Five star

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:

  1. A seller will post a message with a free product refund plus a cash incentive for a 5 star review
  2. The reviewer will PM the seller & negotiate the deal
  3. The reviewer purchases the product & leaves a 5 star review
  4. 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


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