Wal-Mart Reviews too good to be true? UPDATE: Not enough data – I may be wrong here

Update: There are bad reviews at the site, though not as many as I would expect in an unbiased environment. The default view places top reviews first so I need more research here before jumping to any major conclusions.


First let me say for the record that I’m a BIG FAN of Wal-Mart. They bring good products at great prices and save consumers billions compared to the prices we’d see if the world were organized as opponents of Wal Mart would like to see – as a sort of mom and pop boutique chaos of high priced, low volume, labor intensive madness. There are some advantages to neighborhood shopping but on balance …. I’ll take the extra cash, extra products, and hyper efficiency thank you very much.

HOWEVER as I searched or lamps today at Online Wal Mart I noticed a curious thing…. very curious indeed …. There don’t appear to be ANY unhappy customers – at least in terms of unhappiness with products – at Wal Mart. So far I’ve found … zero …. out of hundreds of reviews.

See for yourself by checking out the Wal Mart reviews page: http://reviews.walmart.com/1336/142/category.htm

From Sour Cream to Soup to Speakers to Spring Valley Fish Supplements, Wal Mart scores a very consistent…. perfect review score of 5 out of 5 stars by every reviewer! ? ! ?

I”m still looking for bad ones and will update this if I find enough to suggest there’s nothing fishy going on here …. just a moment…. I’ve found a paltry 3 star review! It’s for …. ewwww Stool Softener?!

Sorry Wal-Mart online shoppers but I don’t think this disproves my hypothesis. That’s one out of over a hundred perfect products.

Faking reviews seems very odd in the wake of all the bad PR they got from the the “RV Across America” scandal. Something I felt was way overblown. See here for the blog post defending Wal- Mart

But faking product reviews – if indeed these are fake – is bad business – an abuse of social media marketing. I’d guess Edelman – Wal Mart’s PR firm – is not involved in this, rather there is probably a firm that was hired to get reviews going and figured “hey, let’s really make them great!”….

In any case the story is still fresh and I’ll be following up at Technology Report after I get word from Edelman about what appears to be a case of obvious and opportunistic manipulation of the facts …

8 thoughts on “Wal-Mart Reviews too good to be true? UPDATE: Not enough data – I may be wrong here

  1. Those who shop at Wally-mart may generally approve, Duck– but that’s about like saying people who eat donuts at Winchell’s like Winchell’s donuts… 🙂

    That said, I agree there are benefits to Wally-mart, at least when you buy a bunch of cheap stuff in bulk. Wally-mart might not be as nasty as, say, maoism, yet it’s not exactly friendly with labor.

    They don’t allow unionizing, and most products come from Asia–and they have such mondo-inventories they put the Ma n Pa shoppes out of business (and hand ’em the blue vests at the same time). The superstores themselves are humongous things that create environmental problems, congestion problems, crime problems. The negatives probably outweigh the positives, at least in terms of the …community.

  2. I know that some who post negative comments claim to have had them rejected for a variety of seemingly spurious reasons such as using as a signature: frustratedbuyer.

    Some firms post fake reviews and some aggressively vett negative reviews, a practice that probably drives negativity to unofficial sites where it may never be seen or is likely to be ignored. Whether WalMart does this or not, I do not know.

    • The aggressive vetting might explain things, though I jumped the gun too early here – there are enough bad reviews to suggest some factor other than deception is probably at work here.

  3. I think I may have unfairly jumped to a conclusion here even though I’m confused by how popular thinks like soup seem to be at the site. However my son informs me that Youtube has found a tendency to often rate things 5 stars which is why they’ve moved to a thumbs up or down system. Maybe that’s all that’s going on here.

    Tom – right, there are a lot more bad ones than I first thought, though many of those seemed to lead to discontinued products and the averages still seem very high, but clearly I have not made a strong case here.

  4. I`ve left 2, 2 star reviews on products that were never published. Neither had any disqualifying remarks. They would rather deceive the public, than lose a precious sale. Many of the positive reviews look like a 3rd grader wrote them. Even when products have some low reviews, they are vastly outnumbered by the positive ones, ALWAYS.

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