Here are two of my favorite things to do, as I am lay awake in bed:
The first is to visit the Amazon App on my iPad and check out the “Deals of the Day.”
While the deals aren’t anything to write home about most of the time, there are those rare occasions when a gem is unearthed. Like the time I found the Blu-Ray version of Interstellar at a fraction of the retail price.
The second is to read the Amazon Unlimited book reviews.
If you have never taken the time to compare a one-star or five-star review, you should. They are almost as entertaining as any of the unlimited books being offered.
Take this five-star review: “You’ll find yourself holding your own breath, as this sharply written novel veers from a casual stroll to its all-out, ragged breath pursuit of the conclusion. Masterfully put together and almost impossible to lay aside until (regretfully) you come to the last page.”
Compared to this one-star review for the same book: “Glad it was free through kindle unlimited, I got to chapter 10 and was yawning up a storm. Maybe it gets better but I gave it enough time. Boring describes it well.”
(For those on Twitter, follow the hilarious account at @AmzonMovieRevws, which does the same for customer movie reviews.)
Can we believe the Amazon reviews?
I only trust the two to four-star reviews but Amazon hopes you can believe them all.
That’s why I’m not surprised that Amazon has recently sued 1000 fake reviewers. This particular crackdown centers on people seeking money in exchange for a positive review (for as little as $5). Thing is, vendors can still ask friends to rate them favorably and review their own products as another user.
Sometimes, though, there are flaws in a system that won’t ever get fixed. And the product reviews on Amazon are one of those flaws we are stuck with.
Will tainted reviews keep us from using Amazon?
Not a chance.
Amazon offers everything, all of which you can order in the convenience of your home. Nothing beats that. That’s also why Amazon has crashed the retail industry.
My thoughts on Amazon reviews are this: When we visit Amazon, we already know basically what we are going to buy. We are simply choosing the cheapest way to have it arrive on our doorstep. Remember, with Amazon Prime, there is no shipping and handling. That’s important to a lot of people. It is for me.
For most, the reviews are meaningless, unless that product has unanimously negative reviews. Ultimately, those are superficial anecdotes to a process we would be completing regardless of their presence.
Or, if you’re like me, they serve as some light-hearted entertainment at the end of a busy day – and demonstrate that the Amazon brand is more powerful than the reviews included on its site.