Consumers Trust Reviews They Encounter on the Web
A recent Nielsen study, in fact, indicates that 66 percent of people actually trust online product reviews above all other sources and 84 percent trust them as much as a personal recommendation from a friend. As a result, there has been some motivation to influence consumers with reviews that aren't actually real.
In the era of online shopping, product reviews are part of the shopping experience that shoppers have come to expect when they look to purchase a product. Reviews give shoppers confidence in the products they look to purchase. The more reviews there are the more confindence (or lack thereof) that shoppers have in the products. So product reviews play a very significant role in a consumer's decision and strengthen shoppers' conviction on the products they look to purchase.
Because product reviews play very significant role in shoppers' motivation and have a huge influence on shoppers, they bring out greeds among sellers who want to get ahead of the competition. The most prevalent fraud seen frequently is sellers encourage friends and associates to write fake reviews favorably for their products to make it looks like their products are superior than their competition but in fact they're not.
Shoppers think they bought superior products but in fact they're not! So shoppers get the short end of the stick. This has forced marketplaces like ours to regularly monitor the integrity of the reviews on all of our websites and develop policies to prevent "fake product reviews" from influencing our customers.
To make matters worse, sellers are actively buying product reviews from third-party groups whose sole purpose is to sell "fake product reviews" to sellers who want to get ahead of the competition. Third-party "fake product reviews" groups are out in full force on the internet soliciting their services to sellers who seek "fake product reviews" offerings.
Here is how third-party "fake product reviews" groups work:
A third-party "fake product reviews" group sells product reviews to sellers by promising sellers that they can get people to write reviews for their products on marketplaces like ours, Amazon, or any other marketplaces/merchants. A third-party "fake product reviews" group hires people with a valid credit card and instructs them to purchase the product from the marketplace so that the marketplace has a record of the purchaser on its system. A third-party "fake product reviews" group pays the reviewers and re-imburses the amount that the reviewer paid the marketplace. Now the purchaser can come back later and rewiew the same product that he/she had purchased. Voila, he/she is a valid customer of the marketplace. But wait! Or is he/she?
Behind the scene, the seller gets the notification from the marketplace to send that product to the purchaser that he/she had just ordered. The seller sends an empty box [without the product content] to the purchaser and the scheme is complete: the purchaser is a valid customer of the marketplace/merchant and now the purchaser can just wait a few days and returns to the marketplace's website and writes reviews based on what the seller wants.
This scheme is widely being used by both the third-party "fake product reviews" groups and the sellers themselves, with sellers using this same scheme by encouraging their family members, relatives, friends or acquaintance, and associates to purchase products from the marketplaces/merchants and review the products, and the sellers re-imburse them all for the purchases. They go through the same scheme as the third-party "fake product reviews" groups do, and always, they get away with this very simple fraud scheme. It is very difficult to combat this type of fraud scheme.
This is just one way of how third-party "fake product reviews" groups [and some of the sellers themselves] do their business and there are other ways as well, but this is the most popular scheme they frequently use.
Combating Fake Products Reviews
To face the reality, we are actively trying to combat this matter and we are taking steps to prevent such awful "fake product reviews" from happening in all of our websites. And here are the steps that we take to combat fake product reviews:
Products Reviews Policy
- All products in all of our websites are available for reviewed by ONLY VIP Reward members. VIP Reward members can review any products listed for sale on our websites, whether they purchased them on our websites or from other marketplaces/merchants. This means that a VIP Reward member doesn't have to make a purchase nor had prior purchases from our websites in order to review that product. A VIP Reward member can review any products without prior purchases but can do so with some policy restrictions outlined below. VIP Reward members earn reward points for each product review.
- VIP Reward members earn 1000 points for each product review they reviewed on the product that they did not purchase from our websites. Again, this means that a VIP Reward member doesn't have to make a purchase nor had prior purchases from our websites in order to review that product. VIP Reward members can only review one review per product. There is no limit as to how many products a VIP Reward member can review. Just because there is no limit as to how many products a VIP Reward member can review, it doesn't mean that a VIP Reward member can just willy nilly review products up and down the list of 'the products available for reviewed.' We will actively police it. So if you're genuinely reviewing the products with the sole intention is to inform your fellow shoppers better, and ethically follow the policy, this is an additional way VIP Reward members can earn more reward points.
