I see members referencing Canstar Blue and other comparison sites which prompted me to have a (very) quick look at two sites: Canstar Blue and Product Review.
It seems not all animals are created equal. As far as I can see, neither does any independent testing, and seem to rely upon reviews by subscribers, or trawling the internet for their content. I don’t know if they have any way of checking whether their source material is reliable, nor if there is a minimum number of reviews before they will mention the rating(s).
As to Amazon, if something has had thousands of 4-5 star reviews from users then I feel OK about relying on the star rating but so many have only one or a handful of reviews, so filtering by star rating alone is dangerous.
I don’t want to sound like a sycophant, but give me reviews based on independent testing by people who know how to test,(that would be Choice) before subjective opinions or fake reviewers.
The criteria for Canstar is generally beyond light weight, Productreview is anecdotal at best, and Amazon has legions of ‘special revewers’ who get products in return for reviews; less than good reviews end the reviewers relationship if that makes a point.
I head straight for the 3 star reviews on Amazon.Those are the reviews that balance the positives and negatives. And are much less likely to be fake or edge cases.
Total star ratings are too easy to manipulate on sites like Amazon.
On Product Review, I only read reviews by people who posted at least 3 reviews in total, and not all for the same brand.
Same here, though I older filter for 4 star and above and then order listings by average rating and then hunt from that point onwards Then those listings and dig into the reviews for 3 or lower star ratings to read their comments.
Thank you, Killerheel – good article. The truth is there is no panacea but there are sites that try and give what we are looking for. At the end of the day, I review most of them because I never know where that ‘gem of information’ will show itself. Canstar Blue is ‘up there’ and I value their reviews. But while it’s a tedious process, one has to do the distance because not every product gets listed. Clearly, many sites are/appear biased. Others contain reviews from people whose first step is to complain and not seek action/comment from the manufacturer. Some would even benefit from reading the instructions.
My much loved, metal cased, Kenwood hand mixed bared its wires and became not worth fixing (more land fill). A recent review of CHOICE’s hand mixers was limited at best. I found other brands with independent reviews that enabled me to make an informed choice. I’ve had a similar experience with phones. I get it that CHOICE must limit what it reviews, but it is often puzzling as to what gets chosen. The puzzle continues in some areas - CHOICE still recommends the Breville BFP680BAL Kitchen Wizz 11 Plus food processor at 86%. Member reviews average at 8%; of the 12 reviews only one person gave a 5, and if you read the review, this person uses the machine solely to prepare soups. Surely all these people can’t be wrong? Again, the need to look at other reviews is paramount.
With all that said, it is hard to go past CHOICE’s freely available research on things like solar power, financial planners, super schemes etc. This is valuable stuff, and it is hard to find other reviewers meeting this need.