If you buy products online chances are you use the rating and reviews to determine if a product is good or not.  After all you can’t physically see something you buy online prior to your purchase.

Manufactures know this too and it’s resulting in an epidemic of FAKE reviews.

How many fake reviews are there?

According to FakeSpot the numbers are very high.    Two examples include major retailers WalMart.Com and Amazon.Com.   Walmart has 52% fake reviews while Amazon is at about 30%.  (That’s 1 in 2 fake for Walmart and about 1 in 3 for Amazon).

How do I avoid fake reviews?  How can I tell what’s legit?

There are several things that can tip you off to fake reviews.  The first is to see if there is a sudden posting of either 1- or 5-star reviews in large quantities.  (Vendors will post 5 star reviews for their product and sometimes try to sabotage a competitor by posting a lot of 1 star reviews).

Another step is when you read reviews see if they are written correctly and actually seem to match the product.  Many times, “bots” (online software capable of quickly posting multiple reviews – usually in the 100’s or more) will post and they don’t always write correctly.

The third is to use a site like FakeSpot.Com.  You can post the reviews link and get a grade, from A to F, on the authenticity of the review.

Is there any regulation on fake reviews?

For many years the answer from both companies and the government has been “we are working on it”.  Recently, however, the FTC filed a suit related to fake reviews on a weightless supplement.  It was settled out of court but does show they are taking notice.

A lot of retailer sites are starting to require proof of purchase to review.  This is also helping.

Sellers want to get this under control because accurate reviews are important to their business.  Manufactures want you to buy their product.  This tug-of-war is just in its beginning.

William (Bill) Sikkens has been a technology expert for KXL on the Morning Show with Steve and Rebecca since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  

Links and brand/store information provided are for information only and are not endorsed by Alpha Media, KXL or William Sikkens.

Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw