Amazon's review system is far from perfect, but the company wants its customers to get the best value out of the opinion pieces about the products sold through its site.
The internet vendor is cracking down on fake product reviews, but it recently changed its modus operandi. Amazon stopped attacking the websites that offer five-star recommendations for cash and is focusing on the sellers themselves.
This underlines the determination of the company to curb fake reviews, as the increasing number of such reviews takes a toll on the overall trust level that is Amazon's selling point.
Three sellers are on the defendants list: a Chinese company dubbed CCBetterDirect, Kurt Bauer and Michael Abbara.
Amazon wants the defendants to be blacklisted from selling products on all its sites and from accessing any of its services. Additionally, the file demands for the attorneys' fees, profits the sellers made on Amazon and, last but not least, damages in value of more than $25,000.
According to a Tech Crunch report, between 30 to 45 percent of the sellers' total reviews were fake.
At the beginning of 2015, Amazon began a series of legal cases against a number of review-selling websites, such as the subtly-named buyamazonreviews.info.
The list of people that the company sued last year tops 1,000 names, and we expect it to keep growing.
Amazon's star system makes it a go-to place for a lot of consumers, so it is easy to see why the company is determined to keep the opinions legitimate and trustworthy.
The e-vendor has been working for some time to counter fakes. To do so, it deployed algorithms that sort out the blatantly false ones and it ranked trusted reviews so that future clients meet the products via the trusted reviews first. The "verified purchase" was another attempt, but some are skeptical about its success.
"Our goal is to [...] shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation," says a spokesperson from Amazon.
Interestingly enough, a recent study from the University of Colorado at Boulder shows how the product quality and review scores are correlating.
In different research conducted by marketing company Mintel, the results indicate that about 70 percent of Americans inform themselves through their peers before shopping online. However, only 59 percent find value in the recommendations.