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Computer Lounge Shop of the Year 2017


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#1

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:41 PM




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#2

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 12:24 AM

Pretty meaningless though, right? When Computer Lounge are the only retailer I'm on the mailing list for who send out an email begging people to vote for them. I bet Rebel and Farmers didn't have to do that. And how is Samsung newcomer of the year with exactly zero reviews?

 

Coincidentally, since they sent that email out and slapped the vote for us banner on the front of the site, there's at least four reviews telling everyone Computer Lounge are 10/10 perfect. Even one review saying they have the best prices when they're usually down at the bottom of the list. Computer Lounge are far and away one of the more expensive stores.

 

PriceSpy is my go-to comparison site, but let's be honest, this store of the year stuff is a bit of a sham, and it's clearly being manipulated by at least Computer Lounge. Based on reviews on the site they're worse than Playtech, DTC, PC Force, Paradigm - and they're just the ones with over 100 reviews. So how does that merit store of the year except in an easily manipulated vote?


Edited by discobrian, 08 December 2017 - 12:30 AM.


#3

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 06:21 AM

I think it would be better to base the store of the year off of reviews cast during the year - e.g. which store received the greatest share of reviews over a certain rating. Newcomer of the year could be the store which started out with, say, <5 reviews at the start of the year, but finished with the highest number of reviews over a certain rating compared to similar stores. As discobrian points out, its becomes quite artificial when its left to people to vote for a store. Shouldn't it come down to cold, hard data rather than behavioural manipulation?

 

Don't get me wrong, CL is a great store and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it - but the same can be said for many stores indexed by Pricespy, and the store of the year seems to come down to which store is most aggressive in it's marketing to encourage people to vote for it.


Edited by TomSahz, 08 December 2017 - 06:22 AM.


#4

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 08:34 AM

Pretty meaningless though, right? When Computer Lounge are the only retailer I'm on the mailing list for who send out an email begging people to vote for them. I bet Rebel and Farmers didn't have to do that. And how is Samsung newcomer of the year with exactly zero reviews?

 

Coincidentally, since they sent that email out and slapped the vote for us banner on the front of the site, there's at least four reviews telling everyone Computer Lounge are 10/10 perfect. Even one review saying they have the best prices when they're usually down at the bottom of the list. Computer Lounge are far and away one of the more expensive stores.

 

PriceSpy is my go-to comparison site, but let's be honest, this store of the year stuff is a bit of a sham, and it's clearly being manipulated by at least Computer Lounge. Based on reviews on the site they're worse than Playtech, DTC, PC Force, Paradigm - and they're just the ones with over 100 reviews. So how does that merit store of the year except in an easily manipulated vote?

 

Votes. But I'm not sure that they deserve "newcomer" even if the store is.

 

They are, but their shipping is cheap. And they give discounts and match prices fairly readily. I've often ended out buying from them even if the price listed is more.

 

In my opinion, their review score is a bit lower than it should be – a few of their poor reviews are not deserved, for instance one is over courier delays. You're correct that those are rated higher in this year's reviews, but they don't have anywhere near as many – and as the vote is based on number. Basing the Store of the Year on reviews would just result in manipulating reviews instead of merely votes. Also, people can vote even if they haven't bought recently enough to warrant posting or updating a review.

 

I think it would be better to base the store of the year off of reviews cast during the year - e.g. which store received the greatest share of reviews over a certain rating. Newcomer of the year could be the store which started out with, say, <5 reviews at the start of the year, but finished with the highest number of reviews over a certain rating compared to similar stores. As discobrian points out, its becomes quite artificial when its left to people to vote for a store. Shouldn't it come down to cold, hard data rather than behavioural manipulation?

 

Don't get me wrong, CL is a great store and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it - but the same can be said for many stores indexed by Pricespy, and the store of the year seems to come down to which store is most aggressive in it's marketing to encourage people to vote for it.

