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MP Reviews... More Power To Merchants Please


Steph Catseye
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I believe anyone merchant as realized by now that the new system is not very review friendly, there has been more reviews during SLX times! Having said that, the rule applies that bad news spreads faster than good news and the same applies for reviews....

one of my free items has 9030 delivered units and only 20 reviews!

My best non free items has 1123 delivered units and only 5 reviews (4x5 star and 1x1star)

the one star review is completely unreasonable since nobody would sell "Junk" that many times!

In the end of the day my bestseller is now a 4 star product even when I know from countless conversations that my customers are absolutely satisfied with the product!

Anotherone item of mine was sold 278 times and hasn't received a review yet, this items was recently reviewed with 1 star, packed with a couple of lies and I believe it was a competitor since the same person wrote 5 more 1 star reviews with other merchants! Someone there has an agenda and now my business takes an impact due to unfair, unreasonable and untrue reviews! Certainly I have flagged the review and other customers felt obligated to write a counter response to that "customer" but again... in the end of the day my item is listed with 1 star... hence it is officially junk!

Interesting side note, whenever i received a 1 star review those persons did not want to be found in search! Coincidence? I hardly think so!

Finally coming to my point!

Customers shall not allowed this power! There need to be guidlines, there need to be IP checks.... and 1 Star / 2 Star reviews need to be reviewed because I swear to god, the most of the times it is some douche bag competitor without integrity and business ethics! Since I pay around 6k for a product listing and the area where my products are listed are tagged as "MY STORE" I demand the power to delete 1 star and 2 star reviews! A busy Linden is not the final resolution! I would not allow any customer to intentionally bad mouth my products at my SL or RL store! None of my items is 1 Star item, that's a fact!

The review sytsem doesn't pan out because 95% buy and forget, most Marketplace reviews are friends boosting the search rankings with sales and reviews which is probably okay since there is no rule against it? Everyone judge yourself! However MP part of my business and as much I would want to see Marketplace to be a platform for builders and designers instead of an Inworld killing weapon, as long as it is there I am obliged to use it to stay competetive! We need the power to resolve unfair  reviews ourselves, it is our shop it is our advertising space and we should be in control as long as we are talking about 1/2 Star Reviews coz the most of the times they are not reasonable, there are shades of grey and not only black and white! I am reasonable enough to see mistakes and fix them, but when someone simply lies about your product what can you do to make people understand that this is untrue! Would a Linden Reviewer actually get the item and check if the review is legit? No he wouldn't... and based on the low percentage of reviews 1 single bad review can impact your business and decides if you sell this item 5 times a day or zero times and that has nothing to do with providing an opinion... This is a sophisticated form of griefing and those people should loose their reviewing priviledges!

 

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Steph Catseye wrote:

 

based on the low percentage of reviews 1 single bad review can impact your business and decides if you sell this item 5 times a day or zero times

This has always been my concern as well. Many of my newer items don't have any reviews, and it is always possible for someone to give it a low rating, which could have a huge impact on future sales. It is very unfair, especially when some items take so much time and effort to create. This might be against the rules, but if it happened to me I would just quietly delete the listing and relist it - stuff the rules. If the rules are unfair then I'll break them.

 

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I agree with almost every thing you've said here. Sellers have very little to no recourse when it comes to unjust reviews. I believe the entire review process needs not only a complete overhaul, but also some *actual instruction for customers. It should be a simple process for us to leave reviews. As it stands now, it isn't, and I hate that. We get far less reviews in general because LL can't seem to get a handle on anything. Instead they focus a teeny bit of time on each and every thing here and there, to make it seem as if they're actually accomplishing something, when in reality they've not done a darn thing.

