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As I'm returning to Second Life and the marketplace, I've realized that I do enjoy shopping there the most. I do most of my shopping irl online as well. I'm very aquainted with review systems. I heavily rely on the honesty of people when giving a review. Of course, you can't be naive. You have to really take a lot of things into account when reading them. So of course I read with skepticism. 

Here's what I notice about the SL Marketplace though. WHENEVER anything less than five stars is given, there's a huge chance that the owner replies. Many of these are constructive replies that may address the issue and give future customers something to think about. However, I also see a lot of passive aggressive or snarky replies. I also see lots of items with disclaimers to NOT leave bad reviews if they have a problem with the item, to instead contact someone in game. That's fair. However, that's not fair when you never get a reply in game. If I left a bad review after I got no reply in store, I'd update my review once/if the issue was resolved. 

But here's my biggest issue. It seems like many creators expect ONLY five star reviews. It makes sense. They put in time and effort and would like to be complimented on it. And of course, we know more people will come to write bad reviews than will to write good reviews. So bad reviews can be disheartening. But sometimes something just ISN'T worth FIVE stars. Sometimes, I might rate something four stars even though it was a nice product, but the very fact that I KNOW the technology exists to make it better personally leaves me with no choice but to be honest. I'm saying, "this product is great. I thank you for your time and energy. It isn't the greatest quality that I've seen, but it's very nice." The creator can make of that what he wants, but a good one will take it into consideration when designing future products. Of course, it's also subjective and the creator may choose to disregard the feedback.

But as I said, I see some passive aggressive remarks on such reviews as I gave an example of. Really, there's no need in my opinion. If the review was bad and stated something incorrect which led to the bad rating, flag it and write a brief, non emotional, reply stating the facts. If the reviewer said nothing incorrect but they just didn't value your item as highly as you would, say "Thank you for your feedback." Honestly, the way a creator responds to these reviews heavily influences whether I will buy from them. A creator who can respond with dignity and professionalism in the face of criticism is worthy of admiration. 

I'm just leaving a few musings of mine here for content creators to do with as they will. All I can say, is put yourself in the customers' shoes. You know what it's like to be a customer. You know exactly what you look for in reviews. You know you wouldn't prefer an system whereby there is some unwritten agreement that people will ONLY leave five stars or leave nothing at all. That would be useless to you, as a consumer. So just keep that in mind perhaps the next time you get a less than stellar review. 

Edit for clarification: I am a VERY picky shopper. I actually have a very small inventory and buy very few things and even stay away from most free stuff. I'm not writing this because someone replied to one of my reviews. No creator ever has replied to mine. BECAUSE I'm so picky and really take my time reading reviews and trying demos, most items I buy get 5 stars. A small minority get 4. I don't think I have anything less than 3 and that would be like one or two items at most. 

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The Second Life equivelant of Let Me Google That For You. 

Touche! 

Thank you. There's some interesting stuff there. A lot of it is discussing something other than what I am though: fake reviews, paid reviews, Bad reviews based on no credit, the review system technology. Many of those posts are written by sellers while mine is written in the perspective of a buyer. 

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As a new content creator I would be grateful for any reviews! Good or bad. A bad review obviously sucks but it gives a chance to open a discussion and answer some questions other shoppers may have. 

But all in all, the only reviews I have so far are on the free item I have on the marketplace. I wish there was a better way to get feedback. 

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Adam, I hope you get some useful reviews soon. I think I am more prone to leave reviews since I rely so heavily on them. I wish more people would take a moment to contribute a review. It often takes less than a minute and helps sellers and buyers.

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I think there are two important factors when it comes to explaining the expecting 5 stars thing.

First, reviews are pretty rare these days. Some of the oder products on the marketplace have 500+ reviews. Even the most popular products are lucky to hit 100.

Second, people generally use the review system if they love something, or HATE IT!!!!! Very few people will leave a review if they are merely satisfied. 

Together, I think that leads some to obsess over their ratings, and fair and ballanced or not, a string of "poor" reviews will have a real impact on sales. 

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OzwellWayfarer wrote:

 

Second, people generally use the review system if they love something, or HATE IT!!!!! Very few people will leave a review if they are merely satisfied. 

 

When people are merely satisfied with an item they are reluctant to leave 3 star reviews, because 3 stars is usually saying 'it's good but....'. People don't like raising the negatives because they don't want the drama of having a merchant contact them to discuss it. I can understand this. I do the same.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank  you for your perspective, you summed it up nicely.

In general, leaving a review, especially a helpful and honest review, is usually met with snarky or hostile responses.

I would love to leave reviews - I love to recieve feedback and I like to give it - for the betterment of all and the improvement of my products and others.

However, the hostility and snarkiness is not worth the trouble. I am a reviewer that makes full use of the star system, and doesn't just use 1 star or 5.

