Amazon's Latest Round of Fake Reviews

I bought a screen protector for my new phone from Amazon. The seller I chose had perfect 5 star review - I should have known there was something :fish: +y about that. I didn’t pay attention to who wrote the reviews and I also didn’t pay attention to the fact none of them were verified reviews.

What I got back was total crap!

It’s been a few weeks so I went back and looked at what I bought and sure enough, many people were fooled like me. There were hoards of 1 :star: reviews. One of the reviewers said exactly what I said, she didn’t pay attention until she got the merchandise.

All the 5-star reviews were written by the same username. It looks as though the same three usernames wrote hundreds of reviews on themselves. Can you imagine writing all those reviews, the time wasted? Didn’t they realize real customer will eventually come along and negate them?

All the Verified Purchases had 1 :star: reviews and the unverified purchases had 5 star reviews.

The unverified were done by a generic name like “Amazon Customer.” One guy even used same name over and over again to write “OMG - fantastic!”

Well, I guess Amazon has more :derelict_house: cleaning to do.

3 Likes

One of my first long-term gigs was for an Amazon seller in the phone accessories niche. I had many days to day tasks (which we called marketing and PR - and I was the man behind the entire :fish:-y strategy) including:

  1. I have created a Facebook group, which was called Amazon Reviewers. At its peak, this group had more than 1500 active members. What we did was super-simple, post a product, give a coupon code (which always left the customers with spare $1-2) it was a total bribe. We never got a negative review and around 300 positive reviews for a cheaper price than buying on F or any other place. We also cooperated with a larger group which asked for small donations of $50 to their PayPal, which brought us around 150 reviews for an iPhone case.

  2. In each of the shipped orders, there was a card, which stated if you would do a video review of the product you would get the full amount refunded to your PayPal account. I stopped using this card, as it was against the ToS of Amazon, and there were many shares on Reddit regarding the same card, we created negative publicity.

  3. Paying off YouTubers for $250-800 for a positive review, and yes, many famous channels did a positive review for our products. The smaller channels (up to 20K subs) asked for $50 or even did it for free.

Of course, this doesn’t work anymore as Amazon banned a lot of the reviewers from the groups that we had. However, that was one of the ways that we got great reviews, and sales at the same time.

Once we got bombarded with fake negative reviews, which I found a pattern to, and Amazon deleted them. The company gave me a great bonus - a Playstation 4 as a gift because I have done this. The always offered my gifts, bumps in salary, but I was super-humble as I didn’t realize what I have done for them. I was actually their most important employee. But yeah, I was just 17 at the time.

The quality of the screen protectors on Amazon is the same one as on Alibaba, eBay, Aliexpress, and similar websites. It’s just that sellers on Amazon, add their logo, a better package and resell the products. In many cases, the quality for Amazon is slightly better than on eBay though.

My bet for buying screen protectors and cases for my phone is always buying the official ones from big box technology retailers. Indeed, they cost a small fortune, but it’s totally worth it IMO.

EDIT:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOj-tRTbFfY - This video explains this “fake” review chain which you explained better.

EDIT 2:

I started my F career with Amazon reviews, back in the days when it was not against the ToS. It was a great business. That was the most popular way to get fake Amazon reviews back in 2014/2013.

2 Likes

I hope they don’t do it the way they usually do it, by removing perfectly legitimate ones.

1 Like

Well, the ones I’m talking about are so obvious it’s bordering on stupidity. The guy used same username like 12x’s in a row posting 5 stars and then another username for next few and so on. None of them were verified purchase.

If Amazon cleaned up the unverified 5 stars then it shouldn’t be too hard to do. The verified 5 stars are different, those are the ones the client posts from their order page.

Yup. That’s what I am going to do.

Some of these folks spent hours posting hundreds of fake reviews. On Amazon, I see 4 star reviews as being a good product because people are fickle and there is no way for any merchant to get a 5 star reviews from hundreds or thousands.

I reported one guy because he was beyond stupid on how he posted. I haven’t checked to see if his account or reviews are still there. I’ll have to check later.

2 Likes

It also explains pretty accurately how Fiverr works. :slight_smile:

I actually have more success on Amazon than I do eBay. Usually, I find a product I like and buy versions which are reduced because they have already been returned to vendors by Amazon customers. There is never anything wrong with what I eventually take delivery of.

That said, I do only ever buy from UK vendors with verifiable credentials.

2 Likes