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Old Feb 3, 2012, 10:04 AM   #1
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Default certifieddigital.com : nextag seller reviews are being manipulated

Here's a warning not to purchase your camera at certifieddigital.com despite the Nextag glowing seller reviews. The Nextag reviews are being manipulated by certifieddigital to request the review immediately upon placing an order, and by promising extra goodies in return for writing a review.

A cursory web search will reveal that certifieddigital is a bait-and-switch operation that presents a low price, then tells the buyer on the phone that particular product is unavailable, but they can sell them something else at a great price, which turns out to be inflated. Another of their tactics is to overprice additional costs such as insurance for shipping.

Unless Nextag can correct how their review plugin is being used by sellers, Steves Digicams should remove the misleading nextag price-and-reviews plugin.

It casts a poor light on Steve's Digicams to be associated with scam sellers in this manner. I think your site is overall high quality, and I appreciated the reviews I read when shopping for my camera, but the nextag reviews are a scandal in their current form, and they cause harm to your site users.

If you want more information, site administrators are welcome to contact me privately. I have also shared this information with Nextag via their feedback survey.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 10:28 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, it's tough to determine what's a legit customer review with any of the ratings sites anymore.

One good one to check is http://www.reselleratings.com , as they are usually a bit better about weeding out some of the glowing (often fake or compensated) reviews compared to some of the other ratings sites.

But, you see your share of that kind of thing there anymore, too.

So, you really need to look for a pattern when reading through customer reviews (do you see big differences in reviews, where some are great and others are horrible, etc.).

Word of mouth is a great way of finding good vendors, too. For example, I sometimes recommend using one of these, as they all have good reputations:

http://www.amazon.com (buying from amazon.com directly versus one of the merchants listing items there)

There are many scammers around anymore, and they often startup new web sites when the old ones get reputations that are too bad. So, it's a good idea to stick with a more established vendor that has a good reputation, checking with forum members here if there is any doubt.

When you see a price that is much lower than the prices offered by the more established vendors with good reputations, there is usually a catch. As the old saying goes: "if a price looks too good to be true, it probably is".

Thanks for your input.
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Old Feb 3, 2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for the heads up. We're looking into this issue.
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Old Feb 7, 2012, 3:48 PM   #4
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yes certified digital is shady.. I placed an order for a NEX from them, got nervous after reading some reviews and found out after calling them that it was a "wholesale kit" which did not include the external flash or the regular battery. Further they have a mandatory insurance charge of 9% of the price. All told the additional costs to bring the "wholesale kit" up to a "retail kit" was more than the savings over other sites.

They were, however up front about this on the phone when I pressed them and allowed me to cancel my order, which is more than I can say for dabrasales...

Also as you said they get people to review them on nextag immediately after placing the order to get a free tripod and other free items with the order, effectively inflating their ratings.
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