I buy a lot on Amazon. Probably too much. I enjoy the convenience, pricing (mostly) and reviews. Reviews, however, have to be looked at carefully. Some sellers, particularly new sellers (or selling new products) offer incentives for 5* reviews. I knew this practice happened, but I’d never experienced it first hand.
I recently bought a product on Amazon, with a smattering of 5* reviews. I ignored my own advice about looking out for only 5* reviews, and bought it. It was delivered via Amazon Prime the next day. The product itself was ok. Definitely not 5* in my opinion, so I boxed it back up, and intended to initiate the return that weekend.
Saturday morning, however, I received the following email from the seller, direct to my email address:
An offer for 10% refund (or a free gift) if I leave a 5* review, and share the proof with them.
It was now apparent that the other 5* reviews on there were also incentivised.
I reported this to Amazon, who confirmed this practice was against their T&C, and will investigate.
If a product has only a few reviews, and all are 5*, beware.
Look at the reviewers previous review count / helpful votes (in their profile)
Prefer photo reviews – the reviewer has taken the time to share photos of the product, it’s likely to be a lot more trustworthy (both positive / negative reviews)