 

I agree, to a point. The problems with basing it off reviews are that 1. it doesn't solve the problem (stores can still ask for reviews), and 2. most people won't update reviews after they've placed them (so you're left with predominately people that have problems and update because of that, new customers, and people new to PriceSpy). If we base this on the number of reviews of 8+ stars (or even 10 stars), I think you'll find CL would still win despite their review rating not being as high, because they've got significantly more reviews this year – this is similar to the voting, although the numbers are smaller. I guess it depends what you consider the Store of the Year is saying – I think it is more a "favourite" store rather than "best" store.


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#5

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:44 AM

Bah, I bet I get another spam from CL, touting how they won it 8 times in a row now.

 

I'd rather they spent that time shipping products the same day (without paying more for the privilege) like most other stores do.


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#6

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 09:50 AM

I kinda somewhat agree with discobrian with Computer Lounge.
I thought it was a bit wrong receiving an email asking to vote for the store. Yes Computer Lounge have done this in the past and I have usually ignored it.. but when they keep winning I start to wonder if this tactic of getting some extra votes via email marketing is skewing the numbers.
From a marketing point of view it makes sense doing this, probably having this badge/title gets them a few more sales.

Don't get me wrong Computer Lounge is a good store and set the bar in the past with their service, (have ordered from them many times over the years), but now other stores are providing that same level of excellent service and have really good prices.
I only speak from my own experiences, when I saw changes in Computer Lounge that's when I tried smaller stores as they had better deals and their service was just as good.

I do think the whole system in terms of voting should change. And it would be really good to see the actual number of votes, rather than saying these are the winners.

Also while I got my tin foil hat on, exactly how does this current voting system work in terms of knowing a legit account and a dummy account created just to place a vote?


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#7

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:35 AM

I kinda somewhat agree with discobrian with Computer Lounge.
I thought it was a bit wrong receiving an email asking to vote for the store. Yes Computer Lounge have done this in the past and I have usually ignored it.. but when they keep winning I start to wonder if this tactic of getting some extra votes via email marketing is skewing the numbers.
From a marketing point of view it makes sense doing this, probably having this badge/title gets them a few more sales.

...

I do think the whole system in terms of voting should change. And it would be really good to see the actual number of votes, rather than saying these are the winners.

Also while I got my tin foil hat on, exactly how does this current voting system work in terms of knowing a legit account and a dummy account created just to place a vote?

 

PriceSpy probably doesn't want to discourage stores asking their customers to vote, because it is good advertising for PriceSpy. The thing is, any store can request votes from their customers (and particularly those subscribed to newsletters), which, in light of the previous, is probably enough to override any complaint that it isn't fair. I'm not saying I agree, especially as many stores don't have newsletters and therefore don't really have any legitimate way of contacting their customers about such things.

 

I totally agree that seeing the numbers, at least for the top 5 or so, would be nice. Or even just the top 5...

 

Probably much the same as for reviews. I don't really know.


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

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#8

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 10:51 AM

Votes. But I'm not sure that they deserve "newcomer" even if the store is.

 

They are, but their shipping is cheap. And they give discounts and match prices fairly readily. I've often ended out buying from them even if the price listed is more.

 

In my opinion, their review score is a bit lower than it should be – a few of their poor reviews are not deserved, for instance one is over courier delays. You're correct that those are rated higher in this year's reviews, but they don't have anywhere near as many – and as the vote is based on number. Basing the Store of the Year on reviews would just result in manipulating reviews instead of merely votes. Also, people can vote even if they haven't bought recently enough to warrant posting or updating a review.

 

I've bought about $5k from Computer Lounge this year. Unfortunately the courier delays are down to their choices of couriers - that's NZ Couriers and Toll. And it's not just the courier delays, it's the delays in shipping. I order from Playtech and it goes out that day via Courier Post and I get it the next day. Without fail. I order from Computer Lounge and unless it's first thing in the morning it's probably not going out that day. I gave up on special orders. I asked if they stocked the product from one of their regular product ranges, they put it on the site for me to order the same day, but it took a week for them to email me to tell me it was a special order and it'd be on the next shipment from the supplier. At which point I told them to cancel the order and ordered it direct - took the manufacturer three days to get it here from Europe.

