How many reviews do you read before buying a product online? Although this would vary by vertical, I would hypothesize that potential customers would need up to ten anonymous reviews before converting to a sale, whereas they may only need one or two recommendations from friends. Do you agree and do you have any data to prove/disprove this? I rarely look at aggregate ratings at allow guidance, since reviews are indeed so easy to fake. I make a qualitative assessment: I jump in and look at the negative reviews that have the highest "helpful" ranking. If I see multiple one-star that describe a similar set of issues, I will put great weight on that. Then I will read some of the 5-star reviews for contrast. I will also consider the total amount of reviews to make sure the products has had a good "shake"