Don’t Believe Reviews When Shopping Online, Many Are Fake

Don’t Believe Reviews When Shopping Online, Many Are Fake

Tech and Auto

Cameraperson: Sumit Badola
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia

Most online shoppers on platforms like Amazon or Flipkart keep an eye out for customer reviews before making their final buying decisions. But nowadays, believing what’s written online without taking it with a pinch of salt, is clumsy.

Fake customers reviews have been festering on online shopping platforms for a while now with thousands of people posting unauthentic reviews of products in exchange for cash or a freebie.

This has developed into an industry with thousands of people volunteering to spare 10-15 minutes out of their ‘busy schedule’ and write reviews for sellers in exchange for rewards.

Because of cut-throat competition in the online space, sellers on these shopping platforms sometimes resort to unfair means to make their products stand out among the rest.

Basically, by posting fake reviews.

The algorithm on these shopping platforms pushes products which have more positive reviews and 5-star ratings to the top of the pile giving it an added advantage over other product sellers.

It’s gotten so vile that some of the sellers are making people write bad reviews about their competitors to tarnish the product’s identity and automatically send it tumbling down the list.

The above video shows a list of sellers and a network which has been engaging in posting fake reviews online. The sellers get in touch with people who have purchased their product and often lure them to post 80-100 word reviews of the product in return for a full refund or some extra cash.

Most sellers direct users to put pictures of the product along with the review and then send a screenshot of the review back to the seller. Whether they get a reward or not is purely based on the discretion of the seller.

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Shopping platforms like Amazon and Flipkart have deployed measures to tackle fake reviews on their platforms. However, due to the sheer size of the user base, it’s difficult to weed out all the negative elements on the platform.

Flipkart adopts both systemic and manual approaches to identify counterfeit reviews and ratings on the platform. We have taken stringent measures to identify and eliminate cases of fake product reviews and ratings. If found guilty of such fraudulent engagement, we blacklist accounts of users posting fake reviews, mark their reviews as spam and penalise sellers for engaging in deceitful reviews if found guilty of doing so.
Flipkart
We estimate more than 90 percent of inauthentic reviews are computer generated, and we use machine learning technology to analyse all incoming and existing reviews 24/7 and block or remove inauthentic reviews. We do not incentivise positive star ratings, attempt to influence the content of reviews, or even require a review to be written.
Amazon.in

You can always head to websites like Fakespot.com and even MetaReview where you can paste the URL of the products and then check the authenticity of the reviews. Most of the reviews are graded between A and F. Stay away from anything below a C.

You can also look for the “Authentic Purchase” tag on the product which usually means a green flag to buy.

We understand the lure of attractive discounts and cashbacks but before making the final purchase always do a thorough check on the product and read about it on multiple platforms. In the end, it’s your hard-earned money.

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