Writing Reviews

Most shoppers are used to seeing positive and glowing comments about a product clearly printed on the product box. They more highly value third-party independent reviews, however. After all, what company would slap the label Worst Product Ever on its product packaging? However, if thousands or millions of people are rallying because they're not happy with a product, consumers will give that action much more weight than a company's endorsements.

The independent testing organization Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org) rates everything from automobiles to computers to garden equipment. It has more than 4 million subscribers to its magazine, and an estimated 2 million people to its subscription Web site, where thousands of reviews, statistical test data, and evaluations are available for members to see. When customers are shopping online, they don't have the option to ask their local shopkeeper what he or she thinks about an item or to hear about how that shopkeeper helped a customer with an item that worked well (or not so well) at home. Customers turn then to reviews written online about the product, which is where you can make your entrance.

As someone with access to these products, and a history with them, you likely know more than the average person about some of the products you sell. Although you might not have used everything you sell, you have a better idea about how to evaluate a product or you gathered enough customer comments to form an opinion based ...

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