Using Online Review Sites To Help With Shopping Choices

The Internet boasts of a number of advantages to consumers when it comes to shopping and getting a good deal. One of the disadvantages however is that the whole process of shopping is faceless, and you don't always know exactly who you are dealing with. Many companies are very reputable, but sadly there are scams and rogues out to get your money without much interest in providing you with a decent service, or even the goods you paid for. Fortunately, the Internet has provided a solution to its own problem, and it has come in the form of consumer review sites.
There are an astonishing number of review sites on the Internet, some written by professionals who know the business, some are written in sponsorship of the company concerned, merely as a way of encouraging you to visit, but most are genuine, independent review sites which allow real customers the chance to note their thoughts, detail their experiences and rate the companies concerned.
This will include information such as how communicative the seller was - did they simply post the item, or did they send confirmation of the receipt of the order, receipt of payment, and confirm expected delivery times? Also included will be value for money, especially where postal and delivery costs are concerned, and whether insurance is included, and worthwhile. The delivery of the goods is rated, such as time, how well packaged the item was and whether the charges were fair, given the actual delivery quality. Of course, also included is a review of the product itself - was it as described, or did it vary, by being second hand when advertised as new for example?
These review sites provide you with a wealth of honest advice to help you make a judgement about a company, and whether you feel that you would be prepared to order from them. Sometimes of course you will find negative comments, but it is always best to judge the company on the vast majority of its feedback. No company or shop can expect to please every single customer, and some customers are very eager to start complaining rather than dealing directly with the retailer to try to resolve the matter amicably. Take the comments as a whole to help make your decision.
In return for which, it is always helpful if you add your own contribution to such a site. The quality and usefulness of these sites is only made possible by the customers who bother to return and leave their comments. It is all too easy to be quick to complain when things go wrong, but accept a good service without an afterthought. If you're impressed with the level of service received from a company recently, why not add your thoughts to a review site, and help somebody else who's trying to decide whether to use them or not?
Be very careful about what you say in your reviews - try to make it relevant to other customers, giving examples where possible, but if you are going to include criticism, try to make sure that this is fair, and that you aren't simply jumping to conclusions. If you have had a problem, try to sort it out first. It may be that if you have a problem, contacting the company results in them having an opportunity to put things right, possibly in a way that is so positive it's worth mentioning in your review.

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