Sunday, November 25, 2007

How to write a bad review

Here's something I think many of you know. I am not a fan of product reviews by "official" reviewers. Why? Well a couple things. First, my experience is that "official" reviewers tend to have vested interests in their reviews (i.e. advertising or free schwag) that they don't reveal. And, I rarely find reviewers more knowledgable than your average joe. In fact, I often find official reviewers making value judgements based on their own stupidity whereas the average joe (say Stoked) might actually get edumacated first.

Case in point, while we were in CA this summer I picked up a copy of Wired Magazine. The magazine had a sunglass review. I think the 3 brands were Oakley, Smith and Tifosi. Both Oakley & Smith got very good reviews. Which made sense because I could tell the reviewer was partly repeating the press release that comes with the glasses. Similarly, I've had reviews done of our glasses were the reviewer basically published our press release verbatim. On the otherhand Tifosi got slammed. Why? Because the reviewer felt the lenses were not dark enough for sunglass use. To which I thought.. duh. You are using the low light lens moron. Switch out for the darker lens. To me, that's user error not the product.

Now, if the reviewer wanted an orange sunglass lens and Tifosi didn't make it it might be legitimate to say "I would have liked a orange Sunglass lens, so was disappointed in the selection of lens colors available" but then they need to say the same thing about Smith.

So with that said, wtf is this review about? Go read it. For the record, I am not upset that they think the Lynx are ugly. Our philosophy is to make a variety of glasses that have different profiles. We don't want to do a bunch of similar, neutral looking glasses. We only need to have 1 or 2 models that look good to a customer. Everyone's different.

What annoys me is that the philosophy clearly worked because he casually states early that the other glasses got lifted quick. One pair wasn't a hit, so what do they do? They spend the review on that pair. What about all those pairs people liked? Where's the review of those models?

2nd, he makes a point in the article that they got these for free*. He doesn't mention that they got the product by claiming they were represented a couple shops and were going to place an order. But, nevertheless, way to devalue the product right off the bat guys.

And then, the statement about so-so optical quality is just an absolute WTF moment. You can say the glasses are ugly (personal opinion). You can say you don't like the adjustability. But so-so optics?????? OMG. That's just ignorant and it's not a personal opinion. The lenses are freakin' Carl Zeiss. Now a lot of optical types may argue whether or not you can get as good a quality cheaper from other companies. But no one in the industry thinks Zeiss is so-so.

*OK, so I am also a little annoyed because these were given away on a sales reps discretion after I had specifically said no spiffs. The stuff ain't cheap to make (see those Zeiss lenses) and most shops that are serious (i.e. care about customers and quality products) are willing to pay for product to test. The sales rep did it because the reviewers claimed to represent a couple shops and convinced him they would pick up the line. So I feel a)irritated that the rep spiffed product and b)irritated the reviewer didn't come correct in terms of promises (opening shops) or use (actually reviewing the other models).


At Sunday, November 25, 2007 5:14:00 PM, Anonymous average joe said...

You're getting your knickers in a twist over a review that's not really very negative. I didn't even see the so-so optical quality comment until the second read; what caught my eye was "Orv: Hmmm, great optical quality." I ride a lot, and I'm either in the Stungunner (dark lenses) or the Ginny (rose lenses). The S fogged up today (it was 38 and foggy in Snohomish; everything fogged up), and some of the blue powder coat on the G has chipped off from overuse. But they don't rub anywhere, I don't usually even notice that I have them on, and the optical quality is only questionable when the lenses are coated in fog or sweat. And the rose lenses make those sunrises on my morning commute absolutely gorgeous!

At Monday, November 26, 2007 6:16:00 AM, Anonymous curly said...

I gotta say that I'm with the reviewer... Your glasses don't enable me to fly or have super-strength. I was further disappointed that YOUR glasses didn't allow me to win the lottery.

Until you fix those issues... I'll never use those glasses again...

At Monday, November 26, 2007 8:03:00 AM, Blogger P-Dog said...


To be clear, I am partly reacting to information that's not in the review; i.e. the reviewer presented himself as a product tester for a group of shops and implied that upon positive review the product would get picked up.

The reviewer implies that he turned around and gave away the product he was supposed to test.

If the reviewer had tested all three sportglasses and decided he hated them that would be one thing. But he didn't and failed to test/review the pairs he really like.

If his original intent was just to review only then he should hav ebeen upfront from the start. And still, he should have reviewed the other 2 pair.

He didn't get them to give away.

Maybe one quality to the review I see that others don't is the cost to us. I think there's a popular belief among people that stuff like eyewear is nearly free to produce. It's not. So I look at that and think, we took a hit of XX dollars so the guy could spiff out his friends and then write a review about the one no one wanted.

It's not really that this review is so bad. It's that the good reviews we indirectly paid for (in terms of product) were never written.

And my experience is that this happens a lot with "professional" reviews. They don't value the product and just expect it.

At Monday, November 26, 2007 8:24:00 AM, Anonymous Brian said...

Man those glasses are ugly.


love ya Pru-


At Monday, November 26, 2007 11:16:00 PM, Blogger justfivegrins said...

Ugly review (word used at least 5 times, ouch - nothing like leaving an impression with the purchasing public)!

And I must disagree with Coach Curley I fly all the time with my Axleys - though sadly no super-strength either; please work on that PruDog.

At Thursday, November 29, 2007 8:49:00 PM, Anonymous the dirty moose said...

prudog, f*** those hosers man. u definately didnt deserve the bashing they gave and if i ever meet those guys and they want a review of my movie, i'll supa soak dem hoes. but hey, at least he ended on a positive note. it was still pretty low of them though and they should be shut down!

At Sunday, December 02, 2007 11:12:00 AM, Blogger pnwbuckeye said...

Dude, he is from Jersey, or at least close to Jersey. What do those guys know about fashion and looks anyway?

At Monday, December 03, 2007 8:04:00 PM, Anonymous Dan said...


Drop me a line about this.



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