Online Reviews: Just How Reliable Are They?

online reviews

People love to give their opinions. It’s so easy to give great tips or reviews. It’s just as easy to give negative reviews and complain. While it’s helpful for consumers to read online reviews, it’s important to be able to read between the lines.

There are more and more sited devoted to letting people post reviews for goods and services. People can also go directly to the company’s website to comment. There is also the big bad world of social media to spread the good or bad word.

If you find yourself confused about conflicting reviews, you’re not alone. A few bad reviews can make or break your company. But we’ve also reached the point where review sites themselves get bad reviews.

How do you sort it out? Let’s take a closer look at what reviews can mean and how to understand what they mean.

Reading Online Reviews

Everything from trying out a new restaurant to going to see a movie, someone somewhere has an opinion about it. While so many of us use review sites to make decisions, how much weight should we put on them?

There are benefits for reading reviews about products and services. The ability to access all the information before we make purchasing choices can save us a lot of time and money.

But, it can also rob us of a great service if we blindly believe what is written. There needs to be some balance. First, let’s start with the pros and cons of reading online reviews.


We often don’t think twice about looking something up online. From downloading a free app to buying new tires, the internet holds the answers.

Free Advice

Reading a review of a product we are considering will give you good insight and information. You can easily sort out the specifics of what you are looking for. It’s always helpful to see what others before you think.

You get a sense of security like you are making the right decision to buy or not. You can find out about quality and whether it’s worth your hard earned money. If most of the reviews are positive, you feel better about your decision.


Negative reviews are not always correct. There can be malaise behind them. You may actually miss out on a great deal because you believed a negative review. It can hurt the business and put shoppers off a particular item or service.

It can become rather time-consuming. If you start sifting through all the reviews and comments, you can actually forget the purpose of going there in the first place.

One minute you are looking up comments and reviews for the new nail salon down the block and the next you are caught in a vortex of videos of cats.

Things to Consider

There are plenty of reasons to mistrust online reviews. It’s always important to read them with an open mind.

All Positive Reviews

When you come across nothing but praise, there should be some red flags going up. This can happen for a number of reasons. If you are on the company’s website, there is a good chance they are controlling what you read.

They can easily take down bad comments and reviews and replace them with glowing ones. Even some that seem on the fence can be placed there. Try sticking to reputable resources like Trust Dale for balance.

Even a company listed on a review site can have false statements. Companies can place their own reviews anonymously to skew the results. A well-known review site with management will have more balanced reviews.

All Negative Reviews

As a rule, this is a bad sign. But how often do you find nothing but horrendous reviews? There is a chance that these have been tampered with.

It can be done by a competitor, to drive business away. It isn’t unheard of for competitors to hire people to write false and negative reviews for all kinds of review sites. There are all types of incentives offered in exchange for negative reviews and comments.

They can also be done by someone seeking revenge. It could have nothing to do with the business, it could even be personal. A bitter ex-business or romantic partner can do a lot of damage.

Make Up Your Own Mind

You should never consider taking the advice from strangers online as the final word. You need to make up your own mind. If it’s a significant purchase you are considering, get more opinions.

Ask Around

Asking your friends and family will help make up your mind. If you are considering going to Jamacia, for instance, ask people who have already been there. Ask around at work.

Even finding a forum about people’s experiences will have good and bad reviews. Some people will have has the time of their lives where others will have hated it.

Sort out the reasons why each felt that way and consider your own feelings. If someone hated the heat, the loud music, and the spicy food, that’s your yardstick.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Go take the car for a test drive, get into the store and check out that new phone or just go to the restaurant for dinner. You are the best judge of what works best for you.

Too often we make decisions based on what other people think. Reading reviews is fine for a start, but it should never be the final word. Try the product or service yourself and make up your own mind.

Comments Closed

Reading online reviews can be very helpful but don’t allow it to be the final answer. You need to consider why there are glowing or bowing comments. make up your own mind.

You will also find someone disagreeing with someone else’s review. Take all of these with the optimism of the smart consumer. You are your own person, don’t let false reviews make up your mind for you.

Here’s a story you don’t need a review about. Keep reading here for tips on your dog’s next birthday bash!

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