Fake Amazon reviews are a dime a dozen. Mind you, these are hard to spot, especially with about 42% of reviews on Amazon are fake or “incentivized”.
Some Amazon sellers buy fake reviews to boost their product rankings and even attract buyers in the process. It is also quite easy to get a fake review for your product.
An example would be a positive rating from a made-up user account, which used to be common. Another way for a product to get a fake review is to pay multiple users to write about the product without purchasing or using it firsthand.
On the other hand, some real shoppers give honest, but glowing reviews in exchange for products, discounts, and even gifts – these are called incentivized reviews.
The most important question is, how to spot fake Amazon reviews? We are going to explore that in a while.
Why do fake Amazon reviews happen in the first place?
Personally, whenever I buy an item on Amazon I check the reviews first. What can other buyers say about the quality of the product? Did the product deliver what it promised? Most importantly, is it going to be worth my hard-earned money?
A lot of Amazon sellers know this customer thought process as it boosts purchase confidence from potential clients. More than advertising, Amazon sellers rely strongly on positive reviews to get customers to purchase.
So what if the product has a fake Amazon review?
From a buyer’s perspective, fake Amazon reviews may seem harmless. But imagine seeing someone raving about a product they have never used? If you’re lucky, the product is good.
In many cases, you end up spending your hard-earned dollars to purchase a product that will disappoint you. Although Amazon algorithms do what they can to protect its users from scammers, there are still a lot of bad products that get through the sieve.
If you are planning to get your products to sell on Amazon, the presence of fake reviews will make it a tough battle to stand out. This is true if multiple top-rank products are of much less quality than those you sell.
4 RED FLAGS to help you spot a fake Amazon review
1. New product with thousands of reviews
If the product is fairly unknown but has received thousands of POSITIVE reviews, then these reviews are probably fake. A new product with a low search ranking may not be able to sell so much, much less receive thousands of reviews in just a short period. If these reviews are posted close to each other, they are more than likely to be fake.
2. Reviews don’t match the actual product
Amazon sellers can change the product they are selling and keep the product page. The older reviews for a different item can still be viewed (and confused) with the product currently sold. This could be seen from older reviews.
3. A five-star rating with vague, one-worded reviews is (most of the time) fake
We have to understand that there are real shoppers that are too lazy to put in well-thought-out reviews from their purchases. But authentic reviews often have first-hand comments on the product. Most often than not these include the quality, fit, packaging, and delivery time. Some buyers even comment updates at a much later time to say whether they are going to repurchase the product or not.
Examples of vague 5-star reviews include wordings along the lines of “this product is awesome”, “good product”, or “will buy again”. Especially if there are multiple vague, one-worded reviews posted close to each other – these are more than likely to be fake. It could be a ploy to artificially boost the rank of the product.
4. Review deliberately mentions a competitor’s name for “comparison”
This kind of fake review can go two different ways. One, a fake rater can go to a competitor’s page and say that another product works so much better. Another could be that the same fake rater comments on a product to say that it is so much better than the competitor’s product. Either way, deliberately mentioning a competitor’s name is often a red flag.
Tools to help you spot a fake Amazon review
If the red flags are not enough for you, you may use these fake Amazon review spotters to help you.
A Google Chrome extension that could help you spot scams not only on Amazon but also on eBay, BestBuy, and more.
Know if a product on Amazon has fake reviews just with the product link.