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Is Amazon Rigging the Ratings System?

MK-9

Inspired
So I need to put together a new computer and I've been looking for computer parts. My usual MO is to go to Amazon and look at the ratings breakdown. If more than, say, 60% of reviews are 5 stars then I consider the product safe.

But then I started looking closer and something doesn't add up. For example I was looking at a new monitor. The ratings say that only 36% of the ratings are 5 stars. Okay. But there are 14 ratings and 8 of them are 5 stars. ????? That's much greater than 36%. Furthermore it says 19% of the ratings are 1 star but there's only ONE rating with a 1 star rating.

Is Amazon manipulating the ratings to favor certain products and discourage other products? I wouldn't put it past them.

Could compare the ratings to the same part and the ratings on NewEgg.com? More time consuming, I understand, but might give you a bit more clear idea of the good/bad.

Used to do a full system rebuild every 2 years when I was gaming regularly. Since I don't really PC game any longer, it's been 5 years or so since I build a new rig. NewEgg was usually my go to for PC parts.
 

stink

Experienced
So I need to put together a new computer and I've been looking for computer parts. My usual MO is to go to Amazon and look at the ratings breakdown. If more than, say, 60% of reviews are 5 stars then I consider the product safe.

But then I started looking closer and something doesn't add up. For example I was looking at a new monitor. The ratings say that only 36% of the ratings are 5 stars. Okay. But there are 14 ratings and 8 of them are 5 stars. ????? That's much greater than 36%. Furthermore it says 19% of the ratings are 1 star but there's only ONE rating with a 1 star rating.

Is Amazon manipulating the ratings to favor certain products and discourage other products? I wouldn't put it past them.
FWIW, I’m an engineer, often having Weibull++, MathCad, Excel, and word docs opened simultaneously. I bought one of these and couldn’t be happier...Monitor
 

OldSnail

Inspired
I do not trust good reviews so I only read the bad ones.
I always ask how bad things are...I’m sure in the pessimist and paranoiac side of things...
 

jefferski

Fractal Fanatic
The problem goes both ways. People also post negative reviews on competitors sites - products, hotels, restaurants, you name it. So bottom line, you have no real idea unless you personally know someone who can tell you.
 

randyvanmartini

Power User
Another thing that really sucks is reading so many reviews that say they received a “knock-off” product, even sold and shipped by Amazon. Not sure if these reviews are real or not, but just because of them, I only order SD cards and the like, straight from the manufacturer any more.
 

lauke-lux

Fractal Fanatic
A student I know made some extra money in the following way:
Buys a Chinese article and leaves a positive rating, then gets reimbursed and resells the article. He stopped as he got fed up with the hassle. Of course this is forbidden but it exists..; and of course Amazon is absolutely not concerned by that 🤓
So article reviews don't bother that much to me.
 

cobbler

Fractal Fanatic
I have never thought the reviews or any star rating system were legit. Too easy a platform to be manipulated from either side of the fence. I only trust reviews by people I know or have had contact with. Otherwise, I just put my trust in the liberal return policies. :)
 

madmarcus1960

Inspired
Better off searching the parts on computer build forums. Be quite honest, I don't play PC games, but those guys know there poop on building PC's.
 

xarkon

Inspired
The other issue in the ratings is for media - as far as I can see, the same ratings are used for Kindle, paperback, and hardback versions of a book. Unless the reviewer specifically mentioned the medium, you wouldn't know what they reviewed.
 
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xarkon

Inspired
So I need to put together a new computer and I've been looking for computer parts. My usual MO is to go to Amazon and look at the ratings breakdown. If more than, say, 60% of reviews are 5 stars then I consider the product safe.

But then I started looking closer and something doesn't add up. For example I was looking at a new monitor. The ratings say that only 36% of the ratings are 5 stars. Okay. But there are 14 ratings and 8 of them are 5 stars. ????? That's much greater than 36%. Furthermore it says 19% of the ratings are 1 star but there's only ONE rating with a 1 star rating.

Is Amazon manipulating the ratings to favor certain products and discourage other products? I wouldn't put it past them.

