If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, you may be wondering about the possibility of fake Amazon reviews. Can reviews be trusted? Don’t worry. We have the answers.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Some Amazon reviews are fake, which can be an issue for consumers.
  • For your own peace of mind, heed only reviews that have been marked as a “verified purchase”.
  • Verified purchase stickers are awarded only when a customer bought in the item-in-question on Amazon at a reasonable price

Who Can Write Amazon Reviews?

Anyone with an Amazon account can write a review, which has led to a prevalence of fake reviews. This became a problem for the company, so they instituted heavily weighted “verified purchase” reviews. This is what should be done to minimize fake Etsy reviews as well.

Insider Tip

Anyone with an Amazon account can write a review, which has led to a prevalence of fake reviews.

What are Verified Purchases?

If a review features a “verified purchase” sticker, you can breathe a sigh of relief, as it is unlikely that their review is a scam or fake. The reviewer had to have purchased the item in order to receive that sticker. Additionally, the item must have been bought for at least 80 percent of the average price. This latter policy has been instituted to dissuade scam companies from “selling” items to consumers for under a dollar in exchange for a positive review.

How Can You Spot Fake Reviews?

There are a number of sure-fire ways to spot fake Amazon reviews so you can make informed purchase decisions. Here are just a few.

Check on the Reviewer

You can click on the review to gather crucial information about the reviewer, which can help let you know if the review is fake or not. The customer’s review hub page will show all of their reviews dating back years. Take some time to go through some to look for obvious signs of a scam. This page will also detail how many votes they have gotten from other Amazon customers indicating that their reviews have been helpful. Generally speaking, fraudulent reviews do not get too many positive votes from real Amazon users.

Insider Tip

If a review features a “verified purchase” sticker, you can breathe a sigh of relief, as it is unlikely that their review is a scam or fake.

Look for the Verified Purchase Sticker

Make sure any reviews you are allowing to sway your opinion on a product are marked as a “verified purchase.” As previously stated, this sticker is only awarded to reviews that have been legitimately purchased on Amazon for a fair price.

Check the Syntax

Fake reviews are often written by bots, so the syntax can feel a bit “off.” Read the review over in your head and try to suss out if a real person wrote it. Not only do bots often write these fake reviews, but so do folks living in other countries working in review farms. That is why you should only rely on buyer’s guides to make a purchasing decision.

Warning

Fraudulent reviews do not get too many positive votes from real Amazon users.

F.A.Q.

How do unreliable reviews work?

There are a host of companies online that solicit and distribute fake and unreliable reviews, though there are various methodologies regarding the writing and posting of these reviews.


Can I trust Amazon reviews?

Most Amazon reviews are totally reliable, as the institution of the company’s “Verified Purchase” sticker has significantly cut down on the number of fake reviews.


How to spot fake online reviews?

Fake reviews are not just the purview of Amazon. Every major, and minor, online retailer is plagued by unreliable and fake reviews. How to spot them? Perform the same steps outlined above. Pay attention to the reviewer and read and re-read the review to check on the syntax.



STAT: According to the CEO of Fakespot, a free browser extension designed to weed out unreliable product ratings, the number of misleading reviews on Amazon soared in 2020. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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