Fake reviews still plague Amazon

Don’t put too much into the Amazon review before deciding which gadget to buy. Fake reviews plague Amazon.com. Still.

British consumer group Which? released a new report of what its investigation revealed and it’s worse than we thought.

Which? looked at hundreds of products including headphones, fitness trackers and smartwatches. It found, according to the report, that top-rated products in the tech categories are dominated by oddly named brands such as ITSHINY, Vogek and Aitalk.

In a search for headphones, according to the Which? report, every result on the first page was from an unknown brand and nearly 90% of reviews were from unverified purchasers.

The last time I checked Amazon for fake reviews I found almost every review for unknown brands were from unverified purchasers. Earlier this year Amazon again stated it understood there’s a fake review problem and is combating it with humans who analyze reviews as they are submitted.

When I searched Amazon for fitness trackers, the first few pages of results were from brands I’d never heard of. Tuoliwei, YZJ, and FSYCQ all had products listed with 5-star reviews. One from YZJ had 74 reviews and every one of them was a glowing 5-star. As I read through some of the reviews it was obvious they were written by someone with a script or by a bot. A few were identical, written allegedly by multiple users. I found it interesting that one reviewer said “Try to get it ASAP” as if to say before Amazon removed it and the reviews from the website.

When I checked back a few hours later the tracker could not be found. Even searches for the brand name Tuoliwei and FSYCQ came back with no results. I found a pair of wireless earbuds with over 800 reviews. All are five-star and some of the reviews are so obviously fake it’s laughable. Two referred to the headphones as “like sleeping on a cloud” while two others remarked that it’s much softer than the ones you find in hotels.

Every review was written between April 12th and 13th. Which shared the results of its investigation with ReviewMeta which did its own analyzing and discovered every five-star unverified review of the top 10 pairs of headphones were fake.

How do you tell the difference?

If a product is from a brand you’ve never heard of and it gets all 5-star reviews, it’s almost guaranteed to be a fake. If all reviews are written within the same 48-hour period, they’re fakes.

If the product only gets positive reviews with none written by ‘verified purchasers’, it’s likely that the reviews are fake.

You can copy and paste the URL of the Amazon listing at fakespot.com and reviewmeta.com which will analyze the reviews for you and give them a grade from F-A+.