As an Amazon Prime member I truly feel that my quality of life has improved. Why, you ask?
Because instead of the old school way of calling multiple retail stores to find a specific brand or the lowest price for an item I am interested in purchasing, all I need to do now is login and search on Amazon. Descriptions and pictures of the product are easy to find and (most times) are very accurate. There are sometimes multiple colors to pick from, multiple sizes. All of this allows me to make an educated purchase that I will more than likely be happy with.
But wait… Let me first check the reviews to see what others had to say before I push the purchase button. And the problem begins…
I may not be the sharpest pencil in the drawer, but I am certainly able to notice a pattern.
Recently I was looking into an item that was offered by multiple sellers on Amazon, with many different price points. I had even used Google to see which items some independent websites suggested. I narrowed my choice down to two items. The last thing to do was to look at the reviews.
At first glance, both items looked like they had lots of positive reviews and some were also very recent. It was not until I started looking more into the reviewers that I started to notice some obvious similarities. The first one was so obvious that I was quite surprised; everyone had purchased the item in the color purple. The second similarity was that the reviews were not written in first person, they were written more like third person. The third piece of the pattern were the grammatical errors, and I know that not everyone is going to be great at writing, but everyone was not great at writing in this instance.
Strike 3, you are out!
Now there are also some reviewers that are clearly trying harder, but they are still easy to spot if you know what to look for. Look at this guy and tell me how one person can leave so many 5 start reviews for so many different products. His writing is longer than the typical one liner that I see often from the fake reviewers, but the way his reviews are written are what gave him away.
And now even the question and answer section seem to be overrun with fake people interaction to dupe you into buying their product.
I recently read this about one star reviews getting removed and was happy that my beloved Amazon was doing something about removing the problem I see as a threat to my new way of life. And this is great for Hillary, but she is the seller. What about the consumer? If they can remove one star reviews shouldn’t they be able to remove fake five star reviews too?
Overall the damage caused by fake reviews outweighs the benefit. We always encourage our clients to get more reviews because it helps SEO (Search Engine Optimization). But as an Online Reputation Management company we also don’t want to see the reputation of a client damaged. Bad reviews are something you can overcome because they are real, fake reviews can do irreparable damage.
So come on Amazon, write an algorithm to spot these fakers and get them off the site. Penalize the seller too, because there is not a chance that they are innocent.