Before Product Hits Our Virtual Shelves
At DormSmart, not every product we review makes our virtual shelves because we must factor school housing policies into our selection process. Does this mean every product we review is compliant with your particular school housing policy? No. The reason is there are thousands of colleges and boarding schools across the United States. Their housing policies vary from campus to campus; so, we research, locate, evaluate, and offer products that are most suitable for campus living. This narrows down the selection extensively compared to big box retailers who do not specialize in student living and rely heavily on online product reviews to assist campus bound shoppers.
About Online Product Reviews
At DormSmart, we research and review products for campus living 24/7 365 days a year for students. We used to love the idea of online reviews when we first started DormSmart. Unfortunately, we learned quickly that internet based review systems are often misused resulting in inaccurate or unfair assessments of products and services. In addition, these review systems do not factor in campus housing policies; exactly the reason we evaluate and review products before offering them on our virtual shelves at DormSmart.com.
If you are using reviews when shopping online, please be aware of the following:
- The same reviews posted multiple times skewing the results.
- Individuals who want a refund or free product and abuse online product review systems in an attempt to gain it. This drives up product costs for consumers like you who play by the rules and may not be relevant to product performance.
- Reviews completely unrelated to product performance. For example, individuals complaining about delays due to inclement weather or damage caused by a commercial carrier such as FedEx or UPS. Reviews complaining about customer service. All these issues are unrelated to actual product performance.
- Retailers offering rewards or the potential for a reward for product reviews; essentially incentivizing consumers for reviews, taints the process.
- Bloggers providing reviews for free product. This drives up consumer product pricing and is payment for a review, taints the process.
- Review sites that aggregate all reviews, biased and unbiased, from around the internet then charge retailers a hefty monthly subscription fee to essentially bury them down or object to them, driving up your product pricing and skewing product reviews.
In a perfect world, everyone would behave themselves and provide accurate unbiased reviews of products and storefronts but the world is not perfect and the internet is the Wild Wild West with little regulation and unscrupulous characters everywhere attempting to extort monies or free product by leveraging the power of technology. It is a challenge every day for online retailers, like DormSmart.com, to accurately present products to the masses let alone deal with unsavory characters that want something for nothing and will abuse a review system to get it without a thought for how it ultimately affects product pricing for everyone; the buying power of your dollar is greatly reduced as result of this behavior.
Simple Ways to Shop Smarter
Know what you want before buying. For example, if it is bedding, what is the most important product attributes for you personally? Is it fabric, style, weight, brand, or price? Rank them, and then shop accordingly. Ask your retailer questions before buying. After all, they work with the manufacturers and distributors directly. And lastly, always check an online retailer’s return policies before shopping. Do they give you an ample amount of time to review and return product? It’s that simple.