10-19-2015, 09:48 AM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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We all have seen it:  people talk about already-familiar political candidates or consumer products, etc., and if somebody brings up an unfamiliar political name or a hard to find consumer product, he or she might as well be talking to a brick wall, as the conversation among the others continues on discussing the old familiar names and products.  Even among specialty groups such as —ahem— Shavenook, there are multiple times the number of responses to a mention of, say, Proraso as to a mention of, say, Tabula Rasa.

The exception to the rule is when a giant retailer, such as the one named after a mythic race of superwomen or a giant river in South America, out of the blue decides to promote a hitherto unknown and consequently completely obscure brand of an item that is already represented by hundred of competing brands.  All of a sudden it is the newcomer that is driving the conversation.  

Consider the Perfecto Double Edge Long Handled Safety Razor - Designed to deliver the Best Shave of your life!!! This is the best shaving razor!!! (all exclamation marks as appear in the title line of the Amazon.com product lsting).  The Perfecto (you have heard of it, have you not?  No?) is Amazon's Number 1 selling razor in the category of (erm) Shaving Alum & Styptic, a category that we (contributors to Shavenook discussions) of course would look to first in seeking out a new razor.  That does not mean that Amazon has hidden it in an obscure corner, however, as there are 521 reviews (as of this writing) for the razor, suggesting that a whole lot of people have selected the Perfecto over all other alternatives.  Many of the reviews at the top of the review listings as ranked by Amazon contain disclaimers that the reviewer received the product for free or at a promotional price from Amazon in return for the reviewer giving a fair and honest evaluation.  Apparently, Amazon is pushing this item pretty aggressively.  

Amazon has found some very experienced experts to review the Perfecto.  Some excerpts from the reviews:  

Quote:We came across these safety razors for the single blade. We decided to try it because so many professionals at least in this area, prefer to use a straight edge razor to get a smooth shave.

Quote:The razor blade after one use is still very sharp.  . . . With this razor we can expect the razor blade to last a month or longer. And when you get 10 blades for 6 dollars that means one set of blades should last you a whole year.

Quote:To add the blade or change it out, you simply unscrew the handle. I do this on a towel, while it is upside down. Let the top come completely off, add or replace the blade, then put it back together and tighten it. This razor has 3 pieces.

Despite these informative reviews, Amazon shoppers still asked 26 (as of this writing) probing questions.  Examples:  

Quote:To put the blade on, should the blade face up or down?

Quote:can you wash it with water or will it ruin it?

Quote:Would this razor work well on women?


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 10-19-2015, 09:58 AM
#2
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Ok, so some people are idiots, what's new?

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 10-19-2015, 09:58 AM
#3
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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I am surprised they are not pushing the Kelvin- their exclusive offer partnering with EJ.

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 10-19-2015, 10:59 AM
#4
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(10-19-2015, 09:58 AM)hrfdez Wrote: Ok, so some people are idiots, what's new?

What’s new IMHO is that the reviews from which I quoted were the ones that the highest number and percentage of Amazon readers had voted to be, among the 521 reviews, the most helpful.  I guess whether it is novel depends upon what cohort comprises the putative idiots.

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 10-19-2015, 11:14 AM
#5
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Currently, Amazon is suing over 1,000 people for fake reviews

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 10-19-2015, 11:57 AM
#6
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Currently Amazon has seen negative publicity over their sweatshop work conditions, Stazi police tactics encouraging employee reporting on each other, impossible quotas and nepotism. Uber, Silicone Valley et al have this idea that being  fair haired wunderkindts gives a free pass on inconvenient labor laws.
Now, did everyone get BULLGOOSE SHAVINGS latest promo email?  Lets ALL OF US order something and make Phil break a real 19th century workhouse  sweat.

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 10-19-2015, 12:57 PM
#7
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(10-19-2015, 10:59 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(10-19-2015, 09:58 AM)hrfdez Wrote: Ok, so some people are idiots, what's new?

What’s new IMHO is that the reviews from which I quoted were the ones that the highest number and percentage of Amazon readers had voted to be, among the 521 reviews, the most helpful.  I guess whether it is novel depends upon what cohort comprises the putative idiots.

Exactly!

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 10-19-2015, 02:58 PM
#8
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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My brain hurts Facepalm

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 10-19-2015, 08:05 PM
#9
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Percision made, huh? Doesn't look that great to me...
[Image: a691984a87de36567b9c6af15dcecb5f.jpg]

Lol!

