Amazon Fake Reviews

28
Found 24th Jul 2017
I often see many comments on various forums and sites about Amazon reviews and how people are sometimes given discounts on products in order to receive a positive review.

Then last year I read a number of articles about how Amazon was to crackdown on such activities.

I thought nothing of it really until this morning, when I received 2 unsolicited emails asking if I was interested in doing a review for Android TV boxes.

One specified the product and the Amazon link to it and the other just mentioned a product by reference to it's SOC.

Neither of the email addresses were from anybody that I recognised and one was even a plain old Hotmail account, so very likely a mass mailer choosing from a list of purchased email address mailing lists.

What made these offers peak my interest though was that both wanted me to purchase the product myself, where they would then refund me the cost through Paypal.

Initially i though that it was strange to ask for a user to purchase up front.

But then, after milling about it for a few seconds, I spotted the trick

By purchasing a product yourself, you are seen by Amazon as being a verified purchaser and because the refunds are done outside the site, they will have no knowledge of any review being positively fake.

It made me chuckle though because it is a really easy way to get around Amazon's review policies and make products look more genuinely favourable to prospective purchasers than they may otherwise be.
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28 Comments
We need to get the Donald to sort these fake reviews.
A random hotmail address that you would then send your invoice to which includes your name address and likely card details and a PayPal address to receive your payMent , This seems more like a phishing scam to me.
danroyle

A random hotmail address that you would then send your invoice to which … A random hotmail address that you would then send your invoice to which includes your name address and likely card details and a PayPal address to receive your payMent , This seems more like a phishing scam to me.



Yes that is another real possibility for the Hotmail account.
You could reply & ask for a gift of an amount similar to the price of the product to your PayPal account in advance, so you can then afford to buy such a product.

Then decide if you wish to review it, or not.
fanpages

You could reply & ask for a gift of an amount similar to the price of the … You could reply & ask for a gift of an amount similar to the price of the product to your PayPal account in advance, so you can then afford to buy such a product.Then decide if you wish to review it, or not.



Oh I have no intention of even considering either request because it is not the right way to do things as far as I am concerned.

But the one from the hotmail address I am having a little fun with to lighten up a gloomy Monday morning
Personally, I now even ignore the 'I received this product free/discounted for an unbiased review' ones. People are not unbiased when they get stuff for free, especially with the prospect of more stuff for free in the future.
I realise those reviews aren't even the bad ones either, it's the stealthy ones that don't declare it as mentioned here.

I use fakespot.com to weed out some of the more obvious fakes although of course it will always struggle to detect someone with a long-standing Amazon account accepting bribes for reviews. It's a tough one for Amazon to crack down on too unfortunately
You can't independently determine whether any good review is genuine, but I can attest that the less favourable ones do get added because I have contributed several myself.
I tend to avoid Amazon reviews in general. The fakes and the freebie reviews are bad enough but I hate when they bundle reviews for multiple products together. At one point you were able to sort these and only show reviews for your selection but they've either stopped this or hidden the button as the last few times I couldn't find it.
freakstyler

I tend to avoid Amazon reviews in general. The fakes and the freebie … I tend to avoid Amazon reviews in general. The fakes and the freebie reviews are bad enough but I hate when they bundle reviews for multiple products together. At one point you were able to sort these and only show reviews for your selection but they've either stopped this or hidden the button as the last few times I couldn't find it.



When you look at reviews based on a certain star rating there is sometimes a button marked all Formats that allows you to filter reviews by only those for the specific item listed.

I tend to read the 3 star reviews first as there seems more chance of somebody showing the positive and negatives of a product that is perhaps more trustworthy than others.
reddit

When you look at reviews based on a certain star rating there is … When you look at reviews based on a certain star rating there is sometimes a button marked all Formats that allows you to filter reviews by only those for the specific item listed.I tend to read the 3 star reviews first as there seems more chance of somebody showing the positive and negatives of a product that is perhaps more trustworthy than others.




Unfortunately, Amazon still don't allow you to filter by seller, and there seem to be no end of Amazon based traders who add themselves as another seller to a popular item listing when they actually supply a vaguely similar but cheaper product made by another manufacturer to the item shown in the listing, or even a counterfeit copy. Sometimes you can work out that a bad review wasn't for the genuine product, but that's more often not the case.

I rarely purchase from amazon these days, but when I do and post a review, I always add the name of the seller.
Edited by: "melted" 24th Jul 2017
melted

Unfortunately, Amazon still don't allow you to filter by seller, and … Unfortunately, Amazon still don't allow you to filter by seller, and there seem to be no end of Amazon based traders who add themselves as another seller to a popular item listing when they actually supply a vaguely similar but cheaper product made by another manufacturer to the item shown in the listing, or even a counterfeit copy. Sometimes you can work out that a bad review wasn't for the genuine product, but that's more often not the case. I rarely purchase from amazon these days, but when I do and post a review, I always add the name of the seller.



A useful tip there.

