CHARLOTTE, NC – If you’re like most people, you can take a look at customer reviews for products you shop online. According to a recent survey by brightlocal, 77% of online customers say that they “always” or “regularly” read reviews before making a shopping decision. Brands know that reviews are extremely valuable. A few years ago, Amazon customers could rely on reviews marked as a “verified purchase”, but companies and scammers figured out a way to get that label on every review they leave.
Even reviews that are bought and sold can easily get the label “verified purchase”.
Here are some ways they do it:
Some brands give away products in exchange for a positive review. They find someone who agrees to leave a positive review and who will order the item from their Amazon account. Once the review is written, the company reimburses the customer for the full cost of the product. Facebook has recently banned groups that promote this method of filling the comments section with false or dishonest reviews, but brands seek out customers who accept their agreement. Many brands even recruit friends of friends to do this.
There are brokers who sell fake reviews to companies that for $ 20 can get a “verified buy” label and customer photos posted on the product’s Amazon listing. Sellers can also send a request to people who buy the item to leave a review from the seller’s Amazon account. Sellers are also known for including an offer of money or Amazon gift cards in the packaging of a product, so that the buyer has an opportunity to earn some extra money or even get the item paid for by the seller. Using these tactics makes it almost impossible for Amazon or regular customers to detect and report fake reviews.
If you are going to make purchasing decisions based on reviews, you should try these tactics:
● Pay attention to 3- and 4-star reviews, as you are more likely to get both advantages and disadvantages with the products.
● Look for the “Early Reviewer Rewards” label in the comments section. For a while, Amazon offered select customers gift cards in exchange for writing honest product reviews. Amazon no longer accepts registrations for the program, but you will still see a few comments or reviews from people who participated in the program.
● Pay attention to reviews of «Vine Voices». This is an application run by Amazon. Selected customers are offered free products in exchange for honest reviews. While this is believed to be a solid way to see honest reviews from Amazon customers, some may feel obligated to write a good review since the products are free.
● Ignore 5-star reviews accompanied by a short review such as “great product” or “love it”.
● Read the reviews that are reasonably long.
● Ignore reviews written with poor spelling or grammar.
● Check the dates of the reviews. You will always filter the review lists to see “latest”.
● Many false reviews are posted within a few days in a row. In its honor, Amazon has cracked down on fake reviews, deleted millions of comments and kicked off some brands of the platform.