Yes, its that time! The scene has been set, that cool new gadget has been ordered and received by you after getting that generous coupon offer. And after a few days of testing it out or adding it to your daily routine, you figure its "Review Time". You log onto your Amazon account, click on the review button and eventually find yourself staring at a blank white space in the middle of the screen - you know, where words are supposed to go.
For those of you who are new to this, do not fret. We here at JiffyReviews have some helpful pointers for those of you embarking on a journey of hopefully becoming prolific reviewers, with all the benefits that may bring (wink wink).
Your Approach to a Review
Firstly, there is no such thing as a perfect review. Yeh, I know, major cop-out. But it’s a necessary way of approaching this if you intend on being as helpful to other potential buyers, as well as appropriately constructively critical of the sellers. You should not be writing it like it’s a school assignment that you are itching to get that pass mark for. You should also be aware that although anyone can read it, the majority of people who find themselves perusing your “Shakespearean efforts” will be potential buyers who are looking for more information about the products - beyond the description and title - in order to make informed decisions.
One of the most important things to remember is that the review you are writing should be based purely on your experience with the given product. That is the best way to create a unique piece of writing that doesn’t sound like a copy-pasted regurgitation from someone looking to clock up their review count for their own benefit. The reviews industry (yes it is really an industry) has unfortunately brought with it a flurry of characters looking to cut corners where they can, and in order to steer clear of such a dubious crowd, its best to try to do things above-board at all times.
There is no specific optimum word count, and the best thing to do is write as much as you need to and no more and no less. Try not to confuse the reader by waffling, as they probably will be reading a few reviews before making a decision, and the more time they can save the better.
If you were happy with the product, describe/explain why, with your specific highlights. Do the same thing for anything that you found lacking with the product. Remember, some potential buyers may still buy the product regardless of some of its specific drawbacks because given the price, it could be a disadvantage that they can live with.
A helpful addition to your words would be pictures and even video. Sellers and potential buyers will appreciate the time and effort taken, but more importantly, it gives the review an added dimension which further informs the reader of your direct experience with the actual product. A visual is always more engaging than text, especially in this day and age of short attention spans.
Note that you don’t have to be overly positive nor do you have to direct a scathing attack at the seller/product seeking vengeance for said product not living up to your towering expectations. For one thing, online shoppers have grown to become very savvy and also suspicious of extreme remarks from reviews that may appear too one-dimensional. That being said, this decision is ultimately yours and may be justified depending on if the product really was that good or that awful.
Lastly, sometimes it is possible that you happen to be the guy that got the 1 out of 10000 faulty product. Sometimes you may have the opportunity to reach out to the seller and explain the issue, at which point they may offer a replacement or partial/full refund, depending on the circumstances. Some reviewers may take this approach before submitting their review. Alternatively you may submit a review about your experience with the faulty product and then come back later to provide an update regarding how the seller has handled the problem for you and if you were able to get a problem-free replacement. Once again, it’s up to you.
Cheeky 101 Links
Here's a helpful video blog we found of a reviewer explaining how to get into reviewing and some key differences between reviews and sponsorship. You may also appreciate the The Hitchhiker’s Guide To (Honest) Reviewing!…or, how to be a dynamite Top Amazon Reviewer without selling your soul.
At the end of the day, no one can really tell you exactly what to say, but this isn't rocket science. Its about your own experience and at the core of everything, is to try to be honest and balanced in your assessment. That way, potential buyers will be as fully informed as they can be.
At this point it's problably best to have a go at it. The scene has already been set.. fingers to keyboard...eyes on the blank white space...and... Action!