Shopping Discussion

How do reviews like Yelp, UrbanSpoon, etc influence you?

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 1st, 2015 9:20 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
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Jul 13, 2014
165 posts
17 upvotes
Penticton, BC

How do reviews like Yelp, UrbanSpoon, etc influence you?

If at all.

I've been reading Yelp reviews and found that at least in my little locale they bear no relationship whatsoever to reality. They all use the same language, they all sound like they're written by marketers, and there's hardly ever a negative one unless there's a sudden pile-on.

But the stats say these sites are very popular. Do they influence you at all? Do you see a difference between them (My friends swear UrbanSpoon is unbiased and Yelp is biased).
34 replies
Member
Mar 9, 2014
457 posts
214 upvotes
They don't necessarily influence me, but I really only read the negative reviews.
Negative reviews usually provide more specific details of a situation and how the merchant responded, whereas positive reviews are usually just generic sentiments like "nice place, nice people, great prices".
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May 12, 2004
9759 posts
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Ottawa
I always find T&E reviews pretty useless especially if you base it on averages.

1) 10 people with a bad experience will write a review for every 1 person with a good experience.

2) People are idiots. I've seen 1-star hotel reviews because the ice machine on that floor was empty. Really? 80% of your stay was based on the functioning of this ice machine?

3) People expect the world. They'll eat a microwave dinner at home but if they go for a $12 burger at a local diner they need to bend over backwards, roll out the red carpet, serve the food wearing white gloves. Oh no the horror of a fly flying inside the diner...or the lack of a ketchup bottle on every table. They deserve 1 out of 5 for not having ketchup ON the table.

4) The infamous exponential growth of issues. One small negative thing early on and out comes the microscope for the remainder of your experience.

Too many dumb people for reviews to work well. There has to be a better system but unfortunately nobody has thought of one yet.
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Jun 14, 2008
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Montreal
Wigglepuppy wrote:
Oct 27th, 2014 2:13 pm
They don't necessarily influence me, but I really only read the negative reviews.
Negative reviews usually provide more specific details of a situation and how the merchant responded, whereas positive reviews are usually just generic sentiments like "nice place, nice people, great prices".
This, read the negatives and decide if the reviewer is truthful or full of crap, most of the time it's easy to tell.
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Jun 11, 2007
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Maple Ridge
I will read bad review to know the detail and some might influence my decision.
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Sr. Member
Nov 10, 2004
786 posts
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Chatham
I just look at the pictures of the food from yelp/urban spoon and ignore the reviews.
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Boom and Bust Calgar…
Yelp is totally useless.
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Aug 12, 2011
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Winnipeg
I ignore the positive reviews and the negative reviews. Read the mid-range reviews if you want to see reviews from real customers.
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Mar 14, 2005
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City of Vancouver
Nothing stopping the OP from dining at a place and then leaving his own authentic review online.
De gustibus non est disputandum
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Aug 19, 2010
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Vancouver
I refer to online reviews on yelp and US all the time so I would say it does influence my choice. For the most part they are pretty reliable IMO. That is unless the reviews are clearly made up. I do also yelp too on places that I visit. I will ignore reviews on places where the reviewer has very little reviews made. The ones that have a high amount of reviews are the trustworthy ones that I pay attention to. Sure there's some fake reviews but they are pretty easy to spot. You never know though, some of them could be by from marketers but the same can be said about Food critics, magazine, newspaper reviews etc...
Jr. Member
Jun 6, 2014
107 posts
25 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I use them for the pictures and gives you an idea of what to expect.
[OP]
Jr. Member
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Jul 13, 2014
165 posts
17 upvotes
Penticton, BC
Thanks all. Some good advice here (especially pictures and mid-range reviews). I'll start adding pictures to my Yelping.
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Dec 9, 2005
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Ontario
I tend to trust the feedback on tripadvisor moreso than yelp and urbanspoon.

Yelp is more or less a place to bitch about places. I also tend to question whether many of the reviews are 'accurate'.
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May 25, 2009
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caltran wrote:
Oct 27th, 2014 4:47 pm
Yelp is totally useless.
Yelp use to be good but has gone down hill due to policy changes. For restaurant reviews, the site is now basically a blog for wanna be food critics. The average Joe who wants to post a real review once in a while can't get posted anymore because you have to be a "super" user and very active in the Yelp community for your opinion to matter.
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Jan 10, 2009
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calgaryhhr wrote:
Oct 30th, 2014 3:00 pm
Yelp use to be good but has gone down hill due to policy changes. For restaurant reviews, the site is now basically a blog for wanna be food critics. The average Joe who wants to post a real review once in a while can't get posted anymore because you have to be a "super" user and very active in the Yelp community for your opinion to matter.
Yup. You basically have to be a shill for your review to even show up.

They removed one of my reviews because the restaurant complained to Yelp about it.

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