When it comes to buying products or availing services online, particularly about tech-related matters, it is already a given that you as a consumer go to the review section to get some insights about the availed products or services by other customers and also to check its credibility. But don’t you know that among the reviews that you saw, some of them are fake?
The Shed at Dulwich
The best example of the effectivity of fake reviews in attracting customers is “The Shed at Dulwich”, which was staged by a Vice Magazine journalist—Oobah Butler. He made a spoof restaurant out from his experiences as a writer, who is paid to compose false positive reviews for restaurants on TripAdvisor, before he works at Vice Magazine. With the help of his friends and families, they wrote fake reviews about the restaurant for six months that made it one of the top searched restaurants in London out of the 18,149 existing restaurants. The funny thing there is that it started to garner real attention from gastronomes who inquired about reservations even though this fictional restaurant has not served a single plate. To end the show, The Shed decided to open for the first and last time to the public by accepting 10 guests only who have successfully made reservations through consistent calling. Butler along with his friend served readily-made foods that only cause £1 and prepped it to look like it was made by a chef. It is quite an amusing scene. But if you are on the spot of those who made reservations, it is not because you wasted not only your time but also your money just by going to that place in secrecy, which is part of Butler’s idea to mystify the guests.
Tips in Spotting Fake Reviews
To avoid this from happening, listed below are some tips on how to spot a bogus shop that uses fake reviews.
- If the review content is too good to be true. Please exercise caution and examine it thoroughly.
- If unknown brands gained a lot of good feedbacks, be wary of it.
- A 5-star rating is not everything. So, don’t be fooled especially if it is consecutively given.
- It uses infomercial language in writing reviews.
- Watch out for ‘review merging’. It happens when a review on a different product is added to the one you are currently checking.
- Check for old negative feedbacks maybe they are buried by positive reviews and that is suspicious.
- Be wary of one-sided reviews. Biases without purchase are a clear indication.
- Look for verified purchases by checking the reviewer’s account.
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