How to Spot a Fake Review on Amazon

If you use reviews on to make purchasing decisions, be aware that not all reviews are UNBIASED. Friends, relatives, and paid reviewers may leave glowing 5-star reviews, while enemies and rivals may hope to damage the item’s reputation with 1-star “put-down” reviews—all without revealing their personal association, bias, or financial incentive. How can you tell if a review has a hidden agenda? 

Step 1

Spotting a Fake Review

Consider the length and tone of the review. If the review is very short, it may be a fake. If the writer just wants to affect the overall score, their main intent may be to vote via the “star” rating, and to boost or lower it. But because one must write a review as well, the review itself may be very short — 4 or 5 lines at most. If the review is vague and doesn’t have details about the product itself, it may not be genuine. It uses generalities that could apply to many different products.

Check if the review uses emotional language. An objective review will usually summarize and critique the content or features of the product. A review with an agenda sidesteps this process.

If the review was written for a friend, the product may be merely described as wonderful, great for everybody, amazing, etc., and the reviewer may say that they’re planning to purchase one for everyone they know.

If the review is by an enemy or rival, on the other hand, the item may be called fake or a waste of time and money. The reviewer may recommend an alternative product (Their own) that “has more credibility” or “has been proven to work.”

See whether the reviewer has written other reviews. If the person doesn’t regularly write reviews, it may not be genuine. By clicking the reviewer’s name, you can discover whether the reviewer is active and legit. However, check what type of products they have reviewed and if there is any correlation between the products. If they’ve only written a few other short, gushing, vague reviews (for friends), or hit piece reviews (against rivals) they are not reputable source.

Beware if the person has submitted a lot of reviews in a short period. If a reviewer is being paid to write reviews, they may have written a large number of short, 5-star reviews within a short space of time. Click the name of the reviewer to see what else they’ve been reviewing, and to look for similarities within the reviews. It is becoming a big trend to create an account on Amazon, just to leave a bad review against a competitor, as shown above.

Be sceptical if the review admits bias. For example, if the reviewer states that a particular company is better than the product they are reviewing. The reviewer means to either raise or lower the star-ratings without submitting a substantive review. Sometimes a low-star review will talk about a list of ingredients, along with misleading information without any indication that they have ever tried that specific product.

Determine if the item was a “Verified Purchase.” When evaluating a review, you may also want to know if the person bought the item directly from Amazon; if they did, there will be an orange “verified purchase” notation under the reviewer’s name and date. This will indicate that the reviewer has actually bought and received the product. Underneath the review you will see “135 people found this helpful,” this is also a good indication to the authenticity of the review, as a large amount of people have agreed with their review.

Watch out for an influx of similar reviews within a short period of time. The example above shows that this company had received multiple reviews on the same day, all of which have experienced the exact same positive payoff from this product. However, this product had not even been available for 7 days at this point. It is impossible to truly determine whether a review is fake or not. There are many ways to acquire a fake review; whether it’s a bribe for a free item, getting a family member or a friend to purchase the item or simply leave a review without purchasing the product. All of which will affect the overall rating of the product.

Step 2

Considering and Reacting to the Reviews

Disregard the highest and lowest ratings. See what people in the middle say for a more accurate assessment product.

One-star reviews should always be suspect. For example, a competitor will only give a one-star rating to a rival brand as this will have the most adverse effects towards the listing of the product.   

Read as many reviews as possible and apply critical thinking. Does the review sound like something a doting mother would say? Does it sound like something one’s high-school enemy would say?

When reading a review, don’t judge it based on whether you share the writer’s opinions of the product; consider instead if the review is thoughtful, fair, and well-written. Even people who disagree with you may have valid points that warrant a “helpful” click.

Leave feedback to help others who are reading reviews. If you decide that a review is helpful and objective, underneath the review you will see a button that reads “Helpful.” If you found this review helpful, click the button. This will help raise the review’s credibility. If you decide that the review isn’t objective or may have a hidden agenda, click “Report abuse.”

Step 3

Knowing where your item is coming from

Do you know where your CBD oil is coming from? It is imperative, that the consumer knows exactly where the product they are going to purchase comes from – As there are lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to CBD oil. There has been an influx of sellers appearing on Amazon with a variety of different brands of CBD oil all being made in China and varying from 250mg to 10000mg (Which potentially could just be hemp seed oil? with minute traces of CBD present). None of which will give you access to up to date lab results and therefore we can only assume they are not tested, meaning it is impossible to determine if there is any active CBD in the product at all.

First find and click onto the listing you would like to examine – 

Once the listing has been opened, you can see who sells the item and whether it is dispatched by the seller or FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) – 

From this point we can see where the business is registered, what other products they have available in their storefront and their overall rating – 

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