Fake Reviews Aren't The Only Problem

I recommend using Fakespot or ReviewMeta when you shop. These free tools tell you how trustworthy a product's reviews seem. In the end, many "5-star" products only get 1- or 2-stars if you discount the ratings from unverified buyers, new accounts, plagiarists, etc.

Nevertheless, I created this site because these tools aren't foolproof.

Sometimes real reviews are the problem, not fake ones. There are several ways that sellers can manipulate their product ratings (whether they intend to or not). 

Here are three situations that this site tries to protect shoppers from:

The 4-Star Uprating for Customer Service

When you look at a product's ratings, skip right to the 4-star reviews: It's where the truth is usually found. Companies that sell cheap, commoditized products sometimes invest more in customer service than quality control. I've found that many 1-star ratings were later edited to a 4-star rating because shoppers were happy that the seller responded to their complaints and sent a replacement product.

Old Product Pages Reused

I love the section on Amazon where customers upload their own images. You can see what a product really looks like or you may discover photos of a different product altogether. For example, I was researching a Qi wireless charger when I discovered that more than 90% of the reviews on the page were for a phone case. The seller had reused an old product listing to sell a different product.

Maybe this was an accident, maybe not. A shady seller can use this tactic to make a bad product look good. Remember: The product URL, customer images and review titles need to tell a consistent story.

Good Ratings for Off-Label Uses

A portable jump starter is great to have if your car's battery dies, but most people don't need a jump start often. That's why many jump boxes now include USB ports for charging gadgets. Subsequently, I've seen hundreds of 5-star reviews from customers who have only used their jump starter to charge a phone. 

Unfortunately, all those 5-star reviews make it hard to hear from the customers who were stranded on the road with a jump starter that wasn't able to start their vehicle. Those are the reviews that matter most.

No tool or website (including this one) can protect shoppers from every hazard or disingenuous seller. But, we can all shop more confidently when we share stories and information about shady sellers and practices. Knowledge is like a vaccine against making bad purchases.

Good luck with your shopping!

John DeFeo