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Pay for Reviews, is it acceptable?


Artorius Constantine
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Like most things I remember, I may remember wrong, but I thought you couldn't pay people for a review? Especially only paying for 5 stars.

I saw this last week on a "known" merchants listing. "Leave a 5 star review and get a 10% refund!"

In bold with ASCII highlights. Since then I have noticed it on every 3rd merchants page it seems.

Is this cool to do now? I sell weird Adult RP stuff so even though I sell several items a day, and get lots of positive IM's about my work, I only get 1 or 2 reviews a year. On the plus side only 2 people have ever asked for a refund in 9 plus years so I guess I'm doing OK. But the new search really weighs reviews and I'm just looking for a way to encourage honost ones.

Just an FYI, I would never pay for a 5 star review specifically, if I did this I would give like a 10% refund for any review. Even bad ones, because that's how I learn to make better props. =)

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My experience (and product range) is the same, same number of annual reviews and refunds.

 

Regardless of what a broken search system does though, I won't pay for a review, good or bad. If someone wants to leave one of any style, they're welcome to it.

 

Biasing a search result on reviews is just SO open to gaming that is a joke. (If that's what they're doing)

 

Personally, I'm so disengaged, I'm way past caring.

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From Listing Guidelines > disallowed-actions:


Disallowed Actions

The following actions are disallowed. Note that these actions are disallowed by the
, and are restated here for clarification.

...

Anti-Competitive or Abusive Behavior
. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • inflating prices on the SL Marketplace, in comparison to in-world or other e-commerce sites,
  • posting hostile or false reviews or comments on a competing merchant's items,
  • posting reviews that encourage users to buy competitor products, or visit in world locations,
  • posting item listings that are abusive or disparaging with respect to another merchant or their products.
  • using alternate or related accounts to purchase or rate your own items,
  • rewarding buyers for reviews unless both positive and negative reviews are rewarded.


 

So as long as the person whom is offering compensation for reviews gives compensation for ALL, including those that do not do the product good, it is permitted. Feel free to report those only offering compensation for 5 star/good reviews only under "Disallowed listing practices". :v

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I would think it would be fine, as long as the reviews are honest.

However, I prefer that customers create the reviews, good or bad, as they are the ones who truly invested in the product and have used it.

To pay someone for reviews that didn't buy it on their own? A little manipulative and dishonest.

However, paying people to try out and test your product for feedback privately (without the use of reviews) would be fine.

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I prefer genuine, spontaneous reviews rather than prompted ones. If I prompted someone to leave a review it would be like asking for a favour, and even worse to pay for one. I want reviews to come from a smile when the customer first sees the item, and thinks 'I'm going to leave a review'. If this doesn't happen then I'm ok with no reviews.

In my opinion MP reviews are not that important (unless it's bad reviews saying the same thing). Inworld word of mouth is much more important. An item can have no reviews and sell very well because people see it inworld or their friends talk about it.

When I see items on MP with loads of reviews I'm often suspicious, especially if it is not the type of item that attracts lots of reviews. For instance, people are more likely to review clothes or a mesh body part rather than a fence or footpath. So, if something like a wooden fence has heaps of 5 star reviews I ask why, and that will put a question mark over the whole heavily reviewed store.

For me, word of mouth is most important. If you have a very good product it will take off naturally.

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Great answers, my memory served me well this time. That line "...both Good and bad..." is what I thought. The people paying for 5 star reviews only are definately on the wrong side of the TOS.

I think it's just dishonest too. and this "To pay someone for reviews that didn't buy it on their own? A little manipulative and dishonest."

A Little? No a Lot! No one in this thread suggested doing that and I hope no one would ever think that.

Still thinking about it but a scripted object that refunds automaticaly if the API says "X account left a Review of X object". Be an easier script too, I won't even have to check for the type of Review, just that they made one.

Thx!

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I still tend to disagree with the notion that a review earns reward regardless of good or bad.

The issue is that it's a human trait that when receiving a reward, it's usually going to be for something equal in return thus I would suggest that someone is far more likely to leave a positive review when they know that they will be rewarded.

If the new search is biased towards returning results with reviews than that in itself is wrong.

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Sassy Romano wrote:

The issue is that it's a human trait that when receiving a reward, it's usually going to be for something equal in return thus I would suggest that someone is far more likely to leave a positive review when they know that they will be rewarded.

Exactly. And it isn't fair on the customer because it's misleading, unless it's made very clear in the description that the reviews are paid for. If I wanted to purchase something in SL or RL and I read reviews I'd be very sceptical of any that were paid for.

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.Rule of thumb

So if a merchant pays for reviews, whatever the total stars of the product, take a star and a half away and call it that. ;-)

Any product with outrageous amounts of reviews, just ignore them all except for the more negative reviews. (3 stars or less).

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There is no way I would pay for reviews of anything I sell because it will cheapen your brand. If I were to buy something from a merchant doing that my first inclination would be to assume it's poor quality if it needs a gimmick to get sales and I would buy elsewhere.

 

The best way I have found to get honest good reviews is after sales service. Usually if contacted I'll go right out of my way to help. Genuine reviews are rarer these days they used to be more common years ago when the marketplace was set up differently

 

Regarding reviews I thought the only people that left them these days were disgruntled customers or the people that made the item that has only one review saying it's the best product ever by the ultra talented builder.

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I do wish people used the review function more often. People seem to use the review system only if they LOVE or HATE something. That undermines the usefullness of reviews in general.

I think the best method is to mention it somewhere in a notecard in your product. Once I have mentioned any important points, I finish up with "if you enjoy my product, please consider leaving a review. They are a great help to both me and my other customers. Thanks!". 

Also, customer service gets you reviews. So maybe include something broken in every item you list, then you have to do LOTS of customer service, and get lots of reviews (this is a JOKE :P).

With regard to paying for reviews - So long as you are not trying to influence the content of the review I dont think its a problem, but not something I would to.

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chardonay Babii wrote:

 

Regarding reviews I thought the only people that left them these days were disgruntled customers or the people that made the item that has only one review saying it's the best product ever by the ultra talented builder.

This isn't true. It's a fallacy believed by merchants who rarely get reviews, or only get poor reviews - the belief is based on personal experience. But in reality there are many high quality stores getting genuine 5 star reviews often. These merchants are just not coming here to talk about it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The % of people who leave a review must be less than 1% so offering a reward for a review is a good idea in my eyes. 

My old store used to offer a 50% refund to all who left a review and we honoured it regardless of the rating given. 

Its quite frustrating when you see an item selling fast and no reviews being left. I Even tried sending out about 100 notecards to people who had bought my FREE item asking for a review and I received about 10 in return. 

 

 

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