 

And also, as DZander pointed out up there, paying extra to go to the front of the queue, paying extra for insurance - they're the only ones that do this and get away with it. Some people are confused how they're not 10/10, but overall I think their current score is pretty fair.


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#9

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 11:39 AM

I pretty much agree. I've never liked the pay extra for <insert option here>. And I don't like the amount of next-day shipping I'm seeing mentioned in the reviews, because as you say most can do it same-day – either they're under-staffed, or it is deliberate to get more paying extra. I don't like how they've got away from free shipping. And I haven't bought off them for a while either, because I could find better prices (or more importantly, cheaper products like RAM) elsewhere without the bother of asking for a price match (specifically, PB Tech but only when stuff was on special).

 

But a large part of their reputation has been to do with handling RMAs and such like well, and good communication. I'm not sure if that side of things is as good as it used to be, but there are plenty of people that'd put up with the rest to get that.


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

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#10

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 06:13 PM

Agree with everyone else here re: computer lounge. If you want to have a joke competition this is the best way of doing it...do you guys realize they post constantly on forums like GP and hoard votes when competitions like these come around? How about making a competition where the actual best store wins and not one that is the loudest about getting votes?

 

Not saying they're a terrible store but they're easily the most overrated in NZ. My experience with them has been mediocre at best. I've found way better service elsewhere, especially in regards to order processing and delivery times.


Edited by dsn45, 05 January 2018 - 07:08 PM.


#11

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 04:25 PM

So how exactly would you run a competition to find the "actual best" store?


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#12

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:41 AM

And beside that, which one is actually "best"? Which metric do you want to use to determine that? I can guarantee that no one store will ever be top in all of them, so if you consider multiple, how do you cope with the inevitable of multiple stores being "best"?

 

For instance, you can consider pricing, shipping speed (including delivery time), RMA handling, other customer service, product range, number of physical stores, and other things too. The stores with the best prices usually compromise on one of the other things, particularly physical stores, shipping speed and customer service (all of which cost a fair bit). And it definitely works the other way around too.


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#13

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:30 AM

Probably would like to see legit or verified reviews averaged over the year? Just because right now it seems like it's an exercise in how many people respond to a Computer Lounge mailing list.

 

Or don't do it at all. I'm not sure how helpful it is, really.



#14

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:29 AM

So how exactly would you run a competition to find the "actual best" store?

 

 

I think it would be better to base the store of the year off of reviews cast during the year - e.g. which store received the greatest share of reviews over a certain rating. Newcomer of the year could be the store which started out with, say, <5 reviews at the start of the year, but finished with the highest number of reviews over a certain rating compared to similar stores.

 

Just an idea - there are lots of other ways you could do it that would all come up with a better measure of "best" than what currently happens.


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#15

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:19 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys.

We are aware of some of the points already mentioned above and are currently updating a whole load of things to do with the CL site and couriers.

We don’t rig the competition or beg for anything, there is no problem with asking our customers for support, as we have a great relationship with most of them. The lack of our competition not doing it is nothing to do with us.

I can say we are not the place to come if your main concern is just price as we more about the overall experience. Even though over the last 3 years we have been experiencing growing pains we are finally getting to the end of that tunnel. Expect a lot of changes and improvements soon as per above.

With regards to our reviews they are not rigged and we always try and deal in the most transparent way possible. This is why you see reply's with most reviews that are not favourable, you will even see people update their reviews to different ratings with us over a period of time. Yes there are reviews where people are trolling us and also ones where we have totally dropped the ball.

We are also on a lot of forums and we do think it’s important being part of the community, which most people I talk to appreciate it.

