The online retailer Amazon makes it easy for consumers to purchase just about anything they need, often at a lower price compared with brick-and-motar stores. While some may worry about the quality of the product they are ordering, a simple way to feel reassured is by checking the product reviews.
It's easy to trust an Amazon seller based on the amount of positive reviews with five-star ratings. But many consumers might be turning a blind eye to the fact that some of these reviews could be fake.
One way sellers are able to increase the amount of positive reviews a particular listing has is by using outside sites that are dedicated solely to giving away free Amazon products in exchange for product reviews. The idea is that the seller doesn't mind giving away some items for free if it receives more positive reviews that will help it rank higher and earn the trust of potential new consumers, which all results in the seller making more money.
Then there's the cases where sellers actually pay for positive reviews.
With that said, can we really trust that the cheaper headphones are as good as Beats, or that the smartphone case really is waterproof? Moreover, how can a potential new consumer tell a fake or paid review from an honest one?
Well, don't worry, Amazon shoppers, there's a web tool that can do exactly this. Appropriately titled Fakespot, the Amazon analyzer allows users to paste in the link of a specific product to determine how many fake reviews the product has.
Fakespot provides the percentage of inauthentic or low-quality reviews detected, and gives sample review text from someone who it claims is an unauthentic reviewer.
The site analyzes whether the amount of reviews are suspiciously positive; reviews written about products that were not purchased; and that reviewer's correlation with other fake reviewer's data and language.
Fakespot is also available as a Chrome extension to make identifying fake reviews even easier when shopping on Amazon.
It's important to note that the amount of fake reviews doesn't necessarily mean it is not a good product. This might just mean that the product has a large amount of positive reviews, which makes it suspicious. A product may also have a four-star rating average, yet Fakespot may still determine it to be high in low-quality reviews.
When in doubt, Amazon shoppers can always comment on a specific review to get some more clarity. Still, when buying from a new seller, Fakespot may be a handy tool.