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Ordered my first gun online RedHawkSteel Firearms General Discussion 5 03-09-2017 08:44 AM

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Old 03-29-2017, 06:05 PM
Pagan student Pagan student is offline
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In my experience sportmans guide reviews are pretty representative of the products. They don't seem to cherry pick reviews, I've always been happy with their products. (no, I am not affiliated with sportsmans guide.)
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:15 PM
vivisky vivisky is offline
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I am a freelance worker, and utilize several online booking services to get hired. I PAY hundreds of dollars in advance (whether I get any jobs) to have a little blurb on their site, plus 4 to 7 percent of each booking.

The site instructs visitors to "choose" to buy according to reviews....mine are all 5 star but not as many reviews as other vendors, mostly because I don't work for cheap prices.

I have learned that several of my competitors engaged their friends and family to "hire" them, and then write glowing reviews....for work that was never done. Sure they paid a 4-7 percent fee, but they essentially bought the "positive" reviews, and thus more jobs.

I tried to complain to the websites but they had to cite "privacy" issues, and besides if I was unhappy with their system, then I didn't have to advertise there. Hmmm.

Before the advent of massive internet use, pre-2000, I had lots of work that paid well, and relied on word-of-mouth advertising, and some business cards and brochures here & there.

Now, I compete online with buyers wanting slick prepared (edited) videos of best-case scenario jobs, where nothing ever goes slightly wrong, and there are no actual general public around to mess things up, or outdoors there is never any bad weather. And there has to be dozens of awesome reviews!

But only about 5 percent of people leave a review.

Worse yet, some competitors have taken to including language in their contract which says the buyer cannot leave negative reviews; the other thing that competitors do is offer a $25 VISA gift card upon posting a positive review.

I also mentioned those things to the event websites and they gave me the brushoff.

So, not only do I not trust online reviews, but I feel they are completely irrational.

The only way they could possibly be accurate is if 100% of actual purchasers left a review which responded to the exact same issues as every other review. 5 stars because you loved the group's sexy females is not the same as 5 stars left because you received prompt, accurate replies to your questions.
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:01 PM
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A_SonofLiberty A_SonofLiberty is online now
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Interestingly, one of today's paid surveys was on reviews like the OP brought up.
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 2wheelslave View Post
Last month I spent $600 on electronics from amazon that all had to be returned as none of them would work properly either out of the box or very shortly after.

All of these products had stellar reviews numbering in the hundreds.

I can't imagine I just had that poor of luck. It would seem either the company itself is making reviews or they are paying people. Another factor could simply be most people weren't using this equipment as often as I was. I'm sure a lot of people use it once or twice, write a review, and when it craps out on them a year down the road they just write it off.
Sight unseen, with no more information than what you posted, I will bet that the "electronics" you bought were all made in China. Of course that's an easy bet because the majority of electronic products in the US _are_ made in China and the percentage goes way up for any sort of consumer-grade electronic products.

The point here is that I will also bet that if you looked over those hundreds of reviews, you would find that there were lots and lots of 4 & 5 star reviews, almost no 2 & 3 star reviews, and a bunch of 1 star reviews like the ones you posted.

This is very common on Amazon for two completely separate reasons.

1 - Most Chinese factories have absolutely no quality control. The products themselves are usually good designs (often copied from US or Japanese products). Most of the individual items getting assembled come out just fine and work well (at least at first). But sometimes the kids and old ladies who are assembling products do make mistakes, or simply are too rushed to solder all the connections, or just stop to swat a fly... whatever the reason, occasionally a product goes out the assembly line not working. In a good company, there would be either a person or a machine that checked each item to make sure it worked. But one way that Chinese factories keep costs down is that they don't take time to check the products, unless the buyer makes them. The best products are the ones imported by companies (like Apple) who keep their own full time staff at the factories to check every item. Next come the ones imported by companies that check the products after they arrive in the US, some check everything, most settle for spot checks (maybe one per box, maybe one per shipment), but the simple fact is that Americans love to buy cheap junk so we buy from the company with the lowest price - and that lowest price comes by not checking anything at all. For some products this is ok, especially if the company has a good return policy and a fast turn around time. If the first one you get is bad, they send you a new one, until you get one that works. If a company is selling Chinese Widgets from a factory that makes a perfect Widget 90% of the time, they will probably have seven 5-star reviews, two 4-star reviews from people who just want to nit pick, and one 1-star review for an average rating of 4.4 which looks pretty decent when you see the reviews - and it works out fine if you get one of the 9 perfect widgets, but not so good if you get that 1 out of 10 that happens to be bad.

