Amazon littered with fake five-star reviews from unverified buyers, says report

By: | Updated: April 16, 2019 8:52 PM

Search results for known technology products on Amazon are dominated by 'unknown brands' along with thousands of positive, unverified reviews.

Fake reviews meant that there was a lack of evidence that people (who reviewed products) had bought them from Amazon or another website. (Source: Reuters)

Users’ trust on ratings given to products sold on Amazon might take a hit as hundreds of technology products sold by ‘unknown’ brands on the world’s largest online retailer website have been given potentially fake five-star reviews. Moreover, most of such reviews are from unverified buyers, said a study by the UK-based consumer group Which?

Fake reviews meant that there was a lack of evidence that people (who reviewed products) had bought them from Amazon or another website.

Search results for known technology products are dominated by ‘unknown brands’ along with thousands of positive, unverified reviews. In fact, hundreds of five-star ratings on such products are received within 24 hours, said the report seen by Financial Express Online.

Which? searched through 14 different technology products including smartwatches, wearables, cameras, headphones that were found to be heavily targeted by potentially fake reviews. Headphones had received the highest such reviews.

The first page of ‘headphone’ in search results, based on the best reviews first, showed that 100 per cent of the products were being sold by brands that Which?’s tech experts had never heard of.

Also, 71 per cent of the products on the first page had five-star reviews even as 87 per cent of reviews across products were not confirmed whether they were bought from Amazon.

Amazon in its response to fighting fake reviews on the website said that it invests ‘significant’ resources to ensure that reviews are honest as customers value the insights given by other shoppers.

“Even one inauthentic review is one too many. 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,” Which? quoted Amazon as saying.

97% of online buyers look at online reviews before buying a product, as per research conducted by Which? in September 2018. Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority suggests that $30 billion of the U.K.’s consumer spending is influenced by such reviews online annually.

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