A while back, I wrote a post and we discussed how important customer generated ratings are before we make a purchase. How much do we really use them?

So, for the past few weeks I’ve tried to take notice of the “why this” before I purchase something. Here’s my very unscientific results.

Beauty products: I do not look at Amazon reviews before I buy beauty products. For some things I buy brands that I have bought before and that I love. That doesn’t mean I am unwilling to try out new things- but when I try out something new, it’s based on a magazine articles such as “Best eye creams for undereye puffiness”. I know that these items are often pushed by reps, and there’s nothing to guarantee how good they are, but my mind totally falls for the “Best of” articles. I’m happy to say that, for the most part, I am satisfied with the results. For example- I tried Curel Extreme Dry Hand Relief and I love it! Not greasy and really makes my snake like hand skin soft.

Books: You know I source my books from many places, but I do admit that sometimes I let the Goodreads star ratings sway me- I am more likely to read something with a greater average. However, I rarely read the actual reviews…too many spoilers. For the most part, I tend to agree with the aggregate, but there are always exceptions. Sometimes I buy a book without knowing anything, just because something about it appeals to me- like “Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village” which I saw, loved, and my daughter got me for Christmas.

Movies: For the most part, I look at Rotten Tomatoes. However there are some movies I will see just because, such as “Marry Me” which I’m seeing this week and “Death on the Nile” which I’m seeing next week. Doesn’t matter the ratings: I’m seeing them. As you know, I will attempt to see every Oscar nominated movie. However, when there is a film festival I don’t look at movie ratings- I either see what fits into my schedule, or old films that I’ve always wanted to see.

Actual Things: This has to be done on a case by case basis. Here goes:

Wireless earbuds: My pair recently broke, so I needed to replace. They no longer have the exact brand I had, so I did sort my price and rating. I bought the least expensive pair with the highest stars. I did not read individual reviews. I will tell you how they fair when they arrive.

1 Qt Saucepan: Being an empty nester has changed the way I cook (expect a blog about this) I find that I need to modify my equipment. To find this pan I filtered for size, price, non stick and dishwasher safe. I did not look at rating or reviews, but I did buy from a company that I have bought cookware from before and liked.

Cheesecloth bags– filtered for small and cheap. No ratings required.

Rubbermaid containers- This was a replacement for old gross ones. Bought what I had before. No ratings

Shoelaces– filtered for length and type. No ratings.

Foam Roller– one of my goals is to increase my flexibility. I know from experience that my daughter’s foam roller was much too hard on my body, so I DID LOOK AT REVIEWS because I knew that I needed something soft, not dense. This is a case of hearing what actual people said was much better than company literature.

So that wraps up how I use reviews.

Where do you stand on reviews?

Disclaimer: I am not receiving anything in exchange for naming any products. I used my own cash for anything I purchased.

68 thoughts on “How Many Stars Did This Get?

  1. I mostly read and watch regardless of reviews. I will sometimes read a book because of a good review in the Washington Post. I do look at reviews for some items before buying, but only from consumer type sites, not random people.

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  2. I read reviews for books, appliances, cars, restaurants, face creams, things like that. But if I’m buying some insignificant thing that I could easily replace if it’s lousy I generally won’t bother. It can take time to look up everything, and life’s too short. I’m learning that I can’t always trust reviews from places like Amazon. I recently bought some highly rated chargers for my Apple devices. They turned out to be duds even though the ratings were in the thousands and above 4.5 stars. Maybe I got a bad bunch, I don’t know, but at least they were easy to return. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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  3. Saw “Marry Me” (on Paramount+) and it was surprisingly entertaining. I plan on watching “Death on the Nile” but no one is interested but that has never stopped me. I look at Goodreads rating and some reviews but only the negative ones. Figure they more honest than not. Saw one recently on a Becky Chambers book I enjoyed, the reviewer did not share my enthusiasm but I totally agreed with his assessment – the characters were shallow.

    Reviews can be helpful but should be considered with a grain of salt. Too many influencers and I don’t know the reviewer.

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    1. Seeing Marry Me tonight, and death on the Nile next Tuesday (AMC theaters do a 6$ special on tuesdays…) feel free to join us!! But agree on the influences, are they paid, do they have an ax to grind, do they know author…etc…

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  4. Never really been a review person, probably because I find a brand during person shopping, like it well enough and then if purchasing online I see no need. I suppose I’ve been around long enough and now don’t need much that reviews make little difference. I do however research before buying select new products, like a new phone, but reviews aren’t involved.

