Fake Reviews

The first thing most people do before clicking the “add to cart” button for their impulse shopping is to check the reviews to see whether the goods are good. There are multiple sites or businesses exist for this simple reason, or so I call it, the review industry. Businesses like Yelp, Foursquare, and RottenTomatoes are some of the examples. In this post, I would like to focus on the reviews on physical goods sold on e-commerce sites, the kind consumers purchase on Amazon, Ebay or Taobao.

Source: learn.G2

We hate to be wrong, so we look around us for social cue or guidance for what is right and what is good. And online review is the best guide available, from strangers, and remember how your mom told you to never trust a stranger but yet we never listen, at least 95% of them did not. So there is a huge incentive in manipulating the reviews to boost the sales of products. Evidently, there exist companies that recruit people just to write fake reviews to increase the desirability of certain products.

But you might be thinking, these companies can not stop genuine customers from leaving bad reviews, so we can still know if a product is good or bad by looking at the lowest or worst reviews given. False! Some shady companies are known to pay their customers to leave positive reviews, if they do not, they might be susceptible to harassment or threats. So there is more incentives even for real customers to not leave bad reviews, even if the product is not satisfactory.

In addition, sometimes review are not a real representation for a product, either for good or bad. There are this term called review-bombing, where customers leave negative reviews to express their dissatisfaction toward a company.

Reviews for the game Metro Exodus

For instance, the game Metro Exodus is an outstanding and brilliant game, but look at its review page, it is filled with negative reviews because the company made some decisions that’s not agreeable with its customers.

My point is, we can not really rely on reviews to judge what is good to buy or not anymore, at least not with the current review system.

Perhaps, a more integrated review system with only closed friends or validated influencers will be more useful and valuable for common customers like us. What do you think we can improve on to counter these fake reviews? Leave a comment below.

11 thoughts on “Fake Reviews

  1. Awesome post, Faith! I agree that reviews are one of the most important reasons to choose whether to make a purchase or not. Sometimes, I do find some reviews are not accurate or not true. Some of the reviews were outdated and some of them were just bull shit/fake. We can not really control people’s reviews, all we can do is to give honesty reviews for others. Do you agree?


  2. Hey there! An interesting post here. Yes I agree! Am also aware that some companies pay their customers just to receive positive reviews for their products and services. The objective should be most likely to maintain their reputation in hopes to target new consumers. I was wondering since you mentioned that reviews are not a good tool to decide whether you should purchase or utilise a product and service, what other methods could you suggest?

    Could you head to my blog to read and comment on my latest blog post on data privacy? Here’s the link below! Thank you so much!


  3. Hi there!! Thank you for an awesome read. Indeed there are many companies who manipulate comments and we have no ways to control it as consumers. I would always look at reviews but I do not set it as my decision for purchase. Totally agree with you. Great read!!


  4. No doubt what you said is true! I am an avid user of e-commerce platforms, all of which you have mentioned, I would like to add they now have a new strategy when you leave less than satisfactory ratings on their products. They actually privately message you and guilt-trip you into changing your ratings on local e-commerce platforms. They would state that they are a small business and would be hard for them to survive, leveraging on your empathy. Sometimes even offering you discounts on your next purchase(not the current one that they failed to deliver their service fully mind you).
    Steam reviews have become more of a meme page because of the lack of moderation and its hardly trustable.
    I would make a purchase to try out the game then get a refund if I found it to be buggy or having poor support within the allocated window.
    I think a very good system used is from WeChat, although troublesome, it really creates a barrier between making a fake account versus a real person’s account. Moreover, WeChat is tied to many functions that store personal data such as credit card information for their payment system, this only makes it more secure!
    Would appreciate if you would head over to my blog to leave a comment too!


  5. Hey there, that’s a really informative post and it caught me thinking twice on what you’ve wrote here! Humans are often sold by all these reviews online before making purchasing decision. However, whenever I see a brand/product is filled with good reviews, it got me thinking are all these reviews genuine?
    There’s a couple of times whereby i purchased products online because it was “Highly recommended” by blah blah influencer. Sadly, the product did not turn out to be as good as they claimed! Since then, I do not trust all these reviews online anymore unless there is a mixture of positive and negative reviews to show that not all reviews are paid or done internally.
    So i guess, it is always best to get authentic reviews from family or friends who have tried the product personally! Haha, the possibility of them lying to you about the performance of the product is lower for sure.


  6. Hey, I agree entirely with that you’re saying here! I’ve been to heaps of cafes where I have relied on the reviews, and I can guarantee you most of them have been fake, even the pictures. With a world full of scammers and online treats, I always find myself turning for mirco-moments, where I use my phone to look up reviews etc. Such a shame to think that we can’t even trust what we see on the internet, even if it’s as simple as someones opinion! I talk about spam in my latest article and would love to hear your opinion on it! (https://erindempseydigitalmarketing.home.blog/2019/09/22/which-spam-would-you-prefer/)
    Let me know what you think!

    Liked by 1 person

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