Product dimensions, material, properties...What to include? Is it repetitive?

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Product dimensions, material, properties...What to include? Is it repetitive?

Rockin' Rockin'
In the comments section of many reviews, I've seen people ask questions about product properties that the reviewer didn't include in their review. While some of these questions, such as those about cleaning or safe usage, seem fine to me, I question the usefulness of other types of questions. Our product pages provide a lot of information about the products before we even get to the reviews on them. We can learn about the material (and what the material type implies as far as quality/cleaning), dimensions/size, and special features of the toy (waterproof, phthalates-free, etc.), and probably some other useful stuff, too.

I haven't been the target of these kinds of questions, but I feel that other reviewers may feel picked on if they don't include information that is easily found/read/known elsewhere. What are our duties as reviewers? Do we need to spoonfeed every bit of info to the customer? Do we need to include only pertinent information (safety, cleaning, usage)? Is it some happy medium? Your initial answer might be "Just include what makes sense," but when our reviews are read by experienced users and people very new to toys/Eden, "what makes sense" to one person surely won't mean the same to the next.

I'm trying to pick at what people want to see, and what people need to see in reviews for them to be useful. I also would love your thoughts on any of these answer choices, as well as the possibility of sounding repetitive in reviews.

What do you think should be in reviews, as far as product dimensions/size, material, and properties are concerned? What is your take on including this kind of information in reviews?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Material type, (already specified)
38
Length/width of toy, (already specified)
25
Useful dimensions of a toy that are not explicitly provided (e.g. base width of a probe, smallest ball of a bead set)
45
Description of the toy's appearance (texture, curves, construction, etc.)
59
Safety and cleaning instructions (usually somewhat specified elsewhere)
49
Price of the toy (already specified)
3
Whether the toy is worth the price / Value of the toy
51
If it includes batteries, the type and number of batteries required (already specified, usually...?)
43
If it includes batteries, how long the batteries last
32
Modes/functions/speeds (if applicable, sometimes already specified)
51
Features of the toy (waterproof, glycerin-free, etc.)
51
Lube compatibility (if applicable)
50
I'd rather include too much info than too little.
44
It sometimes feels repetitive including everything
34
I wish people would just read the other given info themselves
27
Total votes: 602 (69 voters)
Poll is closed
06/15/2009
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Rockin' Rockin'
Sorry for the length of this thing...I hadn't created a long poll before and forgot that the choices have to be short to be compact.
06/15/2009
NuMe NuMe
When I read reviews of something I'm interesting in purchasing, I prefer that the reviewer mention everything possible. But I really like when they comment on those features as well. I'm the type of person who can't picture features in my mind. I need descriptive word pictures, if you know what I mean. I also like to know how someone feels about those features. Also there are certain reviewers who's opinions carry more weight for me. So I especially like to hear how they feel about or what they think of a toys features.
06/15/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
I do like when lots of information is included but I almost always find cleaning and lube compatibility to be repetitive.

One thing I find is that surprise me/description reviews often go out without the product being on-site yet so all the "property" information IS NOT already listed and it pretty much has to be listed in the review. While we can look at the properties page, I feel like an excellent review will answer all my questions so that I won't -have- to.

I do like when dimensions are used. I use them myself but usually try to work them in fluidly. I would say something this "This toy is large/small/medium with a length of X" and a girth of Y" making it perfect for Z" - Z being a type of person like beginner, size queen, etc.

I think the difference is how the information is added, even if it's already on the description page. If it's worked into the review uniformly, I don't mind. If the style of writing is choppier or the facts seem like an afterthought, then it starts to bother me.
06/15/2009
Avery Dragon Avery Dragon
I try to leave all of the information I can on the review. I've learned this working in an adult novelty store, that many people don't know about the different materials and sizes and lube compatabilities and such, even if the package says so, they don't usually care to look.

EF is different obviously because it provdes it in a neat little column, but for those that go directly to the reviews section instead of the properties, it does help out alot.

I do agree that certain things, such as lube compatability and cleaning procedures does get old after a while, but it's there for reassurance. At least that's how I see it.
06/15/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
I try to put everything in there because I think it's important to those customers who are reading the reviews.

As a reviewer who owns a lot of toys? It's all repetitive and boring and I don't WANT to have to put it in there cuz having to write it all out yet again causes my eyes to roll back in my head and drool to dangle from the corner of my mouth but...

It's not about me. It's about getting folks the info they need.

At the same time...