The one thing I have issue with is sellers being given the power to remove 1 and 2 star reviews. As much as it pains me to see folks getting those on items that do not deserve them, it's a reality you need to face as a merchant. Yes a lot of times it very well may be A-a competitor, B-someone who simply failed to read instructions, C-someone who is having a really horrid day, D-someone who confused that product with another or E-someone who is flat out cranky and can't be pleased. But there are also times when a 1 or 2 star review would be warranted. If we give merchants the power to remove any "low" rating, some will undoubtedly remove *warranted low ratings too. In fact I know one seller who will do everything in his power-including having friends leave higher star reviews to counteract any negative ones. While that person may not be the majority of sellers, there are enough of them out there who would abuse this removal power to benefit themselves in the same way. So it really needs to be an all or nothing. Either we're allowed to remove *any reviews, or none at all. At least with the system we have now, this is how it needs to be. We do have the power to flag reviews, though I don't know what good it will do. It would be tremendously difficult to prove a "lie" told via a review. You're not alone when it comes to getting an unwarranted low review, it happens to the best of creators. Adding a comment on to their review is about the best you can do right now. Unless the review is very blatantly nasty and violates some sort of rule, we're somewhat stuck with them. But there is a little bit of good news as well. Most people, don't even pay attention to a lot of the ratings, much less put a whole lot of faith into the lower reviews. Especially if there is no comment and it's simply the star ratings. As those migrated with us to marketplace. I take reviews with a grain of salt, I honestly think most people who actually use marketplace do as well. Otherwise things with lower ratings, would never sell. I hate low ratings, unwarranted ones, as much as the next person. Unfortunately they are going to happen no matter what sort of system we end up with.

The only item I have ever gotten a low rating on, has sold a *lot and I've only gotten one complaint about it, despite what the rating actually says as that person is not the one who contacted me. I had forgotten to change a script, well I put the wrong version in the box. That person contacted me the day I had listed it. I had it fixed as soon as the person sent me an IM and fixed the one in the box as well. Since then, not a single complaint, the one low unwarranted review, yet it still sells all the time. People don't put as much faith in the reviews as we think they might, or ought to. I know I certainly don't to be honest. Unless I see a *lot of really negative *written reivews, but even then I may still consider the purchase.

 

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When anyone could easily give just stars, reviews were more prevalent -- a one star did not hurt your rank much -- and yes, stars do influence search rank, that's why merchants pay for them.  Now, I would say, there are not only many fewer reviews but a somewhat higher percentage of one stars for non delivery or things that have nothing to do with the product or the service, because disgruntled irate people are more likely to make the effort.

Have I heard of ppl using reviews to extort merchandise and/or cold hard cash from merchants? Yes I have.

 

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I miss the discussion  section that was in xstreetsl. In some cases, that was more telling than the actual reviews themselves. Merchants had a chance to reply to their customers, and customers could review a product if they received it through other means.

I disagree with merchants being able to manipulate low reviews, because that just defeats the entire purpose.

Some merchants offer incentives for reviewing their items (or at least they used to - haven't seen  that in a while).

"In the end of the day my bestseller is now a 4 star product even when I know from countless conversations that my customers are absolutely satisfied with the product!"

So why not ask them to leave reviews if they were satisfied?

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Replying to all of you above, first I'd like to say to Monica that there is a comment option, I can and I did respond to the unfair review and so did other customers! I admit the comment link is tiny but it's there! :-)

 

To all others that replied I'd like to say that this have been very good responses and I come to the conclusion that the power I was asking for might be abused the other way around! Hence not the best of my ideas! However while reading your responses and the season premiere of southpark I had a tiny vision and it looks like that.... not kidding about southpark :smileyvery-happy:

In order to protect us from unreasonable and unwarranted reviews how about that...

When someone leaves a 1 star or 2 star reviews a short check list pops up that explains under what circumstances one should give a 1 or 2 star review! Such as unfunctional, color not as described, missing items, false advertising etc...

If one agrees to that check list and insist on the low ratings and the merchant can somehow proof that these claims are false the reviewer should loose the review priviledges or maybe a 2 day banishment or something like that!

