A discussion on negative reviews and reviewer integrity

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Virisenox_
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A discussion on negative reviews and reviewer integrity

A small company contacts you. They just started out on Amazon, and they want you to review a flashlight. You say yes, of course.
The flashlight is bad. It’s a generic light that you’ve seen hundreds of times all over AliExpress and Amazon. It has multiple problems that you describe in detail. The bad outweighs the good. This flashlight is not worth the money.
While you’re writing your main review, you get an automated email from Amazon asking you to review the flashlight. You do, and it’s not a positive review. You point out the big problems and give it two stars because the included cell is actually pretty great.
A few days later the main review is done. The company emails you and thanks you for the feedback, saying they’ll work on the problems, but then the rep asks you to delete your Amazon review. They just got this job, and they’re afraid of losing it. The overall rating on Amazon wasn’t impacted all that much by your two star review; it’s still at 4.5 stars, but the rep is worried nonetheless.

What do you do in this situation?

Reviewer for ThorFire, Olight, Sofirn, and others.

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djozz
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Stay honest. You want that honesty to the buyers too, if the light is crap they should know that. It is sad for a seller to risk their business but how many sellers of bad flashlights can there be?

mmalive
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The bottom line DO NOT POST review. If you can not justify recommendation buying light then do waste your time. Getting “ free “ light means squat if you can not recommend someone buying it due ti quality, UI interface, etc….

I have been approached be a few light companies after seeing some of my reviews. I look at company, do research, etc… if worthy then I review. Otherwise, I say “ not interested “ even if light was “ free “

Virisenox_
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djozz wrote:
Stay honest. You want that honesty to the buyers too, if the light is crap they should know that. It is sad for a seller to risk their business but how many sellers of bad flashlights can there be?

Quite a lot. Have you ever just searched “flashlight” on Amazon? Big Smile
This is what I did.

mmalive wrote:
The bottom line DO NOT POST review. If you can not justify recommendation buying light then do waste your time. Getting “ free “ light means squat if you can not recommend someone buying it due ti quality, UI interface, etc….

I have been approached be a few light companies after seeing some of my reviews. I look at company, do research, etc… if worthy then I review. Otherwise, I say “ not interested “ even if light was “ free “

I disagree with this. Even if it’s known that a light is bad, people still need to know how bad and in what ways. This is especially important on Amazon, where consumers aren’t well informed when it comes to flashlights.

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ToyKeeper
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Virisenox_ wrote:
they want you to review a flashlight. You say yes no, of course.

FTFY.

It’s not infrequent that people want to send me a light in exchange for posting a review. I don’t think I’ve ever taken anyone up on the offer. I don’t do reviews often, and when I do, it’s for lights I genuinely think are exceptionally good.

… well, except that one time when I got an unusually disappointing light, and I did a review about how the manufacturer’s specs were all wrong.

The main questionable thing I run into is deciding how to post about lights I was involved in making… because I’m not an impartial reviewer, so I can’t really claim to have an objective opinion.

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[/quote]I disagree with this. Even if it’s known that a light is bad, people still need to know how bad and in what ways. This is especially important on Amazon, where consumers aren’t well informed when it comes to flashlights.[/quote]

So you would post negative review? Give the company some dual diligence with publicity? Total working against ALL facets of reviews. I would rather NOT give reviews and WASTING time if product was “ bad “ in first place. Do your research before accepting any type of “ free “ review samples. You said yourself “ bad light “ in your original post. Why then accept reviewing already knowing this? Does not make to much “ sense “.

If you CAN NOT honestly recommend light then NOT worth it to review.

BTW, Most of reviews are NON informative or NOT honest on Amazon anyway.

Virisenox_
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Virisenox_ wrote:
they want you to review a flashlight. You say yes no, of course.

FTFY.

It’s not infrequent that people want to send me a light in exchange for posting a review. I don’t think I’ve ever taken anyone up on the offer. I don’t do reviews often, and when I do, it’s for lights I genuinely think are exceptionally good.

I understand what you mean, but most of the time, that’s the only way I get lights to review, and I believe in reviewing everything, if only to provide constructive criticism to the company. The only reviews I’ve turned down were items that weren’t flashlights.

