Bryan Hoelzer & Kathryn Hoelzer Team Hoelzer
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HOW TO WEED OUT FAKE ONLINE REVIEWS AND MAKE INFORMED BUYING DECISIONS



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You know that old saying, “Don't believe everything you see on the internet?”

Turns out that applies to online reviews too. The Better Business Bureau wants to make sure you're on the lookout for fake reviews when you're browsing big shopping sites like Amazon.








  BBB: The Sign of a Better Business | Better Business Bureau®
  BBB helps consumers and businesses in the United States and Canada. Find trusted BBB Accredited Businesses. Get BBB Accredited. File a complaint, leave a review, report a scam.










HOW TO SPOT FAKE REVIEWS

  • LOOK OUT FOR GENERIC REVIEWER PROFILES
    If a reviewer has a very common or generic name, such as John Smith or Jane Doe, you’ve spotted a red flag. Fake reviewers usually post under fake names, sometimes even just a series of letters and numbers, and rarely do they have a profile picture.

  • READ REVIEWS BY CUSTOMERS WITH VERIFIED PURCHASES 
    Many e-commerce sites add a badge or otherwise indicate if a purchase is verified, meaning the reviewer bought the product on the same site where they wrote the review. Reviews of non-verified purchases are much more likely to be fake.

  • EXAMINE THE QUALITY OF PRODUCT REVIEWS
    A good review will briefly explain why or why not the product in question was a good purchase. If you notice a product has several five-star or one-star reviews with just a word or two in the written portion of the review, you may be looking at fake reviews. This is especially true if you notice multiple, similar reviews posted during a short window of time.

  • BE WARY OF SCENE-SETTING
    A study by Cornell University found that truthful reviewers usually include concrete words relating to the product or service they purchased, whereas fake reviewers like to set the scene. They may talk about how “their husband” visited a specific hotel for a “vacation” or “business trip” instead of focusing on the actual hotel experience. This is another fake review red flag.

  • CHECK THE GRAMMAR AND SPELLING
    Sometimes sellers outsource their fake reviews to content farms, where people who are not native English speakers write reviews. The result is fake reviews with misspellings and poor grammar. If you read a review out loud and it doesn’t sound natural, it could be a fake.

  • FIND OUT IF THE REVIEWER RECEIVED A FREE PRODUCT 
    Some e-commerce platforms have programs that pre-release products to customers in exchange for their honest reviews. One example is Amazon Vine. This kind of program is usually legitimate and can be helpful, but if you notice almost every review of a product comes from someone who received a free product, think twice. It’s also good to take a look at the reviews overall. If the only satisfied customer was the one who received a free product, it might not be worth buying.

  • LOOK AT THE QUANTITY IF REVIEWS
    Business Insider warns that if a product only has a few reviews, especially in comparison to similar products, it’s likely the product is less than reliable.

  • TRY A TOOL FOR SPOTTING FAKE REVIEWS 
    There are third-party tools available to help you weed out fake reviews. Some provide a letter grade based on how many fake reviews were spotted, while others eliminate fake reviews to provide consumers with an adjusted star rating. These tools aren’t infallible, though, so instead of expecting a black-and-white answer, use them to assist you in making a purchasing decision.

  • REPORT FAKE REVIEWS
    Most platforms allow you to report abuse if you notice a fake review. Doing so can help the platform eliminate fake reviews faster, and it can protect your fellow consumers.




Keep these tips in mind next time you're shopping online, and you'll be able to spot those fake reviews like a pro. Happy shopping!













For more, visit BBB.org







  





















     
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Bryan Hoelzer & Kathryn Hoelzer Team Hoelzer 
513-839-5595 | 513-839-5003
bryan.hoelzer@cbws.com

         



       


                   

   



 
Bryan Hoelzer & Kathryn Hoelzer Team Hoelzer 
513-839-5595 | 513-839-5003
bryan.hoelzer@cbws.com




   



   



 
Bryan Hoelzer & Kathryn Hoelzer Team Hoelzer 
513-839-5595 | 513-839-5003
bryan.hoelzer@cbws.com