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How to Identify a Fake Product Review?

An average online shopper always thought that they could trust the online product reviews and such product reviews certainly helped them to make their purchase decision. This would ultimately increase the mutual trust between the retailers and their customers.

But the ongoing ‘Fake Product Review’ crisis has really scared the online shoppers globally.   Most of them are quite confused as to how to identify a genuine and a fake product review. Before going further let us recall, what is a genuine product review and fake product review.

Product review: A consumer review of a product usually comments on how well the product measures up to expectations based on the specifications provided by the manufacturer or seller. It talks about performance, reliability, quality, defects, if any, and value for money. A genuine Product Review is written by the consumer who has purchased a similar product and the review should realistically represent the product’s characteristics, both positive and negative.

Product Rating on the other hand represents the customer’s opinion on a specified scale. A popular rating scheme in online shops is the star-rating, where more stars indicate better ratings.

Fake Product Review is where the manufacturers pay writers/ freelancers to write fake reviews to make their product look good or a rival’s product look bad to the customers.

How to identify? If you have really understood the above facts, then here are some methods by which you will be able to identify whether a product review is a genuine or fake.

Review Length: Paid reviews are usually four to five lines long simply because the reviewer doesn’t have much information to share as he/she didn’t test the product. Also, usually they aren’t too short, as the manufacturer paying for the fake review requires a good description from the reviewer. It is also seen people asking for fake reviews on freelance sites, and they mostly write in the description that they need reviews four to five lines long.

Review Tone: Fake reviews usually consist of vague words to describe a product whether they are really good/ very good/ excellent or just average or bad etc.

Review from a ‘Verified Customer’: In fact consumer product reviews should be accepted from a customer, who has purchased a similar product from the same online retailer. And each such product reviews should be attested by the online retailer as, ‘Verified Customer’.  Some good online retail sites show a “Verified Purchase Review” button below the reviewer’s name meaning they actually bought the product from them. So look for that button.

About the Reviewer:  Sometimes if you click on the name of a reviewer, you may be able to see their profile along with their recent reviews. If they frequently write negative or positive reviews with the same tone, then it is most likely that such reviews are fake. And if they had reviewed more products in a short period – like two to three products per day – then they could be a paid product reviewer for writing fake product reviews.

Check Product Rating: Fake reviewers mostly give a five-star or one-star rating of the product. This isn’t a good way to detect a fake review, but combined with other factors in this list it creates a good base.

Bottom Line

All these above factors alone may not be able to prove whether a product review is genuine or fake, but by and large with a careful reading, you will be able to make out whether it is a genuine or a fake product review. Lastly, if you are still confused, you take the opinion of your friends.

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