Whether adding comments on a blog or forum, product reviews, or seller feedback — your feedback  matters! But before you post a rant, take a step back and ask yourself if it’s fair.

Seller Feedback

When I look through the list of sellers for a product on Amazon, I immediately gravitate toward the ones who have had the most positive feedback. They don’t have to be perfect — but they have to be good. But I’d go with a 4-star seller with 500 comments before going for a 5-star seller with only 5 comments. Did the package arrive on time? Was it packed with care? Did they handle your customer-support questions well? Whether on Amazon, eBay, or elsewhere, these sellers who are out there providing great deals need our feedback, and it only takes a moment.

Product Comments and Reviews

Have an opinion about a product you ordered on Amazon or elsewhere? Add a product review! Even if your review is that the product was exactly as advertised and operated exactly as you expected — that’s very valuable feedback. Product Review sections on Amazon and other sites are mostly full of the loved-it and hated-it reviews, making the middle-of-the-road “normal” reviews that much more important.

Many people judge a product based almost solely on these reviews, so be reasonable and fair. For example, if you order a product and it arrives 3 days late, don’t reduce your rating of the product over that. Shipping and the pricing reflect on the seller, not the product. Also, if the product is pretty much just as described but you decided it just wasn’t for you, be objective. It’s not fair to give a great product a zero-star rating just because it’s not your particular cup of tea. Either  comment on the product quality, or skip the review altogether.

Blog and Forum Comments

If you see a blog post (like this one!) that is helpful to you, add a comment. Point out what it was about the post that was helpful or interesting. Do you have any questions? Other topics you wish the blogger would cover? Not only do your comments give bloggers feedback on what readers are interested in, it tells them that what they’re writing is actually making it to human eyeballs.

What if you disagree? This especially comes up in forums. If you disagree, keep it objective and constructive. Often in a forum there are many others with the same issue reading up on how to solve their problem. By engaging in a constructive discussion instead of a flame-war, your posts will help contribute to the final solution instead of creating rancor.

By the way, a common method of spamming blogs and forums is to add innocuous comments that may or may not include a link to another page. Because of these spammers, many bloggers (myself included) only approve comments that actually add to the conversation or that comment on specific aspects of the blog page. Blog spamming is getting so bad that many blogs are closing down commenting altogether. If you want your comment to be posted and included in the conversation — be specific, or it may be mistakenly marked as spam.

Moral of the story

Sellers and bloggers need your feedback and comments, so take the time to give feedback when you can. For sellers on sites such as Amazon, feedback that “everything was as expected” is better than no feedback at all. Be sure to place blame (and credit) where it belongs, and try to stay constructive and fair.

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