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Feb 4, 2012 01:03 PM

Ratings Good and Ratings Horrible

I often check ratings of products before making a purchase, even something as insignificant as a nut grinder or a cookie sheet. What to make of ratings that go from 5 stars - fabulous!!! - to 1 star - don't waste your money - on the same product.? Are there good batches and bad batches? Good users and bad users? This often stops me from buying anything at all.

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  1. The guy in the office next to mine checks out everything as you do. The first thing he does is go the the 1 stars to see why, more often than not it was recieved damaged, or in some way wasn't what the customer really wanted. In other words the low rating has nothing to do with the quality of the product at all. You can look at reviews and ratings and you can look at evaluations such as Cooks Illustrated or Consumer Reports, but in the final analysis none of these are flawless. There are a lot of product test reviews where what was important to the reviewer, isn't all that important to me. Industrial manufacturing is such today that although there can be an occasional bad product, most of the tens of thousands that are made are all alike.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mikie

      Thanks mikie. I am kinda nuts about checking stuff...Americas Test Kitchen, Amazon, Consumers, etc. Even when ATK rates it best, the buyers out there seem to think otherwise. Hence the nutgrinder that ATK recommended on TV today, but which broke immediately for more than a few users. Go figure!

      1. re: vmjk23

        One could probably assume the test wasn't very challenging, or someone forgot to shell the nuts first. That's why I say, tests don't always tell the story, on the other hand, more people that have problems complain than people who don't have problems praise.

    2. I've noticed that myself. Whatever the product, there is always someone in cyberspace who doesn't like it and will tell you to avoid it. That's why I don't use reviews as a starting point. I do my own research and decide what I like, then may look at reviews for another perspective. I try to find the objective kernel in a complaint. If I think someone is just carping, I discount it.

      Yelp and ePinions are useless, in my opinion.