• Reviewing toys against direct competition

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    Stuburns [sign in to see picture]
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    I have noticed some reviews comparing toys against similar toys and their direct competition. I was wondering in the scheme of things whether this is good practice? Personally I like to review a toy by its own standards and not against the standards of another. Isn't that the idea? An impartial review

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    Terri JJ [sign in to see picture]
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    I agree with you. A toy/item should be reviewded on its own merits and treated as an individual item. However, if it is very similar to another then it can be difficult not to compare the 2.

    A comparison can be helpful I suppose if the 2 are extremely similar and someone is trying to choose between the 2 x

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    Foxxy [sign in to see picture]
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    I've done comparison reviews, and I wouldn't say that they're not impartial. I get asked things like "How do the vibrations compare to the Lelo Mia?" Or "Why do you prefer X over Y" a lot. Comparison gives perspective, and is often very helpful when making a decision to buy something. If I was looking to buy a car, I'd consider my options and compare model specs, performance, cost etc on each of them - for me, sex toys are no different.
    I think naturally, as people's collections grow, they want to know how that 'something new' will fit in, and understanding how it compares to things they may already own is a big help.

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    Lovehoney - Alice [sign in to see picture]
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    I have to go against the grain so far and say I find comparisons incredibly useful. Some that spring to mind are Blewit/Fleshlight and Womanizer/Femme Fatale. I think any point of reference is useful in a review - whether it's a person's toy experience, relationship status, or other toys in their collection. 

    I also think that Lovehoney try to make toys that really come out on top, so hopefully most reviews come out as positive for Lovehoney products as that's our ultimate aim! And if they don't, we do our darndest to improve them! We scour for negatives in reviews and do everything to try and fix them in our own brand products.

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    Stuburns [sign in to see picture]
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    From a suppliers perspective a comparison could deal a cruel blow.

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    Dali256 [sign in to see picture]
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    if lovehoney sell both items and a reviewer has experiance of each then a comparison can only help in my opinion. I dont see how it can be a negative as long as the review also contains plenty of information about the item in question.

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    Foxxy [sign in to see picture]
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    As a reviewer, it may sound harsh, but I'm not interested in if my recommendations are a blow to the manufacturer - surely the responsibility lies with them to be the best at what they do? And reviews help manufacturers be better anyway, the L'amourise Prism was born from feedback in reviews 👍🏼

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    Stuburns [sign in to see picture]
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    Aren't you asked to review that specific toy though? Can you not go back to your first review and put the good points about a new toy you have now reviewed and say their is now a toy better than this one I reviewed 3 months ago. Seems only fair.

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    Talia [sign in to see picture]
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    As there is no objective way to rate a toy - we have no measurement unit for rumbliness or even strength of vibration - I think direct comparison is the technique that makes the most sense.

    When I say: "The vibrations of A are very strong" you know strictly nothing, because you have no idea how I define "strong". Reading through reviews you'll find the same toy described as "too weak" and "too powerful".

    But when I say: "The vibrations of A are weaker than those of B but stronger than those of C" you'll get an idea of how I rate A - as long as you know B or C.

    The aspects of a sex toy that can be reviewed impartially are its toxicity (which the normal user can't determine), its weight and dimensions and the noise level (though again normal users won't have the equipment to measure dBA). Have I forgotten something?

    The rest is subjective. Even the question "How soft/squishy is this silicone" is somewhat subjective and in my opinion best answered by "not as soft as D but softer than E".

    If manufacturer A can't live with the fact that reviewers rate his toy as less powerful than those of manufacturer B then that's their problem - they can redesign the toy or come out with a new one. But it's not my job as a reviewer to make sure I don't hurt a toy manufacturer's feelings!

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    Scorpius12 [sign in to see picture]
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    Foxxy wrote:

    I've done comparison reviews, and I wouldn't say that they're not impartial. I get asked things like "How do the vibrations compare to the Lelo Mia?" Or "Why do you prefer X over Y" a lot. Comparison gives perspective, and is often very helpful when making a decision to buy something. If I was looking to buy a car, I'd consider my options and compare model specs, performance, cost etc on each of them - for me, sex toys are no different.
    I think naturally, as people's collections grow, they want to know how that 'something new' will fit in, and understanding how it compares to things they may already own is a big help.

    I totally agree with this, and appreciate the car analogy too - lol. I always try to be impartial on my reviews, but there are some occasions when I feel a comparison would be helpful. For example I might say that a particular vibrator is more powerful than a 'typical bullet', but not as powerful as a 'mains powered wand' - to give some general perspective to the reader :) xx

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    Foxxy [sign in to see picture]
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    Yes, and I do review that specific toy. Me giving comparison to something else doesn't detract away from that. I want my reviews to be helpful to consumers more than anything, and I feel that NOT giving them the comparisons, if they're applicable, is less help to them.
    And surely, if I go back to a previous review and update it with points on a newer version/alternative, I'm doing EXACTLY the same thing anyway? - Installing a comparison.

