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Fake Amazon reviews are more common than you think. But there are some easy ways to spot scammers who are trying to get rich off of you.
The Wrongful Exchange
Many low-quality products are being sold on Amazon and people are buying them! Not because they’re cheaper, but because fake reviews make it seem like the product is better than it actually is. Though Amazon has begun to catch on to poorly worded spam reviews or AI-generated bot reviews, there are still methods business owners employ to get the product a fake five-star rating.
Facebook groups can be used to get a large number of customers to buy the product, who receive a full refund if they give it a five-star review. This can make buying dangerous because you never know what’s a good product and what’s a scam. Except, there are. Though they aren’t fool-proof, these tips will help you track down the fakes and find the products worth your dough!
How Would You Review?
When scrolling through Amazon reviews, ask yourself “how would you review?” More often than not you can spot a fake review because it’s either overly simplistic or ignores the product entirely. Things like: “Good product” or “Loved this” with a five-star rating attached are more than likely fakes. Think about how you would review a product. You’d let potential customers know why you like it and rated it so high.
Five-star reviews with no rhyme or reason are a prime example of paid reviewers, bribed into logging on and posting a lame review for a product not worth your time.
Websites Can Be Your Best Bet
Three extraordinary websites automatically scan a product’s reviews and let you know if they’re fake or not. Though it’s not always 100-0percent accurate, the tools can give you a leg up in the fight against scammers.
Pop the URL of any Amazon product into The Review Index and it will tell you whether the reviews are verified or not. Amazon verifies a person’s purchase to ensure they actually bought the product, and The Review Index lets you know what percentage of reviewers spent their money. The issue is that even verified purchasers can fake their review since companies often elicit fake reviewers by giving them a full refund (and commissions, too).
Make sure to check how many reviews are verified. It’s likely the company won’t send out hundreds of free products for five-star reviews, so if there are over 500 positive reviews, it’s probably legit.
Review Meta and Fakespot can be added to Chrome as a browser extension. The extensions will automatically detect fake or unverified reviews and give you brief reports of the product to help you spot scams.
Human judgment is still important, but the preliminary scans can help you spot fakers before you have a chance to scroll.
YouTube Reviewers You Trust
Though YouTube is filled with affiliate marketers, most dedicated YouTubers won’t spread lies just for cash. Channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers got that way for being trustworthy, so if you’re ever curious about an Amazon product, check out a YouTube video to see if it’s worth your money.
YouTubers who have received the product will usually give their honest opinion, and if they’re happy with it then you might be, too. Scrolling through the comments on the review video is also a good way to gauge whether the YouTuber is trustworthy.
Steer Clear Of Five Stars
Most companies will hire fake reviewers to post five-star Amazon reviews. It’s less likely that a four-star review is faked, so checking those out could be the best way to see if a product is the real deal. You can also check two and three-star reviews instead of one-star reviews because some companies try to diminish the competition by hiring fake reviewers to write horrible things about another product.
It’s Elementary My Dear Watson!
A little bit of digging can go a long way. Sort reviews by timestamp to see if a lot of the five-star reviews came in at once. If they did, the Amazon reviews are likely bots or hired reviewers who bombarded the feed. Try to find products with reviews scattered throughout. Also, if a product has reviews dated months or even years ago, the product has had a long lifespan and is probably legit.
Can I Get A Refund?
You can, but don’t count on it. Make sure to check the company policies before purchasing from Amazon vendors. Though Amazon has a 30-day return policy, some independent businesses that use Amazon to sell their products have their own policies. Make sure to properly research before buying because you might just be stuck with a scam-worthy product.