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      1. I think there’s reviewing reviews and then there’s researching on one’s own from reputable sites, like know electronics or motor vehicle related sites, or places like consumer reports. Those do a breakdown of features, any issues etc. I feel like I’m intelligent enough to make decisions using those methods if I have questions. Star ratings and reviews are are often false, paid, etc. All of that coming from someone who, when she remembers, reviews books on her blog 😉

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  5. I don’t tend to give much attention to book reviews – except for the very few people whose taste I trust to align with mine. My TBR is already significant and I know the authors I like, so I’ve no real need to look elsewhere.

    On “stuff” I will read reviews to see if they address any particular concern I may have, unless it’s something I’m already familiar with from past experience. I didn’t used to give feedback online, but I try to now so that there’s more “real” reviews to balance any which may have been bought.

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      1. I don’t either, although my daughter was visiting and we wanted to go out for coffee and breakfast and she found the cutest and best place I’d never been to before — all based on the number of stars.

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  6. I tend to buy what is recommended by people I know or people they know. My SIL also close friend has excellent taste and I take her shopping with me. Things I wouldn’t look at twice she recommends and I end up very very happy. Some folk I know I would not ever listen to!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If it’s a big purchase item, then I read the review. For example, I was looking for mattresses for my daughters, and I was buying them from Wayfair (sight unseen), so I read quite a few reviews of each one to see if they were, in fact, good purchases.

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      1. I personally wouldn’t, but this was for a 22- and 20-year old who don’t have mattress money…they’ll have to sit on their own mattress when they’re grown with careers lol

        Liked by 1 person

  8. There are many cases when I go by word of mouth but not always. Reviews are time-consuming to research and I can’t be bothered for everyday items. For cars, appliances, big ticket items I’m more likely to review. Books… very rarely. Makeup et al… no. Food, or restaurants, again word of mouth usually and sometimes review, but I’d rather make up my own mind.

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  9. For me it’s case by case, but also, mood by mood. 🙂
    Curious about the foam rollers. Did you find some that work well for you? My husband uses tennis balls. Tennis balls are PAINFUL! But I guess they do a great job of working out the kinks. (I didn’t last three seconds on one.)

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    1. Yes. I found a soft one on Amazon and it’s better to use than the hard one. I’ve had it about two weeks and I’m using it and it’s becoming easier and I feel better. It’s OPTP pro roller soft and I got the 18 inch one.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t look at reviews with one exception: appliances. I will read gobs of reviews before purchasing a washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. Not on Amazon, though. I have to live with these things for many years and want to know every problem people have had. There’s really no way to “test drive” an appliance, as with a car. For books, movies, etc. I will trust my own judgment and if I’m wrong, no biggie. Tried a new taco joint Sunday night – oh gag me, so bad! Never again there.

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  11. It varies by the type of product and the cost of the item. I hate returning items though, so I really do try to make a good choice. I look at reviews but certainly don’t entirely trust them. In general, on Amazon, there is always someone who is dissatisfied. I look for a trend rather than let one bad review turn me away.

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  12. Reviews can be helpful. I like to look at reviews for big ticket purchases. Also things like sheets, towels, certain clothing-if ordering online. I especially like reviews that include other customers photos of some products.

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  13. Thanks for the recommendation about Curel hand lotion, I been looking for a good one, for I hate my hands feeling greasy.
    Did you see “Death in the Nile” ? What did you think? We are planning to see it tomorrow night. I want to see Marry Me as well!

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    1. Saw marry me. Very cute…neither the best nor worst rom com I’ve seen, but better than most. Great chemistry between Lopez and Wilson. Seeing death on the Nile on Tuesday!!

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      1. Great, look forward to seeing it! And will let you know what we think of Death on the Nile. My husband woke up not feeling the greatest sooo depending how he is we may wait to go. You may end up seeing it first.

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  14. I do tons of research before I buy anything. Even little things like a pair of slippers. So, star ratings are very important to me. Especially when it comes to Goodreads; I too have skipped a book based on a low aggregate. And when I haven’t, my star rating pretty much matches everybody else’s, making me wish I had.

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