The amount of fake review consumer fraud on Amazon is massive and shocking. The truth is, no single company benefits more from this massive fraud than Amazon.com. The Jeff Bezos company doesn’t use their monopoly powers in the traditional way to create higher prices. Instead, they knowingly choose more unscrupulous ways to advance their dominate market position, but always using their size and reach to ensure other companies in the marketplace are forced to react to their leadership.
Today Amazon is sending a clear message to if you want to compete in the retail sales market– whether you are a big or small company, a new or large name brand– you have to become involved with Amazon’s massive and growing fake product review network. The heads of the most successful companies on Amazon already have a defense: it was required to stay relevant on the Amazon website.
In just one category, we have documented that over 75% of the top 40 companies are using fake reviews, and they pumped out phony reviews by the thousands. When we compared the businesses using illicit tactics against products in the same category that were free of fake reviews, we found the cheating companies had 65 times more reviews than the group that was honest.
Simply put, for every honest product review achieved by an honest company in the same category, there are 65 product reviews attributed to the dishonest companies. Combining their real and phony reviews allows the cheaters to achieve a much higher ratings score with improved rankings and a superior position within the Amazon Marketplace. Studies claim that these unethical tactics and behavior completely fool the consumer over 80% of the time!
In the category we chose to examine, the top seven ranked companies on Amazon.com all had fake reviews, including all but one of the top 12 companies. The largest number of reviews for any of the honest companies was 155. Some of the companies using illegal fake reviews had 4,000-8,000 reviews. After careful examination, we estimate that between 90%-99% of the revenues in this category are going to companies that buy fake illegal reviews. Again, in their defense, the heads of these companies would likely claim they broke the law to stay competitive in the Amazon marketplace.
We’ve documented that Amazon absolutely knows there is massive fake review fraud on their site, but instead of dealing with it directly they tell the government and the media, “one unauthorized review is one too many.” Bear in mind that Walmart (who has roots as a physical location retailer) and Ebay (another website-based company) have almost no fake review issues. Meanwhile Amazon– which is known for its technology leadership– is not only complicit in this ongoing fraud against consumers, but is also the single largest beneficiary of this scam. We have repeatedly documented for Amazon officials that they are rewarding known cheaters. Amazon refuses to take action and instead heaps more rewards and incentives on the the law-breaking companies, who are getting bigger by the month. The many fake review farms know this as well, as they continue to brag about their successes.
We estimate that this fraud will soon (if it hasn’t already) surpass the world’s largest known scam– Bernie Madoff’s $64 billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Madoff was a thief and his money was stolen partially based on marketing and deception. Amazon is the center of a multi-level consumer marketing fraud, and it’s just as illegal. Once you understand Amazon executives are complicit, and comprehend the shear number of companies involved, the total scale of the fraud in dollar value is staggering.
Our research exposed one individual vertical category with roughly 90%+ of the revenues going to companies using fake reviews. However, let’s be very generous and assume this is only occurring across 25% of the entire Amazon marketplace. Factor in that Amazon has revenues of over $45 billion per quarter. This assumption of 25% then equals about $11.25 billion of business transactions per quarter connected to companies using fake reviews.
Based on the assumption of 25% of Amazon’s business (not the 90% we measured), it takes fewer than 6 quarters (or 1.5 years) for Amazon to be running the world’s biggest fraud. The fact that this fraud has been going on for many years means we should honor Jeff Bezos: he has achieve the mantle of world’s richest man, and we believe he will also be known for leading, and than profiting more than any single person from, the biggest consumer fraud in the history of the universe.
When are the DOJ, the FBI, the FTC and the press going to recognize that this is one of America’s greatest consumer frauds, happening every day right in front of our eyes?
But first, let’s show you how easy it is to get fakes reviews. There are many places to buy fake reviews. Here are some of the fake review farm and their promises:
First notice their domain name, it’s short for “Buy AmzReviews”
“Unverified reviews: For every review our service cost $8 only
Verified Reviews: For verified purchase reviews you’ve to send product purchase cost and our service cost $15 fee for each reviews
When a new product the trying to sell Amazon this time there is no any reviews on that listing, so they need to place reviews. There is many ways to getting Amazon reviews, sellers can be provide free product to customers for get the review also they can buy Amazon reviews from various place.
We’re Buyamzreviews a small team of amazon reviewers. We able to provide Amazon reviews, votes, Question/Answer and listing optimization services to our clients.”
