An Explanation Of AlphaChooser's Confidence Level System For Best Item Recommendations

At Alphachooser we don't just rank the best items according to our high-count review score averages (see how we rank), we are also transparent about how confident we are about our ranking, letting you make the best decision. Here is how our confidence level system works:

1. The actual review count

Obviously, we look at how many reviews there are. On most consumer advice websites, an appliance with 5 stars but just one review can make it to the top of the list for, say, best dishwashers or wine coolers, but not at Alphachooser. An appliance will have to gather multiple reviews to get a chance to be named the best one in its category or sub-category. That is one factor that allows an item to raise to good or high confidence levels. But to get to a full confidence level, It will also need to obey other factors.

2. The number of review sources

Another factor is the actual number of review sources we could find. To illustrate this system, let's take snow blowers (One of our most-popular categories)... Of course, a cordless snow blower that scores 4.5 stars based on 2452 reviews from two websites looks interesting, but we will prefer another model whose rating is slightly lower, at, say, 4.4 stars, if its review sample is similar (say 2443 reviews), but was gathered from four different sources, simply because it makes us more confident about the overall rating, in particular by reducing the risk that users of some websites might be naturally more enthusiastic for one item in particular because of their own cultural bias (We do see significant differences across websites).

3. What if our confidence is just OK or Good?

Depending on categories, there are essentially four different confidence levels: OK, Good, High, and Great (sometimes also called Very High). We will label a toaster oven a "no-brainer best choice" in its category (By the way, we hope you noticed that one of our specialties consists in sorting items based on sub-categories) when our confidence level is very high or great. These are considered very safe choices.

However, when the sample reviews we could find are acceptable, though not spectacular, we quote a confidence level of OK or Good. You can still buy these items with confidence, but you should take a closer look at reviews to make sure they fit your needs.

4. And when we are not confident enough...

Unlike other websites who list best items even based on too few reviews, we don't. If we do not find items for which we are confident enough, we do not show any best item in some categories when our sample doesn't allow us to make a decision, or else we settle for just a Top 3 list rather than a Top 10 list when, again, not enough reviews are available for us to make a decision. That being said, you can still browse items in all categories, look at star ratings, and make a decision after carefully looking at reviews, which you will likely find at web stores associated with us after clicking on a price or a "Check Price" link.
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