FAKE reviews on Amazon… and how to check for it

As a beauty reviews blog, I feel it’s my duty to find the liars and the phonies trying to scam you out of money by telling you something is amazing when it’s NOT. Yeah.

All of my links for shopping are Amazon links. I use Amazon all the time and love it, it’s so convenient and I don’t spend $150 like I do when I take a trip to Walmart or Target. Okay enough of my love notes to Amazon… here’s the real issue with using Amazon reviews to evaluate what to buy.

People can buy fake reviews, and sometimes they are hard to spot. Maybe 50 out of 100 are fake, and they don’t immediately show up. But all of them are 5 star, so the average is suddenly 4.8 when in reality, people that bought the product and left a review would give it a 2 stars. This is a problem.

Here’s a good example of a product with fake reviews.


The first signal is all 32 reviews have given 5 star ratings. That is extremely improbable. But if you aren’t sure, or you want to check, copy the link on Amazon, and put it into this website: Fake Spot

fakespot1The “Fakespot” grade is an F. That’s bad. It means there are many untrustworthy reviews, based on the quality and accounts that are used to give reviews. For example, if they know Katie12345 has written a great deal of 5 star reviews that are short and full of grammatical errors, Katie is considered a fake reviewer, and the grade is lowered if enough of these people show up. Bad Katie!

Here’s an example of one that’s much more difficult to spot. It has A LOT of reviews, an average of 4 stars, and even some good reviews with pictures that look like they’re written by real people. However, a solid 10% of people have given it 1 star.Castoroil

The Fake Spot review for this one is a C. The analysis says 25% are “low quality” reviews, and spotted a pattern that might indicate deception. There are a few unreliable reviewers it picked out, and tells you that some of them created a large number of reviews on the same day. So suspicious? Yes. But does this mean the product won’t work? Well… no.

Just because it has fake reviews doesn’t mean it’s a bad product. In fact, it might be wonderful! However, you can’t trust the majority of the reviewers. My advise is to look at what people say when they rate it 3 stars – a fake review would never give it 3 stars, and the buyer moderately enjoyed it. Also check out the 1 star reviews to see what problems there might be with the product. If you still want it, by all means, you do you!

However, I’ve never NEVER bought a product that had a lot of 5 star and a lot of 1 star reviews that I’ve liked. They are always terrible. Watch out for those.

It’s more and more important to be a discriminating consumer, as our anonymous online personas could be anyone, and when money is involved, may have different motivations than you. Be careful on the internets! Love ya! MWAH!

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