When People Ask You To Review a Bad WSO

36 replies
Lately, quite a few Warriors have approached me to review their WSOs. I have had the pleasure of getting a full walk through of a lot of great products that are up and coming. And I'm always happy to give a positive honest review if I think a product will benefit others.

Recently though, someone asked me to review one of their WSOs and I found it to be absolutely horrible. No name is being mentioned for obvious reasons. This is the first time I've run into this situation. The formatting of the product itself was bad, it was stuffed with fluff, I had a hard time reading it because the author kept losing my interest, and there were more than a handful of typos and grammatical errors.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has come across this, which is why I understand that a lot of more experienced and established Warriors only agree to review certain products or products by certain individuals. My question to you guys is, what do you do in this case? I can't in my heart of hearts give this product a good review. Do you contact the creator and give them all of the constructive criticism that you can, then if they modify their product, provide a good review upon results? And if they don't try to update the product, do you leave them absent a review?
#bad #people #review #wso
  • Profile picture of the author candoit2
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    Lately, quite a few Warriors have approached me to review their WSOs. I have had the pleasure of getting a full walk through of a lot of great products that are up and coming. And I'm always happy to give a positive honest review if I think a product will benefit others.

    Recently though, someone asked me to review one of their WSOs and I found it to be absolutely horrible. No name is being mentioned for obvious reasons. This is the first time I've run into this situation. The formatting of the product itself was bad, it was stuffed with fluff, I had a hard time reading it because the author kept losing my interest, and there were more than a handful of typos and grammatical errors.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one that has come across this, which is why I understand that a lot of more experienced and established Warriors only agree to review certain products or products by certain individuals. My question to you guys is, what do you do in this case? I can't in my heart of hearts give this product a good review. Do you contact the creator and give them all of the constructive criticism that you can, then if they modify their product, provide a good review upon results? And if they don't try to update the product, do you leave them absent a review?
    I would give the constructive criticism.

    If I was giving you the review copy I would hope you would tell me all these things you are telling us so I could improve it before launching.

    A review copy is for more than looking for a glowing testimonial.

    If they didn't change anything though I would not offer a good testimonial they could use.

    Aaron
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    • Profile picture of the author kings2all
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      • Profile picture of the author advertisethis
        What's so hard about TACTFULLY providing constructive criticism in private? You can at least communicate to them in private: "you don't really want me to review this product publically." Of course, if you've actually PURSCHASED the WSO, then you should be able to post TACTFULLY publically to FELLOW CONSUMERS with an honest review, either way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Karan Goel
    I think it's a moral duty of a reviewer to leave an honest review. Then, it's the author's decision if he/she wants to include that review in their sales copy.

    Other than that, sending a personal note to the product creator, indicating the pit-holes and how they can fill those.

    Karan
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  • Profile picture of the author BlondieWrites
    I would be honest. The entire point of reviewing something is to do just that, review it.

    Some people think that, just because something was given to the reviewer, the reviewer should paint it all wonderful. It's better to just be honest in your reviews. That's not to say you want to hurt someone's feelings about their product, but to help them improve it if needed and to help keep people from spending their money on something that's just not that great.



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  • Profile picture of the author gyar29
    Give the criticism. If the owner asked you to review the product their asking for it. They need it.

    It is no different then when you get Beta testers to test a script or software. You want to know what works, what doesn't, what needs to be improved, what needs to be added. Frequently, you're too close to the script/software and don't see the obvious. Asking someone to review/beta test it allows you to get the perspective of the user.
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  • Profile picture of the author Casper C
    I think you should contact the author and tell him what you honestly think of the product. Be constructive, but honest. Then, ask him if he still wants you to post an honest review. He will probably say no, and that will be that.

    On the other hand, a bad product obviously should not just consist of good reviews. But he should really be given the opportunity to improve his product before his $40 spent thread is tainted with bad reviews so early on. Maybe I'm just a little nice about that.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Bad Blogger
      Guess what I will not do what most people do ... which is giving him an honest answer about his poor product what I will do is make him my customer ... which is giving advice on how he can improve it with value so it can benefit not just him but also the people who buy... and ask him if he is willing to pay me to reconstruct his product that will not just look awesome but also make his buyer to be happy with his product ... for me helping other succeed is always a happy feeling ... don't u think?
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    • Profile picture of the author BlogPiG.com
      Honesty all the way. Tell the product creator the truth so they can go away and fix it before promoting it in anger and being shot down in flames.

