Shopping Discussion

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

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 1st, 2015 9:20 pm
Deal Guru
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Oct 14, 2003
14223 posts
1089 upvotes
I don't use Yelp, but I do use Urban Spoon and Trip Advisor when I'm on the road to decide where to eat.
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Deal Fanatic
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Oct 3, 2004
5777 posts
281 upvotes
yelp filters reviews and discounts some good and bad ones based on some formula that no one knows. Makes no sense. However, those reviews are still viewable at the very bottom in a separate link. I read those ones. I would say for the most part, I rely on reviews online, especially when trying new restaurants or services. That being said, I've heard of businesses manipulating the situation by offering customers discounts if they give them a 5 star review.
Moderator
May 28, 2012
10146 posts
2313 upvotes
Saskatoon
You have to take all reviews with a grain of salt...I know that TripAdvisor has solicited reviews, so the #1 ranked place is not always deserved (a lot of hotels ask customers to write a review when they know the customer is happy with their stay). You also have to look at the one-post reviewers, they are often company shills or competitors. I have always posted my honest opinions when I do a review of a hotel or restaurant. Some people are really picky and there is no pleasing them...too bad they couldn't be flagged so you know about their biases.
Deal Addict
Sep 27, 2009
1766 posts
187 upvotes
Oakville, ON
They influence me a great deal and I write tonnes of reviews myself.

In Ontario for restaurants I find Trip Advisor has the most reviews. I used to copy my reviews over to all three but now just do TA.

Last summer I drove to Nova Scotia from Ontario through the US and stayed at many small independent motels that were cheap and just exceptional. Without Trip Advisor I would never have heard of them. Probably the best was a two bedroom cottage for like $100 a night in Freeport, ME.
Deal Addict
Sep 27, 2009
1766 posts
187 upvotes
Oakville, ON
i don't look at google reviews as I can't figure out how to look at say all restaurants in Oakville.
Deal Fanatic
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May 25, 2009
7921 posts
959 upvotes
Not a fan of Yelp, prefer Urbanspoon a bit more. Most Yelp reviews I've read are laughable, lots of "great food but crummy service, 3/10" etc. Also there have been some articles on the web lately accusing Yelp of blackmailing or extorting restaurants with bad reviews if they don't pay them or something. Not sure if it's truthfully or whatever but I've noticed Yelp ratings are generally lower than those on Urbanspoon for the same restaurants.

Google Reviews are okay but most of the time I find they're really dated. I typically look at the overall average ratings versus reading the reviews, usually those who write out a full review are those that have had negative experiences and wants to complain while those they don't simply provides a rating and move on.
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Deal Addict
Sep 27, 2009
1766 posts
187 upvotes
Oakville, ON
You would think there would be a restaurant rating aggregator out there like metacritic but I can't find one.

I find Yelp is way more popular in the US than Canada. I like the reviews on it but don't like how everyone on it is trying to be my friend and contacting me. I just want to write and read reviews thanks.
Deal Addict
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Aug 23, 2007
1298 posts
1122 upvotes
I write a lot for reviews on Yelp http://katyap.yelp.ca and have found the site extremely helpful as well. I tend to very detailed and I post a lot of facts, not just opinions. Like if a hotel/restaurant is small or dirty or whatever, I back that up with pictures as proof.
I also like to include little known facts that can be helpful, such as so and so place has a loyalty program, or go on Tuesdays because it's cheaper, etc.

You'll notice on Yelp, those who have an "Elite" status next to their name are usually very active members and tend to have more reliable content.
Deal Addict
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Dec 27, 2003
1058 posts
840 upvotes
Toronto
Yelp is a useless shill for businesses. In fact when I go on yelp, I always look at the hidden reviews that they have decided not to post on the front pages, they are usually the most accurate.

I would agree with other posters, that how the business handles the issue is also interesting.

There was one review for a hotel that was excellent in every way except the poster didn't want to pay $8 for a kitkat in the mini-bar and gave the hotel one star! Unbelievable!
Jr. Member
Sep 11, 2011
174 posts
41 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
Not so much peoples opinions but I do look for consistencies. Example if I notice people constantly saying that the place smells bad or has slow service I would take that into consideration. However I've found people generally don't share the same taste as myself so I don't really take to much notice on their opinions.
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2013
4013 posts
635 upvotes
Richmond
mstrouble wrote:
Nov 3rd, 2014 11:59 am
Yelp is a useless shill for businesses. In fact when I go on yelp, I always look at the hidden reviews that they have decided not to post on the front pages, they are usually the most accurate.

I would agree with other posters, that how the business handles the issue is also interesting.

There was one review for a hotel that was excellent in every way except the poster didn't want to pay $8 for a kitkat in the mini-bar and gave the hotel one star! Unbelievable!
The last one i posted got hidden. Thought it might be useful to let everyone know a certain restaurant was being deceptive and lying about accepting interac and cc. Ha my post got hidden.
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2013
4013 posts
635 upvotes
Richmond
hahahaha, After I posted on rfd my recent yelp review got hidden, they unhid it and stuck it up top
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2003
4091 posts
105 upvotes
Tahsis
I will use urbanspoon to find a restaurant quickly but that's about it. Yelp is garbage as far as I've seen.

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