You work hard for your reviews, so it’s understandably frustrating when you suspect other sellers of getting ahead with fake reviews. But how do you spot them? FeedbackExpress will show you the signs to watch out for so you don’t get caught up in that tangled web.

What Makes a Review Fake on Amazon?

A couple of months ago, I was browsing Amazon for a smartwatch. I didn’t want to shell out the big bucks for a Garmin or Fitbit, so I looked at some no-name products and let the reviews guide my decision. There were two or three listings that stood out because they had over a dozen 5-star reviews — not a negative word to be said. I knew the reviews had to be fake, but what exactly makes a review fake?

There are several ways to make sure.

Use Review Analysis Tools

There are free tools out there, like Fakespot and ReviewMeta, you can use to help determine if a review is fake. Both work by having you enter in the review URL where each one analyses the fakeness of the review.

Fakespot looks at things like spelling, grammar, (mis)aligned dates, purchasing patterns and more, then gives you a letter grade based on the number of reviews and how many it thinks weren’t totally legit. RevieMeta, on the other hand, shows you a product’s review rating once it filters out the questionable reviews.

Does the Product Have an Overwhelmingly Large Number of 5-Star Reviews?

This is one of the biggest telltale signs of fake reviews. No matter how good or popular a product is, not every single person will be ecstatically happy with it. I mean, just look at the divide between Apple and Android users. It’s impossible to get 100% fully and totally on board, so watch out if you see the vast majority of reviews be 5-star ones.

Check Out the Dates of When the Reviews Were Posted

It’s pretty suspect to see a ton of reviews posted on the same date. Even if the seller deals with high-volume sales, it’s exceedingly rare that users will:

  • Post reviews, unprompted. Most buyers don’t leave reviews, especially on their own.
  • All leave their reviews on the same date, with a scattering of other reviews on other dates.

The Reviews Sound Silly and Over-the-Top

If I’m buying shampoo for my mom, I want something really good-quality. But if I’m seeing reviews that say the shampoo thickens hair twice as much and gets it to grow three times faster, I’m positive they’re fake and I’m skipping to the next product.

When a product has enough reviews, you’ll encounter a few that swear it’s the best thing since sliced bread. That’s normal. It’s when you see the majority of them saying the same, silly things that you should be careful. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Do the Reviewers Admit They Haven’t Even Tried the Product?

Sometimes, it’s funny how obvious a fake review is, like when the reviewers say something like, “I haven’t tried this product, but…” Given that we know most buyers are reluctant to post reviews on their own, we can surmise that it’s an even rarer situation for them to post reviews on their own before even having tested the product.

There’s a Lack of Verified Purchase Reviews

One of the easiest ways of spotting a legitimate review is if it has the ‘Verified Purchase’ badge on it. That’s not to say that reviews without it are fake, but that it certainly leaves the door open for doubt to creep in.

Cross-Reference the Reviewer’s Other Reviews

When you’ve done all this and are on a review you think might be fake but can’t quite pin down why, check out the reviewer’s other reviews. Do they give 5 stars to everything? Have they reviewed a ton of products in the last six months? Did they buy the same thing multiple times and it wasn’t a renewable purchase like vitamins or health products? These are all signs the reviewer might have been paid off.

Final Thoughts

Amazon has gotten pretty good at cracking down on fake reviews, but they haven’t eradicated them entirely just yet. Luckily, you’re now armed with tips on how to spot fake reviews. Even better, FeedbackExpress will help you increase getting reviews — and doing it the honest way so you don’t have to compromise your metrics, reputation or account health. Sign up now and you’ll enjoy the first 30 days absolutely free.

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