      You've done your job either way - good or bad review.

      I speak as a producer of products, btw.
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  • Profile picture of the author GoldenG
    Agreed With Casper as per above. Hit him hard and tell him the areas where he really needs to improve. Nobody should give bad WSO good reviews so that newbies like me don't get burnt buying one after another!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    My opinion is that it is your DUTY to provide the review the product deserves. If you agree to give a review in exchange for the product, then you need to keep your end of the bargain - good, bad or indifferent.

    Now stop being "The Queen of Indecision", and send that review.



    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author ReachOneMedia
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      My opinion is that it is your DUTY to provide the review the product deserves. If you agree to give a review in exchange for the product, then you need to keep your end of the bargain - good, bad or indifferent.

      Now stop being "The Queen of Indecision", and send that review.



      All the best,
      Michael
      I agree 100%

      But don't forget to stay objective. Reviewing doesn't mean to trash talk about the product.

      Here's what the product is about (without spilling all the beans)
      Here's what I liked about the product
      Here's what I disliked about the product

      your personal quote on a scale of 1 to 10

      that's it

      my 2 cents
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
        Originally Posted by ReachOneMedia View Post

        I agree 100%

        But don't forget to stay objective. Reviewing doesn't mean to trash talk about the product.

        Here's what the product is about (without spilling all the beans)
        Here's what I liked about the product
        Here's what I disliked about the product

        your personal quote on a scale of 1 to 10

        that's it

        my 2 cents
        I certainly hope I didn't imply anything to the contrary. A lot of people use the excuse of "I'm just being honest" as an excuse for rudeness.

        Tact is a good skill to develop, in my opinion. If a product sucks, you need to let the product creator know, but you don't have to be rude about it.

        All the best,
        Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author warfore
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      My opinion is that it is your DUTY to provide the review the product deserves. If you agree to give a review in exchange for the product, then you need to keep your end of the bargain - good, bad or indifferent.

      Now stop being "The Queen of Indecision", and send that review.



      All the best,
      Michael
      I totally agree with this quote. I was recently asked to review and although the WSO had potential it was not ready for prime time. I was able to point out a few things and recommend that he should put more work into refining his product.
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      Tony

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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Guthrie
    I agree with the consensus here...it's your obligation to give your honest opinion.

    This happened to me a few days ago. My reply to him was NOT a review. It was a list of the issues I had with the product, and questions that I felt he wasn't answering.

    He thanked me for the candor. Hopefully that will set him in motion to improve on the WSO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    Honest is the best policy.

    Put your feelings aside and let the person know what you feel could use improving. Remember, you're helping them to improve their product. If it is released "as is" and buyers feel ripped off, that certainly isn't doing the product creator any good.

    Hopefully, they will listen to your feedback and make changes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Questions.

    Did you promise to give a "positive review" in exchange for the free product? If yes, BIG mistake...

    Did they approach you with the explicit request to give them a review for the sales page? If yes, and you did not say NO from the beginning - another big mistake...

    If I get similar requests before even accepting the product, I always clarify:
    - no thanks, it is not my area of expertize
    - I will take a look at it but all I can promise is an honest feedback = my opinion and NOT a 'testimonial' for sales page
    - if they agree to my terms they can send it over

    And I do what I promised: an honest feedback. If it is bullsh*t - I tell so. No politically correct niceties.

    Makes life easier
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  • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
    Thanks guys. I just have such a hard time providing constructive criticism to people. I always assume when people ask me for a product review that they plan to use it on their sales page. I can't imagine many people who would approach someone for a review that wouldn't do that.

    I do think I'm going to start being a bit more selective about what products I'll agree to review. Obviously, if something isn't within my expertise, I have little right to give a review on it concerning anything other than layout or the areas that I am knowledgeable in.
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  • Profile picture of the author developyourlife
    This is interesting because I was actually reading an article where someone gave something a bad review and the company actually paid them to rewrite it and make it better. Kind of sad.

    Anyway I would offer some pointers as to how to change it. They might go back and make it better.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    Recently though, someone asked me to review one of their WSOs and I found it to be absolutely horrible.
    When someone asks me for a review of their product, I give it to them privately via PM with permission to use the review in their promotional copy.

