With Black Friday 2022 just around the corner, millions of people will be flocking to Amazon, using this time of year to take advantage of the top deals in tech and appliances. But how can consumers be sure that Amazon reviews are legitimate and that those five-star deals are as good as they appear to be?
Since a whopping 61% of technology reviews on Amazon are classified as fake, Jignesh Vaducha, a tech expert at Bespoke Software Development Company is keen to share their lesser-known tips on how to identify fraudulent Amazon reviews this Black Friday.
“One of the worst things that can happen to a shopper is to spend their hard-earned cash to receive something they weren’t expecting. Scams like this happen all the time – the main way to avoid this is by looking at reviews, but sometimes stars aren’t enough. Fake reviews are ever prevalent on amazon currently and this is how you can beat them to get the products you deserve.“
- 1 Black Friday 2022: Expert reveals 10 ways to spot fake Amazon reviews
- 1.1 There are so many reviews out there, and scrolling through them all can get confusing. To find fair reviews, look out for three-star reviews. People who leave three stars often explain the good and the bad, suggesting that the reviews aren’t fake. Always try to find objective reviews to gauge a realistic understanding of the product.
- 2 How do you report a fake or suspicious Amazon review?
- 3 Remember to return!
Black Friday 2022: Expert reveals 10 ways to spot fake Amazon reviews
- It’s all in the details
A clear sign of a fake review is one of a few words e.g. ‘great’, ‘superb’, ‘couldn’t ask for more’ etc. This is similar to an automated response by a computer as opposed to a person who has made the effort to leave a review. These reviews often all follow a similar structure, lacking individuality. Another thing to be wary of is grammar and spelling mistakes. A few mistakes are fine, but excessive mistakes over multiple reviews could suggest it’s fake.
- Check reviews that aren’t one- or five-star
Those leaving fake reviews will often either leave one-star or five-stars. If you notice a high percentage of five-star reviews it is unlikely that a product is perfect on every count, therefore these may have been falsified. On the other hand, you may see a product page that is littered with negative reviews, which can indicate a competitor’s presence.
- Check that it is a verified purchase
Look out for a verified purchase label, which indicates whether the reviewer has actually bought the item. Although a verified purchase label is not the all-important element in legitimising a review, there is a good chance that these reviews are real. Some untrustworthy sellers will reimburse and pay individuals or third-party organisations to purchase a product and leave a false review.
- Take a look at the reviewer’s profile
Simply clicking on the profile of a reviewer that you suspect can easily reveal their motivations. You may notice that they only opened their account in the past week, but have reviewed a large quantity of products. For example, It is unlikely that an individual would purchase and review over 50 products in such a short time, therefore you can question their authenticity as a genuine buyer.
In addition to this you can look at a reviewer’s behaviour – have they reviewed random items from across different categories that reflect dissimilar interest? Do they often leave reviews that don’t go into the item’s specifics? These traits can indicate that the buyer’s reviews are not authentic.
- Read three-star reviews for grounded product opinions
There are so many reviews out there, and scrolling through them all can get confusing. To find fair reviews, look out for three-star reviews. People who leave three stars often explain the good and the bad, suggesting that the reviews aren’t fake. Always try to find objective reviews to gauge a realistic understanding of the product.
- Does the review mention a competing product?
It is common for reviews to be manipulated by competitors, either with negative reviews or by mentioning a competitor product. Competitors often attempt to drive traffic and sales to their Amazon seller page by leaving a negative review on the sellers page, and indicating that the competitor product is superior. It is definitely suspicious if you see a review persuading you to look at another brand, so be wary of this.
- Look at product reviews on other websites
Before purchasing a product on Amazon, it could be worth checking how well it fairs on other websites, allowing you to understand how well the product is received elsewhere. It is best to do this on sites that you trust, and look at reviews from professional critics before you purchase on Amazon. However, looking at product reviews on other sites should be used as a general guide since fake reviews can also infiltrate other sites too.
- Is the review too generic?
If the review appears too generic and doesn’t include any specifics about the product, this can also indicate a false review. Fake reviewers are paid to leave large quantities of reviews and will streamline the process by leaving generic comments that will apply to all products. For example, you may find a review that says “it was as described”, “it arrived in perfect condition”, this lack of context can indicate that the same reviews have been used for several items.
- Same review, same time, same scam
When there are multiple reviews on the same day, around the same time, it is a tell-tale sign that they may be fake. Often, sellers will pay for good reviews on their product to boost their visibility on Amazon, or competitors may pay for negative reviews. When there is a collection of similar reviews, around a similar time – it is likely a cause for concern.
- Use a tool to filter out scam reviews
ReviewMeta and FakeSpot are just some of the tools that individuals can use to help identify false reviews and filter out potential scams. FakeSpot uses AI to alert you to fake reviews and scam sellers as you shop, whereas ReviewMeta filters manufactured reviews and gives an adjusted rating to what legitimate buyers think. Using such tools in combination with your own knowledge can help protect you from purchasing unsatisfactory goods based upon falsified reviews. “
How do you report a fake or suspicious Amazon review?
If you suspect that a review may be fake, you can report it directly to Amazon using the following steps:
- Click on ‘report abuse’ below the amazon review.
- Once directed to a new screen, click confirm and the suspicious review will now be reported.
Alternatively, you can email Amazon directly on [email protected] to report reviews that you suspect are fake. When building a case, it is useful to include screenshots so that Amazon can easily identify components from the review. By reporting these, you will help Amazon to take action against individuals and companies utilising fake reviews which will eventually reduce the amount of fraudulent practice on the site.
Remember to return!
If you have fallen victim to purchasing a sub-par product after reading fake reviews, you can return the product. For most products, Amazon’s return policy allows returns of most items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.