Maybe it sounds like too much punishment for a foul review but in the end of the day some people do actually live from their SL income and such a review has an impact on my real life! The Items I was talking about was selling 5 times a day and now only 4 times in 2 weeks, which is a difference to date of round about 17,000L$ and based on the low review per sale ratio this will continue indefinetely, while good reviews would probably give me 10 sales a day based on higher search rankings and better trust, I am doing basically no sales at all which makes a difference of 430,000 / year based on sales before the review and potential 800,000 / year with good reviews, let's not get cocky and only work with stats i can actually proof ... well that is round about 1,700 USD per year on a single item, if this foul reviewer gets away with it they will do it again and again and we are talking about a real serious amount of money! They can easily cause a 5 digit damage per year and in no business environment any of that should be possible! I raise the question if this is even legal!

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Negative reviews could have an impact on sales, at some point. But to be honest, that point isn't right now. Above and beyond what we see here in the forums, a lot of people talk in world too, about marketplace that is. I know very few people who actually take reviews seriously. They simply do NOT have the impact they had before. This can be a good or bad thing, it depends on how you're looking at it. Lower sales could be attributed to just about anything, though. This time of year many have already said they're seeing a decline in sales. Many have also said they experience this same "slump" as it were, every year around the same time. It could be possible that the lower amount of sales is simply just a reflection of less purchases overall. Or, it could be the rating. However if you, as a seller, comment on those ratings and *show people you are trying to get to the bottom of an issue, that low review is more likely to have a positive impact on your sales.(for those actually paying attention to reviews. There used to be a much larger audience doing so, now, not so much)

I too miss the discussion area that was on xstreet. That was a really great tool and I think a lot of merchants, and customers, used it to not only sort issues but even improve products. I really wish we had that back. I know we have the comment thing, but, still. This wasn't the same.

When I got that low review I thought the worst too, that it would impact my sales, that it would somehow make people leary of buying that item. The fact that for whatever reason I wasn't even able to leave a comment on the review for months after the fact-did not help any. But my fears were pointless, as that product still sells. Though it did slow a bit after that, I don't think it had anything to do with the review and moreso the time of year it was. I rely on my sl sales as well, so anything that could negatively impact my sales could prove to be problematic for me both in sl and rl. But I've learned that the reviews, are the least of my concerns, at least right now.

 

Personally I think if they aren't going to overhaul the review system as it stands they ought to disable it until they can. I like the idea of having reviews and being able to leave them, a lot. I don't like the idea of dealing with a majorly flawed system for ages like this. We'd probably be better off, overall, with no review system in place until they can get one that actually makes sense, is user friendly, and provides a service for both parties. But everyone knows they won't do this. It's easier to hide behind the curtain making shadow puppets that vaguely resembling people doing work.

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I'd agree that one bad review doesn't have an impact among other good ones!

However, if there is only 1 review and the customer is lying about particular things and make it sound reasonable then you got a problem! It is not a slumb or anything, all other products perform the same as before, just this one stopped since the day the review was posted! Stats don't lie, customers do! In the end of the review that "customer" claimed she would be so disapointed because she usually buys so many of my products and trusted the good quality! I checked.. it was her first purchase ever, no other sales on MP, Inworld, Gifted items or store card usage! Just a lie!

As I said I am living from my SL income and I don't rely on this particular product, and even if it wouldn't have an Impact on my sales there are principles involved and nobody should temper with their principles, especially not when it was a targeted attack from a person that gave 4 other 1 Star reviews with other designers creations and never a good one!

Such things need to be stopped and when you flag a review there is no appropriate option in the drop down list to report this correctly!

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I wasn't saying one bad review has no impact on other good reviews. I was saying that reviews in general have little to no impact whatsoever. Whether they are good or bad. They do not have the same impact they used to, or are intended to.

One review won't make or break you or your sales of that product. I have the exact same situation, one false review on a product that has no other reviews at all. It has *not* impacted the sale of that particular item. I honestly do not believe that one low rating *will. I suppose if the product "looked" as if it weren't any good and the review someone left(true or false) seems plausible it *might give someone cause to think twice, but I doubt anyone who is interested in making the purchase will decide not to based off one review(yes even one chock full of lies). That's where being able to comment on reviews comes in handy, and it's pretty much the only place it comes in handy. You can explain, as best as possible, so future customers can see. That *will be your saving grace if you get an unwarranted negative review. Sure a negative review *might turn off someone who was already on the fence about purchasing every once in a great while. But not nearly as often as we might think.

