Buzzillions reviews: aggregated, tagged and messy

Buzillions LogoEver since I wrote about PowerReviews in October 2006 I have not heard about the review-aggregating startup that much, until today when I discovered the fact that they did launch their promised shopping portal after all. Bazzillions is the name.

As much as I liked the original idea of in-sourcing the product reviews from merchants in exchange for the leads the merchants get back from PowerReviews, just as much I don’t like how the shopping portal that is supposed to generate these leads is implemented. I think it really lacks structure and looks somewhat incomplete.

OK, without going into too much of a rhetoric, let’s get hands on. Bazzillions is a fresh site so to avoid glitches caused by lack of reviews I look a look at “Video Cameras and Camcorders”, the category PowerReviews have been working with for some time. I have then used the links to the left to further narrow it down to Sony Camcorders thus filtering out professional equipment and other brands.

Sony Camcorders at Buzzillions

What I have as the result is a list which doesn’t even have a camcorder as the first product, it is a carrying case made by Sony (see the screen shot above). OK, could be a bug. Looking closer I notice that the products are sorted in a strange fashion. The ratings have a tendency to go down but sometimes you can find a lower rated product up in the top and vice versa. There could be some sense in it but I just don’t get it.

Mislabeled products

I quickly scrolled down the list and what I found is a camcorder labeled “Sony High Definition Handycam Camcorder” which judging by the image is the HDR-CX7 model I currently have. Obviously a search by “HDR-CX7” doesn’t produce any result since the product is mislabeled.

Very few merchants

Another thing that disappoints is the limited number of merchants listed offering the products. I understand these are the partners who provide Buzzillions the reviews however with major retailers missing I feel reluctant to use Buzzillions for my shopping. I might well be missing out on the best deal out there - can’t afford that to happen. ;-)

Buzz Guide is ineffective

And the last, the green box in the middle labeled “Buzz Guide” simply doesn’t cut it. I understand the theory. PowerReviews makes merchants ask these questions to their customers as a part of after sale survey and then uses the answers to generate product recommendations on Buzzillions based on your preferences. The result however is somewhat mixed to say the least. What lacks is the quantitative ranking of the products based on the qualities I select. I.e. when I click on “Comfortable to operate” tag I want to know how well the recommendation stands (how many people made it) for each product without having to click on the “Compare” button and examine the aggregate of all the qualities. Without it the results are too unpredictable.


The bottom line is, the idea is great but the implementation has a long way to go before it becomes a place of choice for shopping, at least for me. If all you are looking for is quality reviews on technology products, I recommend SmartRatings, a site I recently reviewed. Retrevo is another alternative. They are not trying to accomplish as much in guiding you (so far they only quantify overall product features vs. price) but the implementation is so much better.

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3 Responses to “Buzzillions reviews: aggregated, tagged and messy”

  1. 1 Fredrik Engdahl Mar 26th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    To their defense, their main product is not Buzzillions, they are more focused on helping merchants with systems for collecting reviews at their own sites. I think that Buzzillions has potential though, if they just could fix some of the issues you mentioned.

    I am the CEO for another product comparison service that deals with product quality, Our approach differs from Buzzillions in many ways, first, our focus is aggregating and processing info from expert reviews that have been published on the web. We then make give the product an “average expert rating” to help the consumer to compare products and find out which product the “experts” have rated the highest. Here’s an example of our approach (LG Viewty mobile phone):

    To give you an example of how you can find out which products have received the highest score in a certain category, here’s another example:
    set filters to: 2007 or later, 10 or more reviews, 80% or higher TS Score.

    What do you think about our approach?


  2. 2 Jim Morris Apr 8th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the great feedback. We actually did a usability test in mid-February and found many of the same issues that you did. We have since launched some major changes such as showing more merchants (immediate positive impact from our visitors) and minimizing the Buzz Guide. We’ve improved the messaging on the home page to be clear what we are about as well.

    Please note that we are A/B/C testing 3 website skins right now so you may not get the “April” version. Please go to our page and scroll down to force your browser to the “April” skin. Keep your eyes peeled as we will continue to rapidly iterate the UI in the upcoming months.

    As for focus Fredrik, we’ll I guess you’ll have to stay tuned :)

    Cheers, Jim
    VP and General Manager,

  3. 3 Yury Polnar Oct 30th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Hey Yan,

    Thanks for the great feedback in February. We took your suggestions, threw some designers and engineers on the issues and I am excited to announce the re-launch of Buzzillions 2.0!

    The re-launch officially happened yesterday and the new tools and features are pretty cool…Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal thought the new site was pretty good ( I certainly hope you agree!

    If you have the time, please visit the site (, explore the new look and feel and let us know your thoughts. Perhaps there is something else you think we should to work on for the next release. Thanks for the review Yan!



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