Gaming the Amazon ratings.

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by tarheelblue32, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    Last week when I was looking at Bolts on Amazon, their Amazon ratings were pretty bad, like 2.5 stars and lots of 1-star reviews. I just looked at them again today and suddenly they have 4 stars. It looks like Amazon solved the low ratings on the Bolts by combining all the ratings for all Roamios and Bolts into a single rating. This isn't just limited to TiVo. Amazon has been doing this sort of thing with other products for a little while and I find it really annoying because it makes it harder to tell what product is really being reviewed. But it's probably a good thing for TiVo to artificially inflate the Bolt's Amazon ratings by mixing them together with ratings from old products they don't even sell anymore.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  2. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Funny, I just noticed that today. I needed a new box fan and my routine is to look at the reviews. They were for all kinds of different fans making it near impossible to get a good read on the specific fan I wanted. I ended up buying one off eBay for half the price.
     
  3. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Real ratings are written by paid professionals, consumer ratings I usually avoid because they tend to be axe grinders, and idiots. It's a wonder some people who write them can find an AC outlet and know what to do with it.
     
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  4. JandS

    JandS Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    I've seen this more often in the past few months, too, very annoying. As a purchaser it makes using the reviews almost worthless, doesn't it, especially if one doesn't realize the difference between sizes or # of units or other distinguishing feature that a reviewer might possibly have a legitimate comment about.

    edit: actually, I also wondered whether Amazon might have changed pricing to the product vendor and so the vendor somehow decided to merge the comments and so only had to pay for one comment stream pricing instead of, say, 3.
     
  5. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    There are good consumer reviewers and bad consumer reviewers. Amazon, unfortunately, encourages the bad ones by encouraging thoughtless, content-free reviews, with no minimum word count and doing away with the “not helpful” vote.

    Generally, the longer a review is, the better it tends to be. (While this is self-serving as my own reviews tend to be long, it is echoed by several studies I have read.)

    And yes, Amazon’s infuriating tendency to group multiple products by the same vendor on a single page make it much harder to use the product star rating. Really, you have to ignore that, select the reviews only for the model you’re considering, and read them in order of helpfulness.

    I don’t know how Amazon decides when to merge listings, or even migrate reviews of one product to an entirely different one (has happened to me more than once.)
     
  6. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yeah, you can refine/filter the reviews displayed to just the product you’re researching, but it’s more of a hassle than it should be.
     
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  7. wizwor

    wizwor Active Member

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    Professional and consumer ratings are data points you can use to assist in the selection of a product. Rather than focus on the 'score' you should be paying attention to the specific things a reviewer did or did not like about a product. No need to fret over 'damaged in transit' or 'this product is not what I though it was' reviews or fanboy attestations.
     
  8. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Well-Known Member

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    How do you do this? I haven't figured it out yet.
     
  9. XIBM

    XIBM Member

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    I select all reviews and then select "latest review" so I get the most recent product package that people are buying...
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    There is a way to filter reviews by a specific "version" of a product. I use that a lot to make sure the thing I'm looking at isn't a dog.
     
  11. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

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    Yeah, I hate this
     
  12. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    I see the same limitations to Amazon ratings. But I'm trying to think of another e-commerce site where the ratings are more reliable, or even as trustworthy, as Amazon's.
     
  13. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

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    This is even worse, but it bugged me for years (back when I actively bought DVDs and later Blu-rays) that Amazon would mix reviews of just the different media types together. That makes it hard to find the couple helpful reviews that say "Yes, this is a great movie, but this specific DVD transfer is problematic for the following reasons" if there are already hundreds of reviews for it on VHS (or later DVD reviews when I want to know if the new Blu-ray is worth it or if it has specific issues).
     
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  14. JandS

    JandS Well-Known Member TCF Club

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  15. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Story is behind a pay wall -- big nothing-burger unless you're a WSJ subscriber.
     
  16. JandS

    JandS Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Dang it! behind paywall now for me. Very sorry -- I was surprised that I got to see the article myself because I always get the paywall, so I mistakenly thought that some articles they magically exposed [hee, maybe because they wanted the opportunity to diss Amazon...]
     
  17. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Outline.com is your friend.

    Outline
     
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  18. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your general point, but think there's a problem to begin with when the Bolt is rated only at 2.5 stars (that's like a C+/B-). ;)
     
  19. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Scary...
    (Amazon) ... which collects nearly half of every U.S. retail dollar spent online

    Especially devious...
    As Amazon has cracked down on fake reviews, some sellers are leaving five-star, fake-looking reviews on rival listings so they trigger Amazon’s scam-detecting algorithm and get the rival seller suspended, ...
     

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