The internet is a wonderful place for both consumers and contractors alike when it comes to reviews that are posted on sites like Yelp, Merchant Circle, or Angie’s list. Should you trust them? Should you write them? Are they really worth it?

You’re getting ready to hire a contractor, so you do what any well educated person does these days, you do your due diligence and research them on the internet. Sites like Yelp, or Merchant Circle, or Angie’s List are great resources to check out the contractor you’re thinking of hiring. But can you trust the reviews? For the most part yes, but let me explain.

First off, you have to understand the sites, and why they are developed, and who they are designed to help. Sites like Yelp, Merchant Circle and similar sites are one stop shops for consumers to find businesses in their community. Much like the “Yellow Pages” of days gone by. Although they are meant to help consumers, they are designed to generate revenue from the contractors who advertise with them. They are usually free to contractors that post a basic add, but the hope is to get contractors to upgrade to different programs so they will noticed easier. It’s the same internet game all over again. I am registered with roughly 6 or 7 different sites, and I don’t pay a dime for any of them. Angie’s List on the other hand was developed with the consumer in mind. The consumer is the one that pays to be a member of Angie’s List. Contractors can’t buy their way into Angie’s List. However, once a member writes a review about a contractor, Angie’s List then tries to get the contractor to join. Basically we have to be invited in.

Now having explained the basic premise of the different sites, let me explain what this means to you as a consumer. First off, anyone can write a review on sites like Yelp and Merchant Circle. In other words, I could literally write my own reviews and have friends post them on those sites. Do I? No, I have morals. But I’m sure others do, so be careful and don’t rely entirely on reviews. Ask for references of previous customers. Call them. Remember, Due Diligence!

Now as for Angie’s List, they’re a little different. Remember, you have to be a member of Angie’s List to write a review. Now just because members write the reviews doesn’t mean an innovative contractor can’t manipulate the system. In theory, I could pay my friends and family members to sign up and have them write reviews. But in the grand scheme of things, it would cost too much money. Again, I have morals. I think overall, Angie’s List is on the up and up and should be regarded as a valuable tool when researching contractors.

Remember, Do your due diligence!

In part 2 of this article, I’m going to talk about writing reviews, good or bad ones, and why they are important to you and I.

I hope I have answered some of the questions you might have, but if not, feel free to call us at 630-776-6326 , visit our Facebook page, or check out our website

Thanks again for visiting the Airborne Professionals Blog.