The Washington Post has a story on how merchants are using Facebook to flood Amazon with fake reviews and this reminded me of the three-star review rule to save time and hassle.

It works like this. Find a product you are interested in buying, scroll down to the customer reviews and select three stars to filter the view so it only shows those reviews.

The advantage of this method is it removes all the paid reviews, removes the people that are always overly positive, and gives you a much smaller number to read through. Here is an example of the first product I found while writing this post:

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Just by spending a few minutes going through the list it’s pretty easy to see two important things. The paper is apparently really good, but the perforation is bad. If tearing out pages is something important to me then I know this notebook would be one to get. On the other hand, if I want to keep all the pages together and keep my notebook for many years, I should probably keep looking.

The next time you are buying something on Amazon give this method a try!

I did not come up with this method and found it on someone’s blog a few years ago and I can’t seem to find the source from a quick web search. If and when I find it I’ll credit them, and if you know who first coined this idea let me know in the comments.