For the Criminally Inane

For the Criminally Inane

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Write a Helpful Review

My husband and I are contemplating laying down a month's worth of income for a piece of furniture.  Yes, we are buying a couch.  For the first time in our married history, we can buy furniture, real adult furniture, something I actually like and not just given to us, scrounged out of the trash or found at thrift store.  I didn't think it would be this hard.  Now, don't get me wrong, we both agree on style and color, but finding exactly what we want is harder than finding a movie we want to see.

We ran into a little trouble when we started looking on-line.  How can you know if you like a couch by seeing it in a picture?  If you haven't sat on it, punched the pillows, lain supine to see if your feet hang off the end, how can you know if you like it, if it's comfortable?  You depend on reviews.  But only if the reviews are helpful.

I clicked on a few reviews.  I was deeply disappointed.  Review after review written and I still have no more information.  An example of a five star review and it says something like this:

Love this piece.  I just got it! Looks great with my decor.  The color was what it looked like on the screen.

There's a little tag at the bottom: Was this review helpful?  In my frustration of scrolling through sometimes hundreds of these vapid reviews, I want to scream,  no!  Why did you bother to take the time to write such drivel?  I don't care about your decor!  I don't have the same computer screen you do and if you just got it, how can you tell if you love it?  You love the design?  I can see the design from the picture!  Not helpful!

So, I've decided to write a tutorial about how to write a helpful review.  First off, what do people want to know when they read review? 

1--Tell me something about the object that I cannot see/feel from the computer screen. Ie, the fabric is soft/rough, the cushions are dense (don't just say that you like them, say why!) or fluffy.  If the couch is comfortable (comfort is an opinion) but give facts, like, I'm 5'5" and my feet dangle a bit, but still it's comfy.
this goes for anything you buy on-line.  When I wrote a review of a pair of leggings I bought my daughter from Children's Place, I was specific about the lace around the bottom of the pants.  They were too tight.  She complained about them constantly.  And my daughter is a twig, skinny long legs.  I can only imagine if someone who wasn't rail thin buying these, the pants would probably  cut off the circulation to their feet.  But I digress.  I just wanted the buyer to beware that these were made for malnourished children.

2--How easy was it to install?  Some furniture needs legs, or other details that need to be put on after shipping.  How difficult was it?  Did it make you want to swear like a sailor married to Howard Stern or was it intuitive?

3--Time.  If you've had this couch for over a year, write a review.  I want to know how it wears, do the cushions hold up over time?  Does it sag?  Do the buttons come off?  Does the frame stand up to your toddler or teenager jumping on it.  Or whatever!  When it's brand new, it's harder to predict the life of the object.

As much as I like positive reviews, this is the one time I want to hear you complain, but be specific.  I want to hear what you have to say, just not about how much everyone raves about your cool couch when they come over unless they happen to say "This is the most comfortable couch I've ever sat on!"



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