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Jane Finch
Jane Finch
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If you have been googling for the past hours, let us teach you a better way!

 
How do I make sure what I'm buying online is good?

If you've ever searched for a product on Amazon, you know that there are so many different products to choose from! There is so much information on the page that it makes it really hard to find the product that you are actually looking for since you can't touch and hold a product like you would do in real life. Also, it's hard to tell if the product quality is up to par, or if the rating stars actually reflect the quality of the product. It is definitely overwhelming, especially if you are new to online shopping. We'll walk you through how to choose the exact product you are looking for. After this article, you will be able to avoid frustrating purchases and wasted time in having to return items.

If you followed through our How do I shop online?, you'll recall that we went through the process of buying paper plates. We'll elaborate in this article how to pick the exact paper plates you want.

Choosing the right size

The first thing we need to do is to carefully figure out what size plate we need. The problem with online shopping is that it's hard to tell how large or small the plates will be since we don't have a sense of scale. To figure out what size you need you can measure any existing paper plates you have. Or you can use a credit card! A credit card is 3.3 inches long, so you can use it to measure out and estimate how long something is by using a credit card as a makeshift ruler. You can also look through the options and see what sort of sizes are being sold. From a quick glance, you can see 9 inch plates, 8.5 inch plates, 7 inch plates and so forth. You may have to open the product to see the size if it isn't in the title.

Look through the different sizes available
Look through the different sizes available: 9 inch plates and 8.5 inch plates

Open interesting products into a separate tab

At this point, it is helpful to open any products that interest you into a separate tab. The way to do this is to right click on the image of the product you are interested in and select "Open Link in New Tab". Another quick way to do this is to hold down the Ctrl key, and while holding the Ctrl key use your mouse to click on the product image. Once you open all the different products into each separate tab, then we can easily keep track and eliminate the products we don't want by closing the tab. (You can close a tab by pressing the little X on the right side of the tab title.)

Right click on a product, then click 'Open Link in a New Tab'
Right click on a product image, then click 'Open Link in a New Tab'

Choosing the quantity

Now that you have an idea in mind of what size plate you want, look at the quantities that each product will give you. The quantities range a lot between each product and it changes the price as well! You might have to click the product to see how many of the product they are selling. When you click open a product (hopefully in a new tab!), you will see the price of the product listed in red. Often times, there is also a price per quantity listed as well, which will help you compare between the different products!

View the product's price and price per quantity, boxed in red
View the product's price and price per quantity, boxed in red

Below the price, there is sometimes a size section and a style section. In our example, you can see that the size is chosen to be 8.5in and has a light orange background. You are able to select between the 8.5in, and the rectangle that says 6in that has a dotted background. You can also select between the two styles that are available: either 500 plates, which is selected, and 1,200 plates if you need more. The size and style often appear on products where you can pick between different colors, or quantities as we saw here.

View the product's size and style
View the product's size and style

Read through the many different descriptions

Take time to read through the different features in the bullet points as well as the product specifications. If you scroll down, you will also see a section called 'From the manufacturer' which often has more description and pictures. There is also another two sections underneath the manufacturer section called 'Product description' and 'Product details'.

Read the different features in the bullet points and the product specifications
Read the different features in the bullet points and the product specifications
Read through the 'From the manufacturer' section
Read through the 'From the manufacturer' section
Read through the 'Product description' and 'Product details' section
Read through the 'Product description' and 'Product details' section

It can be overwhelming to read through all the different descriptions and that's only one product! You probably want to read through several products. At ReviewFinch we have a Highlighted Summary section that lets you quickly skim through and learn about a product. All you have to do is copy the name of the product into the ReviewFinch search bar, or even just copy the link of the Amazon product page into the ReviewFinch search bar. ReviewFinch let's you see everything in one quick glance!

Type the name of the product in the ReviewFinch search bar
Type the name of the product in the ReviewFinch search bar
Use the quick Highlighted Summary on ReviewFinch to get a quick glimpse of the product
Use the quick Highlighted Summary on ReviewFinch to get a quick glimpse of the product

Read through the comments

Next, you want to read through the comments section to see what sort of feedback the product is getting. It can be useful to read through the first few comments, then look through comments of different ratings. Sometimes, the ratings are low because of shipping issues (such as delays during a holiday), and not because of the product itself. Other times, a product has low ratings because the consumer ordered something different than what they expected! So it's important to read through and find out if there is a problem with the product itself, or with other parts of the delivery / ordering process. We recommend clicking on the different rating reviews such as '3 star', and '1 star' so that you can get a glimpse of an average review and a negative review.

Click on the different star ratings to see neutral, positive, and negative ratings
Click on the different star ratings to see neutral, positive, and negative ratings

Since there are often tens to hundreds of comments to read through per product, it can be way easier to use ReviewFinch, which summarizes the best Fan comments, the worst Hater comments, and the most Neutral comments.

ReviewFinch gives you a quick glimpse at the positive, neutral, and negative comments without reading through hundreds of comments
ReviewFinch gives you a quick glimpse at the positive, neutral, and negative comments without reading through hundreds of comments

It's a quick way to understand how people who have bought this feel about this product without reading through hundreds of comments.

Consider the manufacturer

When you purchase something at a grocery store, you often are purchasing from a brand that you are familiar with. However, on Amazon, there are many different brands - some you may never have heard of. For example, on our search page for paper plates, we have the brand Dixie, Stack Man, Comfy Package, and Encore. While a few of these brands may be familiar, you will often see brands that you have never heard of. When you are purchasing from a completely new brand, it can be helpful to research the brand. To do so, you will need to do a little research outside of Amazon, especially if you are making a purchase that is really important or costly.

To quickly find brand ratings, research links about the product, and a quick overall review, you can use ReviewFinch to get a comprehensive review of these external factors.

Use Jane's Review on ReviewFinch to get a comprehensive review of the brand's reputation
Use Jane's Review on ReviewFinch to get a comprehensive review of the brand's reputation
On ReviewFinch you can use the Manufacturer Report and Research cards to quickly learn about a product
On ReviewFinch you can use the Manufacturer Report and Research cards to quickly learn about a product

With all this information at hand, you should be well prepared to select a product that is exactly what you are searching for! You should also be able to figure out where to look to get all the descriptions, features, and pictures of the product. Also, you should be able to find different rating reviews so that you can get a fair look at the product. Finally, you should have information about the brand or manufacturer so that you can verify the trustworthiness of the entity that is making the product. Armed with this knowledge, you are now ready to be a smart shopper and verify whether or not what you are buying online is a good fit for you! If you have any questions, feel free to click on the bird icon on the bottom right to speak with Jane, your personal shopper!