I'll remember that one.
How many people do you think receive free products, but don't even mention they got it for free or a discount in exchange for a review? I'm not sure it's actually a requirement to say so.
Not entirely related to this, but, there's now that Amazon Vine thing isn't there, where selected people get free products to review and keep.
I get at least 4 emails a day from Sellers on Amazon wanting me to review the item and same as OP wrote there is a separate link with the item cheaper so I would then look like a verified buyer. So you have the Vine lot who get items free and then lots of people getting items much cheaper to write a good review. Reviews mean nothing on Amazon now
Amazon should let readers vote to delete stupid reviews.

Was looking at cctv recorders they either come with a hard drive (more expensive obviously) or without one so you can bung in your own. Then you get numbskulls ordering the cheaper one and leaving 1 star reviews "unusable, no hard drive!" etc.
Looking at a clothes steamer today, 5 star reviews actually put me off, the sheer amount of photos and failed positive videos was really really shady?. Totally through me to the point I pressed X close
amazon are selling reviews themselves now, this its $60 for 5 reviews when you release a new product...

its a new thing from amazon.com which I sell on


By uploading your product list, you agree to the terms and conditions.

Additionally, you agree to pay $60 plus any applicable taxes per eligible parent SKU that you enroll into the program. You will be charged once we receive the first Early Reviewer Program review for each enrolled parent SKU. We will continue to solicit reviews for up to 1 year from time of enrollment, or until 5 reviews are received through the program, whichever is sooner.
I ignore the " received product in exchange for a honest review" garbage. They lie about the product.

Few times I've bought a product based on reviews and it turned out be unsatisfactory or not up to standards and have left a 1* star review. Those times, I've received an email stating I can keep the item and full refund as long as I redo my review. Took the refunds, tossed the items into my closet and didn't alter the reviews lol.
splatsplatsplat

Amazon should let readers vote to delete stupid reviews.Was looking at … Amazon should let readers vote to delete stupid reviews.Was looking at cctv recorders they either come with a hard drive (more expensive obviously) or without one so you can bung in your own. Then you get numbskulls ordering the cheaper one and leaving 1 star reviews "unusable, no hard drive!" etc.



You can vote something unhelpful or report it.
MSK.

How many people do you think receive free products, but don't even … How many people do you think receive free products, but don't even mention they got it for free or a discount in exchange for a review? I'm not sure it's actually a requirement to say so.


Plenty. It used to be a requirement, but it was dropped. The reviewer T&C's changed several times over the course of a week - no incentivised reviews/disclaimer required/5 allowed a week. The problem is, the algorithm changed to penalise non-verified purchase reviews - that's where PayPal came in.
Edited by: "fivegoldstars" 24th Jul 2017
fivegoldstars

Plenty. It used to be a requirement, but it was dropped. The reviewer … Plenty. It used to be a requirement, but it was dropped. The reviewer T&C's changed several times over the course of a week - no incentivised reviews/disclaimer required/5 allowed a week. The problem is, the algorithm changed to penalise non-verified purchase reviews - that's where PayPal came in.



PayPal on Amazon?
MSK.

PayPal on Amazon?


People buy a product from Amazon, and the seller reimburses via PayPal.
Buyer still gets a freebie, seller gets a VP review.
Hotmail still exists oO
fivegoldstars

People buy a product from Amazon, and the seller reimburses via … People buy a product from Amazon, and the seller reimburses via PayPal.Buyer still gets a freebie, seller gets a VP review.



Oh right, thanks. I lost the thread for a minute there
Unrelated, but I send items to amazon to sell for me (Fulfilled By Amazon) they are to begin charging sellers next month for stock that they have held for 6months or more. Ive been billed £25 to store a medium box. If I can sell the stock before next month or get it returned to me, I wont get charged.

This may have an effect on prices in the next few weeks (ive reduced mine to get rid, to avoid a return fee), but eventually I expect I will have to pay to get the items returned so you might find a lot of items disappearing in a few weeks.

So might be worth hunting for stuff you want now.
CouldntThinkOfAUsername24th Jul

I ignore the " received product in exchange for a honest review" garbage. …I ignore the " received product in exchange for a honest review" garbage. They lie about the product.Few times I've bought a product based on reviews and it turned out be unsatisfactory or not up to standards and have left a 1* star review. Those times, I've received an email stating I can keep the item and full refund as long as I redo my review. Took the refunds, tossed the items into my closet and didn't alter the reviews lol.



I got asked to do a review and in return, be on the beta program for some freebies. I did a review, as honest as any other (a USB power supply). The product itself was fine - no qualms. I didnt get any freebies to test. So am wary of doing more.

I read the reviews too - and to a large extent - they do not help. Even with lots of reviews across all star ratings, inevitably some people get a duff device, or ordered the wrong item, or the review is for an item from 2y ago and it got updated since. Sometimes the review is useful - highlighting a feature or flaw which isnt obvious. You just need to read and do research to figure out what can go wrong, and decide if its worth it.

The worst part of amazon is the "used" items - the descriptions and categories are off putting and its difficult to know if "as good as new" means a cracked screen or just the box is not an original.

Still, the reviews are educational and often entertaining, especially if you search for bizarre items.
fanpages1 m ago

@deeky's recent thread:"Fakespot.com Amazon fake review detector"


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