If any of you guys have any points or ideas please send them through to me: paul@computerlounge.co.nz

Thanks. 


Edited by Computer Lounge, 10 January 2018 - 11:20 AM.


#16

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:04 PM

Imo either an internal pricespy assessment or judgement of reviews would both be better. I'm not sure shop of the year would be impactful enough to cause massive review manipulation over the year? Maybe it would...

 

Could also make multiple categories - newcomer of the year, enthusiast shop of the year (Clounge actually might deserve this), overall best etc.

 

Either way I just don't think the current system is that fair. I may have been initially too harsh on Clounge as they're definitely one of the better stores out there compared to some, I just don't think they're quite on the level some people put them at.


Edited by dsn45, 10 January 2018 - 12:11 PM.


#17

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 12:54 PM

Imo either an internal pricespy assessment or judgement of reviews would both be better. I'm not sure shop of the year would be impactful enough to cause massive review manipulation over the year? Maybe it would...

 

Could also make multiple categories - newcomer of the year, enthusiast shop of the year (Clounge actually might deserve this), overall best etc.

 

Either way I just don't think the current system is that fair. I may have been initially too harsh on Clounge as they're definitely one of the better stores out there compared to some, I just don't think they're quite on the level some people put them at.

 

Problem: both are highly subjective. No one would be happy with the results, however it turned out.

 

What I said earlier is highly relevant:

...

I guess it depends what you consider the Store of the Year is saying – I think it is more a "favourite" store rather than "best" store.

If you consider that to be the case, I don't really see a problem with the current system.


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

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#18

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 01:58 PM

Problem: both are highly subjective. No one would be happy with the results, however it turned out.

 

What I said earlier is highly relevant:

If you consider that to be the case, I don't really see a problem with the current system.

Well people aren't happy with the results now. I think the point is trying to make the most people happy that it's fair to what it's being advertised as. 

 

If it's Favorite of the Year then it should be advertised as that - even though that still wouldn't be accurate since the vote would be skewed regardless.

 

Just because an internal assessment would be subjective doesn't mean it wouldn't be more objective in finding the best result for consumers.

 

Isn't the point of this to help consumers? Which in turn builds the website and rewards stores that ensure they focus on the whole experience rather than just making sure people vote for them?



#19

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:08 PM

I'll wait and see how my current RMA goes with CL before I pass judgment for this year :P

 

Overall though, Computer Lounge is held in extremely high regard. You can't deny they are popular, stock a good range of items, have a good presence in the industry and offer pretty good after sales support. They have been trading for a number of years and have built their reputation, and I see no problem them using that reputation to win competitions like these. When other stores do come in, do things better than them and do it for a sustained period of time like CL has done, I'm sure people will naturally gravitate to that store? Maybe this just hasn't happened yet?


Edited by lvmarv, 10 January 2018 - 04:08 PM.

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#20

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:23 PM

Well people aren't happy with the results now. I think the point is trying to make the most people happy that it's fair to what it's being advertised as. 

 

If it's Favorite of the Year then it should be advertised as that - even though that still wouldn't be accurate since the vote would be skewed regardless.

 

Just because an internal assessment would be subjective doesn't mean it wouldn't be more objective in finding the best result for consumers.

 

Isn't the point of this to help consumers? Which in turn builds the website and rewards stores that ensure they focus on the whole experience rather than just making sure people vote for them?

 

Some people aren't happy. Some people will never be happy, irrespective of how it is done.

 

It is advertised as "best and most popular" (https://pricespy.co...._storeoftheyear).

 

Even if a subjective result is "better", It's not going to be satisfactory. The stores would complain, and anyone that didn't like the results would just dismiss it (and PriceSpy) as biased. I can imagine some of the accusations already ("They had it last year, it's someone else's turn" [optionally appending "but they probably paid well"]; "<store> is better than they are, but you gave it to them last year so you won't give it to them again", etc). It simply won't happen.

