Reading Reviews

What should you be looking for when reading online reviews

  • We share why online reviews are so important in purchasing decisions
  • Explore the culture of reviews in the automotive industry
  • Highlight what car buyers should be looking for when reading positive reviews
  • What you should be looking for when reading negative reviews online

Why are reviews so important

We value reviews more than ever and they are reported to affect 92 billion of UK spend according to "The Competition And Markets Authority". Buying a car comes only second in expense to a house, you MUST start reading reviews before you buy. Did you know:

  • Star ratings are considered the number 1 factor in judging a business
  • 90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a business
  • A reported 92% of consumers read reviews before making a purchasing decision
  • 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from friends

Reviews in the automotive industry

A culture of reading and leaving reviews in the car buying world is years behind the leisure industry where sites such as Trip Advisor are embeded in your buying journey. This has to change, used car dealerships are only trusted by 7% of consumers according to a recent Auto Trader report.

  • Lack of reviews online- we need the support of car buyers to go online and share their experiences.
  • Our recommended review platform for reading and leaving reviews is which has been established since 2013, is 100% consumer driven and independent (see our post on where you will find car dealer reviews for more) .
  • Many used car dealerships FEAR online reviews and are yet to integrate their into their customer journey. As consumers we demand transparency and reviews offer us this.

What to look for in positive reviews

The truth is that there is a number of car dealerships that try and leave reviews for their own business. Below are a few questions you should be looking at when reading the reviews.

  • Timeframes. Are all the reviews left within a short period of time? Are they recent?
  • Language. Do all the reviews sound the same?
  • Staff. Is a member of staff commonly mentioned in all reviews out of context?
  • Verified. Does the site display a verified icon?
  • Replies. Do dealerships reply to reviews or are disgruntled car buyers commenting?
  • Other dealerships. Are other dealerships linked to this dealership?
  • Size of business. Is there a huge volume of reviews for small business?
  • Look for other reviews where car buyers are in your situation e.g. travelling a distance to buy

What to look for in negative reviews

How should you handle the negative reviews you have found for a potential dealership. The below identifies a few areas that should be considered.

  • Read. What do the negative reviews say?
  • Reviews. Are negative reviews always followed by positive in a short space of time?
  • Research. What do other reviews site say? How do they rate?
  • Pattern. Is their a common theme around after-sales service?
  • Instincts. Follow them, if it doesnt like right then walk away.
  • Emotion. Remove this, you may love the car, but reviews dont lie. If other customers have been mistreated then the likelihood is that you will be too.

Other considerations

It's not just about what you find, its about what you don't find in some instances.

  • Can't find any reviews? Sometimes it can be POSITIVE. If somewhere is truly terrible then the public would be going online to shout about it
  • No reviews online? This can be NEGATIVE because no reviews alongside no online visibility means they arent established and have no way to audit them. How can they be held accountable?

Do you have a question or want to share advice?

Your can visit our Forum here or share your thoughts at the bottom of this post. We want your help and so do our visitors so join us today and be part our community.

Author: Carbuco

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