You can find an online review on just about any product or service. They have become a part of the decision making process. According to the Pew Research Center, 82 percent of Americans admit they sometimes or always read online reviews. They do this before deciding to make the purchase. Reason being, people believe reviews tend to be “generally accurate.”

Unfortunately, negative reviews have a lot of power over people. They can stop someone from making a purchase. This is a big deal. There is a question that needs to asked. Should we trust all negative reviews?

For instance, to give you a better understanding, people can leave negative reviews on just about anything. This includes the seven wonders of the world. In particular, we can look at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. They have an overall score of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google Reviews. There are many great reviews with wonderful stories that are shared. On the other hand, the Pyramids also receive poor reviews. One reviewer writes, “Somewhat interesting, but if you’re not a history fan, I don’t recommend you go there.” Another visitor writes, “it is not so beautiful.”

Alternatively, another beloved monument is the Eiffel Tower. Many people travel far distances to see it. It is iconic to the city of love. Most would consider is a very special landmark. Then, there are the people who would disagree. According to negative reviews on Google, it is simply “a rusty tower with nothing special” and “should been taller to be cool.” The overall idea is that not everyone can be pleased.

Why do we read negative reviews?

There are a few reasons why people value negative reviews.

One of those reasons is because there aren’t a lot of them. There are usually more positive reviews online. Since the negative ones are more scarce, they become valuable. Furthermore, negative reviews give us a sense of security. We can get a better idea of what can go wrong with a product or service. You wouldn’t want your new shirt to shrink two sizes after the first wash. This way, you can avoid a disaster and make a better purchase. Ultimately, it makes a consumer feel better about the decision-making process.

In addition, there have been cases where five-star reviews online result to be fake. Consumers are aware of these cases and become speculative. Naturally, they look for negative reviews because they feel they can trust these more.

Why negative reviews can be untrustworthy.

Some negative reviews may be helpful but we can’t trust all of them. Research has shown that there are only a small group of people who leave reviews. To paint you a better picture, it’s about 15 people out of 1,000. Its also been said that these people aren’t your average consumer. These tend to be people that make a lot of returns, buy in unusual quantities, and shop sales. Do they truly represent the general population?

In addition, reviews tend to be circumstantial. Experiences may differ depending on who you spend your time with. The best experiences tend to be with significant others. On the other hand, doing things alone might result in a less enjoyable time. We can’t fully trust a review when emotions are involved.

Furthermore, you should take into account what the user is like. Are their needs similar to yours? For example, you may find a review that complains about the length of a pair of pants. With a closer look, you’d find out that user is a lot taller than you and the average person. Their review shouldn’t necessarily impact you. Finally, you should also look at others reviews they’ve written. Do they have both positive and negative reviews? Do they only write reviews to complain? The quantity of reviews matters. The more they have, the more credible the reviewer may be. On the other hand, people who are never pleased lack credibility. Their opinion shouldn’t receive the same importance.

In conclusion, negative reviews can be found everywhere. They may help us learn more about a product but they may also stop us from making a purchase. We can’t trust all negative reviews. The reviewer has a lot to do with the credibility of the comment. At the end of the day, we should be more aware of who we trust with our decisions. Now you’ll be able to shop smarter. Uncle Ben’s Pawn Shop wishes you happy shopping!