We’re constantly told to do some research before we make a purchase, and there’s good reason for that. For one, it’s far better to know what we’re getting into rather than just going in blind and hoping for the best. It’s a good idea if you’re planning to check out a new restaurant downtown, and it’s pretty much a necessity if you’re making a big purchase. We’re talking things like cars and vacations. The more you spend on an item or experience, the more of a hassle it is to try and get a refund if you aren’t happy. There are some cases where you can’t get a refund at all. Most cheap plane fares nowadays are nonrefundable, which means that you can get a voucher for use on a future flight, but still have to fly with that same airline in the future. You can’t just get your money back without any strings attached. That means you have to do more than just read a lot of reviews before you write a check or hand over your credit card. You also have to know how to parse what you’re reading.
Quantity and quality
There are some cases where quality is better than quantity, and other cases where the reverse is true. If you’re researching cars or vacation homes, you really need both. You need a lot of information to look through, and you need as much of it as possible to be relevant and credible. Credibility can be a tough thing to gauge sometimes, but the more you attempt it, the better you’ll get at it. Beware of reviews where the person writing it seems to be expressing only anger. If that’s the case, they might be the unreasonable one, not the resort that wouldn’t give them a free upgrade to the honeymoon suite. Good words to look for are phrases like, “I understand that,” or, “To be fair.” That shows the reviewer knows there are other factors that could have contributed to an unpleasant experience. If, however, a reviewer accuses a resort’s entire staff of going out of their way to purposely make life miserable, then take that review with a gigantic grain of salt.
So, for instance, if you’re considering the Welk resorts brand, know that you can just read one Welk resort timeshare review if that’s all you need. But if you’re at all curious, reading five or ten reviews is better. It gives you a clearer and more complete picture of the place.
Look for patterns
Reading more reviews also allows you to look for patterns and trends. If one review complains about a front desk employee named Brenda, that’s not a big deal. Maybe Brenda was having a bad day, or maybe the guest was having a bad day. But if every other review mentions how rude and unpleasant Brenda is to guests, then that’s something to keep in mind. The same is true for things like dirty pool areas or bed bugs. (Be especially wary of a place if you’re reading reports of bed bugs; they’re every traveler’s nightmare.)