How to take the STING out of bad product reviews!

There you are going about your daily business and decide to check on your website, or Etsy shop. You stop dead in your tracks because something is very wrong… you have received a negative product review!

Feels like a jab to the guts and you fall KO’d into your chair... As thoughts go racing through your head you find yourself in a funk and the sting has got to you.

Today on the podcast I want to share with you the best way to mentally deal with bad product reviews and how to handle the knock to your confidence that this can bring.

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The naked truth about bad product reviews

As a business owner very occasionally bad product reviews are to be expected, in fact it’s IMPOSSIBLE to exist online without receiving a few over your business’ lifetime.

Please believe this is NOT an act of cyberbullying in most cases, but a genuine issue your customer feels they have with either your product or service.

Let’s look at why people leave bad product reviews;

  1. Most people who complain are hoping to receive a response from you – a resolution to what they saw as a problem with your product or service.

  2. People like to leave guidance for other purchasers

  3. Sometimes people like to highlight a specific issue they had to help you improve

In all three cases the reviews are not about you, or your business, they are about a single transaction.

Trust Pilot undertook a large survey to uncover some truths about why people leave bad feedback and they found that, Less than 1 in 5 women and 1 in 4 men shared negative feedback to get back at a company for a bad policy or product.”

So, I know your initial reaction is to hurt and to feel, ‘why me?’… believe me. I, myself have been found slumped in my chair feeling like I have been sucker punched on the very odd occasion.

BUT we need to pick ourselves up and learn how to deal with the feelings and the knock to our confidence so we can swiftly act and follow good customer service through to seek a solution with the customer.

Related Article: Etsy: How To Handle Negative Feedback In 6 Easy Steps

Learn how to respond step by step using excellent customer service skills!

How to take the STING out of bad product reviews!

Initially when we receive bad product reviews it is quite normal to feel a mixture of anger and upset. In fact, I’ll be honest there has been the very rare occasion where such a review has left me in tears. Why? It’s because we care so damned much about what we do that we hate the idea that we have disappointed someone.

Here’s the reality… you cannot and will not please 100% of the people, all the time. You MUST accept that if you want to run a business.

Things will happen, things will go wrong and despite your very best work, sometimes what a customer receives is not what they expected. And although we must deal with the customer issue swiftly and effectively, we often forget that we also need to deal with the emotional baggage that interaction has left us with.

It’s not good for you to be hanging on to bad feeling, or upset, as it can hold you back, or make you bitter and these things can have a really big impact on running your business in the future.


Here is what I have learnt to do if I receive bad product reviews;

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  1. Give myself a moment to react away from my computer – sounds silly but walking away for a moment allows me time to go through the initial reaction my body and mind is feeling to seeing a bad review.

  2. Avoid panic – As I come back to the computer, I take a few deep breaths and re-read the review, trying to establish the issue my customer has had. Levelling my breathing naturally calms me, so I can concentrate on finding facts and looking past any wording that created that initial ‘sting’ to which I reacted.

  3. Deal with the issue, by injecting positivity into a bad situation – Dealing with the issue swiftly and in a positive light is the best way to work on finding the right solution with your customer and can often lead to a review rewrite. If you are looking for how I recommend you deal with a bad review, check out my article ‘How to handle negative feedback in 6 easy steps’.

  4. Take a moment to review the facts of what happened and learn to see both sides – Once you have concluded your work with the customer take some time to understand the facts of what happened and how you dealt with it. By looking at the bare facts of the issue you remove emotion from it and can often see both sides easier. In doing this it allows you as a business owner to understand where you might need to redesign products, review third party carriers/services, tighten policies, rewrite sales listings, or add in extra steps to your systems in order to avoid things like this happening again.

  5. Most importantly, learn to move on – when you have received a bad review it feels like this last step is an impossible place to find yourself in, but honestly if you have done the very best you can, then moving on is the very next step from learning your lessons. Accepting that tomorrow is another day and letting go is the best thing you can do, because holding on to negativity will weigh you down and stop you from putting yourself and your products out there. Remember – in most cases this is something that you resolved, something that you learned from and you have become stronger and more knowledgeable in the process of going through. That is something positive that has come out of the dark.



Learning to deal with the emotions of receiving bad product reviews and moving on from these situations is an amazing way to build up your confidence as a business owner.

Choose to switch negatives into positives and allow yourself to feel the lightness of letting go. I promise that doing this will help you come to your next task with a stronger mental attitude that will help you continue to do your best work.

Tell me; how does receiving a bad review make you feel? How do you turn the negatives into positives so that you can move on?

I’d love to hear from you – comment below 👇 or email me!


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Mentioned in the podcast is the Craft Biz Incubator - my group coaching platform for craft businesses, which is now open for enrolment!