Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Review Effect : What We Know    To Be True That No One Admits

So as a reviewer, I see a lot of things posted below reviews or in the comment threads as well as in my inbox.

From buyers I see:
" Unlike other people, I PAID for my item, so my review is legitimate. I don't trust these paid reviewers."
" I didn't get anything free or cheap, so my review is honest."

What they mean is: " I am better qualified than review people who get things for free or a discount because I didn't have a chance to do like they do."

From sellers I get:
"I have items that need reviews, so here's a tiny discount. Please leave only 5 stars, it's a good product!"
" I will give you this item at a discount. You will leave a review asap, with video, and share it on your Facebook and Twitter and any other outlets you have."

What they mean is: 
My product is okay, and I have no customer base. Please make me look better, and you must do as I say or you don't get "X" item."

What we all know:

This buyer's sentiment is flawed. If you think by paying full price you are somehow better qualified to speak on the behalf of a buyer's market, then you are in the vast minority. We as a society for the most part have less money on hand for "want" items. We pay for "need" items, and very seldom purchase "wish" items. Why? The minimum wage is still too low for the cost of living , and we welcome coupons and bargains to help us get more bang for our buck. Here's a thought for you:


If you are upset that you didn't get the price cut you wished for, just ask. I'll post links to sign up, and go get your own discounted items. Just remember to be fair, blunt, honest, and test each item thoroughly before writing anything. Always test before reviewing, and ALWAYS REVIEW THE ITEM. In detail, please. 250 words or more, so it's concise and worth reading. It's only right and just. These sellers are people, like you and I. You wouldn't jump to conclusions without asking a friend or family member, so don't do it to strangers. It's impolite and uncouth. If you are the type to assume, then you have no business posting reviews. You will never find joy in any product, as you will never be open to customer service options.


Businesses: Take care of your patrons. If someone got an item for free and had an issue, and you choose to not respond or solve it,  then this happens in that buyer's mind - " Thank goodness I got this free, it would have been awful to go through this at full price! What a waste." And guess what? That's the review you'll get.
Sad, disgruntled, unimpressed, and unapologetic low star reviews.. These stick out as red flags to others, and you have essentially sunk yourself. Be good to your market, they will appreciate you.


We have jobs, kids, and lives. We do NOT get paid to review items. We are people, people who have no loyalty to you or your product yet. You must earn this. To get 5 star reviews, you need to:

* Have a decent product, please. It's a sad moment when we have to take time away from our family just to gaze upon a useless item and still required to write about it. In detail. Sad people can be brutally honest.

* RESPOND!!! If a patron has an issue, respond to them! Fix the issue. This is your testing pool, and if you are unfavorably inept at handling issues, this too will come out. Offer assistance, real help, to address the problem before it gets posted for the global market to read. I have had several 1 star items that got a 5 star from me because the customer service was so outstanding that they fixed my issues and made it right. That's quality care, product and delivery. That's a 5 star review waiting for you.

* If a reviewer contacts you to ask about an item you have not offered to them, TAKE IT. This person wants your product and is giving you first shot at their cash. Reduce the price, send it out, and let them test and review for you. These people are in the market for that item from a big label seller. They came to you for a lesser cost. If you don't snag that patron, they will just go buy the real thing at full cost and forget you. The big name label gains another brand loyalist, and you lose revenue. Help them, help you.

*No one wants to be ordered around. If a person likes the item, they will post it everywhere already. Demanding they do so will result in my personal reaction which is usually, "Wow, really? No, I have enough people ordering me around already at work. I don't need the extra stress, and for a cheap item I could buy at the dollar store? Next!" And so the reviewer clicks away from you, and on to a competitor who is just happy someone is willing to post an opinion of his item and is more friendly. Be friendly, bullies never win.

* If they haven't reviewed yet, let them be. Ask maybe if they have any issues you could help with, and offer to be available should they need you. They haven't posted because: It was a gift and they are waiting for a response from the recipient / They are testing it out / Have to work at a real job and have to wait to have time to write for you / Have kids that they have to tend to /  Have an issue and didn't want to say so publicly / Or just forgot. Be understanding.

                                      *** EVER***
We know you want this. You can say you hope you have earned it, or the product is worth it, or that it would be wonderful if you got it, but you can't demand it. It's illegal, unethical, unwarranted, and will be found and shut down by the very storefront you inhabit for revenue. Amazon has a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for this, don't hurt yourself. If the product and service is good, the review will be good.


A satisfied customer will be just that. Happy enough , but not loyal to your brand. They will seek a better deal if available, but will leave a good review. They won't tell anyone except in the one review.

An unsatisfied customer will be disappointed and leave a mediocre/slightly negative review. They won't tell anyone except in the one review.

An unhappy, angry, or jilted customer will be irate and leave a brutally honest review and say everything you don't want. They will tell everyone, everywhere, and often.

