The Cucumber that got reviewed: How to Spot Fake Reviews
The Internet is a vital part of our lives these days. Want to ask a question? You surf the internet! Want to Learn about new cultures? The internet becomes your buddy. Thinking of a gift item to purchase? You surf the net for reviews! What about communication? You know, getting across to family, frenemies and that ‘imposter’ in Among Us? You have your answer- The Internet.
This original piece by the Trend Parlour Team is not necessarily about the kumbaya moments we often have with dining with our Lady Web. It’s about a part of the information sharing many often ignore- Honesty while reviewing! Stating facts for what they are. We hope this piece answers some questions our loyal readers have been asking us for some time.
What are Online Reviews?
Online Reviews are individual/group opinions on a topic, subject matter, product, or service usually based on experience/ usage. While Opinions on the concept vary, the IGI Global dictionary puts it best: Evaluations posted online on diverse platforms by consumers who have used or experienced a product or service.
Think of consumers leveraging the power of the internet to make their thoughts known on products or services.
But there’s an issue. When does an online review become misleading?
Signs that an Online Review may in fact be misleading you?
- Bogus claims are made for the product/service.
- No downsides, Cons, or gray areas about the product/service are mentioned.
- Misleading pictures of the product/service fill such an article.
- Ambiguous terms are used for most of the review. The simpler and more descriptive a review is, the better for the consumer.
- Such reviews have long repeated Texts that are often used to bulk up word count.
What can you do as a Consumer to Spot Fake Reviews?
Always Compare with other reviews:
The most golden of rules. The most critical review is most likely the most factual one. Remember even some First page reviews can be misleading. This simple principle can save you a lot of stress. The Technology/gadget and Household niche is often the most hit without this.
Never skip the ‘Specifications’ part of a Product review.
This is a sure way of nailing those imposters. How can you review a product when you don’t even have the product? Information about the parts, dimension,s and the like cannot be hidden you know. It sure works every time.
Spend Time in The Cons/Demerits section.
This is the most critical part of a product (service) review. While most brands strive to create/ deliver products and services that pass the 95% consumer satisfaction mark, we know they often have limitations. Which is why you as a consumer should get skeptical the moment you spot a product review with ‘no cons’. Always research the cons of products. Compare product cons between reviews. Always helps.
Don’t discard your Instincts:
While we have guides like AI and related stats that often guide our purchase decisions, the gut feeling often turns out right. Sometimes they are wrong but common! We’re still humans right? While it is cool to try out new things, never discard your instincts. This piece of advice could be very relevant if you are to beat misleading online reviewers.
What do you do as an Online Reviewer in addressing the Fake Review Menace?
Free speech and expression of opinions are a necessity for all. While we relish the freedom, we should not be abuse it. Whenever a product or service is being reviewed, it is the duty of the Online reviewer to keep the information as factual as possible. Don’t still understand what we mean? Well, imagine ordering a hyped-up smartwatch based on a fake review only to receive a bangle. No jokes! A freaking “bangle” with a watch dial. Now you get our point.
Verify your information:
What better way of doing this than purchasing the product, using it and running some tests on it. It is funny how many blogs and online reviewers hype products without even trying them out. No commission or traffic is worth your misleading your consumers/ readers. The Trend Parlour Team takes this seriously. Many should do the same. Guess the Review industry has some cleaning up to do after all.
Use legit photos.
Consumers are kings and queens so why mislead them? Using fake pictures or wrong images is tantamount to mutiny. And we know how unsuccessful mutinies end- Either you walk the plank with piranhas below or you get keelhauled in the long run. The consumer is always right you know (winks)
Information is everything. Factual information is even better. As Consumers, we should always be conscious & critical when seeking information about products and services from review sites. Watch out for the red flags too. For online reviewers and bloggers, A dose of Honesty & credibility will do well for your brand. Why? Well, in the end, consumers always get to know about the cucumber that got reviewed. Catch you on the next one.
Enjoyed this special piece? You can check out other articles by the Trend Parlour Team.