Is that really a review? Or have we made reviews into something way beyond reviewing?
06/15/2009
Rockin' Rockin'
I like not having questions about a product when I get to the end of a review, too. I also think the commentary ON the features/dimensions/wh atever is more important than just mentioning the features/dimensions/wh atever.

Adriana makes a good point about style -- if you can smoothly weave information into your review without making the text sound choppy/boring, then that's really great. I totally agree with her there.

And, I hadn't thought about the Surprise Me / Description reviews not having info, so thanks for pointing that out. Maybe the poll will turn into what is [ italics | most ] important to include in a review.
06/15/2009
Rockin' Rockin'
Quote:
Originally posted by Carrie Ann
I try to put everything in there because I think it's important to those customers who are reading the reviews.

As a reviewer who owns a lot of toys? It's all repetitive and boring and I don't WANT to have to put it in there cuz ...
Yes! The last questions are what I think I was trying to get to. Our reviews are not only reviews, but product tours, and safety guides. I don't think these things are bad, but the overall term "review" might not be the best descriptor. So glad you brought that up.
06/15/2009
Mamastoys Mamastoys
I try to put everything that I can in my reviews. I, for one, hate to have to go clicking to find information on the product. I like everything to be there. Yes, I want to be spoonfed but then I try to spoonfeed anyone who reads my reviews.

And with the surprise me and new products, that information is not available.

I'm one of those that ask about batteries, what type, and how long they last because I hate watch batteries (although I do have toys that use them) and I like to know if I'm going to be replacing them every time I use it. I do try to read most of the reviews as they are posted and I will ask the same basic questions if the information is not in the review. Sorry if I've done it to anyone who reads this.

I also like to know abou thte lubes and materials..

I think the review should be a thorough description that includes as much information as possible for the reader to know the most they can about the product. Maybe I do mine wrong but I try to put all the information available within my review.
06/15/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Rockin'
I like not having questions about a product when I get to the end of a review, too. I also think the commentary ON the features/dimensions/wh atever is more important than just mentioning the features/dimensions/wh atever.

Adriana makes a ...
I definitely think "Oh no, not this again" regarding some content when I'm less fond of the writing style.
06/15/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Mamastoys
I try to put everything that I can in my reviews. I, for one, hate to have to go clicking to find information on the product. I like everything to be there. Yes, I want to be spoonfed but then I try to spoonfeed anyone who reads my reviews. ...
I rarely put in battery info because I almost never use my toys long enough to run the batteries down. LOL
06/15/2009
Rockin' Rockin'
Quote:
Originally posted by Mamastoys
I try to put everything that I can in my reviews. I, for one, hate to have to go clicking to find information on the product. I like everything to be there. Yes, I want to be spoonfed but then I try to spoonfeed anyone who reads my reviews. ...
I wasn't trying to call anyone out with this poll. I've definitely asked the same type of questions, and I feel it's the only thing to do if someone's just left out something about a product in their review. I mostly wanted people to see what others think about certain parts of a review, and what is important to include.
06/15/2009
Rockin' Rockin'
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
I rarely put in battery info because I almost never use my toys long enough to run the batteries down. LOL
For a lot of toys, I feel like I'd have to use them SO MUCH in the two or three weeks I had the toy in order to gauge how long the batteries last. Plus who wants to count minutes of use? Not everyone has the same toy-usage time, so the number of uses wouldn't be that useful to me. It's just not something I look for in the initial review...maybe in the follow up if the toy is a good one.
06/15/2009
Lara Lara
I try to be thorough with information, but there's invariably going to be things that I miss or overlook simply because it doesn't occur to me to use a toy in a certain way. A few weeks ago someone asked about whether or not it's possible to stand glass toys up on their end. It was, but I didn't think to include it in the description because I don't want to have my glass toys on display.

I think we all do what we can to be thorough, but I also think it's not possible to think of everything. That's the cool think about having that question option available to people.

And since it's been brought up here... Jesus! How many different ways are there to describe silicone toy compatibility?! I am soooooo over trying to be creative with that. The imagination well has also run dry with the requisite cleaning paragraph.
06/15/2009
Nashville Nashville
I look at every review as if someone were reading a sex toy review for the very first time. It's my job to cover all the important aspects and include compatibility, how to clean/maintain, and porosity/condom use. I try to describe functions, battery power, and everything else as well. It can be time consuming but I want to provide customer's with a quality piece of information.

