Improving product reviews

2019-11-24 2 min read

    Modern ecommerce is predicated on having proper product reviews. Every site that sells online depends on them and yet they’re still far from what they can be. The reviews I’ve seen tend to be done when a product arrives rather than after years of use. Similarly, manufactures may change and shift production over time so early reviews will highlight the high quality of a product while latter reviews will bemoan the lack of quality.

    An ideal product review site would include information that would help understand the lifetime of a product. It might be cheap but will it need replacing within a year? Or is it expensive but it will last decades so the amortized price is actually good? It’s not possible to get these answers on modern review sites which leads us to focus on the purchase price and not the true cost of ownership.

    Two sites I’m aware of that are tackling this is Wirecutter and the Buy It For Life subreddit. Writecutter provides a top X list of items by category where they go through a serious array of tests before providing a suggestion. Buy It For Life, on the other hand, is a community site where people can both share the products they’ve owned (or inherited) for decades and ask advice from others. Neither of these are designed around a product listing and I’d love a review site that takes the design and feel of an Amazon product page with additional information about the longevity and true cost of ownership.