It’s getting increasingly more difficult to find legitimate product reviews online. Sites that earn commissions on products they “review” as affiliate marketers have taken over Google search results. You can imagine these “reviews” are highly biased and can’t necessarily be trusted.
Likewise, fake product reviews have flooded marketplaces such as Amazon and Google Shopping, making it challenging to distinguish the truth from the lies. So, where can you turn for genuine product reviews from real consumers? Enter Reddit, one of the internet’s most popular sites that you may never have seen before and a great place to find product reviews.
What is Reddit, and How Does It Work?
At its core, Reddit is a social sharing platform. If Google is where you search for things on the internet, then Reddit is where you find what others have discovered on the internet. Unlike the majority of websites, Reddit has no editors which means the content you see is raw and unfiltered opinions of the site’s users (called Redditors).
This is the key reason why Reddit is a great place to find honest product reviews. The site is broken down into endless sections called subreddits; discussion boards that cover a specific topic. If the subreddit doesn’t exist, Redditors can create one of their own. Subreddits consist of posts made by Redditors and each includes comments which generate discussion on the topic. Next to every post and every comment is a score along with two arrows, one pointing up and one pointing down.
Redditors upvote and downvote content which determines the visibility and popularity of the post. If a Redditor upvotes, they think the post is worthwhile for others to read or that a comment contributes to the conversation. A downvote means the post isn’t worthwhile or a comment is off-topic. When your comments are upvoted you earn “karma” which translates to your profile score representing your reputation and credibility on the platform.
Periodically, Reddit will add a “weight” to newer posts so their scores can be compared to older posts that have had time to accumulate more votes allowing readers to see newer content as much as they see older content. Combining this ranking system with a robust search engine, and many third party search engines, Reddit has made its mark as a trusted source of information.
You can find a more detailed description of the site and all its facets here.
How to Search Reddit for Product Reviews
Reddit is a great place to search for honest product reviews. It’s especially useful if you’re looking for reviews on newer products because you can engage with the reviewer to ask more questions. The site can be intimidating for new users and may prove to be difficult to navigate without a proper understanding of how to use the site. Another point of difficulty is that Reddit is filled with acronyms which are often included in subreddit names. These acronyms are like a language of internet jargon and will take time to learn.
- AMA: Ask me anything. You’ll often see this on the /r/AMA subreddit, which hosts question-and-answer sessions with notable people.
- Cakeday: The day you joined Reddit, or your “Reddit birthday.” You’ll see a little cake icon next to your username on your cakeday.
- Crosspost (or x-post): Used to indicate that you posted this content on another relevant subreddit as well as the current one.
- DAE: Stands for does anyone else? Used when you’re seeing if other people do something similar to you.
- Edit: Used when someone changed their comment after initially posting it. This lets you respond to new comments, explain why you edited the post, or similar.
- ELI5: Explain Like I’m Five. This is a request for someone to explain something simply. It’s also a popular subreddit, /r/explainlikeimfive.
- FTFY: Fixed that for you. Used when correcting a prior comment; often humorously.
- IMO: In my opinion.
- ITT: In this thread. Usually used when someone is summarizing the general theme of discussion on a post.
- Mod: A subreddit’s moderator. They keep the subreddit under control by enforcing the rules.
Through the search bar, Reddit will show subreddits, users, and posts that contain the search term. You can also search Reddit comments through the provided filters as well as using a third-party tool, one of the best available is Pushshift Reddit Search.Search results can be sorted by several criteria and modifiers and operators can be used to narrow your search results.
How to Search Reddit Using Modifiers and Operators
You can also use the following modifiers as mentioned in Reddit’s advanced search:
- title:[text] searches only post titles.
- author:[username] searches only posts by the given username.
- selftext:[text] searches only the body of posts that were made as self-posts.
- subreddit:[name] searches only posts that were submitted to the given subreddit community.
- url:[text] searches only the URL of non-self-post posts.
- nsfw:yes or nsfw:no to filter results based on whether they were marked as NSFW or not.
- self:yes or self:no to filter results based on whether they were self-posts or not.
Searching Reddit effectively may take some practice. Check out this article to continue learning.
Let’s Practice a Search
How about we use the author’s cell phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, as an example. Enter the review you’re looking for and you’ll see a page like this one:
The fifth result covers the product that was searched as well as a score of 30 upvotes and a total of 31 comments. Clicking through to this post, which is located under the subreddit named “r/android”, you’ll see something like this:
In this post, there are 31 comments discussing the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and whether or not it’s worth the purchase and references to other relevant subreddits. Read through as much as you need and decide whether the product is the right choice for you.
So there you have it. Start by learning about Reddit and its search engine, look up the product reviews that you desire, and learn about the experience others have had with that product. Feel free to ask questions about the product in the comments.
If by chance you can’t find a subreddit covering the product you’re looking for, you can start one yourself and wait for the discussion to begin. It’ll take some time to get used to it but once you understand the site, Reddit is a great resource for all the information you need.