Feb 16, 2021 04:00 AM EST
Can Amazon reviews be trusted? It seems they cannot be now.
According to a new report, fake reviews for products being sold on Amazon's Marketplace are for sale online.
One can even buy them in bulk if they want the products they are selling to have tons of good reviews. It makes one wonder whether they can ever trust a review in Amazon ever again.
This dicovery is made by Which UK, a consumer group out to protect the interests of the market.
Which UK was able to find around 10 such websites selling fake reviews to be placed on Amazon. The costs can go as low as £5 (around $7) each to giving fee products in exchange for positive reviews.
The group added that Amazon must be presently facing an "uphill struggle" against a "widespread fake reviews industry".
Amazon is not taking this sitting down though.
A spokesperson said that the company is surely acting the issue. "We remove fake reviews and take action against anyone involved in abuse," she spokespersons said.
The "packages" of fake reviews available for sellers to buy for about £15 ($20.90 USD) individually, as well as bulk packages starting at £620 ($863.73 USD) for a total of 50 reviews. For retailers wanting as many as 1000 positive reviews on their products, they are given the chance to avail of that many for around going up to £8,000 or $11144.84 USD.
Which UK also allegedly found that five of these 10 companies are working with 702,000 "product reviewers."
For their creative, positive reviews, they get small payments up to more than £10 or $13.93 USD in return.
They can also get free or discounted products. They can even partake in "loyalty schemes" and earn themselves some premium goods of their desire, The sky's seems to be the limit on what can earn, from children's toys to exercise equipment
It appears not an easy problem though. Back in September 2020, Amazon already removed 20,000 reviews from its website. At the time, a a Financial Times investigation found UK reviewers may have been compensated to leave glowing comments and recommendations. But the problem persists up until today.
The difficulty is compounded by the fact that the COVID-19 removed many people from their employment, which had them turning to odd jobs, including writing fake reviews.
Valeria (not her true name) revealed she started writing fake reviews during the lockdown, as reported by the Business Insider.
"I bought a blackhead remover and the package it came in contained a card saying 'Do you want to receive a gift? Scan this code,'" she said. "I did that and was redirected to a website that said if I wrote a five-star rating on Amazon I would get my money back. I did it and was amazed when they transferred the money to my PayPal account," she further explained.
Naturally, for online consumers who rely on reviews to make their purchasing decisions, these fraudulent reviews can mislead users and create a fake surge in demand for the products reviewed.
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