Fake review for Rs 1,200 each: How sellers on Amazon, others dupe customers

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Updated: Dec 24, 2019 6:09 PM

While buying things online, many of us rely on customer reviews to understand the utility and performance of a product. But, many sellers are buying fake reviews to influence purchasing patterns.

amazon, jeff bezos, e-commerceThe reviews can also be tailor-made as per the platform’s choice and the comments can be changed at the behest of e-commerce platform. (Reuters)

While buying things online, many of us rely on customer reviews to understand the utility and performance of a product. However, certain sellers on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon buy fake reviews for around Rs 1,200 each (15 euro), the Daily Mail reported. “The glowing appraisals are sold for 13 euros a time by rogue marketing firms,” the report said, adding that these companies charge 15 euros for a review but charge less when bought in a package. The reviews can also be tailor-made as per the platform’s choice and the comments can be changed at the behest of e-commerce platform, an employee of a German review company called AMZTigers told Daily Mail. 

How do fake reviews work?

Review companies deploy an army of testers who then post four- and five-star reviews on e-tailer platforms. These testers have to buy the product to get ‘Verified Buyer’ tab on their accounts and the review companies reimburse them for the cost of the product and also pay small fees in return of a review. ‘We help you get verified reviews from real people. Our more than 60,000 product testers throughout Europe specialise in writing reviews quickly and reliably,” the website of AMZTigers says. The review company also says that five-star ratings are sparsely used as it attracts suspicion. For 500 five star reviews, AMZTigers charges Rs 3,94,620 or 5,000 euros. 

While Amazon has been cracking down on fake reviews and have deleted some of them, the fake reviews won’t stop until Amazon stops its practice of ranking products. “As long as Amazon ranks the product this business will exist and the issue will always be there. Amazon needs to do more. They need to tweak their algorithm to catch fake reviewers better and penalise them,” David Li, a tech industry expert said, Daily Mail reported. Meanwhile, Amazon is also battling with the issue of fake products which resulted in footwear giant Nike cancelling its deal with the platform. The company is now pulling down its products from e-tailer’s platform. 

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