Fake reviews on Amazon: how to spot them

Obtaining fake reviews on Amazon is prohibited but, despite this be well-known, there are many vendors that try to get positive assessments for remuneration, thus watering down the real ratings on the quality of one’s product.

If we add to this evidence the fact that Amazon receives tens of thousands of reviews every day from all over the world, and that its algorithms are not always able to intercept the fake reviews quickly and efficiently enough to distinguish them from the authentic ones, we can clearly deduce that relying exclusively on the product detail sheet on the marketplace could be somewhat misleading.

However, as for (almost ) every other aspect of life within Jeff Bezos’ platform, users can do very much to help reveal any anomalies. And, what’s more, they can do a great deal on their own to try and distinguish an authentic review from one that’s smells phoney.

Verified Purchases

The first piece of this puzzle is represented by the verified purchase, a label that appears only on reviews written by users who have actually bought a product on the platform.

However, not even this element seems to be enough to ensure the authenticity and truthfulness of the reviews: many purchases made by users who agree to leave a review against compensation fall within the verified purchases, because the buyers actually do purchase the products on Amazon and then get a refund from the vendors.

On the other hand, if a user leaves a review that is not accompanied by the label “Verified purchase“, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not trustworthy. It could simply be that the user received the product as a gift, or maybe bought it through other channels.

Online tools

Having stated the above, there are other online tools that can help to get an idea about the reliability of reviews. From Fakespot to ReviewMeta, it will suffice to insert the link of the Amazon product in order to obtain an assessment of the trustworthiness of the ratings.

The algorithms underlying these software applications are rather advanced, but they not infallible. For example, they are able to recognize if the reviews contain recurring wording, or whether the user has reviewed other brand products or not. The software filters the assessments of a product eliminating all the reviews deemed to be suspicious and, at the end, assigns the rating that seems to be the most truthful.

Reviews on other websites

A good way to verify if the reviews are authentic or not is to compare them to the ratings on other platforms. Amazon sellers who love resorting to fake reviews often use this technique only on the main marketplace.

However, online you can find other sources of reviews on the same product, that could turn out to be more truthful (Facebook, YouTube, sites specialized in reviews, etc).

Checking the most recent reviews

The last bit of advice we’d like to give all our readers is to check out the most recent reviews. There are at least two reasons for this.

First of all, whoever resorts to using fake reviews generally concentrates them at the beginning of the sales cycle of a product, in the hopes that having very positive ratings will push the product to the first positions.

Secondly, there are products that get periodically updated with the release of newer models: comparing the latest reviews on the product could allow you to get a clearer idea of the features of the one that’s actually on the market.

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