Common Reviewing Questions

questionQ and A about Reviews:

What if I get a product for review but it arrives broken?   It does happen from time to time that an item will arrive broken, especially if it had a long transit time from China or was not packaged properly, and you never know what can happen during transit.   In this case my standard practice is to contact the seller to see if they want me to return the item, if they would like send another replacement item or if they would like me not review that item (since I can’t because it’s broken).

In most cases, the company will send me a replacement product and then I do the review after I have gotten the replacement.  Some companies do not respond to my inquiry.  In that case I just toss the item and do not review it.  I have never yet had a company ask me to return an item, and this is likely because it would cost them more money for me to do this.

What if I get an item, but I really hate it – should I give it a bad review?  Of course!   Reviewing means you are trying to help people decide if they would like it.   I always read negative reviews of a product first, because sometimes those are the most instructive.   You don’t have to be mean with your review using inflammatory words, but you can give a thoughtful (and honest) review that highlights why you didn’t like it.   Be as specific as possible to help people understand your rating.  Maybe you didn’t like a piece of clothing because it was sized too big, but perhaps someone else will see that and think they would like a little extra room.   A bad review doesn’t always dissuade a purchase, it informs the consumer which is the point of doing reviews.

The hidden fear behind this question is likely “won’t the seller get mad at me and not offer future products for review?”  Sometimes that may be true.  Not always though, if it is a reputable seller.    But how can you grow your reviewing hobby if you don’t give honest reviews people will appreciate?

What if I get offered the same item twice, can I still review it?  If you want to, sure – as long as it isn’t the exact same listing that you reviewed before (and you would be prevented from leaving a second review).  I have reviewed several “identical” items from various sellers… but I always leave a different review each time.  NO COPY PASTING!  That is bad etiquette, and if others pick up on this you will be looked down upon – perhaps even ridiculed publicly.   Each product gets their own unique review.

Can I sell or give away the item when I am done with the review?  If the company or entity you are getting the review item from says that’s ok – then it’s ok.  Some entities require that you retain ownership and never resell.  It is vital you find that information out first so you don’t violate anyone’s terms of service.

What if a seller contacts me after the fact and asks me to change my review, or some other request like adding the item to my wish list?  Changing a review at the sellers’ request is usually a no-no in my book.   If they point out something I forgot to mention that I think would add to the review, then I might consider it (this has never happened though).  If the request does not violate any terms of service, you may feel free to comply, or not comply based on your own conscience.  I do not add items to my wishlist that the seller asks me to, just because my wishlist is used by family to buy gifts.  I consider it a personal list, therefore not for “business” use.


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