When you’re shopping for a new product and want to order it online, the only downside is that you’ll be unable to try the product out yourself until it shows up at your door. It’s the price you pay for quick shipping and convenience!

Still, lots of us use product reviews to bridge the gap between what a company says about its product and how it actually performs in the real world. But should you trust product reviews online, even if they come from an ostensibly trustworthy source? Let’s take a deep dive into this topic to learn more.

Determining if a Review is Legit

Most product reviews are likely legitimate. But it’s also known that companies will pay people to fabricate statements about their products online, especially since reviews are more important than ratings to many. It’s an advertising trick as old as time – even before the Internet, businesses would pay people to give their products glowing reviews in magazines or on TV for fees.

Therefore, you can trust any product reviews online that you find. But you should also corroborate such reviews with other sources like BuyersGuide.org and other, well-vetted sites with high review standards.

Not sure whether to know when a review is legit? Here are some things to look for.

Does the Site Verify Owners?

For starters, where did you find the review? Some review collection sites let just about anyone write a review for a product or service without having to verify their identity or check if they even own the item they’re reviewing.

On the flip side, sites that verify product owners or take other steps to make sure that only people who actually have something useful to say about a product can write a review are much more worth your time. Trusted sites are a much better place to get a second opinion before making a purchase than trolling through Google and reading reviews written by anonymous users.

How is the Review Written?

Secondly, you can examine the actual content and quality of the review to determine its worthiness. For example, product reviews that use hyperbolic language, or that claim that a given product is either the best or worst thing ever made, are probably written with an agenda in mind, whether it’s to hype up a product to drive sales or designed to tank the review scores of a competing product.

In contrast, balanced and rationally written reviews are much more trustworthy. You can trust reviews that seem to take the good and bad inherent in any product or service and that use normal language or realistic anecdotes. A good review doesn’t have to be written with fancy language; it just needs to be honest.

Can You Trust Product Reviews?

In the end, you should only trust product reviews that seem to be legitimate or written by actual people who just want to share what they experienced with a given product for the good of their fellow shoppers. Try to avoid reading reviews that seem like they have a biased or agenda-based reason for being written in the first place.