Are Newegg's reviews any better? or worse?
 

Stratman68

Axe-Master
I have been shopping thru Amazon for 18 years. I never go by their reviews. Nor Newegg or PC Mag and the like; they all seem "flakey" to me.Been building my own PC's since, well, seems forever.
I generally use places that review hardware and actually explain, with actual facts, how and why and so on. Places that give good reviews imho are places like Toms Hardware, to name just one. The reviews read like the person actually knows their stuff. I usually stick with a brand if I have had success with it. Like Asus MB's and Nvidea Geforce cards. Lately I have really had great results with Samsung SSD's, m.2 nvme drives and such. Rock solid for me.
 

ksandvik

Experienced
I have zero trust in the Amazon ratings. Rather use reviews from trusted web sites and youtube video reviews.
 

Roland

Experienced
The problem goes both ways. People also post negative reviews on competitors sites - products, hotels, restaurants, you name it. So bottom line, you have no real idea unless you personally know someone who can tell you.
There’s a restaurant in Cornwall, UK, whose TripAdvisor reference says “The negative reviews are posted by my competitor down the road”.
 

spagthorpe

Experienced
Are Newegg's reviews any better? or worse?


They were at one time. Then Newegg opened up for 3rd party sellers the same way Amazon did, and now all bets are off.

Newegg really went downhill in general. I wouldn't buy anything there personally. I had continued to support them over the years, but started getting things like bare hard drives, shipped with zero padding in a large box where it's bouncing around, and the same with some RAM and a video card. The video card was also obviously used, but sold to me as new. Then I was done.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
They were at one time. Then Newegg opened up for 3rd party sellers the same way Amazon did, and now all bets are off.

Newegg really went downhill in general. I wouldn't buy anything there personally. I had continued to support them over the years, but started getting things like bare hard drives, shipped with zero padding in a large box where it's bouncing around, and the same with some RAM and a video card. The video card was also obviously used, but sold to me as new. Then I was done.
I still use and like Newegg but you have to be sure when you buy something it's coming from them. If it's one of the 3rd party sellers then it's a crap-shoot. It's given them a bad rep when it's really the other merchants.
 

spagthorpe

Experienced
I have been shopping thru Amazon for 18 years. I never go by their reviews. Nor Newegg or PC Mag and the like; they all seem "flakey" to me.Been building my own PC's since, well, seems forever.
I generally use places that review hardware and actually explain, with actual facts, how and why and so on. Places that give good reviews imho are places like Toms Hardware, to name just one. The reviews read like the person actually knows their stuff. I usually stick with a brand if I have had success with it. Like Asus MB's and Nvidea Geforce cards. Lately I have really had great results with Samsung SSD's, m.2 nvme drives and such. Rock solid for me.


I don't think most people, especially gamers, trust Tom's Hardware much anymore.

There isn't a cut and dry place for getting good reviews anymore. You sort of piece together things from common sense, but a lot of things don't make as much sense anymore unless you really want to geek out. I mean, on paper, things like CPU speed sound great, but then you start diving deeper, and realize there are a ton of other factors at play. The good news is that for the most part, most anything you build these days is faster than most people need, except for people with very niche uses.

A great place to get ideas is from a site like pcpartpicker.com. Check out the completed builds. People for the most part have already done the part where they've spent hours/days obsessing over what to buy. After looking at enough builds, you get an idea of what's working for people.
 

jefferski

Fractal Fanatic
There’s a restaurant in Cornwall, UK, whose TripAdvisor reference says “The negative reviews are posted by my competitor down the road”.
Lol. There was a Yelp firestorm a while back when a restaurant in (I think) the SF Bay Area intentionally had all their patrons post 1-star reviews...
 

iaresee

Administrator
Moderator
Lol. There was a Yelp firestorm a while back when a restaurant in (I think) the SF Bay Area intentionally had all their patrons post 1-star reviews...
The dive bar across the street from an old office I worked at in SF had lots of 1-star reviews from us. We did it to keep the Uber people out of it. It mostly worked. :)
 
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