Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.20.75.214

Forum Moderators: buckworks

Message Too Old, No Replies

Fake product reviews.

     
7:21 am on Sep 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Sept 9, 2010
posts: 100
votes: 0


I was thinking when my site launches and if I choose to allow reviews they will all start off to the tune of crickets. This I am ok with because those things take time to fill up. However, the thought came across to write some fake reviews of a few products to get things going. I decided against this because, well, it is dishonest.

On smaller sites that lack amazon type volume, whenever I see a string of over hyped up product reviews I just laugh to myself and move on. But, I do capitulate to the notion that they could be all too real. (even though they all sound the same)

My point is to ask: Fake reviews, is it OK to?

I know that depends if you are selling say 10 widgets of all different makes and you want to give your customers your experienced perspective on the products. But still, that leads to the possibility of questionable practices.

Any thoughts on this?
8:42 am on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 28, 2002
posts:317
votes: 0


You could add fake reviews but Im not sure if having reviews already will make people want to add their review. Perhaps you could think about why reviews are not being added by your customers/users and try and make the process of adding reviews better.

I send an email to customers after they have made a purchase inviting them to add a review and explaining that their review will help others by offering a customer perspective on that product.

I'd look at the process of adding a review on your site is it obvious how to add a review? how does it compare to other sites? and is it an easy and quick process? The less effort required to add a review the better, IMO.
9:22 am on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Sept 9, 2010
posts: 100
votes: 0


Good points you brought up Mike. Considering my store's product line it would be possible to offer a percentage off on the next purchase for a confirmed review. Well, at least for a while. It's one of things I will just have to wait and see.
3:32 pm on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 24, 2006
posts:386
votes: 0


no reviews is better than fake reviews. be aggressive about getting feedback/reviews. reviews are good for creating customer confidence but they are also extremely useful for self evaluation. we do our best to get feedback from every customer. we send out emails and follow up emails if they do not provide feedback. we genuinely want to know, it's the only way to provide a better service.
also, be sure to post negative feedback. there's always going to be some, usually if everything is done right there will be very little but still some. most consumers know that there should be negative feedback and if there is none it usually throws up a red flag. 10 positive comments carry more weight if there is a negative feedback.
3:51 pm on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 10, 2005
posts:5618
votes: 44


Interesting timing, considering last month's announcement that the FTC is investigating fake reviews.

When it comes to the Internet, assume that eventually anything you are doing that is wrong or dishonest will be outed. So you have to decide if any benefits from fake reviews will outweigh the repercussions in the future.
7:52 pm on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 25, 2005
posts:3508
votes: 11


Why don't you just use the product then write a real review. I do this all the time because I am writing a real review be it good or bad. Nothing wrong with writing a review of a product you sell as long as your honesat. If the product is a good product then you know it is worth keeping it it is a bad one well then ya know it won't be worth investing in and you can use this method to weed out the bad ones.

Oh and I ask the maker to send me one to write a review. Most of the time they are happy to do this and I get the product free of charge and write the review.

I get companies all the time asking me to add them to my site my first response is send me samples/product to test and I will then write a review of the product. Great way to test new items to see if they are worth adding. You would be suprised at the gems you can run across you have never heard of before that turn out to be great sellers.
8:52 pm on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Nov 2, 2006
posts:410
votes: 0


I'd start by soliciting reviews via email. Once you've collected enough reviews offline, you can go live with the online review system and bypass the awkward growing pains.
9:31 pm on Sept 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Sept 9, 2010
posts: 100
votes: 0


You all have really good ideas. bwnbwn, I really like the fact that other companies solicit you and are sending you stuff to review. I know a few personal computer review sites that get, i assume, thousands of dollars in computer gear a month so they can review it. Of course that site is very well presented with indepth nontechnical and technical information about those products. (they don't sell the products but are affiliates of other that do.

Well, my particular situation is seemly different than from what I gather from the replies. I only have one product line from one manufacturer (me), so, yeah. But hey, it's no biggie, I am going let them fill slowly over time. For me it's really no big deal. However, I have 18 products I will be giving out locally to friends and such and I am sure I can convince them to write a quick 'I like this' or i hate this' on my site.
12:17 am on Sept 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 9, 2001
posts:5646
votes: 51


Negative reviews can be uncomfortable, but in their own way they're just as important as the positive ones.

It's counterintuitive to think that having negative reviews could improve the bottom line, but shoppers who read about other people's problems as well as their praises are likely to (a) have more realistic expectations, and (b) make product choices better suited to their needs.

That can lead to fewer returns and reduced customer service costs, so that even if a negative review sometimes kills the sale, the sales you do get will have better profit margins.
3:05 am on Sept 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lorax is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 31, 2002
posts:7575
votes: 0


Good lord! I'm sorry - I'm very opinionated about this topic but are you nuts?! ;) Fake reviews are not a good idea for several reasons:

1) You're misrepresenting yourself and your products.
2) You leave yourself and your reputation exposed. In the online world, that's all you have. If it's compromised, you're finished.
9:34 am on Sept 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

joined:Apr 30, 2007
posts:1394
votes: 0


FTC is investigating fake reviews.

Seriously what site they're investigating? Because I doubt it will ever be the OP's or the average John Doe site. Lets be pragmatic, even if someone tries to investigate where reviews are coming from and has every tool at his disposal he will never be able to reliably identify where they come from. Never.
12:06 pm on Sept 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 12, 2003
posts:167
votes: 0


Depending on what you sell, and the price, you might offer a freebie for a review. I am thinking of doing this for my Kindle books on Amazon. I am planning on putting a page at the end of the book saying 'Write a review and post it on Amazon and email it to me and I will send you a free copy of another one of my books'. An extra copy of an ebook costs nothing to make and, yes, I will send the freebie even if the review is negative.
2:08 pm on Sept 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 24, 2006
posts:386
votes: 0


Keep in mind that with a strict interpretaion of FTC rules the person that receive a free product for their review of another product would have to disclose in their reveiw that they were compensated for their review.
4:27 pm on Sept 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 12, 2003
posts:167
votes: 0


Hmm that may cause a problem. I would not mind it at all, might get more sales. Sort of a buy one get one free :) . However, Amazon may have a rule about that.
4:21 am on Sept 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:July 20, 2006
posts:171
votes: 0


Get friends/family to buy products and get them write real reviews. Don't tell them to lie, just ask for honest feedback. Likewise, ask for feedback on products from customers. If you ask, they will come faster.
5:10 am on Sept 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:6964
votes: 385


As for reviews (all above notwithstanding) it seems like the OP (as in Oldest Profession) reviews of biz done falls into the fake category:

"Oh, honey, you were great!" then "X dollars on your way out"

The only difference between "fake" and "lie" is "f" and "l" as the initial letter and should it come out will "t" as in "TANK" the website.

Offer a review segment. Just don't be surprised when no (or few at best) make the effort. HOWEVER in case law there is a thing called "puffery" which might or might NOT apply.

Myself, I tell no lies or create fictitious entries and that seems to work fine.
7:21 pm on Sept 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:July 26, 2006
posts:1619
votes: 0


I would not fake them for sure. However what you should do is email past customers to come give a review of the product they bought in exchange for maybe free shipping coupon or something. Heck might even get you a few sales.