Photo: Nimbus Toothbrush
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It’s a dangerous business, trying to interpret Amazon review scores. A five star rating means a lot less when there are only a couple hundred reviews, but sometimes great products are plagued by negative reviews from people who don’t understand what they’re buying. The only way to gather meaningful results is to limit yourself to products with a huge number next to that score… but even that leads you down some weird rabbit holes. Take, for example, the Nimbus Microfine Toothbrush, REGULAR size, Pack of 5 “Colors Vary.” for $14.75.
Yes, “REGULAR” is in all capitals in the name, which I understand, since there’s nothing more worthy of UNBRIDLED ENTHUSIASM than NORMALCY.
Nimbus® Microfine® Toothbrush REGULAR size, Pack of 5 “Colors Vary” – amazon.com
That’s the top-rated product of its kind on Amazon, with a 4.9 out of 5 stars, over 2,000 ratings, and 1,380 5-star reviews. Not just ratings — 1,380 people wrote reviews about this product.
Which brings me to my point: It’s a f***ing toothbrush.
I think I’m about to say a very relatable thing: I don’t have strong feelings about my toothbrush. There are exactly two qualities I look for: soft bristles, and I won’t confuse it with my roommate’s when I’m drunk. Beyond that, just remembering to use it twice a day is a win in my book.
But one thousand, three hundred and eighty different people love this $15 pack of 5 toothbrushes so much that they full-on wrote reviews. Not just marked it five stars but wrote reviews. Think about what that entails. They opened up their laptop. They navigated to their purchase history. They found the toothbrush, clicked “review,” and then wrote, in at least one case, over 400 words about it — plus pictures!
Want another crazy example? This review was written by a dental hygienist. I deduced this fact about her from her opening line:
“I am a Dental Hygienist and…”
I don’t need to share the whole thing, you get the point. But I will say that later on, she says the Nimbus brand was recommended to her by a Periodontist, meaning there are two kinds of tooth experts singing this thing’s praises.
That’s sort of all I have to say about this toothbrush. Which means I’m falling a bit short of that review up there, but I guess I just don’t have the same level of enthusiasm for oral hygiene.
Maybe that’s because I haven’t used this toothbrush yet.
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Joshua Sargent is an editor for Hearst Newspapers. Email him at email@example.com.