We have a pretty liberal amount of room to write and there's space enough to cover all parts of a product. When I see reviews that stop at 200 or 300 or 400 words I scrutinize them because I know there are few writers on the site that can describe everything about a toy in so few words. It almost feels lazy when people don't give as much information as they should. We shouldn't have to ask, "well, is it girthy? powerful? how many functions does it have?" - these are all things a reviewer should have covered first.

We get free toys in exchange for our reviews, you gotta give steak not hamburgers in return for a product that costs a lot of money. And let's face it, these products we get that cost $50, $70, or the upwards of $100 should have all the gaps filled in in their reviews. This is basically a job we were commissioned to do in exchange for free goods, if you don't really care than it could negatively impact a customer's idea of the toy or skew their perception of a product.

Sometimes, people include so little information and rate it 1 or 2 stars with no beef to back up why it was bad- other times, people will only focus on "me, my, and I". This is why I get annoyed when I see personal statements in description reviews (in the main body, not in the experience section). Description reviews are the first piece of information given and the first thing a customer will read- we have to remember that not all bodies were built alike. *What worked in my vagina or ass won't work in everyone else's.* Personal statements are great at discovering how a toy really works but not everyone shares the same opinion. I try to take myself out of the initial description review because what I think about a toy or how it felt in my vagina, others may not agree with and it may dissuade them from buying it. I put myself with my "me, my, and I" in the experience section because it's my experience. When I see me, my, or I statements replace factual information (especially when the product information hasn't been uploaded by tech yet) it looks careless to me... and a few reviews have looked sloppy because of it. A description review needs to be the best review someone can give of a toy, you were given the title of "expert", this is what a customer will see, if you don't describe a toy to it's full potential than you're really only leaving customers with an "average" impression. And I'll stop here because I'm starting to sound like a review Nazi.

Yes, sometimes we (I know I'm guilty) forget to put in key information but with a review of a product that we did not pay for, we have to do our jobs. If it's a description review that doesn't have product information written on the side, I will go research the toy. I'll hit up the manufacturer's website along with other e-tailers to see if I can find dimensions. Most of the time I measure things myself but I'm not always accurate.

I'm a lot more lax on free product reviews because I love to read about people having a good time. They bought the toy on their own time so they should be allowed to write about whatever they want, however, for those that were given a toy in exchange for review, they must present a quality review that doesn't leave a lot of questions.
06/15/2009
Mamastoys Mamastoys
Quote:
Originally posted by Rockin'
I wasn't trying to call anyone out with this poll. I've definitely asked the same type of questions, and I feel it's the only thing to do if someone's just left out something about a product in their review. I mostly wanted people ...
I know you weren't calling anyone out but I don't want someone to think I ask quesitons just to pick on them. I also know you can't always know how long the batteries are going to last (and nobody wants to count minutes) but with some reviews, the person says they have had the toy for months. So I want to know if the original batteries are still lasting after this long. Others say that you have to change the batteries often, and if that is the case, they should be able to tell you about how long, or at least how many times they used the toy before changing. I think it is a great thing to include this in the follow-up but I don't alway get back to reading them because I don't know when they are completed.

I know my reviews are lacking in information at times but I do try to get as much in as possible. I agree with Sleeping Dreamer about our obligations.
06/15/2009
Pumpkin Lady Pumpkin Lady
I agree with Sleeping Dreamer and Carrie Anne as well. Personally I try to include only the most pertinent information so that onlookers reading for the first time would know what to expect, the dos and do nots.

I'm also right there with Avery Dragon. A friend of mine was buying jelly toys and I asked her if she knew it was important to care for them in certain ways, and she had no idea. Not only that, she completely ignored what I had to say about it. So in some cases the more information the better. New customers can be thinking, "why do I care if I treat this toy right?" Well, because there's a possibility the health of your genitals could be threatened.

If we write the boring stuff out, other members should understand why we did it, most of them do it too. I would feel bad if someone were to get the third degree after publishing a review with questions even new comers could have answered just by looking at the description page (I haven't seen this happen yet, btw). Some information isn't necessary, but if someone wanted to include it that should be okay too.
06/15/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
Well... I have to say I disagree with a lot of you. I certainly don't mind very thorough reviews, but I personally might shoot myself if I had to include all that information in every review I write. Repeating cleaning instructions, for instance, gives me a headache. I can't stand it, and I feel like when I do include it, it comes off really dryly. I guess I'm not creative enough to be able to incorporate everything and make it sound like I'm NOT a broken record, so I just opt not to.

