Don’t be a jerk!

jerkTalking to various sellers who offer products to reviewers like me, I have learned that the majority of reviewers are not very good, or courteous.    One person in particular from a Chinese company gave me a very sad statistic.  Only 1 out of 5 people he sends free product to actually leave a review for the product they receive.   This is outrageous, and as angry as this makes me, I’m more disappointed because that stat doesn’t surprise me.  People are becoming greedy, self-entitled and lazy.

I’m amazed that any companies still offer product at all with such poor results.  I’m glad they do, but it may be some day they decide it’s just not worth it because people are jerks.

My humble plea to you, dear reviewer, is this; make sure you review everything you receive and if you can’t, communicate to the seller why.   Be up front, be prompt in your communications, and be a decent human.  Don’t be a jerk.


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Disclaimers revisited

In a previous blog post “Don’t be a used car salesman” I talked about my personal opinion on what makes a good disclaimer.    Now I’m going to show you some actual examples I pulled from Amazon to compare and contrast.  Some are better than others.   Seeing them side by side may help you develop your own disclaimer statement.

Disclaimer/Disclosure Examples:

  • I received these [product name] at a discounted price in exchange for an honest review. 🙂 I hope that my review is helpful and know that I was in no way swayed by the discounted price. I try to truthfully describe and critique the item to the best of my ability, and usually with a personal touch. Feel free to ask any questions you might have. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Hopefully it helped!
  • I received this product in exchange for my honest feedback.
  • I received this product during a promotion free for my honest review and they are 100% my own opinions. I received no compensation for this review and I am not required to give a good review. I am also not associated with the seller in any way.
  • I received this product for free as part of a promotion.
  • Disclaimer: I received this product free or at a reduced price in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are 100% my own and not influenced by anyone. If my review was helpful to you, would you please vote, yes. I am always honest with my reviews and try to point out facts that a potential customer might find useful and I am not paid for my reviews. Thank you.
  • I got this product at a discount, but I’m not told what to say.   I test all products I get really well and I’m very honest.  I know that some people think that because I got this at a discount my review is fake, but its not true.  I put a lot of time into reviews and it is actually work.   Please click the helpful button if you liked my review.
  • Thank you [Seller Name] for this awesome product. I was fortunate to receive this at no costs for my honest and unbiased testing and review. My opinion is based solely on my personal experienced with the product and was in no way influenced by outside sources.
  • This was furnished to me for the purposes of review. Thanks for reading!
  • I received this product at a discount in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. The opinions expressed here are my own and were not influenced by the discount.

A few of these statements you will observe, include a solicitation for clicking the “helpful” button.  This is not a direct violation of Amazon’s terms of service, but it treads pretty close.   I would avoid it, because by soliciting others for up votes you are in fact applying a light form of review manipulation, which is a prohibited activity in its more blatant forms.  Don’t risk it, just play it safe and keep your disclaimers short and to the point.


Rules for Reviewers

rules for reviewersNo one ever told me how to be a professional reviewer.  It evolved over time.  My style and attitude towards it may be different than other reviewers but I think there are some universal rules of review that should be adhered to (especially on Amazon), and I think all professional reviewers conform to similar standards, even though there is no rule book for it (until now).   Some rules are just basic etiquette, some will save you from violating Amazon’s TOS.

  1. Never accept cash for a review.   The review item is your “compensation”.
  2. Always disclose that you got the product for free or a discount.  Do not bury your disclaimer in the middle of the review, place it in the first sentence or at the very end.
  3. Always plan to have reviews done in a timely manner.
  4. Always communicate with the seller, give order numbers and review links.
  5. Never leave one sentence reviews.
  6. Do not accept reviews where the seller demands a 5 star review in advance.
  7. Proper grammar and spelling are necessary for every review.

If I think of any more Rules for Reviewers I will add a follow up.  Do you have any rules I forgot to mention?


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