Of course there are principles involved, and it needs to be changed. I don't think anyone would ever dispute that. I've yet to run into anyone who actually *likes the system we have. It wouldn't matter who left the review, or why. A false review is a false review and there ought to be checks in place to help prevent them. As it stands, this is what we have, and apparently, they aren't changing it anytime soon. It sucks, but it is what it is. Personally, I don't worry about the negative review.  I would if it were true, but since it's not there isn't anything I can do. I'm not going to go around and see what other negative reviews this person left, or why. Once it's done.. it's done. I did my best to correct whatever problem there was(there wasn't one) and stated so in my comment to the review. And now that experience is behind me. Unfortunately there will always be people who do things like that. Even if they did change the system, we'd still have people like that. You'd be better off not worrying so much about it. If it were a real problem, you'd have handled it by now and it would have been done and overwith. But because it's not a real problem, it's easier to sit ,stew and be mad(rightfully so), go checking up on this person to see what other dastardly deeds they've done and worry about it impacting your sales. None of those things really matter. Though I do understand completely about being angry, and worrying about the impact it might have(I don't understand going to see what other reviews a person leaves, that practice has always seemed silly to me). All you're doing is adding fuel to the fire for folks who do leave unwarranted reviews though.

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Tari, I certainly respect your opinion and don't intend to change it!

I can only say the day the product was listed as a 1 star review it stopped selling on marketplace while it was continuing to sell steady in world! I believe fashion items which such a huge amount of competeting products are affected differently! It is too easy to skip them since there are so many other products to choose from!

In General good reviews do have an impact because it boosts your search rankings, hence more exposure, more clickthrus, more sales! Do people care for the reviews? I believe if there are hundreds of 5 star reviews nobody would care, if there is an item that is rated with 1 star I do believe they would care! I know it would make me think twice!

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Ok then. Just trying to show you it's not the end of the world, happens to lots of people, everyday. I know simply from reading these forums, most people couldn't give a rat's butt about the reviews. They used to, and maybe one day they will again. But right now, the fact remains reviews aren't worth what they used to be.

If you want to think that one review has slowed your sales, by all means go for it. I'd prefer to remain positive, personally, and continue on. I'm not going to fret over one review, especially after the fact, when there's nothing you *can do(once you've done all you can that is). If people see you get up in arms about something(and by this I mean the people who would normally give unwarranted negative reviews), they'll know they've hit your hot button. They're more likely to continue doing it. It would be easier to let it go if we had better recourse, but we don't. So you can take the high road, do whatever possible to deal with the issue, and move on. Or, you can continue showing those who leave that sort of review, that it gets under your skin and *will* have a negative impact on your rl as well. In which case.. they win and they'll know which target to hit next. If you indeed think it's someone simply being malicious you're just giving them more reason to keep doing it to you.

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The easiest way to get over it isn't trying to control your emotions by talking yourself into not caring, the way Tari has done or is trying to do. It's almost impossible. The easiest way to get over it is to make it go away. Good girl! Now carry on and be happy :smileyhappy:

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  • 1 year later...

This same thing has happened to me.  Everyone says they love the product, then after selling many of an item, I suddenly get a horrible review rating my product as junk.  The product states in the ad it uses silverlight.  A feature included with newer versions of internet explorer.  It is not my fault if a customer claims silverlight slows their old pc down.  My God at least get a dual core computer so you can run second Life at a decent speed.  I deleted many of my products off of the marketplace, and I am not going to spend any more time developing anything else to sell, until this unfair and unjust crappy system of rating peoples products is removed or fixed.   I also refuse to purchase anything else off of marketplace - from now onward I will only make the things I need.  You don't want to listen to us creators?  You don't feel like we deserve an equal say?  Fine, then I will simply not participate in the selling and buying aspect of products in the marketplace.

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I deleted all my products from marketplace.  I saw you put this here over a year ago and nothing has changed.  I promise not to sell or buy anything else on the marketplace, until they fix the review system, and at least give merchants some options to fix a product review.

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