An excited, thrilled customer who is happy  will: leave a stellar review, resplendent in glory and detail with pictures and more. They will tell everyone, everywhere, and often.

That, my dears, is how this plays out. You want it? Earn it. Reviewers, earn the product by being fair and honest. If you have an issue, reach out to the seller and wait for them to fix it. If they do, talk about it openly and give them props for it. That's good business for you both. Sellers, woo your patrons so they talk you up beyond your name brand and make your sales soar. Make yourself a household name. Word of mouth is your best asset, don't squander it.

I'm putting my soapbox away now - now go and be happy!

~ Lilli H.K.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

LaReve Waist Cincher/ Trainer / Hook & Loop Corset

4.0 out of 5 stars

 Perfect, just wish my American 1X size = Chinese 1X. It's so nice though!March 30, 2016
This review is from: La Reve Women's Waist Cincher | Weight Loss Bustier and Corset | Slimming Girdle (Apparel)
Impressed by quality materials, workmanship is oustanding!

I am fluffy. Not "huge" fat, but fluffy. I'm 5' 2", and I'm very self conscious, I wear over-sized tunics because after a radical (everything, every female organ removed) hysterectomy and a gallbladder removal, my insides just started to change location enough to give me a permanent upper abdominal bulge. Sounds pretty, right? I have read about as well as have applied abdominal binders of sots to patients at work (physical rehab hospital) for support and "redistribution of pressures", and there was enough evidence it may help to try this that I decided to buy one and see. I was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to try this at a discount in exchange for my honest review, and this is as awkwardly honest as it gets.

Out of the package, it's wrapped in tissue...made it seem more upscale and fancy, a very nice touch.
The cincher I got was black. It's quilted and quite padded around the support boning. The stitches are even, and over-stitched for durability. It's quite plush, actually. The feel is of a soft nylon/sateen meets microfiber sensation. It is really, really impressive. I don't think I could find one locally made this well for at least $45.00. And even then, it wouldn't look pretty. This does.

There are 3 rows of hook/loop closures, spaced very close together to fight the "pucker effect" , but even with arthritis it was easy to do.
My reason for 4 instead of 5 stars? American 1X vs. China's 1X. I have a 33.5" waist with odd distribution of fluff. This is tight, like rolling tight. A 2X would be better.

Here, a better analogy :

If you have a normal body shape, curves or no, or just wanna appear more seamless, order your size or up one. It's adjustable, it'll be okay for you.
If you have had multiple surgeries, have had kids and just never got your tone back, or have a domed abdomen vs. a specific problem area, order up a size or two. I have another I really, really over paid for by comparison of quality, made in the US. That one is a L. It is slightly (very slightly) bigger than this one marked 1X. Just sayin'.

So, am I happy? Yep. I'll wear it, and since I'm trying to be healthier, I'll fit into it better soon enough. It's a 5 star product, but it really is 4 star sizing. I give 5 stars for perfection out of the box (it is), item as described (it is) and zero issues or hassles to navigate through, perfect fit as expected (and that's where it isn't.) I'll buy another, in black again, too. But one size up, for sure. 

(Still pretty.)
~Lilli H.K.
KASTAR Charger for the Sony BG1 Battery

4.0 out of 5 stars Works great with one caveat.April 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kastar Charger Kit for Sony NP-BG1, NPBG1, NP-FG1, BC-CSG and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50, Cyber-shot DSC-H10, Cyber-shot DSC-W120, Cyber-shot DSC-W170, Cyber-shot DSC-W300 Digital Cameras (Electronics)
This charger works well, if your battery isn't completely dead already. One of ours was new, one was older. The new half drained battery charged up just fine. The older very dead one never did. We did have another charger handy to test and compare, and that one charged the dead one without issue. Sometimes the charger light comes on, sometimes it doesn't. This is why I gave it 4 stars, because now that neither battery is dead anymore, this item charges them both equally now.

-1 star for random charging/full light, and unwillingness to charge a dead battery.
+1 - charges once there is some level of power in battery already
+1 - looks and is exactly as physically described
+1 - light (when on) is visible and easy to see
+1 - item was shipped fast, secure, and on time.

= 4 stars : I would buy again, but would also purchase fresh batteries as well, and never let them completely die.
Disclosure: The batteries I had that were drained entirely were from a camera that had been lost, so I didn't have a reason to keep them fresh for a camera I thought had gone MIA. I never let my batteries get that low usually, but I guess they sat in the case too long waiting to be used.

~Lilli H.K.

