Before buying a product, most buyers to be wise to try to look for consumer reviews online. Reviews done by enthusiasts and professionals maybe more comprehensive, but some would also prefer reading about a product or a service according to the regular Joe. If you’re fond of sharing your opinion and analysis on what makes a product good or bad, then you might also find it enjoyable to write on customer review websites.
Prior to clicking that “buy now” link, or checking out at the shop, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes browsing for reviews, so that you don’t end up buying a mediocre product or paying for lousy service. Here are a few ways you can find customer review websites.
Speciality magazines or websites. One of the best places to find product reviews are magazines or websites run by enthusiasts in any particular field. For instance, computer magazines like PC World, Computerworld and Hardware Magazine often run reviews of different computers and even gadgets like mobile phones and digital cameras. Photography magazines like Shutterbug regularly holds reviews of cameras, lenses and other accessories. While these reviews are mostly by professionals and enthusiasts, some allow consumer reviews on their websites.
Retailer websites and auction sites. Online retailers also run reviews of the products they sell. Reviews are mostly written by people who have bought the items themselves, and would like to make recommendations. You should watch out for these, though, since you can expect reviews to be mostly positive, unless the auction site allows unfiltered and uncensored reviews (as it’s in their interest for people to view products favorably). In auction sites, it’s not only the products that have reviews, but also the retailer or the seller. Sites like Amazon.com runs a review and rating system for its products.
Review websites. Some consumer-oriented websites have also started focusing on featuring both editorial reviews and consumer reviews. Sites like Epinions and Review Centre are sites run exclusively for reviews of various products. These include computers, electronics, cars, and even household applicances.
Blogs. Aside from review websites, you can also find good product reviews on blogs. Some blogs focus on technological niches like computers, mobile phones, gadgets, and cars. These authors regularly review products sent in by distributors and manufacturers. Some writers even purchase the items that they review. Some authors, who are enthusiasts of various lifestyle activities like eating out, travel and tourism would also write reviews on food, airlines, resorts and the like. One caveat, though: you should watch out for blogs that are run solely for reviewing products, and who accept payment for sponsored reviews. These might be biased towards writing mostly positive reviews.
The Internet has made product and service reviews more accessible. Not only can you search for editorial and consumer reviews online, but now anyone who has experience with a product or service can post reviews on various websites. Before considering purchasing a product, be sure to refer to consumer reviews online to determine if it’s a good buy or not.