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Wed Apr 8 2015 21:37:59

Amazon Sues over Alleged Sale of Fake Product Reviews

By: Ina Steiner

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We've written about people who have sold shill bidding services to eBay sellers who wish to drive up the price of their auction listings, and about people who have sold watchers and views as a way to game eBay's Best Match search algorithm.

So it's not surprising that people are selling false product reviews to Amazon sellers. What may come as a surprise is that Amazon has taken action.

Geekwire said Amazon filed a lawsuit against a man who they say sold a unique service: offering Amazon sellers "the ability to purchase fake 4- and 5-star customer reviews of their products."

We'll take a closer look at the lawsuit, but in the meantime - what do you think of services that claim, "never has it been easier to get multiple 4 and 5 star reviews on your product page"?



Comments (10) | Permalink

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 9 01:55:16 2015

I thought you had to have actually PURCHASED the item to leave a review?  

I know I get badgered to leave a review--and you have to have a minimum number of words/letters TO leave one--and then you leave yourself open forever to getting QUESTIONS from people who are LOOKING at the item YOU bought--I get questions allll the time on car parts--In some cases I do answer (If I know the answer!)  as it is then a "Real person"  who has actually USED the part vs a seller who might tell you the part is wonderful for your car when it really is not.

But---How is AMAZON allowing NON-PURCHASERS to EVER leave reviews?  THAT seems to be a glitch in their oh so perfect system---

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by: MADandCracked This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 9 08:04:01 2015

Comet ... Sometimes people buy the item outside of Amazon and will leave a review, but I have to agree with you.

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This user has validated their user name. by: SalesBoy

Thu Apr 9 08:09:55 2015

@comet

That's not a problem because, as you'll see when perusing reviews on Amazon, there are a good percentage which are not identified with "Verified Purchase" in orange text.

I have often been one of those non-verified myself after having bought the same item from another retailer like Home Depot, etc.  The only visible difference is that the words "Verified Purchase" are absent if the review is written by a non-Amazon buyer.

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by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 9 08:29:00 2015

@comet:

> But---How is AMAZON allowing NON-PURCHASERS to EVER leave
> reviews? THAT seems to be a glitch in their oh so perfect system---

One of my favorite comments for ingenious plans like that: ''What could POSSIBLY go wrong?'' :-)

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by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Apr 9 09:23:15 2015

>>---How is AMAZON allowing NON-PURCHASERS to EVER leave reviews?  THAT seems to be a glitch in their oh so perfect system--- <<

Folks, there is a big difference between Product reviews and Seller Feedback. To get feedback, yes the seller has to sell something and the buyer leaves feedback on how the seller handled the order. To write a review anyone can no matter where they bought or got the item. One of the reasons, I think, that I got tapped for the Amazon Vine Product review program is that I left reviews on many items that I had purchased or books given as a gift.

I see the mix up quite often when looking at products. I see reviews where someone leaves the seller a 1 star and complains that they were slow shipping or whatever and then a feedback for the seller saying that the product was terrific. I’ve had actual feedback left for me that was a book report on the book I sold them rather than a nice comment on how fast I shipped and if the book’s condition was as stated. Feedback is for the seller and a review is anyone's comment on the item itself. And they are left in two different places!  In this case it is the reviews that people are faking which is easy to do. Even on the Vine program a few people cheat and you can tell who there are. In one incident a lot of us got a product that we weren't told ahead of time was a prototype and we all condemned it since most of us couldn't unpack it without the box falling apart. Yet there were a few that commented about how wonderful the item was and what high quality! To make matters worse the manufacturer’s PR person left those of us that panned the product comments telling us about the item being a prototype and that we were supposed to leave a review as if it were the actual product which of course couldn't be done. How can you guess how good something would be?

Anyhow I hope it is clear as to where the problem is here and why Amazon would be unhappy.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 9 12:04:45 2015

One reason I do not shop on amazon anymore. The constant driving me crazy with questions, of items I purchased. Became a hassle.

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by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 9 16:43:08 2015

first customers are blackmailing sellers for partial refunds or they will leave negative feedback, now this.  It was bound to happen.  Any way, any how, if someone dreams up a scam, they'll try to sell it!  Scammers ran me out of business!

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by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 9 21:46:02 2015

This is dishonest behavior but a crime?  A review is an opinion not a product claim.

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 10 14:17:45 2015

Well it's a breach of good faith on the part of the Amazon seller who uses the service.

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by: Santini This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 12 01:36:07 2015

Easy for them to sue someone in the US, but what about a review seller based in say, China or Russia?



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