When a person is researching a product he/she is interested in, many people make the mistake of going just by the product description alone. This is not always sufficient when you want to get the best information possible regarding a product or service.
Keep in mind that product descriptions by their very nature are part of the marketing strategy in most cases, and the claims made do not always hold water. The best way to get accurate information about a product you are interested in is to read product reviews.
There are two different kinds of reviews that should be considered when researching a product or service.
Product Reviews: Editorial Reviews
The first type is the editorial review. An editorial review is the type of review you may read in a magazine or any other type of publication. Editorial reviews are not always useful; the reputation of the publisher should be taken into account when reading every review.
A publication may be paid to publish the review, or the writer involved may be paid to write the review with a positive bias. This can call the reliability of the information into question and unfortunately this kind of thing happens all the time.
This does not mean that all editorial reviews are biased, it is simply a fact that needs to be taken into consideration.
Product Reviews: Customer Reviews
The second type is actual customer reviews and this is sometimes a more valuable kind of review. You have to read several different reviews to get a big picture because of the fact that anyone can post this kind of review and one persons opinion is not always enough to give you accurate information on the product.
Here is where another tricky element comes into play. The affiliates and bloggers who are paid to post such information. Many times the person posting the review may not have ever even seen the product, they simply research it a little and put together a believable story.
Fortunately, there is a way to tell most of the paid reviews apart. You will read a review pointing out either all the positive qualities and none of the negative ones, or extremely small and minor negative points with a link to the product or service at the end of the review.
This is a telltale sign that this was written for profit and/or commission. The person who posted the review may have been paid for writing the article upfront, by commission on sales generated through readers who click the link in the review, or both.
If the article does not look sugar coated, is short and to the point, and there are no links involved it is probably a legitimate review, although I have to add that, there is nothing wrong with adding a link.
These are usually not serious obstacles to finding reliable product information; simply knowing what to look for will allow you to sort out the propaganda from the true information.
Advertising has become a huge market and it is a good thing there are a lot of avenues available for it, but for the consumer who is unaware this can be unfortunate. To summarize, when reading editorial reviews make sure the publisher is professional and has a good reputation.
When reading customer reviews look for commercial links and “unbelievable too good to be true” claims. Keep these 2 points in mind and you are in a position to make better decisions when it comes to purchasing a product or service you are interested in.