Buyer Beware! Fake reviews
According to stats, fewer than 10% of us write reviews for products, although almost all of us read reviews. Because reviews sell products, Amazon often follows up my purchases with an email asking me to rate my experience with a seller. Not just a 1-5 star rating, but a headline, an essay on how I liked or disliked the product, and a further dissertation on how I used it. Amazon suggests that I upload a photo or video presumably showing myself delighting in the product. Really, Amazon! That's a big ask. Just give me some Facebook options: I like it. I love it. It brought me to tears. What a joke! Unfortunately, A 2020 study found that 42% of the reviews on Amazon were fake or unreliable, causing consumers to buy shoddier products.
As far as bad reviews go, I assume you can count on them to be real, although some fake reviewers will throw in a few minor reservations about the product just to not gush too much. Maybe the product arrived a day late or had some minor packaging issue. Sellers who play it straight are facing unfair competition from these sellers who buy fake reviews with five star ratings that push them to the top of the search listings. This especially works for moderately priced consumer electronics, makeup. and dietary supplements. Not so much for books.
Who writes these fake reviews?Read More.
Inauthentic reviewers can find sellers through Facebook, Craig's List or other social media and write a review in exchanged for a deep discount or refund after the review. The Verge reports that Amazon is taking legal action against the admins of over 10,000 Facebook groups that it says facilitate fake reviews. Amazon officially banned incentivized review in 2016 but a recent Financial Times report shows that nine out of 10 of the top reviewers on the UK Amazon site were engaged in suspicious activity.
Not just on Amazon
Amazon is the big dog, but fake reviews are everywhere. Time magazine investigator, Kay Dean, found fake reviews for dental clinics, locksmiths, dry cleaners, and more. They can be found on every platform, including Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Google. Fake reviews will continue as long as cheaters profit.