Amazon is on a mission to eliminate the fake review micro-industry that has grown dramatically in recent years. A host of websites offer paid-for fake reviews in order to boost seller positioning in a product search and obviously improve their brand image by apparent public endorsement. Many consumers note they find reviews key in decision making, and so this practise diminishes Amazon's credibility and makes it harder for consumers to buy quality.
The rather unambiguously named amazonverifiedreviews.com, paidbookreviews.org, and amazonreviewsstar.com have all met legal challenges from Amazon in previous years. Other sites where individuals have offered their services to write reviews for cash have also met significant opposition. The Guardian reported last year that Amazon claimed to have sued more than 1000 individuals for providing fake reviews. This was part of the bigger campaign that wanted the fake reviewers not only to pay damages but to speak out about the companies buying their business.
In June this year Amazon continued this battle and took legal action against 3 major sellers where they recorded that 35-40% (TechCrunch) of their reviews were fake and are seeking to ban these sellers from their site and services. In addition, the legal action seeks damages in excess of $25k, a percentage of profits made from affected products and legal fees. It's clear that Amazon are out to make a statement with these legal actions and although they will not be carried out in public, this has been designed to send a message to consumers and sellers alike.
“Our goal is to eliminate the incentives for sellers to engage in review abuse and shut down this ecosystem around fraudulent reviews in exchange for compensation,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
Amazon employs a number of different tactics to detect and deter fake reviews. They want to crack down on this practice to build trust in sellers and remove purchasing barriers for consumers. At Red Points we are determined to prevent counterfeit goods being sold on e-commerce sites. It could be argued that using fake reviews builds a false sense of quality based on lies and is therefore akin to counterfeiting in many ways. To understand more about the fake review industry check out our 6 steps to spot a fake review. We can spot and detail counterfeits in minutes, to find out if your brand is suffering why not get a free Audit.