When it comes to the world of online reviews, there are constantly horror stories about fake reviews that end up leading to people getting duped. Yelp is one site where you hear about this happening all too frequently, but other sites like Amazon can have problems as well.
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So how should you keep yourself safe? When you’re reading a review, keep the following three things in mind that will help you determine if a review is trustworthy (via quickanddirtytips.com):
- Poor methodology — This is the biggest giveaway that a review is fake. Just look for facts. If the review is filled with general statements, sounds like a rehashing of the description, and the reviewer clearly didn’t test the product (or have first hand experience with a place), then you should discount it and look elsewhere.
- Irrelevance — Does the review focus on things that don’t matter? Are you looking at a pizza restaurant the reviewer is talking about the lines in the parking lot? Are you looking at a Samsung 40-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (CA) and reviewer is talking about watching 4:3 content over the air? This is irrelevant information that’s distracting from the fact that the review is garbage.
- Missing perspective — Missing perspective is basically like comparing apples to oranges. If you see a review comparing a Honda to a BMW and complaining that Honda lacks luxury features, that review has a serious issue with perspective and should be ignored.
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Sadly, there’s no perfect way to determine whether a review is legitimate or not, but if you follow the three tips above, you’ll at least have a good idea of what you’re working with.
Have you ever been suckered by a fake review? Have you found a review to be fake before you had a problem? Share your stories in the comments!