Most of the goods I buy come from online retailers. Stuff like books, dvd’s, cd’s, games, clothes and whatnot. Almost all these webshop’s contain some kind of product review or feedback system. Some review systems are simple. You leave your name, a small review and a rating from 1 to 5 stars. Other systems let you leave some more information on different subjects. These subjects can be your opinion on the packaging, shipping, after sales and again, whatnot.
And whilst I appreciate the opinions of others who bought the product I don’t understand why these people would take the time and effort to fill in the review form. In most cases that is. If it’s a new book on a subject you really like I can understand one would leave a product review. Especially if you want to help promote your favorite programming language or some kind of programming library.
Firstly, the problem is that these product review systems are ultimately moderated by the retailers. Negative product reviews usually get through unaltered, maybe some bad words are filtered out, which is fine by me. But with the more advanced systems I was talking about I rarely read a review complaining about packaging, delivery or customer support. This appears to be a good thing, but I find it hard to believe that every purchase results in a good experience. I also don’t understand why these webshop’s actually let you leave feedback about these kind of things on their website. Why would you want potential customers read about bad experiences? It makes no sense.
Second, why would you want to provide a free product review to a commercial website that wants you to buy the product first? Yes, you can’t review it until you’ve had the time to really check it out, ergo you have to buy it first. But if you want people to know how much you like the product, why would you help increase the pagerank of that particular product page for that particular retailer?
I much rather read a product review on a independent website or personal website. So instead, if you do want to review a product, as a consumer, please put it on your personal website (like a blog) and not on the retailers website. If you don’t have a personal website, try a independent website or perhaps the website of the publisher to leave your review on.