Passive and Active Product Reviews

You might think passive and active may only apply to grammar. I’m here to tell you that there’s also passive and active in the world of online shopping. As a consumer, you probably haven’t heard of the 2 type of merchant reviews. Well, online businesses usually gather: “Passive” and “Active” reviews. It is imperative to know the distinction between the 2 reviews because it will help you make a better decision.

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Passive vs. Active: The Difference

  • Passive reviews are written by anyone; by anyone, I am referring to the fact that there’s no restriction. Literally, anyone can post a review without verifying the purchase.
  • Additionally, passive reviewers can leave a review anonymously. Thus, it’s easy to leave a biased review. It’s definitely vulnerable to hate or rant reviews. Customers can complain endlessly without harming their reputation, but the negative review they left will surely harm the online business they’re pertaining.
  • Meanwhile, active reviews are written by the customers. Businesses earnestly gather product reviews from ALL the verified buyers. Customers can only review after they have successfully bought a product or service. Moreover, once a customer posts a review, the review is visible to the public for other interested buyers to read.

Does it really matter?

Of course, the kind of review provided by websites is significant. You decide what to buy and what not buy based on the reviews you see. If you don’t know the difference between passive and active reviews, you could be making a fatal mistake. You may end up believing a product review that’s not even verified.

So, when you are reading reviews online, remember these tips:

  1. Since active reviews are verified, you are sure that these reviews are authentic. It reflects the true nature of the product and the company.
  2. Yes, we all make mistakes, but when a company gets mostly passive reviews, their average rating decreases. Then, people would automatically assume that the company provides a terrible service.
  3. Don’t easily believe what you read because when you actually go over active reviews, the average product rating is higher. Not to mention that the active reviews are more detailed compared because each customer gets to share their experience.
  4. Passive reviews, on the other hand, are mostly negative. We don’t make an extra effort to leave positive review, but we would surely make an effort to share a negative experience. Why is this? It’s human nature to talk about the negativity. It is easier to complain and whine rather than giving praises.
  5. That’s the problem with passive reviews because anyone can just leave a review. For all we know, that reviewer could just hate the company for no particular reason or it could be a disgruntled employee’s revenge.


The bottom line is to check whether the review is passive or active. Websites, nowadays, have a way to tell whether a review is from a verified customer or not. When you are looking at company reviews and ratings, make sure they are from credible websites. Most importantly, trust rating companies that compile active reviews rather than passive reviews.