PF Friday Grab a Brew #49: Are all online reviews telling consumers the truth?

grab-a-brew-online-reviewTELL US THE TRUTH PLEASE


Sometimes the only way to know the truth about a product is to try it yourself.

If there is money to be had you can bet someone is waiting for details on how to make extra money, even if it means to tell a lie.

It’s no secret that the internet is like a book of life, meaning that anything and everything you want to know about you can find with the click of  a mouse.

You can easily find a review about anything ranging from online shopping site reviews, online product reviews to online casino reviews, if that’s your thing.

I believe that many people put too much faith in what they read today online not giving much of a second thought as to whether the information is real or fake.


Online reviews


The reality of the matter is that just like with cold calling and marketing schemes these online review schemes can be touch and go because you have to make the final decision as to whether you believe what you are reading or hearing before you spend your money.

My blogging friend Pauline just wrote a timely post about blogging and whether it is an MLM scam and to be honest it really depends on the blogger and what their goals are.

Just remember you are the one who has the final say when it comes to spending your money.


Getting paid to comment


I often take what I read online with a grain of salt depending on the topic and if it sounds too good to be true it likely is. I was reading a Yahoo article this morning about spotting fake online reviews and immediately I was not shocked at all.

The article talked about online consumer review sites and briefly touched on fake Yelp reviews and ways to spot fake reviews which I thought were fairly cut and dry. If you see too many 5 star reviews or advertising of the sorts simply walk away as they are likely just fakes.

When I went to the Yelp site it is a site that deals with reviews on everything you can think of and without a doubt there are going to be the people who get paid to comment, review and market products.

There are people who profit from writing online reviews for product review websites and good ones for that matter and vice versa. You never know who pays who or who hires who to write negative reviews on competitors products or excellent reviews just to draw in the customers to spend their money. I’m not quite up to speed with Canadian Law but I’m sure that verges on the realms of false advertising.

You may even find people who do product reviews that are genuine but don’t tell the full story or only read or used, ate or tested only part of a product for a limited amount of time rather than the specified time.


Reviews and customer complaints


I know that I have done a few online reviews on Canadian Budget Binder and they are all 100% honest and what I believe about the product. The more reviews you read about a product the better especially if you must find an online review to target.

Probably the best plan of action if you are going to read online reviews is to read plenty about the same product if possible as well as consumer reports. You’ll always get those one or two reviews that said it was the worst product they ever bought and it broke within 5 minutes of owning it.

Sure, there will always be that TV that just happened to slip the quality control net in the factory, but it’s enough to push some people over the edge. The reviewer will probably not tell you that they took it back and it was still under warranty so they got a full replacement.

I personally have had the odd product like that and just dealt with the fact that I had a duff one and it wasn’t due to my fists of ham that broke it. Some products don’t last as long as you might expect purely because of the way they are designed, not the fact that they were cheaply made. Remember, you get what you pay for.

The way I look at and sort through reviews is to read at least 20 if I can. Now I take the most extreme bad review (or two if there’s more) and also the most extreme good review and throw them away.

I try to go for the median, the average review where the person is pleased with the product, possibly comparing it to what they used to have, or found the product to fall short of their expectations or product claims.

I find these reviews a little more honest, but not usually that technical. If you need the facts and figures on a product then the information can be found quite easily under product specifications.

I am all about saving money in our budget so the last thing I would do is review something that is garbage for my fans to run out and buy with their own money.

I don’t need money that bad that I would have to lie to make a few bucks to do product reviews but there are people who will do just about anything for money.

Like everyone else I look up information online about products all the time but in the end it’s up to me to decide whether it was the smart choice or not.

Ultimately you could ask the people you do trust such as friends and family which I’ve seen done on my personal Facebook page where someone might ask what they thought of a product.

Do you use the internet to do research on online product or business reviews?

Have you ever been stung by a fake review that you trusted and it cost you money?


Top recipe



Every day Food Bloggers from around the world pass by my other love the Free Recipe Depot Facebook page to share a daily recipe which I share with my fans.

This weeks Top Recipe comes from a blog called “Margaret’s Morsels” where she shares this lovely festive recipe for Cinnamon cookies which is a simple cookie using a cookie press.

For the next few Grab a brew posts I will feature holiday recipes which are posted to spread some holiday cheer and good food with all of you.



Posts of the week


If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!


Weekly reads


Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.

Well, that’s a wrap for this Friday’s grab a brew #49 so happy saving and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.



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  1. I take the reviews like you…with a grain of salt. I do enough online surveys to know things are seldom what they seem. Hubby likes looking that kind of thing up, for what ever product has caught his eye. There are Consumer Reports magazines at the library to look things up too, I like picking up the odd annual report from CR to look over and to read about just how they do the reviews. The how can be as informative as the review itself. I do prefer to look and handle something before I buy if possible rather than read a bunch of opinions. I’ll form my own opinion thanks…… I agree that sometimes you just get a crappy product that needs to be taken back to the store, if for no other reason than to let the store and possibly the manufacturer know there can be an issue with product X….
    Those cookies look good!!!!! I’ll save the recipe and maybe try them for Christmas…. I need to get a couple of big hefty paper bags to line the pans so I can make my fruitcake. The younger boy is going to see if he can snag me a couple at the church when he goes on Monday to help with the Christmas baskets doing set up at the Salvation Army Church.
    Looks like I have some more reading material to look over!!!! Have a good weekend!!!!

    1. I give cash to all my neices and nephews back home and they buy what they want. There is nothing wrong with it at all. Cheers mate.

  2. Thank you for the mention Mr CBB! I want to start Christmas baking but I am just back up with the running and don’t want any extra weight to carry around on the runs… what a dilemma… have a nice weekend!

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