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Virisenox_
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There’s some good discussion here. It seems as if I have some different ideas on reviewing from the rest of you. I’m just going to keep doing what feels right.

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Stay with your opinion and add that the seller tries to influence reviewers.

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From the Amazon reviewer guidelines page.

Not allowed: “Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products, refunds, or reimbursements) or on behalf of anyone else.

One time I received a message from someone offering me a free light in exchange for writing a review on Amazon. I responded that such was against Amazon’s terms of service, and as such, I could not write a review for them on Amazon. Amazon is such a useful service, I am not willing to break the rules and jeopardize my access there for any promotion. Plus doing so would be the wrong thing to do.

However, I did offer to write a review for them here on BLF. They accepted my offer and I wrote the review. In my BLF review I included a disclaimer stating that the light had been provided by the manufacturer for review. And I gave an honest review describing all the pros and cons of the light.

I have occasionally written reviews of products on Amazon. But I only do this when I pay full price and actually buy the product on Amazon. When I do write a review on Amazon it is never because anyone asked me to do so, and I always give an honest review.

NOTE: If a manufacturer updates and fixes issues with their product I may amend my review, adding an addendum stating which issues have supposedly been fixed. After all, this may be useful information for buyers. However, I would only do this on my initiative. Since sellers and manufacturers do not pay me to write reviews on Amazon, I never receive requests to change reviews.

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Firelight2 wrote:
From the Amazon reviewer guidelines page.

Not allowed: “Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products, refunds, or reimbursements) or on behalf of anyone else.

Its funny because Amazon is litteraly FULL of shills and fake reviews! And there is communities collecting free ‘‘gifts’‘.

Virisenox_
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Omega_17 wrote:
Firelight2 wrote:
From the Amazon reviewer guidelines page.

Not allowed: “Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products, refunds, or reimbursements) or on behalf of anyone else.

Amazon is litteraly FULL of shills and fake reviews!

Yeah, I suppose I am in the wrong in that regard.
Now I’m in an even worse position than before. I reviewed the flashlight in exchange for a free flashlight, so I should remove my review as it goes against the terms of service. On the other hand, I should leave it up as it’s the only review that points out the flaws of the light.

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Omega_17 wrote:
Its funny because Amazon is litteraly FULL of shills and fake reviews! And there is communities collecting free ‘‘gifts’‘.

Less so than before. The other year Amazon purged all of the obvious free reviews. I noticed an 80% drop in reviews for some models.

Try the largest, fastest, most flexible flashlight search engine: parametrek.com

40 brands, 2027 models and still growing!

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I think it’s great to review “free” products only if you will be impartial. Some people believe that you can’t be impartial in a review of a “free” product. Well, I guess those people shouldn’t review “free” products then. Wink Some of us were born to be critical. You could literally give me a $1000 bill and ask me what I think of it, and I could tell you all it’s flaws without blinking. Nobody can buy my vote, and I would certainly turn down a review “opportunity” if it were made known up front that a positive review is the only review that would be acceptable. I’ve heard of people getting that kind of “offer” but I’ve never been presented with it, thankfully.

I strongly disagree that a “bad” product should never get a review. Those, even moreso, need to get an honest review, so that people are fairly warned. Not that I’m going to buy a bunch of known bad products just to do reviews of them, but if one were given to me for a review, I’d treat it just like any other product review I’ve done.

As for the specific question in the OP, I’d say you shouldn’t change or remove your review on Amazon. If the company wants to be known as a good company, then they need to do their proper research before selling items that are junk. It’s up to them to earn a good reputation, not try to buy it with fake reviews, or in this case, by deleting unwanted negative reviews. It seems the rep isn’t worried so much about his company as his own job with the company. That makes sense, if he hasn’t been there long and has already come up with somebody giving a bad review for their products. But that’s not your fault. As long as the review is true, there’s nothing else you can do and maintain your integrity.

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Virisenox_ wrote:
I believe in reviewing everything

Negative reviews are useful. They help inform people about the product, including both the good and bad aspects of it. It’s not always worth the effort though. Not every battle is worth fighting. Sometimes negative reviews are appropriate, sometimes no review at all is a better choice.