Keweier 3D Sound Military Grade Outdoor and Shower Waterproof Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speakers with 15 Hour Playtime for Outdoor/shower with Mic Handfree and NFC Function (Green)

5.0 out of 5 stars Okay, thoroughly surprised!! This is pretty amazing!March 29, 2016
This review is from: Keweier 3D Sound Military Grade Outdoor and Shower Waterproof Portable Bluetooth 4.0 Speakers with 15 Hour Playtime for Outdoor/shower with Mic Handfree and NFC Function (Green) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I bought this as a birthday present for my best friend , and was offered a chance to test it at a discount for a brutally honest review. I state on my profile, I pull no punches. So here's the breakdown...

Outer Package - supposed to say Keweier, instead is in Chinese. Name is generic, it's from Shenzhen, China. Yay.
In the box - okay, getting better. It's displayed nicely, each item snugly encased in it's own little space. It looks high-end.
There's the unit itself, a charging cable, an instruction booklet, and an audio cord.
Feel, appearance: not going to describe the cables. They are standard, nondescript, basic. Pamphlet as well. What's amazing?
The Unit. It's outstanding. Let me try to convey this properly...Have you ever held an army canteen, the old green plastic ones? That's the same stuff that surrounds this unit!! The sound screen is solid, polished, and tight. It is firm, non bending. The logo (which looks cool) is very obvious. The strap is heavy rugged rubber, but not the weak stretchy kind. Think more like a "jelly" belt for kids, that's as close as I can describe it.
Take it out, it's identical on both sides. It's heavy, formidable. It doesn't feel like a cheap speaker, but it's not cumbersome.
The details make the magic: The lift hatch that hides the ports is solid, same plastic that surrounds it. Hinge on it is solid, and reveals something pretty cool...
Micro USB for charging. Audio cable for sound straight from anything you wish to play from. Bluetooth if you hate cables, but best of all, it has a micro-SD slot for use as an MP3 player! And yep, it works!

He plugged it in, and absolutely, it is a chipper automaton voice (female) greeting you in Chinese. Loudly. Turn the volume down on whatever you're playing music from, or you'll be surprised like never before :) It's funny, because if you just press buttons to hush the box, randomly, you may get a seal impersonation where she says "Ark, Ark." Hilarious!
May I add we tested this at work?
So it's loud, has bass, and oh my, lots of power. He hooked it up in the car, cranked it up as high as it would go, and proceeded to blast louder than his stock Kia Soul speakers...very impressive.
All of the nurses wanted one. Our survivalist (also technology hating) RN loved it and wants one. It's worth at least $45.00. Walmart and Best Buy displays have testers to play with, and the only speaker better than this would be Beats by Dre, or Bose.
I put a Micro SD in with 3 songs and with a few tries, it played just fine. Very cool feature!
The bluetooth connected right away, that's on a generic BLU phone.
I mounted it on my mini tripod that normally holds a camera, and it sat perfectly like it owned that space.
He showered after work with it hanging on the soap holder, it made no difference, it didn't even care.

I regret nothing. It was worth the money - and now after having taken the leap at a lower price initially, I know it's worth what they are asking for normally. It's that good. I bought him the Army green one, but I think I may need one in blue for myself and my kids!

Not a bad buy! I was expecting cheap, light weight, and tinny sound but we got this happy moment instead. 5 stars for being what it says, as it says, out of the box, no concessions made. Good job, Keweier!

~Lilli H.K.
MBT Women's MILA Lace-Up

1.0 out of 5 stars Oh, my. No no.March 18, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MBT Women's Mila Laceup Shoe (Apparel)

I have Morton's Neuroma and these are hell. OMG, the pain. My foot goes numb, and I almost fell - not from the rocker bottom, I'm used to those. It's from the numbness in my foot, I couldn't lift it. I have never returned anything before, but these have got to go back. I work in nursing, and so many wear Skechers Shape-ups that I thought I'd try MBT's since they were supposed to be the "Cadillac of rocker shoes". These are a sad broken Pinto by comparison. I'll stick to Alegria shoes or anything else, but nope, not these, never again.

I am very truly sorry, honestly, I am. I wanted these to work. I wore them as recommended and never wore them to work. The effects set in within an hour, every time. The last attempt I wore them for 4 hours, and I had to actually take a painkiller to undo the damage. I don't take pain pills, they are the things that get lost in my bag and forgotten usually. It may be a miracle for some, but I am most definitely not in that demographic.

It was truly a sad wallet day.
~Lilli H.K.
                            BLUE Snowball    Professional grade microphone
                with incuded stand

Nice retro head, very weighty and solid!

With included tripod!

5.0 out of 5 stars This. Thing. Is. Awesome !!!April 13, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone (Electric Blue) (Electronics)
Intentional title, by the way. It's worth the pauses, I'm serious.

First off, this is no little ball head mic, it's huge. Retro, and the color you see on here? It's *really* close to 'in real life'. It's a deep almost cerulean blue color, and about the size of a baseball. It is weighty, solid, and so very,very pretty. I did not buy it for myself, I bought it for my son.

