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Cutting to the Chase: How to Evaluate Online Reviews

person on their phone reading reviews

Last month we shared tips for writing reviews with members of our apartment community at Park Station here in Gaithersburg, Maryland and invited everyone to submit a review. This month we are following up with a post about how to evaluate reviews. Whether you are anticipating a large purchase, looking for a hotel for a vacation, or deciding on a vendor for a service, being able to effectively evaluate online reviews is a good skill to have. Learn more; read on!

Why Reviews Are Important

If saving time, money, and grief are important to you — then you have a reason to learn to more effectively evaluate online reviews. In our online world, it’s easier than ever to add your opinion about almost anything via an online review. The fact that there is so much information out there can make it difficult to hone in on what’s important. But knowing how to do so means you can reap the rewards of getting the best value for your money, avoiding bad services and products and securing excellent experiences. We think that’s worth the time it takes to learn about evaluating reviews!

Tips for Evaluating Online Reviews

If you’ve ever read through a multitude of reviews, you know they can range from being helpful to laughable, so here are some tips on how to evaluate reviews.

  • Look for reviews that are balanced and that share the pros and cons of a situation, product, or service.

  • Throw out reviews — both negative and positive — that are excessive and do not contain facts, details, and balance.

  • Look for trends in what reviewers are saying. If multiple people are saying the same thing, chances are it’s an accurate representation.

  • Take reviews that resort to name-calling and hyperbole with a grain of salt — particularly reviews that resort to vulgarity. These could be a case of sour grapes.

  • Note reviews that are well written with clear language, proper spelling, and grammar, which can indicate care was taken to present an honest opinion.

  • Consider what your purpose is for the product and service and take that into consideration as you evaluate reviews. Just because someone else didn’t like a product or situation doesn’t mean it won’t work just fine for your purposes.

  • Be aware that there may be false reviews among the legitimate ones that can be used to inflate or discredit whatever is being reviewed. Learn how to spot a fake apartment review.

We hope that the next time you are looking to buy something new, book a hotel, or start a subscription, as you read the reviews these tips will spring to mind. What are your go to methods for evaluating online reviews? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for taking time to read our post.