Before I buy anything (almost) I always check out the latest online reviews. People are very resourceful and if a few $$$ can be squeezed by gaming something, loopholes will get discovered & exploited, until they can no longer.
A few people, a few groups of people gaming reviews to make a few $$$, but a whole economy? As with most things in business, the bigger something is, the bigger target it is, Amazon is the biggest, generating approx 10 million online reviews a month.
Recent figures state that 65% of online users trust online reviews, with 82% of US adults checking reviews before making a purchase. So how are people gaming Amazon via its online reviews?
Private groups in Facebook offer a Tinder like platform for product sellers & product reviewers to strike up loving relationships. Typically it goes something like this:
- A seller will post a message with a free product refund plus a cash incentive for a 5 star review
- The reviewer will PM the seller & negotiate the deal
- The reviewer purchases the product & leaves a 5 star review
- The seller checks the review & once happy refunds the purchase & some extra $$
The reviewer for their 5 minutes of effort now has a free product & some cash via a gift card for their time.
Rinse & repeat, and the economy is thriving.
Why do we place more weight on the star rating than the actual text in a review? Heuristics