We now return you to your regularly unscheduled forum perusal...


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 10-20-2015, 10:33 AM
#10
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Lately I've been getting offers to review products on Amazon.  All I have to do is click on the discount code listed in the email, and I can get whatever the product is at a discount and then I'm supposed to return the favor by posting a review.  I have no idea what products are being marketed because I've never taken the bait.  Assuming this isn't some virus scam.

Just seems sleazy, even if you post the disclaimer.

As far as that razor, I'll pass.  Even if I were in the market for a new cheap razor, there's something about that listing that just doesn't seem right.  Really poor copy.

"Perfecto Double Edge Long Handled Safety Razor - Designed to deliver the Best Shave of your life!!!"  Minus 10 points for trying too hard with those exclamation points. 

"This is the best shaving razor!!!"  Ditto above.  Minus 10.

"Percision made for high quality shaving."  Minus 10 for spelling. 

"Satisfaction Gauranteed!!!"  Minus 10 for spelling and minus 15 for continuing to yell at me with your exclamation points.  Enough already.

"The Handle length is around 3.5 inches."  Minus another 5 for capitalizing the H in "handle."  And why don't you know the dimensions of your own razor?  Minus 30 points.

And those sleazy reviews.  Minus 10 points.

On a one hundred point scale, this listing gets a grand total of zero points.   That's around a Compleate Failyer!!!

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 10-20-2015, 11:43 PM
#11
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It's a very interesting observation. Aside from the latest review scandal (which Amazon is aggressively addressing), I generally find the reviews to be informative and reliable. For me, it does not seem that hard to read a review and assess how much credibility I should give to the reviewer.

The shaving reviews definitely make me pause though. If I blindly followed them, I'd probably think that some combination of an EJ/Merkur/Perfecto razor, an Escali pure badger/Omega boar brush, and ToBS/Cremo/Proraso shaving cream is the best shaving set up on the market. It's not that I think all of those products are bad (though some likely are), but I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone here say that any of them are the best, which is how they are rated.

So, when I think about how I use Amazon reviews for other purchases, I'm somewhat concerned that I'm actually making uninformed purchases in other areas as well.


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 10-21-2015, 07:26 AM
#12
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I would say Amazon is the least of your worries. Shaving forums are filled with shills. When I started wet shaving around 2009 you could trust reviews. I would say just avoid new products because those are the ones that need to be shilled(for a new guy that doesn't know any better especially). No one needs to shill a vintage Gillette Super Speed or Mitchells Wool Fat. These "artisan" soaps and new Indian pot metal razors coming out of nowhere on the other hand...

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 10-21-2015, 09:24 AM
#13
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I've noticed an explosion in soap and aftershave makers the last few years.  Everybody and his brother wants in on the action.

I always roll my eyes when the maker of a new soap, aftershave, etc says something like, "I noticed that all the products out there were full of chemicals and other stuff bad for your skin, so I decided to take it upon myself to come up with all natural products that are good for you."

That may have been true once upon a time, but now the market place is full of all natural products that are supposed to be good for us.

What I hear is, "I'm an entrepreneur.  I saw a golden opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a exploding market.  With any luck, I'll be rolling in the dough in no time and may be in a position to sell my company in a few years and grab a golden parachute on my way out the door.  But of course, to do that I have to make high quality all natural products because that's what today's wet shavers expect."

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 10-21-2015, 03:42 PM
#14
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(10-21-2015, 07:26 AM)fram773 Wrote: I would say Amazon is the least of your worries. Shaving forums are filled with shills. When I started wet shaving around 2009 you could trust reviews. I would say just avoid new products because those are the ones that need to be shilled(for a new guy that doesn't know any better especially). No one needs to shill a vintage Gillette Super Speed or Mitchells Wool Fat. These "artisan" soaps and new Indian pot metal razors coming out of nowhere on the other hand...

I'm not as worried about my shaving purchases, since I spend so much time reading about the products. I definitely agree with your sentiments though.

I'm more worried about buying some other product where I don't have as much knowledge. Of course, there's Consumer Reports and a host of other sources for reviews, which I'll lean on more heavily in the future rather than trusting the Amazon reviews.

I actually saw one shaving vendor soliciting Amazon reviews on Instagram. For each review, a person would be entered into a raffle for a product. The vendor requested only genuine reviews from people who actually liked the product, but this is still a grey area for me.


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