    If it's a good review, and there's some way I can leave it on their sales page myself (i.e. it's got a comment section or is being sold in a forum thread), I'll do that too.

    Good reviews are to help the public buy good products. Bad reviews are to help the vendor MAKE good products. I give the bad reviews only in private, so the vendor can - if he chooses - fix it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      When someone asks me for a review of their product, I give it to them privately via PM with permission to use the review in their promotional copy.

      If it's a good review, and there's some way I can leave it on their sales page myself (i.e. it's got a comment section or is being sold in a forum thread), I'll do that too.

      Good reviews are to help the public buy good products. Bad reviews are to help the vendor MAKE good products. I give the bad reviews only in private, so the vendor can - if he chooses - fix it.
      Oh yeah, I had no intention of leaving a bad review on the product page. And I typically only leave a review on a product page if that's where the person requests me to leave it, otherwise I send it via email.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nigel Greaves
    I would always give the product creator honest feedback. I would point out what I believe to be wrong with their product but always given suggestions as to what I feel would improve it.

    To help the person the generally accepted coaching method of praise-critique-praise is a good model to follow. And naturally any negative feedback should be done in private.

    Of course it's then up to the individual concerned whether they choose to take the feedback on board or not.

    Nigel
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  • Profile picture of the author M Thompson
    Be truthful and honest, tell them what the issues are you have with it. They should be thankful to you. I only give review copies to people i know will be honest with me.
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  • Profile picture of the author sr41056
    The only worthwhile review is an honest one. Use tact when you break the news.
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  • Profile picture of the author donkey097
    definitely contact them and give them constructive criticism, i know i would welcome it. If they have asked you to review it, it means they respect your opinion and it will actually be beneficial in the long run for them
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    • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
      Originally Posted by donkey097 View Post

      If they have asked you to review it, it means they respect your opinion
      Actually, that's not true at all... They don't respect you or your opinion.

      They ask "reviews" (and what they really mean is a testimonial for their sales page) from a lot of people - based on post count mainly! Nevertheless, they look just at the post count and they never (or rarely) take the time to get to know the reviewer.

      If they respect my opinion, they should at least know what my opinion is, right?
      - Which means don't ask a review about a writing project because I am not a native English speaker (and I was openly asking for help here to proofread and correct my writing);
      - Which means don't ask a review about a graphic program (like ecover-maker) because I hate graphic editors and I outsource those jobs and do NOT want to learn any graphic program... and I posted this many, many times in this forum;
      - Which means don't ask a review of a useless WP plugin since I have posted many times against such plugins...

      In other words: before asking for my opinion/review, make an effort to know me. If they don't... they deserve a very rude and mean reply
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      • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
        Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

        Actually, that's not true at all... They don't respect you or your opinion.

        They ask "reviews" (and what they really mean is a testimonial for their sales page) from a lot of people - based on post count mainly! Nevertheless, they look just at the post count and they never (or rarely) take the time to get to know the reviewer.
        I like your way of thinking. And I agree with it completely. I think that most people who are new to the forum and are trying to create WSOs for quick profit consider people with higher post counts to be generally respected in the forum (whether it's true or not) and assume that if they have that person's positive testimonial, then potential buyers will automatically assume that their product is good.
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        • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
          Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

          I think that most people who are new to the forum and are trying to create WSOs for quick profit consider people with higher post counts to be generally respected in the forum (whether it's true or not) and assume that if they have that person's positive testimonial, then potential buyers will automatically assume that their product is good.
          Bingo!
          :p
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          • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
            So what about our obligation to the prospective buyers of the WSO? I have given negative feedback a few times via PM or email. I also give suggestions on how I think it could be improved.

            But out of the several that I've done this with, only one made any changes to the product. Instead, the rest got mad at me (some quite rude) and went ahead with the WSO. Clearly, they didn't use my feedback in their copy.

            But what is your responsibity in that case? Should we post to warn others or not?

            I didn't but I did warn a number of my friends not to buy that particular product and why. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to post in the WSO thread given that I wasn't actually a buyer, yet at the same time, I felt the buyers were getting completely ripped off.
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

          if they have that person's positive testimonial, then potential buyers will automatically assume that their product is good.
          Trouble is, they're right.

