All posts by Brewmaster Bruns

Santamedical Dual Channel TENS Unit

So if you have ever been to the chiropractor, you may have been hooked up to the big electrical stimulant machine. We call it a stim in my house. But they make you feel pretty strange since it forces your muscles to contract, but it is relaxing after a while.

This is the same thing, just a bit less powerful and more tuned to home use. You can throw it on after a long day and use the 4 pads to get your shoulders and back or whatever it is that ails you. All in all, a pretty nice deal.

 

Introducing the Standard Brewview

I did some brief thinking. What was my biggest issue with the Amazon review system? The star rating. Sure they gave the vague ‘I love it, I like it, It’s Okay’ descriptions on their stars, but nobody knew what that really meant. Some people ranked an okay product as a 5 star, and others at a 3 star.

To remove this ambiguity from my reviews going forward, I think it is in everyone’s best interest that I get rid of the star system. When I look at products, I appreciate the point system. I’ve seen the point system for beers, headphones, fantasy football players, and more. The point system allows me to be much more precise on what is good and bad, and the average at the end encompasses that much better.

On Amazon, I would say something like ‘This product has a small issue, but is good other than that.’ That issue would be the difference between a 4 and 5 star. Well if you convert to the point system, that is the difference between an 8 and a 10. Or an 80 and 100. That is HUGE when you think of it. Especially with decimal points being valid.

So above you can see a standard brewview, so there will be less confusion, and much more accurate rankings going forward.

Since I have power over standards, I think the school system does it pretty well. So I will structure my reviews like school grades. A 7.5 would be an average product, meaning nothing special really pops out. Anything under a 7 corresponds to a D-rank product, and anything over 9 would correspond to an A-rank product. If I ever review anything that deserves greater than a 9.5, I will have to start making awards for products, as those are truly top-tier products.

The End of an Era

So it happened. It wasn’t difficult to see this coming. When I started off about a year ago, there weren’t many products you could find that had “reviewers.” Then the subreddit came around. Facebook groups formed, websites were made, advertising was done.

And we made it to today. An Amazon where most products have made it to the part where anything less than 4 stars is a crap product that shouldn’t be bought, and “reviewers” are on almost every product. Amazon claims that “reviewers” are a “very tiny fraction of the Amazon community.” If that were true though, would they really change their policies to exclude us?

The change in guidelines that hit earlier today basically eliminate any honest reviewers, and do little to stop those with more shifty morals. Amazon added one line into their guidelines that has ended the reviewing for a hobby that I like to do. They have banned the following:

Offering compensation or requesting compensation (including free or discounted products) in exchange for creating, modifying, or posting content.

So now all sellers are prohibited from giving out product to people like me in exchange for a review on their platform.

What will this change in the long run? It will run new sellers away from the Amazon platform. The old guidelines allowed a new seller confident in their product to send out copies to get reviews to let their product be able to stand a chance against established giants in the industry.

Why would a person bother making their own portable battery pack when Anker has over 20,000 reviews and a 4.5 star rating on their packs? They would never do that! But if they could give out their packs to review, and it soon became the listing right under Anker, then they may enter the business and eventually become a big name in portable charging.

What Amazon is doing is running new sellers away from their platform. Wish.com has no such restriction, and nor do places like Walmart or any other store. The issue is that nobody looks for reviews there. Amazon has become the place to go to for quality reviews on products. But what was Amazon like before they had “reviewers?”

The average product without people like me has very few reviews. This is because if you buy, say, a GoPro, you are going to use it and think “Yup, this is a GoPro, glad I bought it.” Many people expect a product to work, because they buy from established brands, and so there is no need to write a review. In the other hand you can buy a product from a lesser known brand. You go out on a once in a lifetime adventure and your GoPro knockoff goes with you to capture the experience. You get home, and you get ready to look at your videos, only to see that the camera looks fuzzy and your videos all turned out pretty terrible.

You will then likely write a review, seething with hatred. Your review will berate the product and you will be one of very few people to review. When someone looks at the product, they will notice that the only person who bought it had a bad experience, and they will avoid it. What you did not know, was that 100 other people bought the camera and had a great experience with it, but felt no need to review it.