 

Personally, I would be very surprised if you could point to a different store that had a reasonable chance of winning (i.e. deals in what has generally been the main focus of PriceSpy, specifically computer-related stuff) that is more popular that CL. Better in some aspects, yes. Better in all aspects, almost impossible. More popular, no.

 

Edit: One of the big reasons CL is popular is they do focus on the whole experience, particularly customer service – including the activity in forums which you were deriding earlier.


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

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#21

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 03:58 PM

Some people aren't happy. Some people will never be happy, irrespective of how it is done.
 

 
And if you changed it some other people would be unhappy. Like I already said, the point is to try to make the best competition for everyone, and not just shy away from improving it because you're scared of a vocal minority criticizing you. 

 

 

 

It is advertised as "best and most popular" (https://pricespy.co...._storeoftheyear).

On a page how many would visit? 5%? The main advertisement of it people would see (on the front page) implies an objective measurement of best store of the year. Not even going to go into how bad of a description that page is for even the current competition.

 

 

 

Even if a subjective result is "better", It's not going to be satisfactory. The stores would complain, and anyone that didn't like the results would just dismiss it (and PriceSpy) as biased. I can imagine some of the accusations already ("They had it last year, it's someone else's turn" [optionally appending "but they probably paid well"]; "<store> is better than they are, but you gave it to them last year so you won't give it to them again", etc). It simply won't happen.

 

What stores would complain? The only store that is winning right now? I'm sure the other stores will be furious that they might actually have a fair chance at winning. Criticisms about bias are already happening - it's already obvious you're biased towards Computer Lounge, because why else would you be defending this flawed competition when its clear based on your own users that they aren't up to par?

 

Personally, I would be very surprised if you could point to a different store that had a reasonable chance of winning (i.e. deals in what has generally been the main focus of PriceSpy, specifically computer-related stuff) that is more popular that CL. Better in some aspects, yes. Better in all aspects, almost impossible. More popular, no.

 

 
Why are you talking about popularity when we're discussing hypotheticals if it was changed? If it was changed to reviews Computer Lounge wouldn't even come close. They're currently ranked 34th by overall reviews. If you only care about what store is most popular then maybe change the title of the competition to reflect that - and even then I think that's a bad idea for a competition because whoever is fan favorite is going to be who focuses on community over other areas. And who appeals to forums like GP which are filled with enthusiasts rather than average PC users. There's more to being a good computer store than community interaction and catering to an enthusiast market, which you seem to fail to realize.

 

Anyway I'm not going to bother arguing this further - either the competition title should be changed to accurately represent what it actually is, or the basis of the competition should be changed so that those who objectively provide a great service (as seen in your own review system) have a chance at winning - until then it's simply biased and a misrepresentation of who genuinely is the best store in NZ.


Edited by dsn45, 11 January 2018 - 04:03 PM.


#22

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 05:38 PM

And if you changed it some other people would be unhappy. Like I already said, the point is to try to make the best competition for everyone, and not just shy away from improving it because you're scared of a vocal minority criticizing you.

 

Well, I could say that it is a "vocal minority" complaining right now. I won't, because I haven't seen many others supporting it and I'm not sure about it right now either. The question is how to actually improve it, not just change it. I've seen various methods mentioned, but I haven't really seen anything that helps with the actual problems much (at least not without raising even more of its own).
 

On a page how many would visit? 5%? The main advertisement of it people would see (on the front page) implies an objective measurement of best store of the year. Not even going to go into how bad of a description that page is for even the current competition.

 

That's just one example. Check the page that this is the comments thread for (linked in the OP). Says exactly the same thing. I doubt anything else differs much – if you have an example, please post it. I'm not sure how that page is a particularly bad description of it either.
 

