Can You Trust a Review Site?

When in search for a good plumber, painter or auto mechanic, many people turn to a review site to help with their decision.

According to Yelp, some 100 million consumers checked ratings companies in just the first 3 months of this year. But how trustworthy are these review sites?

Consumer Reports evaluated two of the most popular sites. And what they found may shock you.

First we have Angie’s List, one of the giants in the industry.

Here is how it works. Consumers pay a yearly subscription fee and companies can set up a free profile. Where it gets sticky is that Angie’s list generates 70% of its revenue from advertising purchased by service provider companies.

In fact, companies that advertise on Angie’s List get 12 times more views than those that do not.

Next, we have Yelp, a free service that allows reviewers to revise their opinions later. Which can skew the review results.

Rated companies can buy sponsored ads which will put them at the top for a search. Although the listing will be identified as sponsored, it still gives the business an advantage and can throw off the rating.

So before you make a decision about hiring a service provider, it’s always good to ask the provider for references. That you can call and ask about their personal experience.

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