Fake Reviews on eBay

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

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Updated October 27, 2022

If you are shopping around on eBay, you may notice the prevalence of feedback from both buyers and sellers. Are there fake reviews on eBay, and can this feedback be trusted? That’s where we come in.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Commerce platform eBay has instituted a fairly robust user feedback system that allows both buyers and sellers to leave ratings and write reviews.
  • Unfortunately, many unscrupulous sellers have worked to rig the system and created many fake feedback reviews.
  • You can spot a fake eBay review by checking out the copy and digging into the person who wrote the review.

How eBay Feedback Works

When a customer completes a purchase, they are asked to give feedback about the seller. At the same time, the seller is asked to give feedback on the customer. This feedback is rated between one and five stars, and an aggregate rating is reached after a number of reviews. In theory, this helps to protect buyers against unscrupulous sellers and vice versa. Buyers beware of the consumer return policy laws that will help when they need to return an item for exchange, a refund, or store credit.

Insider Tip

When a customer completes a purchase, they are asked to give feedback about the seller. At the same time, the seller is asked to give feedback on the customer.

Is There Fake Feedback on eBay?

Unfortunately, yes. Just like the many fake Yelp reviews you’ve probably seen, the site has certainly had its fair share of problems regarding fake and fraudulent feedback on both the buyer’s and seller’s end. A seller typically generates fake feedback by simply creating new accounts, buying items, and then leaving glowing feedback to help juice up the aggregate rating. On a larger scale, this act can be performed by third-party companies that employ the use of bots and content farms. This has also been witnessed with the Google Play Store fake reviews.

How to Spot Fake Feedback and Reviews on eBay

There are a number of ways you can protect your investment and spot fake feedback and reviews on eBay.

Insider Tip

After reading a few genuine feedback reviews, you will be able to sniff out any posers.

Read the Copy

When it comes to spotting fake feedback, don’t stop at the star rating. Read the actual copy that accompanies the feedback. Look for copy that seems “off” somehow, as a bot can never quite capture the same syntax as a human. Additionally, those working in a content farm in another country may not fully grasp the English language. After reading a few genuine feedback reviews, you will be able to sniff out any posers.

Investigate the Reviewer

You should also take some time out to dig deeper into the reviewer. What else have they reviewed? Have all of their reviews been for the same seller? Are they all glowing? You can tell a whole lot by reading other reviews by the same reviewer. If the lion’s share of a person’s reviews are for the same seller and they are all positive, it is likely a fake reviewer. In other words, exercise extreme caution when buying from the seller.

Warning

Fake feedback is typically generated by a seller simply creating new accounts, buying items, and then leaving glowing feedback to help juice up the aggregate rating.

F.A.Q.

Why can sellers share product reviews on eBay?

The system was instituted so sellers could share feedback from buyers, writing out their thoughts on the buying experience but also on the product itself.


How are eBay’s product reviews being manipulated?

It is fairly easy for shady sellers to manipulate product reviews with bots, content farms, or simply by inputting counterfeit product identification numbers into the review field. This will populate reviews for different, often more beloved, products.


What is the point of “reserve not met” in bids?

This is for the seller. They set a reverse price so they can “set it and forget it.” Any bids below that threshold will not be accepted.



STAT: Customer reviews can make all the difference at product-packed online stores: 90% of consumers say that good customer reviews are important when buying an item from an online marketplace, according to a survey conducted in September 2019. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image