"What kind of math
does Amazon use for product reviews (e.g.
for your books & apps)? The numbers don't make sense to me."
Answer / Resources:
[click link(s) below, as applicable]
We understand the
confusion. Rather than using 'actual math' with respect to our book & app
reviews, Amazon may make their own
calculations ('funny math'). In our experience as of the time of this writing,
the 'funny math' they have employed has almost never been in our
favor (or never, as we have yet to notice any going in our favor). Rather, we
have noticed that lower ratings (1-4 star ratings) have generally/often been
overstated and 5 star ratings have generally/often been understated. For example, consider the following 7 illustrations... [Note: If images
herein appear too small, try zooming up the display in your browser.]
They admit on their
site that they do not use "a simple average" (i.e. actual math) to calculate,
but state that their calculations consider other things (e.g. how recent the
review is, whether item was purchased on their site). However, the pattern in
our case has been fairly consistent, as shown above – again NOT in our favor, with Amazon assigning lower weight to five-star reviews, and assigning
weight to reviews under five stars. In other words, 1-4 star ratings have
generally/often been overstated and 5 star ratings have generally/often been
understated. Visually, besides smaller percentages & smaller bars for 5-star
ratings AND larger percentages & larger bars for 1-4 star ratings, fewer stars
display overall. In our opinion, this has occurred whether reviews
were older or newer and regardless of where items were purchased (in our case, we 'only' sold
certain items on their site). Interestingly, as of the time of this writing, we have only found instances
of 1-4 star ratings being inflated & we have NOT noticed a single case of 5-star
ratings being inflated – so the system seems inherently biased against the
5-star ratings. Otherwise shouldn't we expect the inflation to benefit us
While we apparently
can't do anything about this 'injustice' at this time, their customers may be able to change
things if enough of them complain directly to Amazon.
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