Many people do online research before they purchase a product regardless of whether they buy online or in person.  They will look at expert reviews, but user reviews often carry as much weight or more. Businesses know this and they will hire people to write a review on a product that they have never actually used. So, how can you tell the difference from a fake user review and one that is legit? Here are some tips to help you in your online research.

How You Can Tell a Fake User Review from the Real Thing

Questions have been raised about the validity of ‘user’ reviews on TripAdvisor

An Unbalanced Review

You should avoid paying any attention to reviews that are all positive or all negative or ones that give a rating with only a short comment such as “perfect” or “awful.” These may either be fake reviews from the company or a competitor or they may be legitimate reviews from someone who didn’t want to take the time to write a full review. But they are not helpful and tell you nothing about the product.

You want to look for a review that gives you the good and the bad about a product so you can make an informed decision.

Look at the Names and Dates

You will often find a random combination of numbers and letters for the fake reviewers names. They often don’t take the time to create unique-sounding real names and may use the same names on multiple products.

Dates of reviews also give you an indication if it is real or not. If you see a bunch of similar reviews with the same rating on the same product, and written on the same or near the same date, these are likely to be fake reviews. You may see reviews on the release date of a product or shortly afterwards.  Real reviewers take the time to use a product and get to know its features before they write a review. The exception to this is when you have professional reviewers who are given a sample product strictly for the purpose of reviewing. But if you are looking for average users, they will probably have used the product for some time before submitting a review on it.

The Tone

If the tone sounds too professional, it is probably from a fake reviewer. A real user will talk about easy the product is to use or how well it works rather than comparing it to a competitor. They will often put something negative or less positive in the review such as the cost of the item.

Be wary of any five or one-star reviews. Instead, focus on the ones that fall in between and give you information that you would look for in a product.  This will help you avoid fake reviews on new products.


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