Amazon sues on fake reviews

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Amazon is cracking down on fake reviews for products sold on its marketplace, according to reports.

And as part of the crackdown, Amazon is taking legal action against 3 Amazon sellers they believe have been buying fake reviews. In the past Amazon has targeted the reviewers themselves but this is believed to be the first time they have issued lawsuits on the retailers who seek such reviews.

Clearly by making public accusations, Amazon is making a moral point about reviews and how it expects them to be authentic. They have named three targets for lawsuits: Michael Abbara of California, Kurt Bauer of Pennsylvania, and a Chinese company called CCBetter Direct.

Amazon says of the action: “Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation.”

It’s a grey area. There isn’t anything wrong with a producer or retailer sending out free samples for an honest review, especially if the reviewer in question is an expert in the field. It’s quite something else if someone is paid to provide a positive review.

What do you think?

8 Responses

  1. Amazon is full of fake reviews particularly on private label products.

    Usually when you click on the reviewers name to see other reviews by them they are all gushing reviews for the seller’s other private label products.

    Videos and photographs on reviews on low value products are also a giveaway that the review is fake.

    Unfortunately there is no easy way to report a review as fake or highlight patterns of suspicious reviews apart from reporting it as ‘inappropriate’

  2. amazon have a serious problem with these reviews , i see some sellers with a item released feb 2016 and it has 200 good reviews already , when you check the reviews it always has a disclaimer saying feedback left for a honest review for a free sample , buyers are accepting free samples and are EXPECTED to leave a good review as they will be allowed more free sample products from other sellers , sellers can track what feedback you have left for other reviews and choose you for a free sample
    i understand sellers are trying to get there product at the top of best match but amazon should put a stop to this

  3. This will be stopped sooner than later. We are experimenting
    Loss leader plus ppc approach to get verified reviews.

    So far its been positive. Anyone tried this way?

  4. One way would be for Amazon to limit the number of paid reviews to say 5 per listing.
    Amazon are making zero commission on these as the reviewers are given a money off coupon to buy the product, so why dont they restrict them

  5. Like most things on scale and where money is involved it’s always going to be open to abuse.
    I’m fairly sure a couple of negative reviews have come from competitors and have certainly seen it in action. Where false feedback can easily be removed, false reviews are much harder, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a review removed. There are some long standing nonsensical reviews out there.

    As far as sending free products for reviews goes it’s commonplace and pretty much industry standard now.

    I think a main flaw with the current system is that a single positive, or, especially, negative review can seriously impact sales. Perhaps a system where points aren’t shown until there are 3 or more reviews may be helpful.

  6. Let’s just hope they don’t take down any of the comic reviews, though (although I appreciate that’s not what they are bothered about). Some of them are plain hilarious. Ever seen the reviews for ‘How to Avoid Huge Ships’ by Capt John W. Trimmer?


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