Hundreds of tech products from ‘unknown’ brands for sale on Amazon are ‘littered’ with fake reviews, according to consumer group Which?
Popular accessories such as smartwatches or headphones, largely made by unknown brands, had been given top reviews, the consumer group found. Many of these reviews were from unverified purchasers, showing all the ‘telltale’ signs of fake reviews, Which? said.
Searching for 14 different technology products, Which? found that headphones were the worst offender in regards to fake reviews. In the space of a couple of hours, researchers uncovered more than 10,000 reviews from unverified purchasers on just 24 pairs of headphones.
On a number of occasions, Which? found that hundreds of unverified reviews were given to products listed on the same day, or within a short space of time. One such product, a set of headphones from a brand named ‘Celebrat’ had 439 five-star reviews which arrived on the same day.
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Which? said that lesser-known brands may be relying on ‘fake’ or incentivised reviews to stand out to customers. Amazon told the consumer group that there are strict guidelines for both selling partners and reviewers on the platform.
“Amazon invests significant resources to protect the integrity of reviews in our store because we know customers value the insights and experiences shared by fellow shoppers. Even one inauthentic review is one too many,” a spokesperson told Which?
“We have clear participation guidelines for both reviewers and selling partners and we suspend, ban, and take legal action on those who violate our policies.”
Look out for Fake Reviews
- Take ‘extra care’ when shopping for brands you don’t know
- Look for repetition in reviews, such as usernames or ‘copy and paste’ style comments
- Always check the dates to see when reviews were posted. Fake reviews are often posted within a short space of time
- Filter reviews so that only verified ones appear. Reviews marked as verified are those that Amazon can confirm were purchased via its website
- Always check seller profiles before purchasing. Seller information will show ratings, as well as a business address and comments from customers.