hollis_f wrote in post #17092949
Amazon reviews are, in the main, pretty useless. Far too many people say that the PoS they've just bought is the bee's knees - presumably they think (conciously or not) that admitting they've bought a lemon would reflect poorly on them. I read the 1-Star reviews to see if there are any consistent problems.
Keep in mind, also, that there are a number of sock puppet reviewers on Amazon - people employed by or compensated by the manufacturer to up the count of positive reviews. Looking at the reviewer's other reviews will often reveal inconsistencies. I can't remember the brand, but one manufacturer had different products reviewed by the same person who in one case alleged to be a seasoned pro and in another a rank amateur; all the reviews were suspiciously enthusiastic.
Of course, balancing that is the person who only writes angry reviews and will find something negative to say about even the best product.
It takes time, but reading the reviews carefully and critically will usually distinguish improper use or expectations from faulty merchandise.
I read a ton of reviews before buying each battery grip for my cameras, and so far the reviews have been moderately helpful. In the one instance where I got a defective grip, there was a slightly higher incidence of problems mentioned in the reviews, but not a huge number.
Recently, I talked to a friend (an actual professional, not just an amateur with delusions) who had obtained three consecutive copies of a certain lens, and all had failed just outside the warranty period. Having just considered and rejected that lens about a month prior, I was very glad I had done so! It's important to have some notion of who the reviewer is - which is harder but not impossible with online reviews.