!), but even applying Ric to other stories that aren't his are getting a bit old.


You might be a hipster.
 
2013-10-30 10:30:00 AM
What's up with the NPR hate?  I had not heard of the Amazon Vine program before.  And I thought looking at the predicted versus actual biased data figures was worth note.  Y'all people be on Monday part 3 or something.
 
2013-10-30 11:26:56 AM
For what it's worth, the NPR article says that Amazon told them Vine reviewers rate products lower than the average (because they take the reviews more seriously).  The Vine program was designed to get reviews of the actual product without the packaging/shipping/customer support issues.
 
2013-10-30 11:51:01 AM

trappedspirit: What's up with the NPR hate?  I had not heard of the Amazon Vine program before.  And I thought looking at the predicted versus actual biased data figures was worth note.  Y'all people be on Monday part 3 or something.


I listen to NPR but they tend to report a lot of, "Well, DUH," items.
 
2013-10-30 12:25:49 PM
My novels are all real people. Well, actual people. One or two Reviews might be intruder's from Walter Bishop's nightmares but I haven't interviewed them.

All Fiver Stars, but one. And that asshat complained about editing. So, heck hell with him. To.
 
2013-10-30 12:34:37 PM

verbaltoxin: trappedspirit: What's up with the NPR hate?  I had not heard of the Amazon Vine program before.  And I thought looking at the predicted versus actual biased data figures was worth note.  Y'all people be on Monday part 3 or something.

I listen to NPR but they tend to report a lot of, "Well, DUH," items.


I find NPR to be the least offender in this area but YMMV
 
2013-10-30 01:30:29 PM
I am a proud supporter of NPR but lately there have been a lot of...obvious stories. But hey, I like hard hitting news and general interest. Thanks NPR. :)
 
2013-10-30 01:42:51 PM
I'm impressed at the amount of reviews for stupid things.  I was shopping for a new covered litter box for my cats, and there were hundreds of reviews for litter boxes.  Some had like 600, 400, or 300 reviews.  I was looking for certain dimensions, but couldn't help skimming the reviews once I noticed the numbers.  They were often detailed and extensive.  Hundreds of people, putting real effort into reviewing the plastic box their cats shiat in.  Incredible.
 
2013-10-30 02:49:54 PM
Nooooooooooo.....
 
2013-10-30 03:03:35 PM

ckccfa: I'm impressed at the amount of reviews for stupid things.  I was shopping for a new covered litter box for my cats, and there were hundreds of reviews for litter boxes.  Some had like 600, 400, or 300 reviews.  I was looking for certain dimensions, but couldn't help skimming the reviews once I noticed the numbers.  They were often detailed and extensive.  Hundreds of people, putting real effort into reviewing the plastic box their cats shiat in.  Incredible.


Yeah, but cat owners are like that because of toxoplasmosis.  It affects your brain.
 
2013-10-30 03:17:30 PM

Sqrxz: I am a proud supporter of NPR but lately there have been a lot of...obvious stories. But hey, I like hard hitting news and general interest. Thanks NPR. :)


NPR doesn't come on until 5am here, so until then there's only the BBC.  The Beeb makes me want to stick forks in both my ears.
 
2013-10-30 04:18:08 PM

BigBooper: The amazon reviews that tick me off are the people who review an item negatively for something that has nothing to do with the product. I've seen people who had an item damaged in shipping, or have an issue with the manufacturers political affiliations, give an item a bad review. Of course nothing is as bad as the fake positive reviews, but stupid people are a close second.


i only read the negative reviews. If most of the negative reviews are something like 'when it came I realized that the color just doesn't match my drapes' kind of reviews then i figure it's a good product.
 
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