November 01, 2011

Fake Reviews? Really?

USA Today: Fake Reviews Appearing Online

My mind meanders all over the place. From time to time I write up reviews and post them to my blog. No one, and I do mean absolutely no one has ever paid me to write a review. Even if someone did pay me to write a review, that review would still be my honest evaluation of whatever the book or product happened to be. A relative once got furious at me for writing up a book review on that was less than complimentary. Honesty is paramount in everything I do because one lesson I learned early in my childhood is that I'm simply not smart enough to lie convincingly. And believe me, there have been many occasions where I wished I could be a good liar.

When I was young I once worked in sales at a Hyundai dealership for a couple of months. I finally had to quit because I could not lie to the customers about the cars I was selling. They were good cars. They were a good value. Still, they were cheap and the reason they were cheap was because in many cases the manufacturer took shortcuts in materials. They would last a few years, but they would not last a lifetime. At the time, the top of the line Hyundai was about the same price as a bare bones Ford Taurus and of the two, the Taurus was a much better value. Anyone who asked got recommended the Taurus. Unfortunately, none of the Ford dealers were hiring at the time so when I left the Hyundai dealership I wound up working at the central warehouse for CarQuest auto parts. At the time, CarQuest was a mid-size distributor with a couple dozen stores. Now they are nationwide and giving Napa a run for their money. And as far as I know, the Ford Taurus is still a far better value than the Hyundai.

A final caveat. When I review something I will often link the name of the book or item to Yes, I do have an affiliate account there and if someone clicks on the link and buys the book or item, I get a small commission. However, that affects neither the review I give nor the reason I choose to write the review. To date, I have not earned enough in commissions from this blog for Amazon to bother cutting me a check. In short, even through the Amazon Affiliate program I'm not getting paid to review! And yes, that does get a bit frustrating, but I can't control who visits here and I can't control which links they click or even if they click any links at all.