In a world that seems to run on online shopping, it’s no surprise that reviews are a critical part of that process. Whether you’re buying a toaster on Amazon or opening a new bank account, reviews can give you some insight into whether a product is right for you while revealing any issues that former consumers have faced with that product or service.
However, even then, you run the risk of not knowing whether a particular review is in fact, reliable. As much as we’d like to hope that the reviews we find on Amazon or from other retailers are reputable, they may be paid reviewers who may not have even tried the product themselves. Still, this doesn’t mean that you should disregard all online reviews as unusable. Instead, you can put in a bit of extra effort to find reliable reviews and get the insights you need on whatever it is you’re looking to purchase.
Consult some experts.
Your first step with many purchases should be to see whether industry experts have reviewed the product you’re considering. A new investor might look to a Robinhood crypto review, for instance, as a way to begin understanding the intricacies of cryptocurrency, ETF, and brokerage accounts while learning whether Robinhood is the financial service and mobile app they should use to begin their crypto and overall trader experience. For nearly any industry, you’ll find websites or individuals who spend their business days finding and reviewing the most popular products and services in that field and sharing their professional insights with the world. When an expert recommends a certain item, you can assume that it’s probably a decent option for you as an amateur.
Compare various retail stores.
It can be difficult to tell whether a particular review or group of reviews is reliable and legitimate. However, when you seek out a wide variety of insights from various sources, you’re more likely to find that at least the bulk of them, if not all, are reputable. Say you’re trying to determine whether a certain jacket is a worthwhile expense. Rather than hoping for the best, you can turn to a variety of women’s clothing stores, outlets, and other retailers to see what customers who’ve made prior purchases have thought of the same or similar jackets. After browsing a few of these sites, you’ll get a better idea of whether this jacket meets your needs and find out if there’s anything you should know before adding it to your shopping cart.
Check with formal resources.
Expert and customer reviews are excellent resources, however, they’re not just there for your benefit. There are other resources, though, that aim to work in consumers’ favor. By consulting organizations like the Better Business Bureau, you can determine whether a company—and, by extension, their products—are reputable and reliable. The BBB won’t necessarily offer a detailed customer review, but they will help you to determine whether you should be dealing with the company in the first place, or looking for the same or a similar product elsewhere.
Contact real-life references.
With some products and services, you can inquire with a company directly to see whether they have customer testimonials and reviews that you can consult. However, you can also find such references in your own day-to-day life. Talk to friends, family, colleagues, and others in your life to see if they’ve used a certain product, service, company, etc. Even if they haven’t tried the specific option you’ve been considering, they may have a glowing review for a similar option you may enjoy working with or purchasing even more. And with your loved ones’ insight, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve likely made a great choice.
With online shopping dictating everything from wedding dresses to workplace essentials, reviews from customers, experts, and other resources are critical tools, especially when dealing with final sales, limited time clearance, or promotion-backed items. However, these tools can be only used as such when they’re reliable, reputable reviews. In many cases, it’s difficult to tell whether a certain comment is, in fact, reputable. Nevertheless, there are certain methods you can use to find the most reliable reviews possible and ensure that you’re getting genuine insights into the product or service you’re looking to invest in.