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Similar item review question

Rather than ask this via email I figured I'd post it here just in case the answer is of use for other folks at some point. Well and because I figured this forum could use a little company since it rarely sees any visitors.

I just posted this Easy Traveler Extra Squeeze Tubes 4oz Set review and the next item in my backlog of reviews is a 2.5oz tube from the same vendor. Besides being smaller this item has a different cap design. Other than those differences and the pictures these two reviews will be basically identical. I could pretty much cut and paste with a few edits and that realization got me thinking.

My question is would it be preferable to combine the reviews in a case like this or do the differences warrant a separate review? When does it make sense to do individual reviews and when to combine items? Should items always be reviewed individually in order to make each item searchable in the database?

Of course I'm curious to hear what Alicia's answer is, but like I said, this forum is lonely, so the rest of you can spout off on the subject too.

I was recently thinking about this as well, LoneStranger.

Last week, I reviewed a pair of of Point6 Hiking Tech Medium Mini Crew socks that I found to be really outstanding and worth a review.

I also have a pair of lower cut, same weight, same manufacturer socks that I really don't know whether or not to review. Much of the features are the exact same as the ones I already reviewed, with the exception of the sock height, and potential best uses. 

With all that said, I lean toward adding the second review for searchability sake and adding to the array of TS reviews. However, I fully realize that the work of the second review would be very minimal compared to the first. 

I think combining reviews is probably not ideal, as it could lead to reader confusion.

I do think adding links in each of the reviews to the similar product review is valuable though. That would requiring editing the original review.

Thanks for bringing up the topic.
Looking forward to hearing from others on this matter.

Yes, I agree with what Kiwi says above:

Add the second review on that product's specific product page, because that's where a reader will be looking for info on it.

It can be a bit repetitive, but if you put in an original picture for each and any specific info/features that is helpful.

The exception is, some products come in different sizes but still appear on one product page (snowshoes in different sizes for example). In that case, I'd keep it together.

I think the deciding point is does the difference between the 2 similar products make a difference in usage or application.

Example 1: two socks, one a low top "invisible", which is much favored by people running in competition with their trail runners, the other which covers the ankle. The socks are identical in cushioning, material, etc. A real case (though I haven't done a review on them) is my Injinji socks which are in 3 heights - below the ankle for my cycling shoes, over the ankle for "regular" hiking boots, and "boot height" intended for ski boots that come well up on the calf. The ski boot version is really difficult to put on and have them stay smooth, a negative that the other 2 versions do not have.

Example 2: I did a review of a Big Agnes Double Z inflatable pad, shortly after pillowthread did a review of what appears at first glance to be the same pad with the same name. But the difference between the two is in the inside - the version I reviewed has a small amount of Primaloft inside to provide extra insulation, making it a 3-season pad, while the one that pillowthread omits the Primaloft, making it a summer-only pad. Visually, they appear virtually identical, right down to the interesting inflation/rapid deflation valve. Having two of us do reviews helps alert people to the fact that the two are intended for different seasons. But a design flaw appears in both pads, namely the inner "guy line" system (great idea, actually) utilizes plastic cubes with sharp corners that can (and in the case of my pad) puncture the pad.

In LS's case, it is good to be alerted to the fact that the tubes come in different sizes (makes a difference when going through the TSA line, and having tubes full of fluids in your 1 quart ziplok.

Regarding this topic, and in the vein of Bill S's examples of alerting readers to the small differences between seemingly similar products, I just posted the follow up review to the Point6 socks I mentioned earlier. 

I was somewhat wrong when I previously stated in this thread:

 "I also have a pair of lower cut, same weight, same manufacturer socks that I really don't know whether or not to review."

The cut is actually labeled the same, although the actual cuff height is very different (hence, why I assumed it was labeled an altogether different cut). 1.25" cuff as opposed to a 2.5" cuff. The sock weight is not the same.

This cuff height issue is addressed in both reviews. The first review had to be edited and updated with this information. 

With all that said, in this particular case, I felt it was important to produce the second review, even though the socks are very similar and some of the wording in the second review mirrors that of the first review. The inconsistencies with the cuff height ultimately led me to writing the second review though.

First review (in its updated form): Point6 Hiking Tech Medium Mini Crew
Second review: Point6 Hiking Tech Extra Light Mini Crew



October 25, 2021
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