If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, you may have started to notice an unsettling trend in the rising number of fake reviews. In fact, last year Amazon actually sued over 1,000 people who were selling fake reviews. Don’t be duped – before you buy check out these 5 ways to tell if Amazon reviews are fake!
1. Weed out Paid Reviewers
Some “buyers” leave reviews in exchange for a free or discounted product. While many of these reviews may be genuine – it’s good to take those reviews with a grain of salt. Folks who are getting a free item are not the MOST reliable source for honest feedback. They’ve essentially been paid with a product – so they’re more likely to leave a glowing review.
A trick for quickly weeding out all the “paid-for” reviews is to use the simple keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F. This will bring up a mini search bar in the top right corner of the screen – and will search all the text on the page for a specific word/phrase. I usually click to sort reviews from most-stars to least, and search the word “Honest” or “Unbiased” or “Discount”. (All of these are common words you’ll find in “paid” reviews.)
2. Be Suspicious of Vague, Short Reviews
If a writer wants to add to the star-ranking on a product, they have to leave a review. If that’s their only goal, the review may be very short, and won’t tell you much about the user’s experience with the product – such as “Looks great – I liked it!”. This could apply to ANY product just about – and a false reviewer could be copy/pasting this review onto multiple products. We all know what it looks like to “pad” a paper in school with meaningless drivel. Look for that too.
3. Too good AND bad to be true?
If an item is divided between awesome reviews and terrible reviews (5-star and 1-star) – it’s probably terrible. While 5-Star Reviews that are full of glowy praise aren’t always fake – but they’re worth taking an harder look at when a number of others had an opposite experience.
4. Check the Reviewer’s Recent Activity
Some writers have left a trail of fake reviews that’s pretty easy to follow. Click on the name of a reviewer who you believe may not be legit – and see if they’ve made a lot of other reviews in a short period of time.
5. If in doubt – are they a Verified Purchaser?
Amazon keeps track of whether or not someone actually bought, and was sent, an Amazon product. This is a good way to weed out reviewers who review things they’ve never even seen or tried. It’s not foolproof however – as there are some extra-shady ways of getting around these, but it’s a good box to check off the list.
TIP: Of course – with Amazon Prime you will always be taking less of a risk in buying ANYTHING – because your Free 2-Day Shipping includes Free Returns as well 🙂