Online reviews are more crucial than ever for businesses these days. But as Lynn Martinez explains, you need to be careful how much trust you put in to some of those reviews in tonight’s Money Monday.

WSVN — Before you head out to a new restaurant or store most of us go online to check the reviews.

Rebekah Demordo: “I’m trying to think of when I don’t use them. I pretty much use them all the time.”

Jonathan Sanchez’s restaurant, TiraDToss, has only been open for about two years so he and his crew rely a lot on good reviews to keep money coming through the door.

Jonathan Sanchez: “It definitely helps. They find us through Google, through Yelp, through Foursquare, through many other social medias.”

But sometimes those reviews aren’t so good.

Jonathan Sanchez: “You can’t always please everybody.”

But before you write those businesses off because of negative reviews, you should look deeper.

Jonathan Sanchez: “Myself, I try to read the reviews that make sense. ‘Oh my God the manager looked at me bad.’ No, the reviews that make sense, try to look at those.”

Be aware of reviews that may be planted by the businesses themselves or even paid for.

Rebekah Demordo: “If there is a good number of reviews and you see the language that they use, you can realize that it’s from a trustworthy source.”

Bottom line, customers say you can tell when the reviews are legitimate and should trust your instincts.

Rebekah Demordo: “Genuine good service, genuine good products. They speak for themselves.”

A lot of online review sites these days are also flagging businesses that may have paid for reviews. So look out for those alerts when you’re searching those sites.

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