- VIP Reward members earn reward points for each product review they reviewed on the product that they've purchased from our websites. VIP Reward members can only review one review per product that they've purchased from our websites. So in a sense, there is no limit as to how many products a VIP Reward member can review. For example, if a VIP Reward member had purchased five products from our websites he/she can review each of the five products.
However, we will actively police it to guard against fake products reviews. So if you're genuinely reviewing the products with the sole intention is to inform your fellow shoppers better, and ethically follow the policy, this is an additional way VIP Reward members can earn more reward points. The reward points are calculated based on the product's final purchase price that the VIP Reward member had purchased. A product's final purchase price is the listed price minus discounts, promotions, and other special sale incentive offerings. Please refer to the table below:
|$1.00 - $4.99
||$6,000.00 - $9,999.99
|$5.00 - $9.99
||$10,000.00 - $19,999.99
|$10.00 - $19.99
||$20,000.00 - $29,999.99
|$20.00 - $29.99
||$30,000.00 - $39,999.99
|$30.00 - $39.99
||$40,000.00 - $49,999.99
|$40.00 - $49.99
||$50,000.00 - $59,999.99
|$50.00 - $99.99
||$60,000.00 - $69,999.99
|$100.00 - $199.99
||$70,000.00 - $79,999.99
|$200.00 - $299.99
||$80,000.00 - $89,999.99
|$300.00 - $399.99
||$90,000.00 - $99,999.99
|$400.00 - $499.99
||$100,000.00 - $199,999.99
|$500.00 - $599.99
||$200,000.00 - $299,999.99
|$600.00 - $699.99
||$300,000.00 - $399,999.99
|$700.00 - $799.99
||$400,000.00 - $499,999.99
|$800.00 - $899.99
||$500,000.00 - $599,999.99
|$900.00 - $999.99
||$600,000.00 - $699,999.99
|$1,000.00 - $1999.99
||$700,000.00 - $799,999.99
|$2,000.00 - $2,999.99
||$800,000.00 - $899,999.99
|$3,000.00 - $3,999.99
||$900,000.00 - $999,999.99
|$4,000.00 - $4,999.99
||$1,000,000.00 - $1,999,999.99
|$5,000.00 - $5,999.99
||$2,000,000.00 and over
*** means product price $2,000,000.00 and over will get 200,000,000 points plus 100,000 points for each $1,000 increment over $2,000,000.00. [This is just in case some whiz nerd kids out there who figure out a disruptive product for sale that is valued at $2,000,000.00 or more, and just in case some of you out there who just can't wait to get your hands on the product.]
Here is how to read the table. There are two pairs of columns: Product Price/Reward Points and Product Price/Reward Points. The table lists the product's final purchase price. The Product Price (or final purchase price) column lists the ranges of the product final purchase prices from low to high. The Reward Points column lists the reward points for a product price that falls within the range in the Product Price column. For example, if you had purchased and reviewed a product that costs $149.95, your reward points would have been 15,000 points.
- Check and Balance: To police the integrity of the reviews, we use our machine learning algorithm to sniff out fake reviews and take action if necessary. We also review and rate the reviewers by hand, in which, we humanly and thoroughly hand-review each review that a reviewer reviewed a product so that we can combat and discourage fake reviews on any of the products listed for sale on our websites. We will rate reviewers from a scale of 1 to 5, the same way reviewers are asked to rate the products: from 1 to 5, with 1 being the least favorable and 5 being the most favorable.
We will, also, comment on reviewers' overall truthfulness, fairness, and consistency, the same way reviewers are asked to review and comment on the products they review. So reviewers review and rate the products (check). We, in turn, review and rate the reviewers (balance). This is sort of like "big brother is watching over your shoulder while you're doing the reviews."
- If we catch any cheatings or fake reviews or other unethical behaviors such as 'gaming the system' to earn reward points, you may lose your points, including all points you previously reviewed, and we may even close your account altogether depending on the circumstance. We reserve the right to close your account without prior notification or explanation of reason, if we feel it's in our best interest or in our customers' best interest. We will take action and close your account.
This is a great way for VIP Reward members to earn extra reward points. So signup today!