Customer reviews are a wonderful option for assessing products and making sure they’re exactly what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, many customer reviews aren’t written by actual buyers. They’re either created by a marketing team or the competition.
A study has shown at yelp that over 16% of reviews are being filtered and the estimations that over 28% are fake.
Telling whether customer reviews are fake or authentic isn’t that difficult. There are several great options you can rely on in 2017.
Always Read the Review Carefully
The tone of the review and the information it contains can tell you a lot. Most fake reviews tend to have a certain tone and voice – either upbeat or excessively critical. People who have actually used a product will include a lot of specific information in their testimonial. They’ll focus on both the positive and negative (unless they’ve been truly disappointed).
Going through the review carefully and finding similar claims in more than one testimonial can help you rest assured that you’ve come across an authentic account. This is your absolute first line of defense when searching for online information.
Assess the Overall Way in Which People Rate the Product
If most reviewers aren’t particularly thrilled about a product and you come across a couple of perfectly positive reviews, chances are that these are fake.
Most online shopping and review websites give you information about the overall rating of a product. Testimonials that are much more positive or way too negative can’t be considered as reliable as the rest.
Try a Few Tools
Several tools have been developed for the purpose of product and review assessment. If you’re not 100 percent confident in the authenticity of the information that you’ve come across, such tools will come in handy.
Fakespot is one of the possibilities you can try. The website gives you a simple functionality – just paste the URL of a product on Amazon or a link to a Yelp business. Once you paste the link, you’ll get a Fakespot grade (from A to F with F being awarded to products having low quality reviews), information about the number of reviews and the main problems that are indicative of fakeness.
There’s one more similar tool you can use for the purpose. TrustIvy is a new project of a group of Ivy League graduates that ranks websites, especially when it comes to free giveaway and prize websites. Needless to say, many of those aren’t authentic. The purpose of TrustIvy is to run thorough analysis (performed by actual people rather than machines), giving the user information about authenticity. Just like the previous tool in the list, this one has a simple and functional interface everybody can rely on.
Check the Credibility of the Reviewer
Now that you’ve analyzed the content of a review, it’s time to find out more about the person who wrote it. Fortunately, such information is easy to come across.
Websites like Amazon, for example, allow you to click on the reviewer’s name. Once you do that, you’ll come across all of the products that the person reviewed.
People who have posted just one review or several reviews of products in similar categories are either just getting started or they’re being paid to write certain kinds of testimonials. Look for trends, as well. Are the reviews solely positive or solely negative? Do they include useful information or marketing buzz words? Going through the profiles of reviewers will often give you tons of data because you’ll be capable of identifying patterns.
Test by Copying a Review and Pasting it in Google
A final good suggestion involves trying the copy and paste test. While it’s not going to work all of the time, the test can be used to identify the most blatantly fake reviews.
Once you read a review that you’re not certain about, you’ll simply need to copy a chunk of the text and paste it in the Google search bar. Do you see the exact same review appearing in multiple websites? Is this review submitted by a different user every single time? If this is the case, you can be 100 percent certain that the review is fake and far from trustworthy.
Just because a review is supposedly written by an actual buyer doesn’t mean it’s going to give you authentic information. Always question the testimonials that you come across and run a few simple tests. Checking the authenticity of product reviews will often require just a few minutes. The amount of time you dedicate to research, however, can help you save a lot of money in the long run.