As a semi-influencer (a name I've given to myself since I don't have a huge following but have been blessed enough to work with some brands), I've had the opportunity to receive free products in exchange for a review.
While I always tell you my true feelings about the products or services I'm given, I'm not all that convinced that everyone does. Today, I want to share a few reasons why I think product/customer reviews aren't always reliable today.
1: MISINFORMATION FROM INFLUENCERS
I think a big reason why influencers do this, especially with a bigger brand, is because they don't want to have any bad blood, especially in the beauty industry. Then you have people like Jeffree Star who gives reviews on big makeup brands and shares his opinion, regardless of how it will reflect on the brand. Sadly, though, there aren't many reviewers like Jeffree who will slam Kylie Cosmetics to millions of followers (see below).
2: PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE IT AS AN INFLUENCER
In today's world, everyone wants the dream job of being a YouTuber or blogger. Getting to do what you love (creating content) and getting paid for it is the dream. However, this can cloud some people's judgement and cause them to leave positive reviews in hopes of working with the brand later.
I want to stress that I wouldn't do this. If I try a product and it is awful, I will tell you! I wouldn't want to pay any money, let along $40-$60 for a product that didn't have good results. But, I do know some influencers who simply want to make good press for brands so they have a future with them! Brands don't want fake reviews, yet influencers do it. Go figure.
3: YOU CAN PAY PEOPLE TO REVIEW YOUR PRODUCT
My response is always "I don't feel comfortable writing a review about a product I haven't tried for myself." Luckily, freelance isn't my only job. But for someone who makes their living off of writing, they might not pass up the chance to make good money writing fake reviews.
And obviously, since the reviewer hasn't tried the product, there is no legitimacy in their review.
CONCLUSION AND QUESTION OF THE DAY
These are only a few of the reasons why the customer review is losing its power. I think more can be done if websites will add "verified purchaser" or indicate if someone was gifted a product to review. However, a lot of people won't stop to look at that. They want a quick answer and five positive reviews might be the answer they can get the easiest.
For the question of the day: how important are customer reviews to you? Given the information in this post, will you pay more attention to them next time you shop online?
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