21% of Americans who have left reviews, reviewed products without buying or trying them

Zaraida DiazYouGov Omnibus
January 22, 2014, 10:43 PM GMT+0

Recently a Virginia judged ruled that the popular review site Yelp had to come forward with the identities of seven anonymous reviewers who had left negative reviews on the Yelp page of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning Services in Alexandria, Virginia. The owners of the store claimed these unhappy reviewers had never been customers of the stores, and had therefore written false reviews.

According to the latest YouGov Omnibus survey conducted between January 18th and January 20th 2014, nearly 8 out of 10 Americans (79%) at least sometimes check reviews before purchasing a product or service. Furthermore, 26% of Americans claim to always check reviews before purchasing a product or service.

Which of the following statements best describes the amount of attention you pay to reviews of products/services before purchasing?

It appears that Americans weigh both the pros and cons before making purchases. Among Americans who look at reviews, a whopping 86% claim that they look at a mixture of both good and bad reviews when considering a product or service. Parents of children under 18 are the most likely to only read positive reviews when considering whether or not to make a purchase, with 18% of these respondents stating that they only read positive reviews in comparison to the 9% of Americans without children under 18 who only read positive reviews.

Americans are definitely eager to share their opinions on products or services, with only 39% of Americans claiming they have never left a review on a website. Meanwhile, over 4 out of 10 Americans (42%) have left a review on Amazon.

On which of the following websites have you ever left a review, if any

Out of those Americans who have ever left a review on a website or mobile app, 57% have left a mixed review, while 54% have left a good review and only 21% have left a bad review. Roughly 9 out of 10 Americans (88%) who have left bad reviews claim that they have done so to warn other people about the product or service they reviewed.

Not all reviewers are honest

Nearly a fifth (21%) of Americans who have reviewed a product or service claim that they have reviewed a product or service they had never bought, used, or even tried. In addition, 32% of parents of children under 18 who have left reviews claim to have done so for something they had not bought or used.

Why have you left a review for a product or service that you haven't bought, tried or used?

Among Americans who left a review for a product or service they have never bought, used or tried 32% stated that they did so because they “just felt like it.” Meanwhile, 22% stated they did not like the idea of the product and 23% stated they left a review because they did not like the manufacturer or service.

Out of Americans who have never left a bad review for a product or a service, over a third (36%) claim that they have never done so because they have never had a bad enough experience. Meanwhile 15% said they have never left a negative review because they do not like talking badly of things.

For further information about poll results, and for details about methodology and omnibus services, please email omnibus.us@yougov.com.

Find the full results here.

Image: Getty