Since every reviewer has some system or method to their madness, I thought it would be helpful to explain mine (both for folks reading the reviews and for folks wanting reviews). In general, this will be my guideline and process.
1-5 Star Rating:
1 Star: I hated the product. I most likely am angry I bought the product (or even tried it at all) and will either return it or sell it or throw it away.
2 Stars: I didn’t like the product. Maybe it was something minor or major, but something about it just doesn’t work for me. Likely, there are some redeeming qualities (such as it does what it is supposed to do, but maybe there is an annoying side effect), but the rest was just lacking. A mediocre product.
3 Stars: I enjoyed the product and it does what it is supposed to do. I find that most products fit this category as most products, I find, do what they’re supposed to do. They’re just not amazing or life-changing. This is not an insult to the creator of the product or the product itself. I just find few things in life to be 4 or 5 star worthy. Plus, if everything were fantastic or SUPER AWESOME AMAZEBALLS, then my reviews and ratings would be almost worthless. Just because every one gets a trophy now doesn’t mean they should. Or that it means anything at all.
4 Stars: I really enjoyed the product and thought some aspect, detail, feature, or something was absolutely superb. I don’t give this rating very often because as stated above, it would soon lack meaning (and I doubt that most products are that amazing). Often this product is also a contender for re-purchasing (if it is a consumable thing) or for gifting (to spread the awesome around).
5 Stars: This is truly a rare rating from me and hence, I hope it means something when I give it. I give this rating when I think the product is near flawless and when I LOVE, just absolutely LOVE, it. Most definitely, this product would be a contender for re-purchase or for gifting.
If I have received the product for free, or if it’s a sponsored post, or if I know the creator or promoter, I will disclose this information. Even though I am near perfect in almost every way (just ask my husband, Hapa Papa), even I will likely be influenced by such illustrious connections and perhaps, unconsciously biased. Hence, I will tell you if such a connection exists and you can make your opinion of the matter.
Also, when possible (or more likely, when convenient), I may use an affiliate link to direct you to a product should you so choose to purchase it. I think it’s perfectly fine for me to be paid for the time and effort I put into this blog, but like all things, you don’t have to agree with me. If you prefer not to use the affiliate link, feel free to not click on the link I provide and go directly to the site and search for the product yourself. I won’t know so I don’t mind. I will disclose whether or not I use an affiliate link in the disclaimer section of the review.
All opinions and reviews are my own and after awhile, you will figure out whether or not my standards, which in some cases are ridiculously high, and others, (like raising my children) ridiculously low, dovetail nicely with your own. The reviews can also be useful if they are consistently the opposite of whatever you personally think as well, so there’s that handy factor, too. This is all just to say, Your Mileage May Vary.