Everyone is ready for the holiday shopping season to officially begin. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday will kick-off the 2017 shopping extravaganza. Many of you will prepare by compiling a list of gifts and hitting the internet to do some pre-shopping research.
This research can save a lot of time and money. Cross-referencing prices and features, not to mention reading all those customer reviews — making sure other consumers have had a good experience with a product before you spend tens or even hundreds of dollars.
Before taking all those customer reviews at face value, remember there are dozens of companies that pay individuals to write reviews. These reviews are not always positive, and some companies pay for good reviews on their products and bad reviews for their competitors.
There is no perfect way to spot a fake review, but some tactics can help. Look for companies that give a “verified purchaser” status. These reviews have usually been cross-referenced with actual orders received by the company. A verified purchaser review is likely a real opinion about the product.
Also, be on the look-out for multiple reviews on one product, by the same person, or reviews made close in time. The chance of one product getting reviewed 4-5 times in a 30-minute period is not great.
If you are not excited about trusting the opinions of strangers, maybe take your questions to social media. If you can avoid ruining any surprises, there is a good chance you have a friend that has tried the exact product you are looking to purchase.
In the end, there is no way to sort out all the fake reviews, but we can try.