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Guest post by Amanda Johnson Reviews is a members-only subscription rewards program that provides consumer benefits to people who shop online. Subscription rewards programs are a little different than buying clubs, and in the eyes of most avid online shoppers they are advantageous. In a buying club, you sign up for a contract and are then billed monthly for certain merchandise. Most often the merchandise is sent to you automatically and you don’t have much choice in the matter. With a subscription based service like you can choose from thousands of online stores when, where, and however often you please.

So when you are doing your research and deciding whether to subscribe, it is first good to understand the distinction I have just laid out. There are some reviews  out there with misinformation regarding the facts, which could lead you to miss out on an opportunity that you would have otherwise jumped at. When you are sifting through reviews on the Internet for this or any other service, a good way to start will be to first sort out the people who have the information about the services accurate. You can make sure by cross-checking the info with what you’ll find on’s website. Then, you can see what those people who have their facts right have to say about the service. It is of no use to read a review about any service, when the reviewer has clearly never used it and doesn’t have all the info. Once you’re sure that the reviewer has done his or her homework, it will be safer to accept the opinion as a valid one.

So what makes for a good or “valid”  review  versus a bad or “invalid” one? Remember, what we want to get at are the people who have useful information to offer us in making a buying decision. For most of avid shoppers, we are well aware of the surface information regarding many rewards programs. What’s important to us is the meat—the experiences of an honest consumer with the product. An honest consumer is one who doesn’t have an agenda or even a bias (be it conscious or not) toward a product and is willing to evaluate the experience objectively on its merits and shortcomings. So what we don’t want is a consumer who is just out for a romp on the Web, logging complaints , and not really getting at any crucial information about the product or the experience with it. A list of grievances is clearly indicative of an unhappy consumer, but it says very little about a given product. All it tells us is that the consumer was not pleased. In cases where people are actively spreading negative information about a rewards program, it seems more common that the consumer actually had misinformation or unrealistic expectations about what benefits he or she would receive. That’s why, as I’ve said here and elsewhere, it is most important to get the facts first, then take a look at the opinions, and then make your own buying decision.

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