Reviews Matter

Why online reviews should be the friend you turn to for embarrassing questions

Monday, February 8, 2021

You know that search you’ve had open in your private browser for days, but you’re still afraid to proceed to checkout? You know, the one you have a few “embarrassing” questions about, but would be mortified to ask any of your friends?

Maybe it’s that little battery operated toy because, let’s face it, the past year has been difficult for single people. Or maybe it’s that hair loss surgeon who could stop the hair that seems to be fleeing your scalp more quickly each day.

It may not be something we think about very often, but there’s quite a large market — and a section of the internet — dedicated to products and services that people feel embarrassed to talk about. There are even online guides for entrepreneurs to profit off of the general public’s need or want for things that they feel too ashamed to talk about.

The bright side is, with the advent of online shopping, we have the ability to purchase almost anything without human interaction or shameful eye contact being necessary. And this isn’t an accident — there is a whole science behind selling embarrassing products because making people feel more comfortable purchasing these types of products is a good thing.

The only issue? The more anonymous purchasing becomes, the harder it can be to get answers about these products. And because of the nature of these products, shoppers often have questions they either don’t know who to ask, or don’t feel comfortable asking. This is where online reviews can be your judgment-free best friend.

When you need a product or service you’re embarrassed about...

When we think about embarrassing purchases, many immediately think sex toys, but there are many different types of products that people feel embarrassed to buy. If you’re feeling brave (or need a laugh) you can search through these roundups here and here of the more entertaining ones.

But what about things like assistance for people deeply in debt? Unwanted warts and rashes? There’s actually a much broader market than you might think, and there are different ways that reviews can help you navigate each of these journeys when you have embarrassing questions or need recommendations.

How reviews can help with purchases that have you feeling embarrassed

We looked at some reviews for sensitive or discreet purchases on Trustpilot and found that people sometimes ran into -- or narrowly avoided -- uncomfortable situations that were so specific to their purchase that it likely wouldn’t even cross their minds.

This is why it’s critical to thoroughly check reviews on purchases like this before you commit, so you can keep it as discreet and painless as possible. Below are some of the different things to consider, and how reviews can help you have the most pleasant and discreet shopping experience.

Making sure the company pays attention to discreet shipping

This one is pretty obvious, but not doing your homework here can cause some extremely uncomfortable situations for you.

Review of Lovehoney

With adult purchases, you really want to make sure there isn’t any branding on the packaging, and that you’ll get plain and anonymous shipping. Children aren’t the only ones curious — this can lead to unwanted conversations with your partner, roommates, or neighbors as well.

Finding kind and understanding providers for the services you hoped you wouldn’t need

When it comes to things like elective surgeries or debt consulting, people can carry a lot of shame and be cautious about asking for help. But because of the nature of these services, it can’t be as anonymous as just clicking a “buy now” button.

You’ll need to have in depth conversations with a stranger about these different products and services, and it’s really important to check reviews and make sure you’ll feel as comfortable as possible while getting the answers you need.

Review of Creditfix UK

Review of Creditfix UK

With these types of services, you’re likely going to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed anyway. Checking the reviews can ensure that you minimize this feeling and have the best experience possible.

Minimizing embarrassing situations in your everyday life

With many discreet purchases like period or incontinence products, the embarrassment that you’re looking to avoid is an unexpected embarrassing situation in your everyday life — not the embarrassment of checking out.

In cases like these, reviews are arguably even more important because you need to take a leap of faith with these products and hope they’ll save you from some embarrassment down the road.

Review of Ruby Love

Periods are challenging enough without the added anxiety of unreliable feminine products. Thoroughly checking reviews can help you determine if this kind of product will meet your needs, and spare you the headache of an embarrassing surprise down the line.

Avoiding an embarrassing situation with customer service

The most frustrating type of purchase — even for the most ordinary of products — is when there’s an issue that requires you to get on the phone with customer service. Most people shudder at this thought, but imagine having to talk to a customer service rep because the sex toy you’ve just purchased doesn’t have instructions and you can’t even get it to turn it on.

Review of Bondara

If you’re making a purchase you’d rather keep private, then it’s safe to assume you don’t want to be chatting with a customer service agent. Fortunately this reviewer didn’t really seem to mind, but checking reviews before you purchase products like this can ultimately help ensure that you avoid any embarrassment.

Making sure the “embarrassing” product will work as advertised

When it comes to sensitive issues with your body like hair loss, laser hair removal, and so forth, there can be a wide range of effectiveness for the solutions available. Many products and procedures are far from 100% effective, but most of them are advertised as basically perfect.

Because of the sensitive nature of these products, customers can end up spending quite a bit of money only to be let down and then feel even more discouraged about whatever they were looking to fix.

Review of The Hair Loss Centre

Reviews are an excellent way to see the full picture from their customers —not just the testimonials they selected for their website. This will help you get a good idea of the best (and worst) results you can expect, and decide if the risk is worth it for you.

Try to stop feeling embarrassed, but make it as painless as possible

At the end of the day, very few purchases are worth feeling embarrassed over and whatever your awkward questions to ask may be, they probably aren’t as bad as you think. At minimum, you’re far from alone in needing to ask them. The existence of these products and services shows that.

That being said, you want to keep it as painless as possible. So next time you’re looking for something that has you toggling the “private browser” switch, make sure to do your homework. Check out the reviews on Trustpilot and make sure the experiences of the customers before you were positive — so you can smirk with satisfaction instead of cringe with embarrassment.

Whether you’re in debt, leaking, or just in need of a little battery operated love, Trustpilot reviews have got your back.

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