What stores would complain? The only store that is winning right now? I'm sure the other stores will be furious that they might actually have a fair chance at winning. Criticisms about bias are already happening - it's already obvious you're biased towards Computer Lounge, because why else would you be defending this flawed competition when its clear based on your own users that they aren't up to par?

 

Not necessarily the first time around, but any change has got to be long-term. What about after running it for 3 – 5 years?

 

As to having a "fair chance of winning", that depends. If it is subjective as you suggest, it is very likely unfair and impossible to demonstrate otherwise. At least an objective competition (like right now) can demonstrate that the outcome fairly represents the data it is based on.

 

Read what I've actually said, including my earlier posts before you posted. I think CL is a good store, but they're definitely not perfect. I'm defending this "flawed competition" because, as I just said, I'm yet to see anything that actually improves it while solving the complaint. I've seen one or two suggestions that don't really help, and I've seen some nonsense.

 

You seem to have missed something else – it isn't anything about me or my ideas, and the people complaining aren't "[my] own users". I'm only a moderator on these forums, and have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the site except as an ordinary user.
 

Why are you talking about popularity when we're discussing hypotheticals if it was changed? If it was changed to reviews Computer Lounge wouldn't even come close. They're currently ranked 34th by overall reviews. If you only care about what store is most popular then maybe change the title of the competition to reflect that - and even then I think that's a bad idea for a competition because whoever is fan favorite is going to be who focuses on community over other areas. And who appeals to forums like GP which are filled with enthusiasts rather than average PC users. There's more to being a good computer store than community interaction and catering to an enthusiast market, which you seem to fail to realize.

Anyway I'm not going to bother arguing this further - either the competition title should be changed to accurately represent what it actually is, or the basis of the competition should be changed so that those who objectively provide a great service (as seen in your own review system) have a chance at winning - until then it's simply biased and a misrepresentation of who genuinely is the best store in NZ.

 

Because I personally think it doesn't need any change to be that way, and that is actually what it is right now. The title, "Shop of the year", doesn't indicate either way.

 

I discuss stuff to do with reviews up-thread. If changed to reviews, stores (including CL) would be asking for reviews after every sale (note, asking for them, not giving any incentive for them in any way). I think you'll find that if it is based on reviews over a particular rating they'd still win by a long way, and if based on the rating their rating would improve – most people don't update positive reviews...

 

What you fail to realise is that most stores selling primarily computer parts are largely focused on the enthusiast market, at least in the retail sector. So if you want most of your input from "average PC users" you should probably throw out not only CL, but most of the ones in the same market too. That is also the market that PriceSpy has been primarily focused on in the past, so bias towards that market segment is inevitable, irrespective of how the competition works. The focus is broadening, but that takes time and also takes time to get more users dealing with those other types of stores.


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#23

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 06:47 AM

Overall though, Computer Lounge is held in extremely high regard. You can't deny they are popular, stock a good range of items, have a good presence in the industry and offer pretty good after sales support. They have been trading for a number of years and have built their reputation, and I see no problem them using that reputation to win competitions like these. When other stores do come in, do things better than them and do it for a sustained period of time like CL has done, I'm sure people will naturally gravitate to that store? Maybe this just hasn't happened yet?

 

I agree that CL is free to market itself aggressiveness to win the competition if it wants to. And I dont think anyone would disagree with the fact that CL is a great store. But the BEST store? Every year? I don't think so.

 

What annoys me is:

- It's another spam email for some people to deal with that they didn't ask for

- It seems silly to be sitting on a review system and not use it to judge store of the year

- This is yet another example of marketing trumping everything else

 

For example, Rubber Monkey, Paradigm PCs, and Playtech are just some of the fantastic stores I've used and reviewed. Maybe if the competition went off reviews we would get a more accurate (and less predictable) result. I'm not saying it's perfect, but neither is the current system obviously. Does CL always win because they are the best store every year? Unlikely. Would the result change if we used reviews as the basis of the competition? Probably. Would that kind of system still be subjective? Absolutely - theres no getting around that. Will I keep asking questions and answering them? Perhaps.