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    Stuburns [sign in to see picture]
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    But would you go back to a review and update it to say that it is much better than the latest toy that does something similar. Or would you fogey about that older toy and impartially write about the newer one. I think it is only fair that you update both especially if the older review is considered the better toy.

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    Talia [sign in to see picture]
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    Is it even technically possible to change reviews here on Lovehoney once they are published? If yes, please tell me how!

    I would not forget about the older toy but write in the review of the new one that the new toy is not as powerful (or whatever the criterion is) as the old one. My opinion is always my opinion at the time of writing (which is clearly visible together with the review) - I can't go back and constantly update everything. So yes, my reviews get more comparative with time as I have more toys to compare the new ones to. Can't be helped - I'm not a professional sex toy reviewer and have other things to do besides writing reviews...

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    Vanessa8 [sign in to see picture]
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    I find the comparisons helpful if the reviewer has a similar or related toy. I dont always have that toy to compare with, so I always hope it is part of comentary and not ALL of it. The whole point is for a "real" review from the general public. thank goodness there are generally multiple reviews per item so you can scroll down and read to find that is most helpful.

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    Talia [sign in to see picture]
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    Lovehoney - Alice wrote:

    I have to go against the grain so far and say I find comparisons incredibly useful. Some that spring to mind are http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/product.cfm?p=34769&reviewid=133418#customer_reviews and http://www.lovehoney.co.uk/product.cfm?p=35378&reviewid=144039#customer_reviews. ..

    I just read Skitty's comparative Femme Fatale review and it's brilliant! Not that I'm going to buy the toy based on a single review, but I feel that I now know about the pros and cons of two very similar toys. Reviewing the Femme Fatale on its own would have helped a lot less because I'd only have had two glowing (5 star) reviews. So which toy is better?

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    Foxxy [sign in to see picture]
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    No, I wouldn't update the older review with opinions, I may add a link to the newer review though. Constantly updating older reviews would become a full time job!

    I would certainly add a link in the new review, of the older product, if I'm using it as a comparison. People will look for the newest reviews, because they will expect to find any comparisons to older models to be included. I think it's fair to say, most people will assume a direct model upgrade, SHOULD be the better toy.

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    Lovehoney - Leanne [sign in to see picture]
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    Everyone  has their own writing style and that is why it is great for us to have such an array of reviews. It is hard - no pun intended ! when it comes to the items we sell as it is super personal!

    I think in that case a comparison is great as if you own that item mentioned and for example they state they found that more powerful than the item they are reviewing - but you didn't , then you know actually you are more power hungry than that reviewer , If you that makes sense.... So that may not be the right one for you :)

    I think it is great as our reviews are there to help buyers and customers alike, as long as we feel the item has had a through test and a write up on that product itself I see no harm in it

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    Stuburns [sign in to see picture]
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    On upgrades then yes I can see the point of comparison. That's the same toy same company.
    For example of Skittys review if the womaniser was better in every way than the femme fatale would the review have been written with the negatives of the femme fatale in comparison bringing the womaniser out on top or would it have been reviewed as just negatives of the femme fatale without mention of the womaniser.
    By the way I'm not attacking any reviews I'm just interested in people's thoughts. As a business I wouldn't be happy anyone putting negative reviews of my product on a test of a competitors product.

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    Gyrator53 [sign in to see picture]
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    I think comparison is a very useful part of any review. There can hardly be a more personal choice than a sex toy, and as can be frequently seen here on LH preferences can be widely differing. If you can find a review that compares a toy to one of which you already have experience then you have a calibration point to help you judge what to expect yourself. Far more useful than a 'It was way too large/firm/noisy/whatever' from someone who's preferences you can only guess at.

    Amazon do give you the ability to add/modify your existing review which I think is very important. I like to write reviews fairly soon after buying something but if it turns out to be short-lived I'd like to be able to add comments about that at a later date.

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    Lovehoney - Leanne [sign in to see picture]
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    That is what happens in business though , you can not please everyone and there may be other products that people prefer.

    It happens all the time in social media , TV adverts , and just in day to day life . So why not let people compare , the manufacturer may also find it useful and see it has a positive to help grow , change or tweak their products to give that extra edge on the competition .

    I see what you mean and understand that it may seem unfair , but if the femme fatale for example was not all that great then the rating would be lower and no need to compare . If you catch my drift.

    Also I have seen reviews where people have stated negatively and then ended with 'I much prefer  my... ' So it happens both ways too 

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