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Rockler's product reviews are misleading

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Forum topic by Alaskan posted 09-18-2018 05:15 PM 1127 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alaskan

5 posts in 1626 days


09-18-2018 05:15 PM

Often I wonder just how biased or fair product reviews are on various web sites. In the case of Rockler, I would like to suggest that there is no need to wonder anymore:

A month or two ago, Rockler released a drawer divider system. At the time, there was a single not-so-flattering review. I also wrote a review that was less than flattering. Within a day or so, the first review had been deleted, and my review was the only one remaining. As of today, my review has also been deleted (despite getting 114 “helpful” votes). What is the point of a review system if the negative reviews are selectively removed?

Moving forward, I have lost all trust in the reviews on Rockler’s website. I have a strong, yet unconfirmed, suspicion that they don’t remove positive reviews…

Keep this in mind when you are about to part with your hard-earned dollars, yet are relying on their reviews. They may not be telling the whole story.


12 replies so far

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1678 posts in 2830 days


#1 posted 09-18-2018 05:24 PM

They should all be taken with a grain of salt. Amazon 3rd party sellers have been known to use dummy accounts to fluff the rating of their products.
Even some of the reviews on this site are questionable. Of course, those are mostly skewed by moronic people who suck at using the internet.
How many 5 star reviews for a product that the reviewer hasn’t even used? “Arrived in a shiny box, and looks really well made…...can’t wait to try it”
OR
1 star “I bought this standard miter bar and it doesn’t fit my table saw”.....never mind the fact that they have some off-the-wall table saw.

Bottom line…...I always check multiple sources and try to shop with retailers with good return policies.

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SMP

121 posts in 102 days


#2 posted 09-18-2018 05:29 PM

Interesting. I was trying to find out what people thought on their Benchdog planes, as I don’t want to shell out the money for a LV or LN. Its odd that there are no reviews for any of the benchdog planes except 1 for a low angle by someone that hasn’t used it much. But nobody has purchased the #5? I was in the store the other day and asked if they have sold any. The guy said that they are selling, but nobody must be writing reviews. I find that odd, as with most other things there are at least some reviews. And since its their house brand I can’t look on Amazon etc.

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Redoak49

3655 posts in 2185 days


#3 posted 09-18-2018 05:55 PM

For Amazon, you can use fakespot dot com to learn about the reviews. With reviews you have to read between the lines.

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Woodmaster1

1070 posts in 2784 days


#4 posted 09-18-2018 08:22 PM

You this site for reviews they are a good indication of how good the product is.

View xeddog's profile

xeddog

210 posts in 3204 days


#5 posted 09-19-2018 04:08 PM

When I look at reviews, I am mainly looking at the one stars. For starters, if the one stars are over about 10% of the total number of reviews, that is usually bad. But i will still read them. In many cases, the one stars are “I’m so stupid I ordered the wrong one”, or “Shipping said two days and it took three”, or “item damaged by the carrier in transit”. One just yesterday made me laugh. It was for an item that consisted of three parts. The reviewer said he ordered it three times and didn’t know which part was the worst. No details at all, especially why you ordered it three times. Sheez.

Wayne

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Shamb3

37 posts in 378 days


#6 posted 09-20-2018 12:59 AM

I answered a question about the Bora Parallel clamps that I regret buying. Basically advice on how to get them to work, not overly critical. The clutch sucks and you have to push on it the right way to get it to work. My answer never even appeared on the site.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1891 posts in 2545 days


#7 posted 09-20-2018 11:07 AM

That is one of the great things about LJ. If you write a review, good or bad, it isn’t removed or altered. Folks chime in on their experience with the product in the comments and you wind up with a decent review that generally provides the pro’s and con’s.

Much of the time, before buying woodworking items I’ll look at the reviews on LJ and I might even start a forum thread to ask what folks think about a particular item.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

5093 posts in 909 days


#8 posted 09-20-2018 02:08 PM


That is one of the great things about LJ. If you write a review, good or bad, it isn t removed or altered. Folks chime in on their experience with the product in the comments and you wind up with a decent review that generally provides the pro s and con s.

Much of the time, before buying woodworking items I ll look at the reviews on LJ and I might even start a forum thread to ask what folks think about a particular item.

- EarlS


+1 DITTO ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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oldnovice

7316 posts in 3565 days


#9 posted 09-20-2018 07:16 PM

I also have to agree with Tony!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

596 posts in 1691 days


#10 posted 09-21-2018 04:02 AM

+1 Rockler reviews are heavily edited. Been there, had it done to me.

I’ve had 2 negative reviews removed from their website.
One for these lousy aluminum bar clamps. The store replaced the bar clamps with cracked head casting, but the replacements cracked same way after a few uses.
Second for these not 90 degree and unusable Clamp it Assembly Squares. Make sure you use a real square to check accuracy before leaving store. Last batch I looked at were all less than 90 degrees, and some had small twist in one arm.

Other Rockler branded items? No Thank you.

Have no issues with local Phoenix store, staff are pleasant & helpful, decent stock levels. I visit them regularly to buy stuff like finishing supplies or project hardware. But, I refuse to buy most of the Rockler branded stuff anymore, regardless of sale price. Bench cookies – buy some hockey pucks and self adhesive rubber and make them for 80% less than retail. Can get T-track online for 1/2 of prices they charge, including shipping. Router bits are decent, but they need edge re-hone long before my Whiteside or Amama bits. Fit and finish on many of their plastic molded things (like knobs) is marginal, easy to find mold flash or rough edges that cut your hands. All of their saw or router jigs are over priced pile of poor quality MDF, expensive blue T-Track/clamps and bag of less than grade 3 hardware; that you have to assemble. They work for a project or two, but not any serious use; you are much better off making same jig from scratch. The dust right 4 inch quick change system is a great idea, but non-standard size pretty much locks you into buying expensive adapters for all tools. The newest ceiling track system is just plain silly; you can buy steel uni-strut with hangers/trolleys from industrial supply that has been used in industrial factories for 50+ years, that will carry 3-4x the load for same or less money. There is more items where Rockler innovation is second class IMHO; but you get point. Buyer Beware.

+1 LJ reviews always carry more weight than any of the stores privately controlled reviews.

Thanks for reading.
YMMV

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

521 posts in 3154 days


#11 posted 09-22-2018 01:00 AM

I give about as much credence to company websites as I do any other house organ because I expect them to have an agenda before a commitment to open skies and freedom of expression. Rockler scrubs their comments?! Say it ain’t so. Their house brand is a pale alternative to other options if you can find them. Doesn’t suprise me at all that folks have issue with some of those blue duds and it doesn’t surprise me at all that the boys at corporate go all Winston Smith and flushes the nasty reviews.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1106 posts in 1736 days


#12 posted 09-22-2018 01:07 AM

You’d think this day and age companies would think twice about doing that. With all the woodworkers easily connecting with each other, it isn’t hard to spread the word like wildfire that could decimate the company’s reputation. Has anyone seen the same thing with Woodcraft? I know PSI does it and have moved away from purchasing from them. If they can’t look at the reviews as a critique to look into making a product better rather than be defensive and remove the reviews, they really shouldn’t be selling stuff anymore or have the owners reevaluate how to proceed.

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