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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Online Reviews for the Busy and/or Composition-Challenged

Photo by Alan O'Rourke

It seems many people don't post online reviews of products and services because they either can’t eke out the time, are flummoxed at the thought of penning their own original paragraph, or some combination of both.

     But reviews are the lifeblood of products and services, and can mean the difference between growth and death for a small business or businessperson. A 2014 study conducted by found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and that 72% of consumers will place their trust in a local business if they’ve read a positive review about it online.

     Even negative reviews can have a positive effect. According to 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has customer reviews, online question-and-answer interactions increase purchasing likelihood by 105%, and reviews are more trusted by consumers when they find a mix of positive and negative reviews for a product or service.

     Therefore it is my pleasure to offer as a public service the following Sample Review Templates for your personal use. Plagiarize them word-for-word or adapt them at your discretion. I remain your humble ghostwriter.

Five Stars      


Love, love, love! This book (product, service) is the most amazing thing since “Anna Karenina” (the wheel, home pizza delivery). Seriously, it’s the best (insert price here) I ever spent. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; you’ll wonder how you ever lived your life to this point without it. The author (manufacturer, owner) will one day be canonized as a saint, granted angel wings, and memorialized with a fifty-foot marble monument. I’ve already named my unborn child after him/her.

Four Stars   


This is a really good book (product, service). It’s useful and interesting and well-written (-made, -organized). I learned (saved, appreciated it) a lot. The author (manufacturer, owner) is obviously well-informed and highly skilled at his/her work. And I looked him/her up online—total hottie, folks. Only one or two places (glitches, hitches) gave me momentary pause, but overall the item is a tremendous value. I’d definitely buy it again. Especially if it came in periwinkle.

Three Stars


This story (thing, business) is okay. Not a total waste of money, but given the chance I’d probably put my (insert price here) towards a cup of Starbucks or an eyebrow/back wax. I’d like to have experienced a little more pathos (utility, customer service) than I did, but I don’t feel like I got totally rooked, either. It did the job, but just barely. I’d probably try this writer (manufacturer, service) again, but might look around a little more next time. The experience was kind of like taking your cousin to the prom: s/he is a date, but only by the most generous definition of the word.

Two Stars


It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever paid money for, but it comes close. The font (color, location) is acceptable, but if you were hoping for intellectual stimulation (a useful life-hack, a living & breathing serviceman) your chances are about as good as that of putting together a nice dinner out of a dumpster dive at the back of the 7-11. It is possible to repurpose the item, however, into a doorstop (makeshift weapon, phone contact that makes you look like you have more friends than you actually do). But honestly, you could turn your cash money into paper airplanes and have more fun watching them fly away than spending them on this crap.

One Star

Lousy novel (product, company). Whoever came up with this must’ve worked on it while simultaneously binge-watching Netflix and swilling Two-Buck Chuck. I’ve honestly procured better reading (stuff, service) from people who showed up at my door in dirty denim overalls with a piece of wheatgrass stuck between their two front teeth. Only saving grace of this book (item, outfit) is that it serves as an awesome cockroach hammer. I only bought it because it’s a friend of my sister’s roommate’s ex-boyfriend, and he begged me on Facebook. I’ve since blocked him. And the roommate. And my sister.

     So no more excuses, people! Next time you purchase a product, do the author (manufacturer, business) a favor and leave a review online. With this kind of assistance, it really is the very least you can do.
Happy buying!

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