I have to disagree with Sleeping Dreamer that because we received the toys for review, we are obligated to include all of this information. That is not, in my opinion, what a review is. A review is a written version of a personal experience. If I did not think about something in my personal experience (for instance, if a toy is the average 1" in width), I will not mention it. If, however, the toy is too big for me, I will mention its diameter.

As others have said, the battery question is the most ridiculous. There is no possible way you're going to get me to time my batteries, especially because they're rechargeable.
06/15/2009
Lara Lara
Quote:
Originally posted by Epiphora
Well... I have to say I disagree with a lot of you. I certainly don't mind very thorough reviews, but I personally might shoot myself if I had to include all that information in every review I write. Repeating cleaning instructions, for instance, ...
Is the average toy really 1" wide?
06/15/2009
Pumpkin Lady Pumpkin Lady
Quote:
Originally posted by Epiphora
Well... I have to say I disagree with a lot of you. I certainly don't mind very thorough reviews, but I personally might shoot myself if I had to include all that information in every review I write. Repeating cleaning instructions, for instance, ...
You know what, that's a damn good point about timing batteries. I mean, some have eaten up my batteries sooner than others, but that's ALL relative.
06/15/2009
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Quote:
Originally posted by Lara
Is the average toy really 1" wide?
Doesn't seem like it to me lately. Seems like almost every toy I've gotten in the past year has been 1.25 - 1.5. Trending towards larger, maybe?
06/15/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
Quote:
Originally posted by Lara
Is the average toy really 1" wide?
Um. Obviously I don't know, but 1 - 1 1/4" seems pretty average to me. Not too small, not too big. 1 1/2" still hurts me at times.
06/15/2009
Victoria Victoria
I think as reviewers start 'filling their plates' so to speak, with assignments from several retailers and manufacturers, they tend to find one general way to review that works for them across all their assignments, even if it is not the norm on the site they're reviewing for at the moment.

I have most definitely noted this pattern.

Some of the same people who clamored for what seemed to be expected 'standard' information now can't be bothered to include it in their own reviews. Just look at comments on reviews 6 - 10 months ago and you'll see what I mean. There were often comments asking where the cleaning instructions were, asking more about the material, the batteries and so on.

Interesting...
06/15/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Epiphora
Well... I have to say I disagree with a lot of you. I certainly don't mind very thorough reviews, but I personally might shoot myself if I had to include all that information in every review I write. Repeating cleaning instructions, for instance, ...
The way I took it, SD was saying because we are getting the toys for free that we should write a very thorough review but I do also agree that reviews are about personal experiences, of course. If they weren't, we would never actually -use- the toys because we could just describe them without trying them. I think a good review finds a balance between the specs and our personal experiences.
06/15/2009
Lara Lara
Has anyone else noticed the new template option available for reviews? It's pretty cool and very thorough. I think that's going to give reviews a lot more structure when it comes to getting the basics covered.
06/15/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
I think as reviewers start 'filling their plates' so to speak, with assignments from several retailers and manufacturers, they tend to find one general way to review that works for them across all their assignments, even if it is not the norm ...
As far as finding a format and sticking to it - you're absolutely right. I've noticed that I'm including more material safety and compatibility information in my reviews for other retailers even though it's not necessarily required (honestly, sometimes retailers kind of bet on people not knowing any better). I figure it's better to have too much than too little.
06/15/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
Quote:
Originally posted by Lara
Has anyone else noticed the new template option available for reviews? It's pretty cool and very thorough. I think that's going to give reviews a lot more structure when it comes to getting the basics covered.
I don't even know what you're talking about LOL
06/15/2009
Victoria Victoria
Quote:
Originally posted by Lara
Has anyone else noticed the new template option available for reviews? It's pretty cool and very thorough. I think that's going to give reviews a lot more structure when it comes to getting the basics covered.
Oh.... I was supposed to be told before that went live! That's my baby - and I'm really looking forward to announcing it. I guess I'll wait to talk to my tech peeps tomorrow morning before making a real announcement about it - just to be sure it is definitely available and fully live.
06/15/2009
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
One more though - I voted for mentioning batteries. I try to mention what type and how many but I definitely mention if they're included because that's like OMG amazing when they are included. LOL
06/15/2009
Epiphora Epiphora
Quote:
Originally posted by Adriana Ravenlust
One more though - I voted for mentioning batteries. I try to mention what type and how many but I definitely mention if they're included because that's like OMG amazing when they are included. LOL
I definitely mention if batteries are included, 'cause it rocks. Just not going to time how long they last.
06/15/2009
Total posts: 74
Unique posters: 27