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Is Amazon Rigging the Ratings System?

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
So I need to put together a new computer and I've been looking for computer parts. My usual MO is to go to Amazon and look at the ratings breakdown. If more than, say, 60% of reviews are 5 stars then I consider the product safe.

But then I started looking closer and something doesn't add up. For example I was looking at a new monitor. The ratings say that only 36% of the ratings are 5 stars. Okay. But there are 14 ratings and 8 of them are 5 stars. ????? That's much greater than 36%. Furthermore it says 19% of the ratings are 1 star but there's only ONE rating with a 1 star rating.

Is Amazon manipulating the ratings to favor certain products and discourage other products? I wouldn't put it past them.
 

iaresee

Moderator
Moderator
Run the page through: https://www.fakespot.com/ or https://reviewmeta.com/ (or both)

That'll tell you if it thinks the reviews are faked or not.

We've got about 10 packages to the house this year from Amazon that we didn't order. Addressed to either myself or my wife. When we called Amazon they said the packages were bought for us by someone else and were ours to keep. This is manufacturers/sellers gaming the Amazon rating system. They buy their own product, send it to someone else on their behalf. Now they can review the product as if they bought it. They're basically giving stuff away to be able to write a 5-star review themselves.

Ended up mostly with crap, but also got a nice electric blanket and a weighted blanket with kid-friendly graphics on it. And a three pack of some super sketchy smart plugs that I wouldn't trust on my home network for all the money in the world.

The term for this "brushing" BTW. Weird times.
 

reclavea

Power User
Run the page through: https://www.fakespot.com/ or https://reviewmeta.com/ (or both)

That'll tell you if it thinks the reviews are faked or not.

We've got about 10 packages to the house this year from Amazon that we didn't order. Addressed to either myself or my wife. When we called Amazon they said the packages were bought for us by someone else and were ours to keep. This is manufacturers/sellers gaming the Amazon rating system. They buy their own product, send it to someone else on their behalf. Now they can review the product as if they bought it. They're basically giving stuff away to be able to write a 5-star review themselves.

Ended up mostly with crap, but also got a nice electric blanket and a weighted blanket with kid-friendly graphics on it. And a three pack of some super sketchy smart plugs that I wouldn't trust on my home network for all the money in the world.

The term for this "brushing" BTW. Weird times.
Wow!!
 

Kamil Kisiel

Power User
I recently got an email from a company that I bought a bodyweight scale from via Amazon. They were coming out with a new model under a different brand name and offered to send me one for free (+$10!). When I asked them about the conditions to their offer they said I need to go to Amazon myself, order the scale and then once I receive it, post a 5 star review. Then send them a screenshot of the review and my order number and they would PayPal me the money. I didn't go for it because not only is it shady, it's also too much of a hassle, and I already have one of their scales!
 

VidarAus

Inspired
I recently got an email from a company that I bought a bodyweight scale from via Amazon. They were coming out with a new model under a different brand name and offered to send me one for free (+$10!). When I asked them about the conditions to their offer they said I need to go to Amazon myself, order the scale and then once I receive it, post a 5 star review. Then send them a screenshot of the review and my order number and they would PayPal me the money. I didn't go for it because not only is it shady, it's also too much of a hassle, and I already have one of their scales!
Is this sort of practice illegal or simply frowned upon?
 

Nathan M.

Inspired
Not just ratings are being manipulated but they are pushing certain products via search with "Amazon Choice" and "Featured" which may or may not be the best products or choices for you. There are many recent articles and a Senate inquiry regarding the practice including accusations of counterfeiting.
 

DLC86

Fractal Fanatic
I know for sure about the existence of some telegram groups where manufacturers (mostly chinese) offer their products for free to those who leave a 5 star review on Amazon.
 

JoKeR III

Power User
It wouldn't surprise me in the least. Seems like flat out lying is acceptable when trying to sell something these days. May seem a bit Pollyannic but integrity is very important if you want my money.

While I find the overall user ratings helpful, I've adopted the practice of reading the negative (1 and 2 stars) reviews to see if there's a common issue. It takes more time but I've become fairly skeptical and non-trusting, been burned more often than I care to admit.
 

axifist

Experienced
It's possible that Amazon counts reviews from other platforms, like amazon.de for Germany, amazon.it for Italy etc. but on amazon.com it only shows reviews written in English. Makes sense imho, because we germans and others also know what's good and what isn't ;)
 
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