My son is almost 15, and being an active FPS gamer, he decided that YouTube commentaries might be a niche hobby to try. You know, let's plays and tutorials kind of thing. His previous setup was a headset with 3d sound and a built in mic, and he thought the mic was great...until this beauty came along.

The sound....the recorded sound is nothing short of amazing. He has it on the desk in front of him, so both arms have access to the keyboard and mouse to either side. It comes with a little tripod to sit on, and it is perfect for this (and it can adjust to tilt in the directions you need it to go.) It really is plug-n-play! He was so nervous about the setup that he almost wanted me to to it, but then he plugged it in (Windows 10 OS) and it knew exactly what it was and immediately he was testing it out. It needed no work at all!

The newer drivers for this mic have already been updated to fix the output being somewhat muted, so the recorded sound is already fantastic. Paired with Audacity (free software, just Google it) it is a match made in heaven. We love this microphone, and he cares for it like it was a dragon egg (it's a nerd thing, I know.) It does have 3 settings, he uses the 3rd the most because his voice is clearest on that setting. For me, it was setting 2, and for my other son, setting 1 sounded best - so it really does depend on the user. I couldn't be happier that we got this.

He has uploaded 7 videos to date, and his most asked question other than CS:GO related tutorials is what mic does he use? It's that good. His subscribers love the sound, we love the hassle free and crazy awesome cool look. What could be better? It's perfect. Yes, there are better mics, there is always something better than something else, but at this price point? No. You won't beat this for the price, ease, or looks. Especially as a gift for a teen boy!

We've dubbed it the Amazeballs Mic. :)

Get it, plug it in and have fun. Sing, talk, stream live, skype, dictate or'll do whatever you want, in style, and with clarity. 5 stars, all the way!

Have  a ball!
~Lilli H.K.

LotFancy Rechargeable Recorder

5.0 out of 5 stars Disclosure : I did get this to record with, but also for EVP sessions!April 13, 2016
This review is from: LotFancy Rechargeable 8GB Digital Audio Voice Recorder with Backlight,Voice Activated (Electronics)
Very, very nice!!!

Okay, you have to look this lil thing up on youtube. Others have used this for the same thing, with the same results. I looked up user reviews before I purchased this *at a discount* in exchange for my honest user tested review. Why am I telling you this? I say this because I was nervous about spending even a reduced price amount of an item that has "LotFancy" emblazoned across it. This, and it looks cheap and flimsy, am I right?
Eh, it had good to great reviews - so I dropped the cash (was *not* free) for it and waited to laugh.

Tiny box. Tiny recorder. Smaller than a deck of cards in height, and width is closer to a driver's license. It's packed nicely and plastic sleeved in a nice box insert with dividing sections for the accessories. These accessories are:
*1 charging cord
*1 pair of earphones (disk style, not buds)

Onward! :)
Taking it out, I almost dropped it. I thought it would be so light, why not, it was so small! It's not light, guys. It's metal, sturdy, substantial and weighty. You know where it is in your hand, and it's very comfortable to hold. The buttons are firm and pleasing to press, not too small or too large to hit accurately. The have a solid press and a quick return, so those won't be failing any time soon. The display is bright and easy to read, with a light orange color as this display is indeed backlit.

This model has two ports of interest : You have a headphone port for quiet solo listening, and an external mic port for microphone style recording (should you have one and want to, it creates a more focused sound intake for singing or lectures.). As the battery is internal, it charges via basic Micro-USB, which can be found pretty much anywhere you could need one (convenience stores have these cheaply too, should you be in a pinch) . I found the audio files as marked saved in a WAV file format, which almost any program will notice and play/edit. Most PC's automatically do this.The sound is amazing, clear and bright. It picks up everything, so be mindful of too much noise that may hide the intended target sound. VOR is the voice recording setting for this device, and it recorded a conversation being had 4 1/2 feet away with outstanding clarity.

*I used this with music - it did very well, though the treble notes stood out more than the bass.
*I used this with voice - clarity was insanely good, and I was nicely impressed when I heard the playback.
*I used this for EVP's - I caught a few anomalies, and I am in the process of cleaning up the sound bytes to better hear them more clearly. I caught a low growl (no pets or animals in vicinity), a voice saying "Hello" ( female, but I am the only gal around here) and a shrieking screech (and it was silent to the ear where I was. No AC/heat on, no other phone/fan/radio/baby monitors near.) I am impressed. And this sound is *male*. I was alone, so... but then again, maybe not?

I will recommend this. Immediately. It's a perfect purchase, great out of the box, no hassles or adjustments to make it work. It does what it says, and it does it well. I will buy another at full price for my best friend for our adventuring, it is very much worth the price tag. Go ahead and buy this, don't let the name fool you. It may have a chintzy name, but it's a sturdy well built item.

Well done, LotFancy!
~Lilli H.K.