I don’t really have any unhealthy addictions…smoking, drinking, overeating (usually), gambling. But online product reviews…ohhh, online product reviews. I’ve mentioned before that no one will go to the drugstore with me because of the amount of time I can spend scanning the aisles, reading labels, going back and forth between different brands of toothpaste or conditioner. But little do they know the black hole that is me, my laptop, and online reviews.
I can seriously buy nary a baking sheet without researching it on the Internet and reading all available online reviews. And, it’s virtually impossible for me to commit to something that costs more than $20 if it doesn’t have at least a 4.5 average star rating on Amazon. Sometimes I even read online reviews of products I already own, as though my own review isn’t the only one that counts at that point. I try to limit this obsession for my own sanity, but relapses always occur. A fine line sighting in the mirror can turn into an hours-long eye-cream-review bender.
Needless to say…I like to make an (excessively over-) informed decision. But lately…something has cast doubt over my trusty online reviews. Well, first of all, in the course of my job searching, I’ve noticed a lot of “jobs” that offer to pay people like $10-15 a pop to write positive Yelp reviews. Which made me realize the same thing probably takes place with products on sites like Amazon. Then, I started noticing that quite a few reviews I’ve seen just didn’t sound quite…real. In fact, they sound a lot like the blog comments that get filtered straight into my spam folder.
And then…I found Rick.
I was – what else – reading online reviews of facial serums when I saw one by “Rick.” It said, “My girlfriends, I have four at this moment, say I have a baby skin. My secret: Kiehl’s midnight recovery concentrate. It is great, make me handsome and hot.”
Haha, I thought, and moved on to another product. But there…was Rick: “My skin is pretty new since I started to use Kiehl’s ultra facial cream, One girl, one day, stopped me and give me a kiss just for that. She said: your skin is beatiful and shiny like the moon. We have started a romance, but I think she is so obsessive and jealous. I have to end our relationship.”
Intrigued, I clicked the link to see all of Rick’s reviews. Here are some of the items Rick has left rave reviews for:
Maybelline nude lipstick: “I have bought this lipstick, But I never used it, ok? I am a real man. A macho man! I am only curious about it!”
Oakley sunglasses: “i feel the Power when I put my Oakley! I walk trough the streets and the people are afraid of me! I feel like the Terminator, like the Man! I recommend!”
A pair of Ipath sneakers: “I loved this Ipath. Everyboby in my street likes too. They asked all the time where did I buy it. I don’t say to anybody because I wanna be the only one, the coolest guy, the guy that have the most beatifull and different tennis shoes in my street, hahhaha, I am very smart…”
A little girl’s dress: “It’s so small for me. I think I will wear as a shirt in my job. I work in a office. I am afraid people say I get crazy. I dont care! I like it!”
The only thing not Rick-approved? A One Direction iPhone case: “I hated! But I needed to buy for my niece as a gift. The case is the most horrible thing that I have seen in my life.”
And the most intriguing part of Rick’s reviews? Each and every one is an Amazon Verified Purchase. Hmm.
But…the upside is, it also reminded me of this. That classic page of Amazon wolf t-shirt reviews that first swept the Internet years ago and still makes me laugh to this day. There are now 2,571 reviews! And good news – the shirt is still available.