Solid user reviews can be invaluable when deciding between competing products. But when reading review sites, buyer beware! There are plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing on the internet now. Many review sites are loaded with fake reviews subtly and sometimes not so subtly pulling you to their products under false pretenses. I know this may surprise you but dishonesty in adverting still exists. Don’t fall for it. Check multiple review sites. Try to find actual users you can communicate with directly, making sure you’re not talking with a company mole. On a review site like Amazon try to find other reviews given by a particular person on a host of other unrelated products. Try to vet the reviewer by seeing how long they have been around and how unbiased they are in their reviews without trying to twist your arm in any particular direction.
Beware of posters on message boards with very few posts selling a product with a little too much gusto. If it is a fake reviewer they will generally get very aggressive when someone calls them out and after a few defensive exchanges they drop off the planet as if they never existed. Regular message board posters are generally in for the long haul and usually develop report as being honest and reliable with those they interact with. Most readers are sophisticated enough to spot company moles, but not all. Keep a sharp eye out as the phony posters are also getting more sophisticated. Some corporations pay big bucks to agencies expecting a return on investment. Some agencies “release the hounds” doing whatever they can think of to help you get your wallet out.
Yet one more indication a review site may not be real is when the information being presented doesn’t quite add up. Everything being said fly’s in the face of what you have read elsewhere and in fact seems to be trying to reverse negatives by presenting those areas in a positive light. Further, when a low end product that you know is made cheaply is said to be for example “The Ultimate Home Gym on the Market” you can probably stop reading there. Let’s look at one specific example here. Does any reasonable person think this “Home Gym Review” site is giving the straight scoop labeling the “Bowflex” as #1 with so many obviously better choices on the market? Rest assured this site was bought and paid for by Nautilus Inc, Bowflexes’ parent company. Almost without fail the paid for fake review sites will tell you they are “unbiased, independant, trustworthy and honest” and yet they are not. We will discuss this topic further on our Blog found here.