Can Reviews Really Be Unbiased?

Hi friends! I was listening to a TED talk a couple of months ago and the presenter was talking about how food can taste better when we are on vacation or having a good time. He said you can order the same food or take home a bottle of wine that you enjoyed on vacation but it just doesn’t taste as good as it did when you first tried it. It seems that the mood we are in when we are trying something for the first time can heavily influence how good we perceive it to be. I think we can perceive art supplies to be good or poor depending on our mood as well. That is just one of the ways we can be biased in our product reviews. I will go more into that as well as other ways product reviews might be biased in today’s video!

So we discussed unintentional bias as well as intentional bias or I should say a conflict of interest but there’s more…

Another reason that I didn’t mention in the video is the rise and popularity of hate/rant videos. Honestly it didn’t even cross my mind when I recorded this because I don’t think it’s fun or funny to destroy someone’s business for clicks, views and entertainment but unfortunately many on YouTube do. Titles like “I hate these paints” or “this product’s is a rip-off” or “I got scammed”  get lots of views. Often I see reviewers try a product knowing full well that they are not going to like it just so they can rant and rave about it or they try a complex product for the first time on camera and get frustrated and deem the product worthless. I read comments like “I’m so glad I didn’t spend the money on that!” or “I was going to buy that but not now” and if the product truly is bad that’s fine but more often than not the reviewer has not taken the time to learn about it. These “salty” reviews are so popular and I don’t think the youtubers making them think about the consequences of their actions. I think honesty is the best policy and if there are problems with a product let people know but only after making sure you are using it correctly.

There have been times where I have had a company ask me to try a product and see what I think and when I noticed a problem with it they changed the product and improved it. If I was to rant online about what I didn’t like a fledgling company could go under and we would never see how a good idea could flourish into a great one.

Unfortunately honesty and integrity doesn’t always get the views. It’s not as fun to listen to facts as it is to see someone get all wound up. This makes me sad. On the bright side there are still many talented artists on YouTube that do very unbiased reviews: Steve from The Mind of Watercolor, Marty from Owings Art, Denise from In Liquid Color, Teoh from Parka Blogs and so many more! I say this because I want to be sure you can ascertain whether a reviewer has been serious about testing a product and reviewing it or has a different agenda. The rise of the “drama channel” has infiltrated the art world and lots of people enjoy those videos. Just think about facts vs entertainment. I try to do both but not at the expense of the education and information I am trying to convey.  Nobody can be completely unbiased when we all have preferences and opinions as well as fluctuating moods when trying out products but we can avoid being willfully misleading. I love to watch reviews, I love learning about new products and seeing if what I have already is similar to the new thing on the market. I actually look for reviews on products I own to get excited about using them again!

Why do you watch reviews?  Information, entertainment or both? I think as long as you take them with a grain of salt and maybe look at the past reviews of a person before trusting them completely (so many drama-rant channels) you can figure out what’s what. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

12 thoughts on “Can Reviews Really Be Unbiased?

  1. Lindsay, I’ve watched your videos for a long time now. I’ve also watched the YouTube channels of all those artists you mentioned. IMO, if one watches a person’s channel for a while, you can tell whether they’re trying to be helpful and informative. I also read comments on the channels. Then I can make an informative decision if it’s a review on a product. I often watch videos for technique and tutorials as I’m still learning. There’s just so much to know!

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  2. What I like about your product reviews is that, I feel, they are honest but account for personal preference. I hope you keep on doing what you do and don’t let the grinches (trolls) bother you. They are, after all, just trolls.

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  3. I will watch/read reviews if I’m thinking about purchasing a product. I try to see as many as possible from different sources to get a more rounded view of the product. Usually I find one of two that are very different from the majority so I will treat those with caution and some that are obviously just a rant stand out (and get ignored). I will always view your reviews Lindsay as they are informative and unbiased. And also, well made and fun to watch.

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  4. I too watch your reviews for info on products to see if I “need” the product. I find your reviews to be helpful, informative and entertaining. I enjoy watching them. As for the drama reviews, no thanks at my age I don’t want or need any drama.

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  5. Thank you for your integrity, Lindsay. I’m sure it’s a major factor behind your loyal and loving fan base. Stay on the side of the good guys.

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  6. I think you are right, Lindsey. It’s so sad that people feel free to make negative and hurtful comments under the anonimity that the media offers. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, and reviews as well. I look at some before I buy a product, but do take areviewres expertise into account.

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  7. I totally agree with you, Lindsay. I remember watching a woman who had purchased a tool and couldn’t figure out how to use it. I have the same tool and use it often. She deemed it as being difficult to work with as opposed to figuring out how to use it before making the video. The problem was not the tool but user error. She didn’t give it high marks, needless to say.

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  8. I only write a negative review on products that I feel do not work correctly, after I’ve contacted them and got no satisfaction. Some products work but I just don’t like them. That’s not the company or products fault, it just doesn’t work for me.

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  9. Thank you for this!

    Those of us who appreciate good, honest information from sources like yours do not follow abusive ? Comments for long.

    Unfortunately on utube, Facebook and other sites people think they have the freedom to say what they would never say out loud without challenge.

    Keep on painting!

    Mary Sent from my iPad

    >

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  10. We are lucky as a crafting community to have honest people like you helping us out. I defiently watch sort thru what is said online. I take how they said it and why too. I hope other people do too. Surely I would hope any business would listen to people when they have suggestions on their products. Heck, they have already done all that hard work to get the product made. If they can just improve it and make consumers happier. All the better. It is surely very hard to get any idea into an actual product. Not to mention the amount of money it takes to get that idea from an idea to a product. It is worth all our time and energy to help those companies stay in business rather than help take them out of business. Thanks for all you do Lindsey!

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