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
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.
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.