2. The second issue is just on Amazon. That problem is the "Fulfilled by Amazon" program. Keep in mind that the vast majority of stuff sold ON Amazon is NOT sold BY Amazon. Amazon itself sells very few items, mostly they just provide the online advertising and order processing system. In that, they are much like eBay or When you order something on Amazon, they send the order to the seller and they take their cut and send the rest of the money to the seller. It is up to the seller to ship you the item. UNLESS the seller has signed up for Fulfilled by Amazon. Under the FbA program, the seller has already sent all his stock to Amazon and they keep it in one or more of their giant warehouses. Then when you order the item, Amazon tells the seller he sold one, Amazon takes their cut and sends the seller his part of the money, Amazon then ships you your item from the stock at the warehouse nearest to you. You get your item quicker and everybody wins! Well, not quite. Let's say that you buy a Widget that is sold by a seller using FbA. Amazon tells the seller that you bought a Widget and sends him some money. Amazon sends the order to the warehouse where a clerk (or more often a machine) goes down the shelf and gets a widget, puts it in a box, sticks a shipping label on the box, and away it goes. The problem comes when there are several sellers who all sell Widgets, because under the FbA program Amazon does not separate the stock from different sellers of the "same" item. If three different companies are all selling Widgets on Amazon and all three are signed up for FbA, all their Widgets are just in one big pile. When you order one, Amazon just grabs the first one they see. Under the FbA contract, the seller is prohibited from having any marking on the package saying who the seller is, the package is marked with just the Amazon stock number for that item. Each seller sets his own price. So one seller may charge $30 for his widgets, one seller may charge $27.50, and one seller may charge $25. When you go on Amazon and search for WIDGET, Amazon brings up a listing for a Widget from one of the sellers -- down in the fine print there will be a mention of "available from # sellers starting at $##" but most people never click on that link. So let's say you are looking at the listing for a Widget costing $27.50 and you order one. You pay $27.50 and Amazon tells the seller that he sold a widget. Amazon takes one off the number of widgets that he has in stock and credits his account with his share of the selling price (about $15). Then Amazon ships you A widget -- the widget they send you might have come from any of the sellers. You don't know, the sellers don't know, and even Amazon doesn't know, because none of the individual items are marked with the name of the seller, only with the Amazon stock number for a Widget. All of this works fine, so long as all the Widgets really are identical. But what if one of those sellers is actually selling Widgets that come from a factory that makes their widgets slightly off spec, or even selling Widgets that he got from factory rejects. It does happen.

And, oh by the way, there is another problem that happens with Amazon.

Amazon requires most sellers to accept returns with no questions asked. For many kinds of products, the majority of returned products may not have anything wrong with them. This is especially true of electronics, where the buyer may have simply changed his mind, or might just be too stupid to figure out how to work the item he bought (happens to ham radios all the time). When these products get returned, they are inspected, and if the inspector says the product is ok, it goes right back in stock and gets sold as NEW - not used, not refurbished, it gets sold as NEW! People have actually received "new" radios from Amazon that even still had a note inside the box from the first buyer saying what was wrong with the radio!!
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:52 PM
RealCoolDude RealCoolDude is offline
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Online reviews are tricky. I find that I often look for negative reviews and ignore the positive reviews. this will give you the correct information about the product and how often it fails. Ordering online is not like in the store.

Being a product reviewer myself for my website, I look for third part reviews not on sales sites about the product. Google and youtube is your friend to get the correct information. bypass all those that are tying to sell you on the product from the start, or ones that don't point out the problem areas! GL
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ramblingvanman View Post
Don't ask how I know, but there are still paid reviews on Amazon.
Amazon sellers have gotten slick and bypassed the ban on paid reviews by giving free or discounted items in exchange for people's review. They know that these reviews will almost always be 4 or 5 stars (usually 5 stars), because expectations are lower when the cost is less. Plus the sellers choose people who write a lot of reviews.. meaning they buy tons of stuff they don't need, and probably aren't careful, frugal shoppers like many of us.
Here's a random example of a product with several compensated reviews: ("I received this product at a discount for an unbiased review"):

Reviewers like that are usually offered the item by the seller - they did not need it in the first place, and often don't know a lot about the item. So they will have a very different perspective than someone who is actively shopping around for one and often knows what to look for in a good one.

I automatically distrust any seller who resorts to that tactic!

By the way, there's a website that detects fake reviews on any Amazon product - It scans the reviews using a computer algorithm, so it's not 100% accurate, but it's still pretty cool. They graded the above product an "F".
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:04 PM
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hawgy54 hawgy54 is offline
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When out of town, we usually ask the locals where to go eat. Had good luck that way.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:51 PM
NBA89 NBA89 is offline
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There are pretty good products that also have negative reviews. In the same way, there are positive reviews for very awful products. So the way I choose products are according to my known to the brand and its totally sales. Hottest sells are my first priority.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:39 PM
NerveGas NerveGas is offline
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I agree that it is hard to find honest reviews. In my opinion if someone sends you something to test and review, it's because they already know you will give it a good review. Also, if you are happy with a product, great, you probably don't go online and brag about it. If you're unhappy, then everyone is going to know it.
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