Can You Really Trust Reviews?

Amazon's recent lawsuit shows that fake reviews are prevalent, and you can't always trust what you read. Fake reviews can come in different forms. Some are used to boost products, so a company gets a lot of 5 stars from people who don't own the product and have never used it. Some are used to make the competition look bad, so people badmouth a service or product and give it a low score, discouraging people to buy.

It's difficult to tell the fake reviews from the real ones, which makes purchasing an item more difficult. Some experts recommend that you ignore the 5 star and 1 star reviews and look at the ones in between. But what if a product is really great, and the majority of reviews are 5 stars? Does that mean that they are fake? What portion of them are real? How can you tell? You can't.

So you have to take reviews with a grain of salt. You can't quickly assess a product or service strictly by the number of good or bad reviews. You have to be a much more savvy consumer and do a bunch of research, especially if you are buying something expensive.

Which leads me to reviews of Las Vegas. Many so-called experts will review hotels, restaurants, shows, etc. What makes their opinions more valid than yours? Even if the reviews you are reading are from a knowledgable, seasoned Vegas veteran, you still have to keep a very open mind when reading them. You never really know if the reviewer had either a bad day or an unusually good experience for no good reason. When you are spending a lot of money on a vacation, you want to be sure you're going to get your money's worth and have a great time.

One of the major premises of my book is that reviews are too subjective, so I put the tools that you need in your hands to make decisions. Now I don't mind telling you what I like, but I make sure that you understand that it is my opinion. My 20 years of experience is just that - mine. You have to make sure that you understand all the things that make your experience something special.