Fake Reviews Could Be Influencing Your Amazon Purchases
Have you ever ordered a product on Amazon that had glowing 5 star reviews, only to realize the product was not all it was chalked up to be?
If so, you’re not alone.
When shopping online, you want to make sure your money is being spent wisely. Dealing with a dud of a product and returns is certainly not on your to-do list. Unfortunately, just looking at Amazon reviews to decide if a product is worth purchasing may not be as helpful as you’d hoped.
Fake Amazon reviews are undeniably showing up more than ever on products sold online. Because online shopping is such a phenomenon with fast shipping to your doorstep at the touch of a button, most people would rather buy online than in-store for the convenience.
The problem with this is, people are not able to see the real product for themselves until after they’ve bought it.
Furthermore, an online website is a perfect platform for reviews that will encourage the shopper to “add to cart”, but that doesn’t mean a 5 star review deems the product truly worthy of 5 stars.
5 Star Products May Not Be 5 Stars After All…
CNBC posted this article that gives insight into thousands of fake reviews being left on tech products sold on Amazon.
None of the reviews are verified and hundreds of 5 star reviews were posted within the same hour.
Forbes shares more related information on the problem of fake reviews on Amazon in this article. Most interestedly, Buzzfeed News wrote this article about a woman who has received $15,000 worth of free product in exchange for 5 star reviews on knock-off products.
Her purchases are even deemed as “verified” because she uses her own Amazon account and credit card to make purchases. Then, after leaving a 5 star review, she is reimbursed by the seller for her purchase.
Even worse, the credit card she uses to make the purchases is an Amazon rewards card that gives her bonuses for her purchases.
Not only is she shadily getting product for free in exchange for scammy, 5 star reviews, but she also earns bonus money on top of it from Amazon.
So How Can We Spot Fake Reviews?
Now that we know Amazon has fake 5 star reviews on products, how can we spot them to avoid a bad purchase?
You can spot fake 5 star reviews on Amazon by looking for these characteristics:
- A large number of positive reviews posted on the same day and/or within a short amount of time
- A review with a short amount of content written without much explanation or detail
- Odd language using keywords, like the product’s full name, for SEO optimization purposes
- Reviews using similar wording
- No verification of purchase
- Reviews that seem “over the top” enthusiastic about a product that wouldn’t warrant that type of reaction on a normal basis
Another great tool for spotting fake Amazon reviews is Fakespot.com
On top of using the tactics above to spot fake 5 star reviews on Amazon, you can use a website called Fakespot.
I’ve used Fakespot.com to take a look at several products before purchasing them on Amazon.
The website shares if deception may be involved in the reviews, how many reviews the product has, how often reviews are posted, what percentage of reviews is reliable, and more.
To use Fakespot, simply add the url of the website selling the product on Amazon you’d like to check out and Fakespot will do the rest. It’s worth the extra 5 seconds of work if you don’t want to receive a lemon product that you thought was 5 star worthy.
Use These Tactics To Shop Wisely on Amazon
Amazon is so useful for many different reasons, and I do a good amount of shopping on the site. However, you can’t trust every seller and their product to be all that it seems. Use these tactics to check out the reviews and take the extra step to run the product through fakespot before purchasing if you think the reviews may be scammy. And if you really want to play it safe, shop from brands you know and trust.
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