Ever read a long written review on Amazon, or watched a video review, and wondered who would take the effort to provide such detailed critiques of consumer goods on their own volition? Planet Money had a fascinating show about the people who review products on Amazon, and not just any reviewers, but the top reviewers, including Michael Erb, Amazon’s number one reviewer who treats reviewing products on Amazon like it’s a 9-to-5 job. Erb doesn’t get paid to review products, but as a top reviewer, he does get an invitation to be part of Amazon’s Vine Program, which sends reviewers free products to keep and write about. It must be nice (if you don’t mind receiving five different blenders).
It turns out that the book reviews regular people like you and me post on Amazon pretty much line up with those of the professional reviewers at establishments like The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Guardian, according to a study by the Harvard Business School.