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Showing posts from July, 2014

Online Ratings: Is rating the seller or the item more important?

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When you shop for items online, what is important to you?  Perhaps you have noticed that many online stores show "customer" reviews of individual items. Some items that you shop for online need to be scrutinized to see if they are going to perform the way you expect.  For instance, if I buy an electronics device which is complex, say a disc drive for my computer, I want to make sure that it hooks up and works as advertised, and that it does not fail in the first few months of use.  So, it is helpful to see what people say about that.  But, a hugely problematic issue with individual item ratings on most websites, is that they are so easily faked.  There is no safeguard to prevent anyone, including the seller, from posting a number of positive reviews of a particular item.

But, for many purchases, the quality of the seller is more important than reading an individual's personal opinion about a particular item:
Does the seller honestly describe the items they sell on their …