(WFSB) - With the holidays right around the corner an estimated 76 percent of Americans will do their holiday shopping on Amazon.
With thousands of items to choose from at the tap of a button, many of us look to customer reviews for insights, but a lot of those supposed authentic reviews are fake.
It’s a question we all ask ourselves when we shop online, is this product something worth pulling out my credit card for.
You can go online and see tons of five-star reviews from so called verified purchasers, which means they bought and took delivery of a product and did not receive any sort of gift or discount.
But in some cases, they work around that rule and we will teach you how to identify the fakes.
Whether its avoiding the crowds at the mall, or just having thousands of items to choose from with a click, most of us will shop online this holiday season especially on Amazon.
Many of us will look to the number of stars in the product rating to make our decision.
“I always check the reviews and if there is a 4 star more than 4 stars, then I’ll buy it,” said Reshma Rasheed.
Tons of 5-star reviews are great, but are they real?
The website Fakespot is dedicated to helping consumers identify questionable online reviews.
Shoppers can copy and paste the product page’s link into a search bar on the Fakespot homepage and receive a grade on the overall reliability of the review.
Fakespot uses algorithms to analyze the reviews comparing the language used to those in known fake reviews and a review writer’s history on Amazon.
Here are some things you can look for to spot fake reviews:
If the item has bad reviews everywhere else but on Amazon, that’s suspicious.
If the reviewer has a history of loving the company.
If the reviewers profile has a history of five-star reviews all for products made by the same company, the writer might not be objective.
If there are a lot of positive reviews in a very short amount of time. It could be a sign the seller has recruited reviewers to hype the product.
So how do the sellers get away with it?
Some go to private Facebook groups dedicated to hooking up sellers with review writers.
Since a verified purchaser must pay for and take delivery of the product the way around is reimbursing the customer for their purchase or giving them additional free items if they write a positive review.
Bottom line buyer beware and if the review is overly glorifying, it could be a fake.
“Like way over the top, sometimes you say like where did that come from if they say it is the most fabulous, wonderful greatest thing they’ve ever purchased in their whole life, exactly like those are really keys that kind of throw up my warning sign,” said Linda Kauffman.
Other things to look for is if the review is five-star but sounds like it is describing another product.
Take the time to read the entire review carefully.
Channel 3 reached out to Amazon for comment but has not yet received a response.