How to use Amazon reviews when buying a replacement wiper blade

Using Amazon reviews when you’re looking to buy a new wiper blade is a good thing since you’ll be drawing on the experience of lots of people.

But there are a few pitfalls you want to avoid.

Reviews focused on functionality

In an ideal world a customer review would shine a light on many different aspects of the product, but with the biggest emphasis on whether the product does what it’s supposed to.

For an all-weather blade this would be something as simple as “does it fit the car as announced?”, “does it keep the windshield clean?” and “how long does the blade last?”

For speciality blades, such as winter blades for instance, it’s even more important that it does what it says on the tin – aka working well in winter conditions.

And a useful review would go into details about the specific brand, model and year of the car as well as the driving conditions under which the blade was operated.

But unfortunately not every review is built like that.

Take this 5 star review for instance: “These work excellent

I have no doubt that the reviewer likes these blades, but I have no idea how long he have used them for, under which conditions he have been using them, and on which vehicle.

And the same kind of thin reviews can be found at the other end of the spectrum.

Like in this 1 star review: “Does not wipe from day one

Again, I have no doubt that this reviewer does not like these blades, but I lack the same kind of information that the 5 star review was missing.

Reviews focused on something else than functionality

Some reviews will focus on delivery times, delays and packaging conditions.

These are all important things, but unfortunately they make it more difficult to see the “real” rating of a product.

I’ve even come across 5 star reviews because Amazon handled a refund fast.

Complaints about not fitting car properly

These can be hard to spot as you would have to spend time investigating if their claims could be true.

Take  a look at this one: “Not as advertised – A Sham

It’s clear why this reviewer is not happy with her purchase.

I took the time to add a 2010 Kia Soul to my Amazon Garage and then I went to take a look at the 11″ ANCO 30 blade that this review was for.

And this is my result:

This does not fit your: 2010 Kia Soul

ANCO 30 - this does not fit your 2010 Kia Soul

So here we have a 1-Star review for an 11″ blade despite the fact that Amazon only specifies 20″ and 24″ as fitting the driver and passenger side.

But, here’s another 1-Star review: “Not Fit Correctly

I added the 2003 Jeep Liberty to my Amazon Garage and the 11″ blade is listed as fitting the rear.

But when I check the same car on ANCO’s own blade finder, then the blade is not listed.

So in this case the review is correct, but it actually only says something about the quality of the Amazon Part Finder – not the quality of the blade itself.

Verified Purchase

Amazon reviews come in two different flavors – those labelled “Verified Purchase” and those not labelled at all.

Both of these have their own issues.

On those not labelled you have no idea where they bought their blade, so it makes it harder to trust.

It’s especially troublesome as reviews are tied to a specific length of blade.

This means that someone leaving a review, positive or negative, for a specific blade could easily leave the review for the wrong length.

Those labelled “Verified Purchase” on the other hand can give you a false sense of trust.

You instinctively believe with a verified badge, but unfortunately it says nothing about the quality of the review.

 

 

 

Best windshield wipers for winter 2015

We’re approaching the cold season here on the northern hemisphere, so a good time to look at the best windshield wipers for winter driving.

What you’re looking for is a blade that is rugged and able to work in snowy conditions without clogging up.

A traditional steel frame-based wiper consists of many moving parts that are completely exposed to the elements.

So for a winter blade you really should go for a custom / speciality winter blade.

The best windshield wipers for winter is still the  ANCO Winter Wiper Blade (model number 30-xx, where xx is the length of the blade in inches)

It’s rugged – well suited for moving snow and sleet as opposed to only water.

It’s got a thinker rubber wiping wedge than “normal” or all-season blades.

It’s got a protective cover that prevents sleet and snow from clogging up the moving parts of the blade.

Year-End deals at Amazon

Amazon have a bunch of Year-End deals lined up for us in Automotive, Motorcycle and ATV.

That link is to a very broad category of automotve deals, but you can narrow it down to only cover rebates on windshield wiper blades.
P.S. I’m done collecting customer ratings from the 173 available Anco blades at Amazon – unfortunately not many people have left reviews on the Anco blades – there’s sadly only 101 reviews in total which isn’t ideal.

New: Online Stores section added

I figured that it might be beneficial with a review or overview of some of the different places online where you can buy windshield wiper blades, so I made a new section on the site called “Online Stores”

So far I’ve added these 2 pages:

Amazon is still my number 1 choice when it comes to finding windshield wipers online because of its huge selection, but some of the other sites carry speciality makes and models that are not available on Amazon.

I have a few more online stores in mind, and preparing these reviews takes time (especially the more “quirky” sites), so I’ll post them whenever I’m done with them.

New Part Finder at Amazon

Amazon just changed the way their Part Finder looks.

And you will experience it in two different ways depending on how you access Amazon.

When you go to the windshield wiper blade section on Amazon (or any automotive section with car-specific components) you’ll be met with a popup window that looks like this:

If you follow a link to a specific windshield wiper blades then you’ll be greated with a bar near the top of the screen.

The way the popup and the top bar works is identical.

Here’s a walkthrough I did for my 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara

Select Year – in my case it’s 2006

Select Make – in my case it’s Suzuki

Select Model – in my case it’s Grand Vitara

Hit the Go button

In my case I was on a product page with a blade that didn’t fit my car, so I got this warning message.

Just click on the Blades link.

In my case that got me to a page exclusively with wiper blades that fits my car – you can tell you’re in the right place because of this line near the top:

Here I just clicked on one of the new Rain-X Repel blades and got this neat green checkmark above the product image that confirmed that this blade does indeed fit my car.

So, there you have it, the new Amazon Part Finder.

$15 mail-in rebate on Anco windshield wiper blades

Anco is having a $15 mail-in rebate on several of the blades at the moment.

You can save $15 when you buy a pair of wipers of these 5 Anco models:

That’s at least what it says on Amazon.com – but when you go to the actual redemption form it says something different.

On there it lists the discount at $15 for Contour and Profile, $10 for AeroVantage and $5 for 31-Series and Winter.

But the Anco Rear Blades are also mentioned there for $5 (any Anco blades that starts with AR in the part number is considered a rear blade). The savings on the rear blade seems to be for a single blade and with the current price of $8.99 on Amazon then it looks as if you can get a rear blade for less than $4.