Firelight2 wrote:
reviews on Amazon

Amazon reviews are both useful and … not. All too often, the reviewers there don’t know enough to be able to say anything really useful about a product. So it’s a good idea to search for reviews on enthusiast forums whenever possible. But when that’s not available, Amazon reviews are still better than nothing. Usually.

Amazon has a bunch of other problems though… not just uninformed reviewers. One issue which pops up a lot is when a single product listing has multiple vendors supplying the product, especially when they’re all “fulfilled by Amazon”. They put all the items into a single bin and pull one at random at shipping time. In theory that should be okay, but in practice it causes problems. Not all vendors actually sell the same product, so they get original items in the same bin as cheap knock-offs, and there’s no way to guarantee which one you’ll get.

Another issue which happens a lot there is when a vendor sells a quality item, gets a lot of good reviews, but then abandons or changes their product listing. The listing is then reused to sell a completely different product, often by a different vendor, and it shows up as having a lot of good reviews… even though the new product is junk.

It used to be really good… but things have been going downhill there for a while. These days, I find eBay is typically more reliable. I normally see lower prices there and none of the cross-vendor or cross-product issues found on Amazon. Which isn’t to say every item there is good. Ebay has a lot of junk too. But it’s usually easier to figure out which items and which vendors there are actually good.

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OTOH, if anyone wants to send me some decent free synthesizers in exchange for reviews, I’d totally be up for that. I’ve been wanting a Novation Peak, an Access Virus Ti, an Analog Four MkII, a Digitone, a Waldorf Kyra, etc… I’ll even write a song to demo it. Because that’ll happen anyway, and I may as well include it in the review. Smile

Who wants to send me a free Moog One? Big Smile

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Virisenox_ wrote:
Omega_17 wrote:
Firelight2 wrote:
From the Amazon reviewer guidelines page.

Not allowed: “Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products, refunds, or reimbursements) or on behalf of anyone else.

Amazon is litteraly FULL of shills and fake reviews!

Yeah, I suppose I am in the wrong in that regard.
Now I’m in an even worse position than before. I reviewed the flashlight in exchange for a free flashlight, so I should remove my review as it goes against the terms of service. On the other hand, I should leave it up as it’s the only review that points out the flaws of the light.


Oooohhh. I hadn’t thought of that. I guess the reason they don’t want reviews of “free” products is because those are assumed to be overwhelmingly positive. Your negative post is the opposite of what they expect from a “free” product review. So, I say keep it up if you want to. You’ve done at least thousands of potential buyers a service by telling the truth.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
OTOH, if anyone wants to send me some decent free synthesizers in exchange for reviews, I’d totally be up for that. I’ve been wanting a Novation Peak, an Access Virus Ti, an Analog Four MkII, a Digitone, a Waldorf Kyra, etc… I’ll even write a song to demo it. Because that’ll happen anyway, and I may as well include it in the review. Smile

Who wants to send me a free Moog One? Big Smile


Sure. I’ve got $6000 in my back pocket. Wait, who am I kidding? Ughh

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
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I just say what I don’t like and why, then I might say “but that may be what you want”.
Unless it is really something that no one would like.
Then \I’ll just say I hate this, your mileage may vary.

I also say “they gave me this, but I’m still going to be honest”.

Usually the quirky stuff is just that quirky but i still hate it, like levels that go up then back down.. hate hate hate
(instead of LMH LMH they go LMHM LMHM etc.)

wle

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Virisenox_ wrote:
Now I’m in an even worse position than before. I reviewed the flashlight in exchange for a free flashlight, so I should remove my review as it goes against the terms of service. On the other hand, I should leave it up as it’s the only review that points out the flaws of the light.

