How to turn a negative review into a positive experience for yourself and your buyer

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How to turn a negative review into a positive experience for yourself and your buyer

The one thing that bugs me about gift shopping is when I go to some place like Amazon or eBay or even the Walmart site online and read all those glowing reviews and sometimes they just seem so over the top fake. And, the actual product doesn't look all that good.

Or, worse I actually believe the first few good reviews on a product and get all hyped about owning and loving that product and then read one really bad review (and then another and another) and realize the 'positive' experience that a few buyers had is the exception not the rule.

And, I know that Amazon and most retail Marketplaces have rules against fake reviews but you can just tell when something is fake as one person has just this OP positive reaction and 100 other people talk about how stinky that same product is. Now who are you going to believe?

The one or the many?

As for me, I look for balanced reviews on a product and feel like reviews which don't cover at least one or two negative points are either fake or biased (as in a friend of the seller's probably bought and reviewed that product as a favor).

So all this has me thinking about product reviews from the seller's point of view.

Just from my own point of view, I would like it if a buyer took time to leave a balanced review too

As a seller of either tangible or intangible products, (meaning services), how will your potential customers perceive your reviews?

As a seller of services, I know what you are probably thinking, how a negative review is the killer of reputation! I can understand that point of view and know it's hard to be humbled by someone else especially if you don't think you did anything wrong. No one wants critical feedback. After all, how does it look if one of your buyers is screaming "He's a scammer beware stay away!!?!?!?" and you know they are just off their rocker! No, I'm not talking about those kind of negative reviews but the kind that contain actual constructive critisism (not career ending negativity). And if you look at it from the buyer's point of view, maybe you can learn something.

What about when you are selling something handcrafted such as your own arts and crafts? I just think it would be more beneficial, fair and probably believable if the customer took time to cover both good and bad parts of your product. Not only will they be doing a service for your other potential buyers but providing feedback that helps to make your product better over all.

For instance, let's say that I'm a crafter and sell my own knitted sweaters at Christmas time with a little hand stitched reindeer on it.

And, also let's imagine that a buyer takes time to leave a rather lengthy review that basically says, good points are the sweater is warm, well made, colorful but the bad points: Too long, goes way past my hips; pattern/design wasn't too my taste.

Now, assuming that I were the seller and crafts person, that kind of review would be very beneficial to me as it would let me know that at least one buyer didn't like the design or pattern that I had used. So I could take that feedback and either try some other patterns or designs or poll my buyers to ask what they wanted.

That's just one way to turn those negative reviews into a really positive experience. Or, I might decide, that's just one person's opinion if a majority of my buyer's like the pattern.

What if I polled my buyers as a result of this person's negative review and learned that my average buyer was a shorter person. And, in fact many of my buyers had trouble with the sweater being too long.

Wouldn't I want to compensate by providing a petite version of the sweater? See how I turned that negativity into something positive that will benefit my business?

Either way, I have a great opportunity to reach out to that person to ask them what changes that I could make to the product that would suit their needs.

Whatever type of product you are selling, whether intangible such as a service or tangible (arts and crafts, reselling clothing online, etc), you can benefit from even not so glowing reviews. Whenever you get a not so glowing review, take the time to write out a nice postcard and send it to the buyer to thank them for the feedback and encourage that person to tell you honestly what they think you could do to improve the product. Be sure to include some way for them to contact you, such as link to your site, return postcard mailer or email address they can respond back on.

Now that you have that person talking to you, maybe include a free discount code on your mailer they can use on next purchase. So right there, you would probably get another purchase, just from that contact.

By the way, you can do this whatever type of product you are selling - even if you are only the representative for a company - not even the product creator.

Just another chance to reach out to your buyer and send them a catalog, mailer or some other physical contact piece that reminds them of your existence.

Taking time to get honest feedback from a customer (whether good or bad) can not only lead to a better product (assuming you integrate the suggestions of the buyer) but also a loyal customer for life.

So what are your thoughts as a consumer on reviews? Do you believe them? Does a good review help convince you of the merits of that product or do you find yourself suspicious?

As a seller do you appreciate a truly glowing review or do you think that type of review sets off the alarm bells in your buyer's head?

What can you learn from either a positive or negative review of your product?


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I love this because shopping online is anything but easy. The more we have to go by the better off we will be every time that box comes in the mail. Shopping online can be a real nightmare if you don't do your research. I agree with you about some of the feedbacks being fake and some being bias even. The question is can we use this method to buy our products more safely and with less headaches? The answer is maybe! For example i purchased these racks for my mining operation and the review where just down rite horrible. Only very few people actually said good things about these racks. I decided to take a chance on them anyway because they looked good, and i watched a youtube video on assembly and unboxing of these particular racks. Needless to say i have 3 of them now and i will buy more of these racks i love them and they are under 90 bucks. With this said i would just use them as a guideline and i would do research as far as people who already have these racks. Videos are very helpful and can be the deal breaker. Awesome topic and thanks for sharing!

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Actually, you've brought up a very good point. And, sometimes I go against the grain and buy a product despite the negative ratings and sometimes (just like your experience), it works out.

Sometimes if a product has bad reviews, I look at what that person didn't like and ask myself if that point is a relevant point for me. For instance, like on a cheap laptop if one person complains that all you can do is surf Facebook and read email but not use heavy software like Photoshop, then maybe that review would not be relevant for me as most of the programs I use are browser based (apps, online, etc) and I would not mind that at all. That's true, especially if the price is right.

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Hey Beverly, this is a great explanation of reviews and how you can make use of them.

Having had an online store where we made up almost all the products ourselves I found reviews and feedback from my customers vital to my business. Whenever I sent out a wholesale order of clothing to a customer I would call them as soon as it has been delivered to them and ask them if they were happy with their order and if they had any concerns or suggestions I dealt with them then.

I made a lot of changes to the patterns of our clothing based on feedback from customers and this made our products exceptional. Not only that but my customers were almost always exceptionally happy with my service. They felt heard.

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For me if i receive a negative review take is as a positive review because in that way you can improve your service on what is lacking and what is needed to be improve. and also for positive review i will be glad for it and listen to any possible suggestion to the costumer to upgrade the product to even more advance or more effective for consumers or buyer.

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For me I love a balanced review of a product, I believe cannot be totally bad, there's always the good side to it. A balanced review should highlight the pros and cons of a product so that another buyer can use that as a yardstick to make an informed decision about the product.

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I'm of the opinion, that a bad review is not the end of the world. this is an opportunity for you to improve,what's not working in your product or in your business systems and do better. I actually thinks it is a positive thing. When someone gives you a bad review publicly and people see you engaging that person and see you're are willingness to improve and you're concerned for the customers complaints. I think that's a big plus for your business and the best in customer service.

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