For years I've been saying to clients, friends and family members to be cautious of online reviews. Personally, I don't take much weight in them and here's why. When you read an online review you don't know anything about the person who wrote it. Are the mentally stable? Did they have a terrible day at work and now want to take it out on someone? Are they looking for something free? Do they work for the competitor? Or, was the product they purchased truly disappointing? It's hard to guess.
Today, I happened upon this article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-book-reviews-money-buy-131408538.html. It talks about how Todd Rutherford worked in a marketing department which helped to provide services to self-publishers, and how he came up with the idea of writing reviews for these authors for a fee.He started out charges $99 for 20 online reviews but his reviews were so well-received that he increased his price to $499! During his best months he was making $28,000 a month for writing fake reviews!
This article just reinforces my feelings about online reviews.There are a lot of unethical people our there, and online shoppers should be cautious! In my opinion, you are much better off asking the opinions of friends, family members and neighbors who have established credibility with you. You know their interests and their lifestyles are similiar to yours. Plus, hopefully they can be trusted!