Should You Trust Amazon Reviews....

Over 17 million people have left reviews on amazon. The last published number of reviewers I can find was in 2013. Since then the number of reviewers has probably grown.

Before I buy anything (other than necessities or things that can't be bought online) I check amazon's reviews. Why? Because it's always been a great place to give a wide variety of opinions on a product. I don't just look at the stars, but carefully read through the reviews across the "star spectrum" to find common themes and potential issues. In the past, this used to work well.

But times of changed! I am now privy to the inner workings of the amazon review system and what I know would shock you!

I am going to give you a little piece of that information. Why? Because I think people should know the truth. It is not in my best interest to divulge this information but here it goes.....

Most amazon reviews are paid for - in one way or another. For years, this went on and you didn't have to mention anything regarding the receipt of payment or free goods, now you  must add a disclaimer.

I receive almost a thousand items for amazon review every single year. I put a disclaimer on my reviews....but that still doesn't mean you can trust the reviews. I'll explain later.

There are ways around the disclaimer and many products/money are exchanged behind the scenes and the reviews go up undeclared. So you never really know whether the review is paid for or not. Why does that matter? Because some reviewers, especially high ranking "trusted" reviewers, have their reviews show up first. Those reviews get "rated up" and then stick out as the first 2 or 3 you read when you go looking at reviews.

You might just read the first few reviews and decide you have enough information to by the product. If they aren't legit, then you might have been duped. The person may have never even opened the package, but their review is there to help convince you to buy the product.

Okay, so do I write honest reviews? Yes I do.....but you will not see "all" of my honest reviews.

Amazon has a unique system with their reviews that make it so many critical reviews get lost forever....

I have had amazon remove/deny at least 3 reviews because they felt the review was "too negative." Yep, they were. The products were all out garbage and I thought people deserved to know that. But amazon didn't. Too negative = not allowed. I learned quickly and made sure all my negative reviews were cradled in kindness so they wouldn't be removed.

But there's more. The algorithm that decides your review ranking (important to reviewers because it means you get more free stuff!) is largely based on the review voting system. Guess what happens if I write a negative review for a product? The company that gave me that product will vote me down. They will come out with a huge swath of votes from their employees and my ranking will fall quickly. So what do I do? I delete that review.

I don't want negative votes dragging down my rankings. And so...once again.... you do not see the "real" and authentically critical reviews.

You get to see all the reviews where "it works great" or "I love the product." And some of the products I really do like. I usually like them better because they were free.

A lot of the products on amazon are overpriced. They are often products you will find on ebay (directly from china) for much less or even at dollar stores. There are products I review that I really like and I would have gladly paid $2-$10 for, I really liked them at free, but I would never pay the $29.99 or more listed on amazon. In the review, you get to hear my interest in the product at the price I paid, not that the value you are getting if you purchase it for full price.

That is just some of what goes on behind the scenes of an amazon review. Since I like to voice my opinion, I also write non-sponsored reviews as well. If I really like or really hate a product, I take it to amazon because I think other people deserve to know. But more importantly, I tell people in real life!

Some of the reviews will be genuine but a large chunk will not be. Caveat Emptor!

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