Notice the name again, the domain is an abbreviation of the Title “Buy Amazon Reviews”
“Buy Verified Review at $5 only ! they recommend or promote to taking 600+ reviews on Amazon.com
You have a 3 monthly plan options they claim a seller can even ship an empty box.
Yes. It is safe and 100% risk-free. All reviewers are real customers of Amazon here. While purchasing product, they always use their own card and ship to their own address.
Do the review get removed from Amazon?
Usually not. But it happens rarely ( 10% maximum ).
If a review is removed, do we return the money?
If a review gets deleted within 3 months, we return the service charge but not the product price.
Do you give our dividends to reviewers?
Yes, we do. We give $4 tip to our reviewers for each review. Be a Reviewer >>
“Review 100-1000 review votes. 1000 cost 360 dollars. Or 2.7 dollars for every yes vote.”
4) Honest Hippo
“Trial start a $1 + Your product fee. Another monthly plan but with a guarantee
Is my Amazon account safe if I use your service?
Absolutely. Remember, you are not paying for reviews – you are simply paying us to use our network where we manage the entire outreach process.
What kind of reviews do you post?
We only offer Amazon Verified Reviews. The reviewers will buy your product on Amazon directly and leave their reviews through their own personal buyer account.
What if my reviews get deleted?
Not to worry – all our plans come with a replacement guarantee1, with our ‘Scale’ plan offering a lifetime replacement guarantee. If for any reason your reviews get removed, we will gladly replace it with a new one.
What if I get a negative or dishonest review?
While we cannot guarantee completely positive reviews (that wouldn’t be unbiased now would it!), we don’t just let anyone in our reviewer network. We have a very strict “one-strike-policy” process that disqualifies any reviewers who have left any abusive or dishonest reviews.
If you have a good product, you don’t have to worry about negative reviews from our network.
I have multiple products, do you offer bulk discounts?
Absolutely, we also cater to bigger Amazon sellers.
Can I get more than 15 reviews per month?
Yes, we can accommodate up to 50 reviews per month per product listing. In some cases, depending on the category of your product, we are able to do more reviews.”
One claim above is that the fake reviewers are writing of their own free will, but if they give any rating below a 4-Star, they will receive one warning before they get fired. We know many of these fake reviewers get paid around $4 per review. Sometimes they only get an empty box (no product inside) to review. This is a selling benefit for “Buy Amazon Reviews” as it keeps the fake review buyer’s costs down.
When you see someone writing 25-75 reviews in a day, they’re just trying to be efficient with their time. When you see 100 reviews in a day, that reviewer is making about $400, and maybe to them it’s a better day than driving for Uber.
The fake review farms are emboldened. They not only advertise on the internet and Twitter, but they even promise a replacement guarantee if their reviews are taken down– something they claim rarely happens. They know the facts better than anyone (except maybe Amazon), and we have never seen an illegal operation make guarantees and offer money back for a service failure. The fake review farms use multi-platform digital marketing, including buying online ads. To us, this means there is vigorous competition and high volume for this growing consumer fraud on Amazon’s platform.
We believe several of the more aggressive companies selling products on Amazon have two or three fake review farms working for them. That’s how they are able to build thousands of fake reviews in only a couple of years. With a 65-1 ratio of fake reviews vs truly organic reviews within some categories, we believe the next product you consider purchasing on Amazon (especially if you review the 4-Star and 5-Star rankings with hundreds of reviews) is most likely a product/company that is pumping out phony reviews.
As you can plainly see there is a robust international market for fake review farms. It’s not hidden. In fact, the fake review sellers make it sound completely legitimate. They offer paid monthly packages and cater to the bigger brands. They are just responding to a market that Amazon’s leadership encourages through almost complete and total inaction in anyway to stop it.
Amazon’s computer analytics, 5-Star ratings, page rankings and placements do more than support fake reviews: they constantly reward them and, with the massive fake review farms adding thousands of reviews each month, you can measure a product’s upward placement almost daily on Amazon’s website.
Amazon leadership is more than just complicit. They have blatantly encouraged this massive fraud, both through inaction and by the rewards their system gives out to cheaters. Amazon executives have created a widely accepted and supported unethical environment that has greatly increased company profits as well as their personal fortunes.
More in part II…
To Our Readers: Thank you for sending in the tips. Your experience and documented facts have been very helpful. We feel for you. We’re trying to expose this fraud for you, the many honest companies going through hardship because of the massive fraud, and of course the consumer that is often buying products based on the same serial fraud. If you know about any Amazon fake review issues, and want to keep it confidential, please send it to: CommunalNews1@gmail.com.
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