 

Problem: both are highly subjective. No one would be happy with the results, however it turned out.

 

Yes any system is going to be subjective, it has to be. But I think we can do better than the current system, and at least include the existing review system. Otherwise whats the point of sitting on all of this review data?


Edited by TomSahz, 12 January 2018 - 06:49 AM.


#24

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:17 AM

...
Yes any system is going to be subjective, it has to be. But I think we can do better than the current system, and at least include the existing review system. Otherwise whats the point of sitting on all of this review data?

 
I was referring specifically to a suggestion that was basically "let PriceSpy choose the winner". The current system, or the suggested system based on reviews, are subjective in their design but not really in the outcome (from the perspective of PriceSpy – look at the data (currently votes), and then determine the outcome in a deterministic manner (currently counting the votes)).
 
The point of the review data is the reviews, obviously. But I agree that it would be good if it could be somehow used in the competition. I'm just not sure how to do it in a way that really helps.


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#25

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 12:50 PM

Haven't seen see much conversation/debate on this forum in a while... it's good to see.

Just throwing it out there but what if the voting was, say only worth 50% of the votes and then the remaining 50% was based off review ratings of the last 365 days.

I am aware that this can bring some challenges, and more work involved to make this happen... but this way if a business chooses to do marketing to their customers, mass 
marketing can not effectively make them win outright.

I still think that actually figures should be shown of say the top 5 or 10 stores so then as customers we can actually see who these stores are and we all can see if numbers are a landslide for 1 particular store, or if it is a tight race between a few different stores.

CL is in the spotlight because they keep winning year after year, but the bottom line is the current voting system need's to evolve because as it is right now this badge/award becomes more meaningless year after year. Well, that's my own opinion of course but some sort of change is needed.


Edited by Sury, 12 January 2018 - 12:50 PM.

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#26

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 01:47 PM

A mix of votes and reviews might help, but just how to do it would be fun. Maybe multiply vote count by review score? But what about stores with only a couple of reviews (let alone those with none)? That of course is a problem for any system based on reviews, although if you keep the "favourite" aspect that can probably be ignored. Also, if using the score, it is weighted towards the middle so that must also be considered.

 

Another thing I don't like about basing it off reviews, or at least not completely: reviews by and large focus on the purchase experience. Especially for stores that request them and/or make them easy to post (e.g. Expert Infotech), which would almost definitely happen for many more if they were used. That completely buries many aspects of "best", including most of customer service and RMA / returns performance. It's pretty easy for a store to be good at selling stuff, but much harder for them to be good at taking stuff back. I've said it before and I'll say it again I know, but it is an important aspect of a store when trying to determine "best".

 

Maybe instead of just a vote, ask a few questions along with it. For example:

  • number of purchases in the last year (with ranges, e.g. 0, 1-2, 3-5, 6+)
  • whether they've done returns / RMAs with the store
  • if they've done returns / RMAs, why (e.g. change of mind, DoA, failed, recalled)
  • whether they've otherwise communicated (e.g. enquiries, product help)
  • request ratings for (as applicable based on above questions):
    • optionally, the store overall (loading their review if they've posted one for that store)
    • using their website
    • purchasing
    • shipping
    • customer service
    • return / RMA handling

Then use the ratings along with the votes to put something together somehow. Provide a score for each rating for each store, for at least the top 5 but probably the top 20. Preferably also providing vote counts for each store, but failing that at least giving a confidence interval on each rating.

 

In fact, maybe I'm describing an improved review system... Maybe both?


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#27

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:43 AM


 

In fact, maybe I'm describing an improved review system... Maybe both?

 

I think either the review system should evolve to include your suggestions, or the store of the year voting should require those questions to be answered.

 

But the thing is, reviews can already capture information about all of that stuff if people decide to include it (or if they are encouraged to include it). I'm still wondering why there is an extra layer of "voting" for store of the year when we already have a review database.

