How To Spot A Fake Review

honest opinionHere at WhatShed, we take great pride in making sure that we are always as upfront and honest with you as possible when we review a shed, summerhouse, playhouse or whatever it may be. We always give you our honest thoughts on any product we look at and we also always give you our honest opinions on any merchants that we review.

We do this because there are far more fake reviews online than you would think. But why would people do that? Well, the simple answer to that is money! You see if you go to a popular online site like Amazon which is the most obvious example. Anyone can write a review. Literally, anyone can go and write a review for any product on Amazon even if they have not bought it. Companies or even the people selling the product themselves will write reviews, 99/100 extremely positive reviews for a product to try and sway people into buying it. The more positive reviews there are for a product the more likely a person is going to buy it, especially if they are on the fence about it. A series of good reviews could be what makes you decide to give over your hard earned money.

It is hard to know for sure when a review is legit or just fake, but today we are looking at a few different ways to help you think twice before you just take it for granted that the review you are looking at is written by a person who has actually bought the product.

Look At The Length Of The Review

Using Amazon again as an example, you cannot just leave a star rating, you have to actually write a review as well. Fake reviews will tend to have the shortest possible amount of text. Usually something as simple as “amazing product, highly recommended, very happy with the purchase” a review like this is far more common than you would think. It gives you no information, but it still adds to the overall star ranking by being positive!

Does The Review Have Any Details

Have you ever read a product description about something and thought that it sounds pretty cool so you decide to then read some of the reviews? You then read a few reviews and notice that some do not actually review the product, but instead just reword the product description and of course, repeatedly tell you how amazing the product is. It is just a huge waste of your time, but again it helps make the product look good as it is marked down as yet another positive review.

Can You Click The Reviewers Name?

Some sites will make a person actually create an account before they can leave a review. If this is the case for the site you are on. Click the reviewer and see just how many other reviews they have written and have a look at a couple. You will soon notice if all their reviews sound the same and if the reviews are all overly positive. Another sign that you are dealing with a “reviewer for hire” is if they have left a lot of reviews in a very short period of time for all kinds of random products.

Keyword Spamming

This is a very easy way to tell if someone is a pro reviewer. Let us say you are looking at a Walton’s 8 X 8 Shed on a shed merchant’s site. If you read a review and they over and over again use a similar term like 8 X 8 shed or Walton’s Shed they are clearly trying to be flagged by some kind of search engine and you should not put all your faith in that this review is actually legit.

The I Hated This Product, But Then I Saw The Light Review!

This is quite common in fake reviews! The idea here is that people try to act like they were not keen on the product or they thought it was terrible, but wow, they were wrong and the product is the greatest thing in the world and now they want to spread the word and let everyone know this is the best thing since sliced bread. They also make sure to let you know that if you are on the fence or are put off by negative reviews.. like they were, to not be as the product really is amazing. You have to ask yourself, why would a person go out of their way to tell you they thought a product sucked, but they were wrong and it is actually amazing?

No Actual Details In The Review

It is very strange when you come across a review for a product that rates it at five stars. Yet when you read the review, you realise that there is not anything about the actual product in the review! For example, it is common to see a fake five star review say something like “this is the greatest product every, it is amazing, I could not be any more impressed” It is a very glowing review, but it does not actually tell you anything about the product at all.

What Kind Of Reviews Should I Read?

We have looked at a few ways you can try and be more vigilant to spot a fake review, but the fact of the matter is, it is far harder than many of us wish it was. You may be wondering if all hope is lost and if you should not bother reading a review for a product you are interested in. But actually, there are some ways online reviews can still help you make sure you are making the right purchase.

Look At The 2-4 Star Reviews And The 5/10 – 8/10 Reviews

Fake reviews tend to fall into one of two categories. A five star or 10/10 review that says the product is amazing. Or a 1 star or 0/10 review that just puts down every single little thing about a product. It is human nature to want to just look at the best or the worst reviews. But, you are actually best at looking at the ones in the middle. The 2-4 star reviews tend to be majority real and are actual reviews from real people. It is very unlikely that any company is going pay someone to write them a 3 or 4 star review.

Verified Reviews

Some sites, again using Amazon as an example will say if the person who is reviewing the product did actually buy it. We know that this is not a 100 percent sure fire way of making sure the person reviewing the product has actually used it, but it is certainly more likely.

Always Use Your Best Judgement

If you are reading a review and you do not feel it is legit then just forget it right away! We can tell you ways to look out for fake reviews, but it is up to you to use your own smarts and decide for yourself if the review is real or just some paid for garbage by a company looking to get some of your hard ea

Pros And Cons

Any good review is always going to give you the pros and the negatives of a product. Let’s face it no product is 100 percent perfect and a true review will always make sure that they let you know of any negative points. Even if for the most part a product is great, a proper review should always make sure you are informed about anything that could be better.

Some Extra Reading To Help You Realise Fake Reviews Are Very Real!

Here we have some great stories from reliable news sources that have shown just how big the fake reviews industry is. Have a look and you will see just how far some people will go in order to make their company/product appear better than it is. Or even how far they will go to try and tarnish another company’s reputation by paying for people to write negative reviews.

New York Times

Ever been swayed to buy a book because it has so many great reviews? Well, this story here from the New York Times might make you reconsider doing that in the future. It is the story of a man called, Todd Rutherford who set up a business where he would write positive book reviews for clients. He was so popular that he was making nearly 30 thousand dollars a month! Just think of how many fake reviews that has to be!


Here you can see just how big the world of fake reviews is! Samsung, yes the same Samsung who is one of the largest companies in the world was found to have hired people to write negative reviews about one of their competitors, HTC. This shows that sometimes a negative review, which seems way over the top could actually have been paid for by a rival company.

New York Times

Here we have a company who were selling leather cases for the Kindle Fire tablet. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but when people ordered these, they received a note saying that if they were to leave a five star review, they would get their money back. So they would get the product for free. It is not known exactly how many people this “offer” was given to, but this product had a phenomenal amount of five star reviews.

Local Goldmine

Reviews on Google can make or break a business and here you can read all about how many companies are willing to open their wallets in order to get some positive reviews posted online! There is a great section in this article from the FTC who are all about fair trade and they say it is actually illegal to leave fake reviews, positive or negative. But as you can see, this has not put fake reviewers off.

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