Shopping Discussion

Fake or Paid for Amazon Reviews

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  • Apr 30th, 2021 10:59 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2006
126 posts
17 upvotes
Winnipeg

Fake or Paid for Amazon Reviews

I recently purchased a EnaSkin product on Amazon it had great reviews so I thought I’d give it a try - I then received a letter addressed to my home a few weeks later asking for a review of the product and in return I’d receive free product or $25 gift card (not a huge deal). Since I didn’t like the product and it didn’t work, I ignored the letter and left a negative review on amazon stating product didn’t work for me.
Today I get an email from EnaSkin asking me to edit or remove my review and in return for my time they will refund me and give me a $25 gift card. I’ve purchased hundreds of items from amazon and never received a letter or email like this! Seems pretty sketchy - are companies allowed to do this? Does this happen a lot?
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24 replies
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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Oakville
foxxter wrote: I recently purchased a EnaSkin product on Amazon it had great reviews so I thought I’d give it a try - I then received a letter addressed to my home a few weeks later asking for a review of the product and in return I’d receive free product or $25 gift card (not a huge deal). Since I didn’t like the product and it didn’t work, I ignored the letter and left a negative review on amazon stating product didn’t work for me.
Today I get an email from EnaSkin asking me to edit or remove my review and in return for my time they will refund me and give me a $25 gift card. I’ve purchased hundreds of items from amazon and never received a letter or email like this! Seems pretty sketchy - are companies allowed to do this? Does this happen a lot?
It's very common. I assume most positive reviews are paid for. When i get a letter like that, I comply, get the money, then put the negative review back up, along with the warning that I was offered money to remove it.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 20, 2006
126 posts
17 upvotes
Winnipeg
So I can’t report the seller to amazon or anything?
Zoomer Wireless Customer
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Feb 11, 2007
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foxxter wrote: So I can’t report the seller to amazon or anything?
I think you can. Not sure if they'll do anything.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Addict
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Jun 16, 2009
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GTA
There's a similar thread on this already. Yeah it's common. Funny enough I got my 4th or 5th email by now from the same company asking me to review a product for them, give them 5 stars, and they'll refund the price of the item via PayPal. I just keep ignoring them.
Report away, bit unless they defraud people directly (ie. steal money), I don't think Amazon will care
c'mon get happy!
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
20195 posts
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Burlington-Hamilton
So sad. Amazon is just a game these days.
My approach is to combine a FakeSpot analysis, along with actually reading the reviews in chronological order, not Amazon's order.
You start to notice patterns when you do this:
- Short reviews with generic text (to meet the minimum review length) - probably bought and paid for
- Long detailed reviews with a lot of photos - probably from those Facebook groups where you get free products in exchange for reviews

The authentic reviews stick out.
- casual gastronomist -
Newbie
Mar 18, 2021
1 posts
Hi, just thought I’d add to this thread. Amazon does take review manipulation very seriously (so I was told) You can report the seller and they will risk having their account suspended. But most just take the free gift bribe and be on their marry way. It sure beats going through customer service, IMO. But the choice is yours
Member
Feb 1, 2019
205 posts
64 upvotes
Does it only work for certain brands? or Amazon Sponsored item? EnaSkin I've never heard of the brand (you should try "The Ordinary" from Deciem!
Deal Expert
Dec 4, 2010
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Quarantine Bubble
engineered wrote: It's very common. I assume most positive reviews are paid for. When i get a letter like that, I comply, get the money, then put the negative review back up, along with the warning that I was offered money to remove it.
That doesn't make you any more ethical. As long as you understand that and fine with it, more power to you.
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FrostyBytes wrote: Does it only work for certain brands? or Amazon Sponsored item? EnaSkin I've never heard of the brand (you should try "The Ordinary" from Deciem!
Can be any brand.
Supercooled wrote: That doesn't make you any more ethical. As long as you understand that and fine with it, more power to you.
I didn't say it was. But that's a way to punish those sleazy sellers.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Expert
Jan 17, 2009
19427 posts
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ONTARIO
engineered wrote: I think you can. Not sure if they'll do anything.
I am wondering if this is what happened with one of my recent reviews.

I bought a replacement pop-up drain from the amazon warehouse (Pfister brand). Since it was in the Warehouse, it was dirt cheap (<$10).
With the price I paid and how easy it was to install, I was impressed, so I left a positive review. I also included a picture showing how the one I received didn't have "Pfister" engraved on it like the production pictures showed.