 

If store of the year was based just off reviews then:

- It forces transparency about who reviews what, what they say, easier to spot fake contributions or people just doing it for an incentive. For example, voting means that anyone can help a store to win, much easier for family/friends to throw a vote in who have never even used the store.

- It would greatly expand the number and depth of reviews because people clearly want to participate in the competition

- It would save having to have separate votes and counts, it would be more seemless

- We could think of different ways to weight reviews and calculate ranks and scores that would be fairer and better represent all the different store types we have - for example new vs old stores, traditional retial vs online only, etc.

 

Stores without reviews - how can they be a favourite store if no one has bothered reviewing them? The point of pricespy is "shopping intelligence" - i.e providing information to help people make purchasing decisions, whether thats product-based or store-based. Surely the competition should encourage that, rather than producing an anonymous body of votes with no associated information?

 

Only purchasing experience - people update their reviews to include RMAs and that sort of thing. If I had trouble taking something back I would update the review to reflect that.


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#28

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:29 PM

People will update reviews to include RMAs and such like, but it'd be heavily biased towards when the process doesn't go well. They are far less likely to do so if it goes as it ought. I realise this is the same bias as applies to purchases, but I am guessing people are more likely to leave the initial review of the purchase than they are to update it later when an RMA goes well – especially if stores prompt customers to leave reviews when they purchase.


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#29

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:46 PM

I don't think we can solely base it on reviews, even if we include all of LinuxUser ideas. (Which by the way Pricespy should really consider adding)

Let's face it, everyone is busy these days and most of the time in general people only jump up and down when something goes wrong with their purchase and that's when they leave feedback.
There are a lot of people that will be having a good experience with a store but they never leave a good review. To be honest I am guilty of that myself, for whatever reason (I can't remember why) in the past I have not left good feedback on a couple of stores.

If a store/franchise like Farmers actually took notice of this award, and they actually did something to encourage customers to review them, then I am very much doubt a small pc store would have a chance, which then opens up another can or worms.

More brainstorm is needed to come up with a solution.
 

Just on a sidenote there should be some sort of section on the site where people can view these results all year round rather than just being posted in the forum, I don't think the average person is probably going to go into the forums to be looking for it.


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#30

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 06:30 PM

Let's face it, everyone is busy these days and most of the time in general people only jump up and down when something goes wrong with their purchase and that's when they leave feedback.
There are a lot of people that will be having a good experience with a store but they never leave a good review. To be honest I am guilty of that myself, for whatever reason (I can't remember why) in the past I have not left good feedback on a couple of stores.

 

Absolutely, but the point of my suggestion is to say "well if you want to participate in the PS Store of the year then you have to leave a review" - this means that [A] We should see an increase in reviews, even if it's just for store of the year, and [B] people then have to follow some minimum guidelines for reviews = more transparent, we can see who is 'voting' for who, we can see what the stats are and what the breakdown is, and far less likely to get vote jacking if people have to write out a review. I mean it's easy to get friends to pump up your stores votes but are those vote jackers really going to post a review?

 

We should be encouraging people to use the existing review system, rather than introducing a temporary voting system each year. This would be a win for the review system, and in my opinion, result in a more sensible and representative method for selecting a winner.

 

Remember, this is Pricespy store of the year. Not random mailout recievers and tech forum voters store of the year. People should contribute something to PS in order to participate. Then everyone wins. Maybe forcing people to leave reviews to participate will encourage new active members, and a busier forum.

 

I am very much doubt a small pc store would have a chance

 

 

Stores are already doing this in the current system - its already a problem. I'm not a fan of mailouts etc, but if a store wants to link Pricespy or the store of the year from their website/invoice email/membership confirmation email/whatever then thats great. Any store can do that, big or small.


Edited by TomSahz, 13 January 2018 - 06:36 PM.





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