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Despite Banning Paid Reviews, Amazon Still Has a Ton of Them

Amazon doesn’t want reviewers getting paid to say nice things about products. Despite a new policy against paid reviews, they’re still thriving by using outside groups to organize.

A report from the Washington Post took a deep dive into suspicious reviews. The kind where multiple people are using such similar language that it seems cut from a script. While paid reviews—where companies send a product to a user for free and pay them money to review it—are against Amazon’s policies, it’s not always easy to tell the difference. Especially now that paid reviewer companies are moving their organizations off-site.

The report found that Facebook groups like Amazon Review Club and Amazon Reviewers Group feature sellers attempting to court product reviewers. They’ll be instructed in the Facebook group to leave a glowing review in exchange for money, but there will be no evidence on Amazon’s site that the review was paid for.

Some product categories are more susceptible to undisclosed paid reviews than others. Bluetooth speakers and headphones in particular had an unusually high number of suspicious reviews. When adjusting to exclude these reviews, those products tended to have a lower rating than they appeared. If you’re concerned about possibly fake ratings, review aggregator ReviewMeta can sometimes be used to filter out the chaff, but keep in mind that it’s not guaranteed to filter out paid reviews and leave legit ones 100% of the time.

Source: The Washington Post

Eric Ravenscraft Eric Ravenscraft
Eric Ravenscraft has nearly a decade of writing experience in the technology industry. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, PCMag, The Daily Beast, Geek and Sundry, and The Inventory. Read Full Bio »