Amazon posted the review a couple days later. Then a week after that I noticed my review disappeared on the product page.
When I go back to "write a product review" for that particular item, I get this:
We apologize but Amazon is not accepting reviews on this product from this account. If you would like to contact us about this decision, please email customer-reviews@amazon.ca.
It's ONLY for this product too. All the other products I've purchased, I can write a review if I feel like it.
So what the hell? Did someone report it thinking it was a shill review or something? And Amazon agreed? Why would I need to shill for Pfister?

I didn't bother to contact them over a silly little product like that. I just said forget it, I am not going to bother writing reviews at all for any products anymore.
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
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BobSagget wrote: It's ONLY for this product too. All the other products I've purchased, I can write a review if I feel like it.
So what the hell? Did someone report it thinking it was a shill review or something? And Amazon agreed? Why would I need to shill for Pfister?

I didn't bother to contact them over a silly little product like that. I just said forget it, I am not going to bother writing reviews at all for any products anymore.
Probably just algorithms flagging something, not any human intervention.

I feel like companies such as Amazon are training us to be NPCs without us even realising it.
- casual gastronomist -
Jr. Member
Dec 25, 2015
158 posts
99 upvotes
Brighton, ON
Hangman88 wrote: Hi, just thought I’d add to this thread. Amazon does take review manipulation very seriously (so I was told) You can report the seller and they will risk having their account suspended. But most just take the free gift bribe and be on their marry way. It sure beats going through customer service, IMO. But the choice is yours
Here's their policy:

Technically the seller can't pay for a review, or offer reimbursement. Whether complaining results in action, I don't know.
Deal Addict
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Aug 18, 2008
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Ottawa
BobSagget wrote: I am wondering if this is what happened with one of my recent reviews.

I bought a replacement pop-up drain from the amazon warehouse (Pfister brand). Since it was in the Warehouse, it was dirt cheap (<$10).
With the price I paid and how easy it was to install, I was impressed, so I left a positive review. I also included a picture showing how the one I received didn't have "Pfister" engraved on it like the production pictures showed.

Amazon posted the review a couple days later. Then a week after that I noticed my review disappeared on the product page.
When I go back to "write a product review" for that particular item, I get this:


It's ONLY for this product too. All the other products I've purchased, I can write a review if I feel like it.
So what the hell? Did someone report it thinking it was a shill review or something? And Amazon agreed? Why would I need to shill for Pfister?

I didn't bother to contact them over a silly little product like that. I just said forget it, I am not going to bother writing reviews at all for any products anymore.
I would think it's the 3rd party seller / manufacturer that reported it.

After all, Amazon indirectly somewhat suffers from negative reviews since it steers people away from buying it, and Amazon won't earn their comission / profit on that sale.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
5897 posts
2753 upvotes
Toronto
Just take Amazon reviews (and all reviews, really), with a grain of salt. Look at them as a group (e.g., if lots of reviews are pointing out the same flaw). Not just because people might have an agenda, but honestly because people have widely varying levels of competence.

Don't forget, all those people responding "I don't know, I didn't receive the item yet" in the Q&A section are also leaving reviews. And the ones who attach a photo of themselves to their review just because Amazon suggests accompanying your review with a photo is more helpful.
Member
Jul 28, 2017
237 posts
650 upvotes
The scary thing is, some of these fake reviews are starting to permeate onto RFD more and more.

"I recently bought this.." "I just bought this.." followed by "it's worth the money" "it works well for me"
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
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I only trust the Verified Purchase reviews
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Feb 11, 2007
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lpin14 wrote: I only trust the Verified Purchase reviews
You shouldn't. Sellers often offer buyers refunds for good reviews.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4829 posts
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Vancouver
Typical email from one I received:

"Scumbags is inviting you to test our junk product

The way to get Free item + Extra $8 Commission fee :
1.Place an order: Scumbags Junk Product
2. Reply this email with your Order ID and your Paypal account
3. After receiving the item for 3~5 days, please leave a positive review and send us the review link for a full refund (Includes Paypal fee, tax, and shipping fee) +Extra $8 commission fee

Note: Our products are fulfilled by Amazon. For any problem, Amazon will guarantee your rights, so please don't worry."

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