          This is exactly what drives sales in the WSO forum. Low price and respected reviewers. End of story.

          Notice that product quality isn't in that list.

          Obviously, product quality should matter to the reviewer, but I've had more than one high post-count member leave a glowing review in my thread when I sent them a review copy, and they couldn't possibly have reviewed it in the space of that short time.

          If I viewed that as a positive thing, I could make a list and use that to seed my new WSOs with glowing reviews no matter how much a piece of crap it was. As it is, I made a list of people not to send review copies.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
        Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

        Actually, that's not true at all... They don't respect you or your opinion.

        They ask "reviews" (and what they really mean is a testimonial for their sales page) from a lot of people - based on post count mainly! Nevertheless, they look just at the post count and they never (or rarely) take the time to get to know the reviewer:
        Totally agree. When I was newer I NEVER got asked to give a review, but as my post count grew, I get requests regularly. That's the reason why.

        I'll add, that if you provide a few less than glowing reviews, you will get far less requests! :-)
        _____
        Bruce
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
    I have had people who liked my wso a lot and others who gave me the help i needed so just be honest.
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  • Profile picture of the author John A Goodwin
    I would PM them and tell my honest opinion about their product. Give suggestions on what needs to be changed.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author AverageGuy
    if I were you, assume the owner offered the product for review, I will tell the owner what can be improved and will not say it in public. give the owner time to improve.

    david
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  • Profile picture of the author mahal788
    I think you should give your honest opinion.
    It will help the author improve and also help the consumers get quality products.
    Everyone will find out anyways that it sucks even if you lie.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    My response to review requests is always the same:

    1. I am likely too busy to review your product and unless it sounds interesting I probably will not get to it.

    2. Don't ask me if I would like to review it and not include a link... just send a link and ask me if I have time and interest if I would review it.

    3. Don't ask me to give a testimonial in exchange for a review. Don't ask me to post to your wso. Frankly I think that anyone who did not actually pay for the product and posts to a WSO had better have one heck of a good reason for doing so as it's an immediate ding to both their credibility and the credibility of the WSO.

    4. I let the person know that if they want me to review their product, and if I do, they should expect nothing but the most honest response. If it sucks I am not going to hold back any punches. If it rocks and if I use it I might even endorse it with a testimonial... however my testimonials are quite rare (and thus highly valuable) because not much impresses me these days.

    If I were to review every thing that I was asked to review people would quickly quit asking me for reviews because most of my reviews would be... meh, it was nothing special.

    So for this reason I prefer to just congratulate people on the creation of their product, encourage them to keep on creating, and leave it alone.

    5. However, occasionally there is the brave sole that after reading my tough love opinions, writes me accepting all these things and the risk... and asks me for an honest review and private feeback... not asking for a testimonial, not asking me to post to their WSO (which I don't do anyway if I have not purchased it), and just asking me for something of more value... input that they can use to improve their product.

    Those people impress me...

    Even if I don't have time to review their product and provide them feedback ;-)

    For all you "reviewers" and "professional reviewers" out there... I cannot emphasize enough how shallow 90% of the "reviews" are that I see posted to WSO offers and on blogs where you got the thing for free.

    It is very rare that anyone has the talent or puts in the time for a truly useful review...

    Most of the "reviewers" in this forum who are getting products for free are simply eroding their credibility by posting reviews to WSO offers hand over fist in their obsession of collecting free review copies. Call it ageism but I also notice that most of these fluffy reviewers are of the 2010 and 2011 variety.
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  • Profile picture of the author cma01
    Good reviews are to help the public buy good products. Bad reviews are to help the vendor MAKE good products. I give the bad reviews only in private, so the vendor can - if he chooses - fix it.
    I don't do WSO's, but when I ask someone to "review" something for me, I'm asking for their feedback. I want their input. I want to know if it makes sense to them or if there are areas that need improvement, etc.

    Just give your honest feedback. Make a list of things that you think should be revised. If it isn't even cohesive enough for that, just tell them that they need to work on focusing every area of the info.

    Also, there is a difference between someone putting out vague and incomplete information and not being able to hold your attention. Some people may have expertise in their field, but are just crappy writers (Colin Powell comes to mind.)

    It doesn't mean that what they have to say doesn't have value. It just means you might have to use toothpicks to keep your eyelids open in order to finish it.
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