No, just keep the objective bad review and point out that people giving good reviews on a bad product either don’t really know anything about flashlights or are fake/bought.

wle
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here is a bad position to be in: they tell you to buy a $100 light and review it, and they will pay you back somehow

you buy the light, pay for it, write the review, but they won;t reimburse til you make the review the way they want

it can happen!

the honest guys will reimburse right away, before the review

wle

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Wellp, there’s negative, and there’s negative. There’s “Holy God, this is the worst piece of crap I ever got, and I feel like I gotta go shower now to get its stank offa me!”, and there’s, “Well, threads need lube, the switch needs to be replaced with something better, blah blah blah”, as in mention the bad but point out what can be done to improve it.

Ultimately, you have to decide if your review would sucker someone into buying something they shouldn’t, or if you’d be grateful in reading an honest review with all the negatives and then be able to make your own informed decision.

Eg, a 10pak of SK68 clones for 13bux is 1.3bux each, so how cheeeeeep can they be? You know they’ve got craptastic off-brand LEDs and garbage drivers, yet despite the bevy of “Wow! These Are Great! I Got 2 Packs To Give Away To All My Friends Who Are Just As Wowed As I Am, And Some To Keep For Myself!” type comments, you really should warn the unsuspecting that even for a buk each, they’re still garbage.

You wanna dress up a turd somewhat, have at it, but do be honest with the essentials.

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wle wrote:
here is a bad position to be in: they tell you to buy a $100 light and review it, and they will pay you back somehow

you buy the light, pay for it, write the review, but they won;t reimburse til you make the review the way they want

it can happen!

the honest guys will reimburse right away, before the review

On Amazon??? Easy. Trash it in the reviews, then a-z return it.

Problem solved.

 

I had one mfr send me a light to review, did it. Genuinely nice light, no problems being honest. They didn’t want me to review another, and said my review, while complimentary to the light, was “too professional”.

They just wanted a quick “Wow! Great light!!!111oneoneone”. Go figure…

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I did a wood stove fan accessory review not too long ago for a chinese seller. The product was a complete POS, gave it 1 star, and pointed out the reasons with photos why it was bad. Vendor refused to refund my money. I told them they had 24hrs to refund or I would return it, with an email to Amazon how this vendor was attempting to trade product for good reviews. Didn’t hear from the vendor, so I returned to Amazon. I noticed my review was the only review for some time, then eventually product became unavailable.

It’s not cheap for a seller to have a customer return an item to Amazon FBA..

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https://www.topfreetest.com/

I don’t know ? Just got a Email from this lot , so ? ????????? Playing the refund game , risky .

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

mmalive
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“The flashlight is bad. It’s a generic light that you’ve seen hundreds of times all over AliExpress and Amazon. It has multiple problems that you describe in detail. The bad outweighs the good. This flashlight is not worth the money. “

The original poster own words above. Why would he review KNOWING PRIOR about issues with light? Makes NO SENSE !!!! Now he comes and asks for our opinion? What would you guys say after reading post?

Waste of time CORRECT?

old4570
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Talk is talk …
Peoples got things to say ..
OP was a catalyst !

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

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Virisenox_ wrote:
A small company contacts you. They just started out on Amazon, and they want you to review a flashlight. You say yes, of course. The flashlight is bad. It’s a generic light that you’ve seen hundreds of times all over AliExpress and Amazon. It has multiple problems that you describe in detail. The bad outweighs the good. This flashlight is not worth the money.

I think there is an implied,“They ship it to me without saying which flashlight” in there after the review is accepted?

*Click Click*

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DavidEF wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
Who wants to send me a free Moog One? Big Smile

Sure. I’ve got $6000 in my back pocket. Wait, who am I kidding? Ughh

It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Wink

DavidEF
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ToyKeeper wrote:
DavidEF wrote:
ToyKeeper wrote:
Who wants to send me a free Moog One? Big Smile

Sure. I’ve got $6000 in my back pocket. Wait, who am I kidding? Ughh

It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Wink


Actually, I’d bet real money right now that, because it’s you, if you were asking for something that would enhance your ability to do all the things you do around here, for which we are eternally grateful, and if it were price-wise within the grasp of a quick fund-raiser, you’d have what you wanted in short order. Somebody would start collecting funds, find the item at best price, get your delivery information, and make it happen.

But I’m sure you know that, hence the $6000 synthesizer request. Wink

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
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