1 star is reserved for absolutely terrible or misleading, or outright fraud, and I will RARELY leave a 5 star because I reserve that for somethign TRULY amazing.

Usually I will rate 4 stars if there is room for improvement, 3 if there is some severe issues.. never have gone below that.

However, the outrage suffered by the merchants I DO review can get quite nasty. I can return to SL with IM chats of threats and vitriol, wanting to give my money back to remove the review (which is NOT a reasonable response, because I actually want the product to be fixed/improved), or even spamming of messages and accusations that this is my ALT making reviews.

A merchant of an in-world 'animating' program even went so far as posting private conversations on his blog site in order to embarrass me off the review site - in some attempt of shaming me for a bad review.

Out of 10 or so reviews I have made in SL products, I would say I have only had 2 or 3 reasonable responses, thanking me for my feedback. The rest were downright snarky and hostile, some DEMANDING that I should have sent a notecard to them FIRST before leaving a review (which I am under no obligation).

It is amazing to me how tenaciously some merchants fight over substandard products and are willing to attempt to destroy my standing on the MP community by w/e means at their disposal.

I must say it DOES work smashingly. Why leave a more than fair review up on a product when the drama isn't worth dealing with.

I now default to NO reviews, and I would encourage people to do the same. Most reviews are now 1 star or 5 star anyway, and offer no real perspective at all.

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OzwellWayfarer wrote:

I think there are two important factors when it comes to explaining the expecting 5 stars thing.

First, reviews are pretty rare these days. Some of the oder products on the marketplace have 500+ reviews. Even the most popular products are lucky to hit 100.

Second, people generally use the review system if they love something, or HATE IT!!!!! Very few people will leave a review if they are merely satisfied. 

Together, I think that leads some to obsess over their ratings, and fair and ballanced or not, a string of "poor" reviews will have a real impact on sales. 

Yes, this is why YouTube eliminated the star system for a more simplified thumbs up/down system, because people generally voted on extreme poles anyway.

For myself, I dont care about the thumbs up and down, I want to know WHY on both accounts. I WANT to be the best i can be at this and I WANT constructive feedback.

It doesn't hurt my feelings if someone doesn't like something of mine - art is in the eye of the beholder. Its far worse to not know WHY, becaue perhaps the issue could be accomodated or at least fixed, and everyone is happy

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  • 2 years later...

I just left a 2 star review on a product not too long ago merely because it did not fit the body that it was intended to fit. I never said anything nasty, snarky or mean I literally just stated that while it looked good in quality, the product clipped very badly thus making it unusable. The merchant then jumped into my IM's sending me two lengthy paragraphs lecturing me about about how they were so upset that they had to "wake up to a bad review" and that "they're only human" and what not when what I said wasn't even written offensively. They then sent me another version of the product followed by another IM telling me to remove my review without even checking to see if what they sent was even a correct fit (which it wasn't). They sent me another version and I let them know that I removed the review because the product worked. I'm one who always tries to be fair and only leave a low rating if the product is absolutely unusable but I am always willing to remove it if need be. I didn't think to send them a notecard because in my experience I rarely get responses from people that way (poor judgement I know). I myself have a store that I run on another account and have had to deal with some unfair reviews so I certainly do understand that bad reviews suck IF they truly are bad reviews! 

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5 minutes ago, Durian1 said:

I just left a 2 star review on a product not too long ago merely because it did not fit the body that it was intended to fit. I never said anything nasty, snarky or mean I literally just stated that while it looked good in quality, the product clipped very badly thus making it unusable. The merchant then jumped into my IM's sending me two lengthy paragraphs lecturing me about about how they were so upset that they had to "wake up to a bad review" and that "they're only human" and what not when what I said wasn't even written offensively. They then sent me another version of the product followed by another IM telling me to remove my review without even checking to see if what they sent was even a correct fit (which it wasn't). They sent me another version and I let them know that I removed the review because the product worked. I'm one who always tries to be fair and only leave a low rating if the product is absolutely unusable but I am always willing to remove it if need be. I didn't think to send them a notecard because in my experience I rarely get responses from people that way (poor judgement I know). I myself have a store that I run on another account and have had to deal with some unfair reviews so I certainly do understand that bad reviews suck IF they truly are bad reviews! 

I would say first...  demo.  If there is no demo then don't buy.  If there is no demo maybe send a notecard or IM depending on the merchants way of dealing with customer service issues asking if there is a demo and if not tell them you lost a sale then.  This might prompt them to supply demo's.   

I would never leave a bad review without trying to contact the merchant first to see if anything could be done. Though I think their response was questionable with a rant. 

Finally. I just replied to a necro :/ 

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In my experience people tend to love hammering in a one star review and have a good whinge before contacting the creator to discuss / repair issues. Happy customers seldom leave a review. Delighted customers often leave a great review and my thanks go to them.

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