That is what the old Amazon was. If a product had more than 3 stars, it was a good product, because it meant people reviewed the product positively more than negative. In essence, the product had more people wowed enough to write a review than people pissed off enough to write a review.

In the end, there is nothing a guy like me can do to make Amazon change their policy. But there is nothing stopping me from now reviewing for pay. Now that Amazon won’t take my reviews, I can take products for free to make YouTube videos, blog posts, Facebook posts, and the like. Nothing stopped me before, but I couldn’t use affiliate links since that was against Amazon TOS. Now, there is nothing stopping me from profiting from reviews.

In addition, nothing stops me from getting direct ship items, or PayPal refunding. PayPal refunding is a shady tactic, but Amazon has no way to detect it without the disclaimer. Which is now banned, so if you pay full price, then Amazon has no way to tell you got your money back on the side. That is why this system is now benefitting the shill or biased reviewers. If you disregard the rules in favor of the loopholes, then the changes only affect the sellers who also play by the rules.

Amazon has changed their rules to weed out the honest and give more ways for the dishonest to prosper.

That being said…. Check out my YouTube channel! I made a video explaining this, and I bring up a few more points there. I will be putting affiliate links into the rest of my posts here now, and I hope none of you mind. Any comments or questions? Smash that comment button and let me know.

SO&CO 2 Tone Watch

Watch this. Oh sorry. This watch. Tells Time.

Is your mind blown? Mine is. Basically this is any other Rolex Submariner clone. A deep blue almost purple color, it tells you the time. It doesn’t have the sweeping second hand I love so much, but it is a nice inexpensive watch that emulates a much more expensive one.

If I actually hate a part of it, it would be the date window. If it wasn’t there I would love the watch a lot more. Oh well. Such is life.

Review

Aquabod Collapsible Water Bottle

This bottle is both great and terrible at the same time. When you drop a weight on it at the gym, it doesn’t break. It just shoots your water all over in a huge jet fashion. See that hot girl over there? You just hosed her down because you dropped your weights on the bottle.

It is great that it fits in your bag and is squishy. Until you try to drink it half full and it flops around everywhere like an idiot. The possibilities are endless. The only true weakness though is the loop that lets you roll it up. IF that breaks you are screwed. But that hasn’t happened to me yet.

Review

LLUNC Air Vent Phone Holder

When you get around by Google Maps, you can’t just leave your phone in your lap or on the dash. It’ll fall and then you get screwed and make a wrong turn and get lost.

What you need is some way to hold your phone onto something. You can use a suction cup, but those things just suck. I mean that as in they work though. They use suction…

If that isn’t your thing, one of these plugs onto your air vent right by the dash or the steering wheel and you can see your directions like that.

Pretty convenient I guess. I just use a bike.

Review

Hammock Straps

If you are ecofriendly and love the trees, hammock straps are your friends. They are more friendly than a plain old rope, and look more sophisticated than a ratchet.

I used a ratchet before, and didn’t have any issues really. But these were free so I took them and gave them to my sister who technically owns the hammock.

We set it up easy and now our hammock is strapped as opposed to ratcheted onto a tree. Instead of death gripping the tree, it is now just a friendly hug. Save the trees, folks.

Review

Emjoi Micro Nail Manicure

Another device that could be replaced by an angle grinder. Take this, two wheels. One is basically some sandpaper to scrape your nails even. Then you replace it with a Scotch-Brite wheel and you buff them.

Yes. Again, this is totally a specialized angle grinder with discs. Oh well. The results are really nice and last a while. Too long if you’re a guy who has to explain why his nails look so shiny… I couldn’t scratch my nails up fast enough…

Review

Black Box X1S GPS Dash Cam

Best story I have of a dashcam. My friend recorded himself going offroad and obliterating a telephone pole. Seriously, it was so funny. But only because he was okay. It also proved he was a victim of bad roads, so the insurance paid for a new car.

Other than using a dash cam for the funny internet memes, you can use them to prove insurance and to get back at that asshole who cut you off on your way home from work.

I think in an ideal world everyone would have one. Then there would be no question  of who is at fault in most car accidents.

Review