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(C|Net)   How to spot fake Amazon reviews. Bonus: Author's name is Dong, methinks I should be looking for fake cnet articles instead   ( howto.cnet.com) divider line
    More: PSA, Amazon, shopping online, dong, Cyber Monday, real-life experiences  
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6733 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Nov 2012 at 8:48 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-11-27 01:27:40 PM  
1 vote:

ZeroCorpse: What can I say about this one? It's idiotic. Of course I offer information about features! Of course I extol the virtues of a product I particularly like! Of course I compare the product with its competition! Why? Because that's what people want from a consumer review!

If a review sounds like a press release, it probably is. Given what I've seen of Dongeroni's reviews, he's barely much better, and basically never seems to leave a negative review unless he had to pay for it.

/There are people who diss the Vine reviewers as being the same, but in my experience it's not at all the case, because it's Amazon basically paying you to review things, rather than the company.
2012-11-27 01:19:46 PM  
1 vote:
Reviews are helpful. I skim them looking for patterns. If I see that a number of people are complaining about the same issue with a product, I research it. Maybe it will stop me from making the purchase, maybe not. Depends how serious and widespread the problem is.

Obviously you have to keep in mind that:
1) Some positive reviews are bogus.
2) Some negative reviews are people biatching about stupid shiat.
3) People with problems are more likely to review than people without problems.
2012-11-27 11:43:20 AM  
1 vote:

ZeroCorpse: I won't go into the personal details, but I'm among the top reviewers on Amazon...

Are you getting a kick out of the replies?

Seriously, though, I think a mirror accusation might be made of you, although I strongly doubt it's deserved. The so-called "pro" reviewer is poo-pooing the unpaid reviewer to put himself on a pedestal. The unpaid reviewer, on the other hand, invokes classism to give his reviews the appearance of down-to-earth, nothing-to-gain honesty. I point this out because your points read well without having to resort to that sort of measure.

That said, 5/5, would read again.
2012-11-27 09:57:24 AM  
1 vote:
Oh, look! A professional "journalist" is being petty and trite in regards to the unpaid competition. How quaint.

I won't go into the personal details, but I'm among the top reviewers on Amazon. I put actual thought and time into my reviews, and I don't sugar-coat them, I don't slander products to bend people to my point of view, and I don't play fanboy.

I enjoy writing reviews. I take pride in most writing I do, whether it's the outrageous stuff here on FARK, or the more genuine stuff in my various other projects and hobbies.

Mr. Ngo, the guy who wrote the article-- the one they take pains to point out is a professional reviewer-- is just plain wrong. His list is almost idiotic, and it's clear he's trying to puff himself up while putting down the people who don't have his title or profession when they're stepping into his territory. Here's my take on his "ways to spot fake reviews":

Absolute singing of praises with no downsides; or a total dismissal of any good qualities
Yes, I have given absolutely perfect reviews, because my job as a consumer reviewer is to tell people how the product works for me. Some products work perfectly for my needs. Some do not. I have given 100% negative reviews, and 100% positive reviews, and there was nothing fake about them.

Reviewers' names
I do not use my real name. Many of us do not. I have several reasons for this (not the least among them is that Amazon does get its share of crazies and I don't want them knowing who I am when I insult their favorite product.) We're not paid professionals, so we don't have to sign our real name to our Amazon account. The option to be anonymous is there, and so I use it, and no, it has absolutely no bearing on the legitimacy of my reviews. In fact, I'd argue the opposite: Because Mr. Ngo has to use his real name, he tends to be less trustworthy because he knows the effect his reviews will have on his career and the amount of swag he gets from companies providing him products to review.

Review dates
I can't really explain it here (NDA) but I do get some products prior to launch. I do get the opportunity to review them. I do get encouragement to post reviews about them prior to their release because the manufacturer wants there to be some reviews-- ANY reviews-- on the product page before the product starts shipping. It doesn't happen often, but reviews that predate a product's general availability do not necessarily indicate some level of trickery. And yes, I have trashed products before they even hit the ground.

A single review per account
I can only say that Amazon is full of people who aren't big on writing. They get one product that really pleases them or really pisses them off, and they write the only review they're ever going to write. It's not uncommon, and they aren't fakes most of the time.

The tone of the review
I have to quote him this time:
The tone of the review is probably the most telling factor when assessing how real a review is. If you spot a review that reads like a press release or a commercial, offering information about features and extolling how superior the product is when compared with its competition, that review is most likely planted by the vendor.

What can I say about this one? It's idiotic. Of course I offer information about features! Of course I extol the virtues of a product I particularly like! Of course I compare the product with its competition! Why? Because that's what people want from a consumer review!

Mr. Ngo is essentially using a whole article to say "Nana nana boo boo! I'm a paid reviewer and so I'm clearly more trustworthy than those peasants." It's a petty swipe at people who do his job, sometimes better than he does, and usually for free.

Are there plants on Amazon? Oh, hell yes. Lots of them! But does Mr. Ngo's list tell you how to spot them? Nope. Not really. All he's really doing here is complaining about other kids playing in his yard. Either that, or he really is this clueless about how Amazon's review system works.
2012-11-27 09:52:18 AM  
1 vote:
meh... I tend to leave reviews of stuff that I've bought and I will tend to offer as much as I can to assist others, as I appreciate a decent review.

I will point out the positives and the negatives, but it does happen that some products are extremely good, and other very bad, and I will leave a review in accordance to my experience.

Some products I'll do a review after months of having it, some, after a few days, but may return and offer a second one after a fair amount of time, so that I can offer the perspective of a long term user.

So according to this article, I'd quality as a possible "fake"? oy...

Reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, and if you're reading them, odds are that you'll have some idea about the product and are looking for feedback that makes sense one way or another and "fakes" aren't the main concern.

The reviews I hate are those that just leave "this is crap, don't buy" but no details or the details are very sketchy.

It's no different from movie critics...
2012-11-27 08:53:20 AM  
1 vote:
Amazon reviews went full retard long ago with everyone trying (most failing) to be witty and funny.
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