How many reviews does the average consumer read before making a purchase?

Question by Chris: How many reviews does the average consumer read before making a purchase?
About how many (online or print) reviews of a product would the average American consumer read? Any references would be fantastic as well.

Best answer:

Answer by Andy
I would assume this would be dependent on how much involvement the product needs – for example, purchasing a digital SLR camera – these tend to be very expensive and are for photography enthusiasts. The photography industry is huge – so there will be both professional and personal opinions available everywhere.

Comparing this (purchase of digital SLR) to purchasing hair spray immediately shows the reality of how many reviews you may read, a lot less since hair spray tends to be less involved.

I would say reading reviews is dependent completely on the product, industry and customer.

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