Save Your Money – Here’s How to Spot a Fake Review on Amazon

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Amazon has millions of products available for sale. Which can actually make it quite difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. The only thing that makes the buying process easier is looking at product reviews.

If you see an item with hundreds or thousands of five-star reviews, that must indicate it’s a good buy. Law? Well, not necessarily. It is possible that many of these reviews are fake. Especially when it comes to a product or a brand you don’t know. Why does this happen and how can you spot a fake? Keep reading to find out.

Fake Amazon reviews are common

We all know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, and Amazon product reviews are no exception. But how to spot them?

Fake reviews usually go to extremes, whether positive or negative. They can be written by Amazon users on behalf of a third-party brand or seller without the reviewer actually buying or using the product.

Or, they may be written by someone who purchased the item but made an agreement with the seller to post a glowing review in exchange for refunds, incentives, or freebies.

Brands and third-party sellers sometimes use fake reviews to trick potential customers into buying their products. These types of counterfeits exaggerate the quality and usefulness of a product.

Other times, extremely negative fake reviews are used as a tool to discourage people from buying a competitor’s product.

Knowing that there are fake Amazon reviews is important in making your buying decisions. False positives can manipulate ratings and push inferior products to the top of search results.

How to Spot Fake Amazon Reviews

Amazon shopping does not come with a manual or a list of directions. There is no particular way to spot a fake review. But, there are red flags to watch out for that may indicate something is wrong.

As we told you earlier, fake reviews are usually extreme one way or the other. Companies will pay for five star ratings for their own products. On the other hand, they will pay for one-star reviews for competing products.

That’s why it’s a good idea to check out the detailed reviews in the middle, with two, three, or four stars. These reviews are most likely genuine and will give you a realistic idea of ​​a product’s pros and cons.

1. Check the percentages

If a product has a high percentage of five-star reviews and a handful of one-star reviews, but next to nothing in the middle, that’s a huge red flag. This can be a sign that the five-star reviews have been paid for, and the one-star reviews are real unhappy customers who wasted their money.

2. Is this a “verified purchase”?

Amazon reviewers who have actually purchased the product will often have a “verified purchase” badge next to their name. It’s not a sure thing, but it’s a good indication that the review is legit.

3. Read product questions and answers

Writing a fake glowing review is quite easy. It’s much harder to lie in the question and answer section of the product. This is where you’ll find answers to common customer questions, and they can get pretty detailed.

If something has a lot of reviews, it should have a Q&A section filled with comments on quality, size, ease of assembly, color, etc. of the product. These answers should give you a good idea of ​​what you are buying.

4. Beware of short and/or vague reviews

Fake Amazon reviews are often short and extremely vague. If the critic simply wrote “Incredible!” or “I love it!” it is possible that this is a fake review. The same goes for comments like “terrible” or “the worst”.

5. The review mentions a competitor

If you read a review that mentions a competing brand or product — telling you not to spend your money on what you’re watching and directing you elsewhere — that should make your Spidey senses tingle.

(Natee Photo/Shutterstock.com)

If you don’t want to spend your time sifting through reviews and the Q&A section, you can use a browser extension or app specifically designed to evaluate Amazon product reviews to determine their authenticity. These third-party tools are not affiliated with Amazon, but they will eliminate fake five-star ratings.

Fakespot and ReviewMeta are browser extensions that also have apps for Android and iOS that use an algorithm to weed out fake reviews. You can also cut and paste the Amazon product page URL into either tool to get the data you are looking for.

Fakespot works with Amazon reviews, as well as eBay, Best Buy, Sephora, and Walmart. After performing its analysis, it provides a letter grade that rates the quality of a product’s reviews. If it gives you an “A”, it means the reviews seem to be copacetic. But it is not a guarantee that the product is excellent.

If Fakespot gives you an “F”, that means the algorithm has spotted a bunch of fakes. But this does not necessarily mean that the product is a bust.

ReviewMeta is a metrics tool that only works with Amazon reviews. It will analyze a product page and filter out fake reviews. Instead of a rating, ReviewMeta will tell you the percentage of filtered reviews and give you an adjusted rating.

For example, I recently purchased a foot massager with an Amazon rating of 4.4. After running it through ReviewMeta, potential fake reviews were removed and the rating was adjusted to 4.3.

Be aware that most popular products will have a handful of fake or misleading reviews, but that won’t change their overall rating. If the vast majority of reviews are legit, you should be good to go.

If you think you’ve spotted a fake review, report it to Amazon by clicking “Report Abuse”. It doesn’t matter if you buy the product or not.

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