I get easily overwhelmed when buying online. I tend to research items obsessively and even then I’m never really satisfied that I’ve found the perfect item.
I love reviews and I read them like gospel. Or, I did, until a few months ago.
Last year I bought a calendar. But, despite being a repeat purchase for me, it was not the same as the year before. I sent it back and wrote a review letting people know that the quality of the calendar had downgraded. The pages were now paper thin, see-through, and definitely wouldn’t hold up.
I noticed a few reviews like mine, but not many. And, then I got an email. The company offered me a full refund and a replacement if I would take down my review AND write a five star review in its place.
I ignored it. But the requests just kept coming. I asked them to stop. They kept coming. Finally, I got online and contacted Amazon and asked them to get them to stop. The emails stopped coming.
This experience made me doubt everything I have ever believed about online shopping.
It has made me more wary and less trusting.
What is the point of reviews if they can be bought?
This experience altered my buying habits. And, I’ve used two websites to help me out.
- Fakespot: A website that analyzes reviews from major retailers like Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and Best Buy (among others) to detect if there is fraud in the reviews.
- Wirecutter: A review website under the umbrella of the NYTimes that gives expert recommendations for products.
But, I’ve also stopped buying online so frequently. In the age of Corona it has been challenging, but we are hitting up our local book/toy store and it has been fun to once again pick out toys and games by touch.