Confessions of an Idealist: Fake Reviews Make Me Sad


#1

Call me naive. Call me an idealist. It’s ok because I know it’s true. But I’m wondering how all of the rest of you FIVERR sellers handle people asking you for fake reviews. I’ve had many requests from people wanting me to “review” their products.

I’m not talking about those who want me to order a discounted product to check out and review (thought this is a little sketchy, too). I’m talking about people who want me to pretend I’ve used their product or service and write a positive review on Amazon or Google + etc.

My stock answer is to say that as a business owner and seller, I rely on actual reviews to help me win clients and that I won’t write fake ones for other people.

The thing is, I know it’s probably commonplace for many of the reviews I see online to be made up. Kind of makes me a little sad…

Anyone else? How do you all handle this?


#2

There’s not much you can do other than ignore them or report them unfortunately.


#3

It’s sad and unethical but important at the same time. I’m not in favor of fake reviews but It’s something that gives your product a good exposure on Amazon, eBay or Google as all these sites have algorithm that heavily relies on reviews.

Everyone wants to turn money in from day one and maybe this practice helps them achieve this that’s why this route is trending.


#4

Amazon’s started suing the people asking for reviews. Just tell them that. They won’t care about you getting sued, but I can see them pausing for thought as they imagine them, puny cheating minnow against world ecommerce giant. David and Goliath it ain’t.

I’m not terribly bothered by the ethics, as this is the internet and it is full of lies. All anyone needs to do is a little due diligence before buying anything and that will protect them from 99% of issues. But you know, people are generally lazy and stupid*, so maybe it is unethical.

*Including me, when I can’t be bothered, so don’t get your knickers all in a twist if you think I’m condemning everyone as stupid. I literally mean everyone, including you and me.


#5

It’s a terrible business practice and a shortcut. There are no shortcuts and it will catch up with people eventually.


#6

Funny, you don’t even have a review gig and you’re getting those requests.

There’s nothing illegal about paying other people to review stuff. Unethical? I don’t think so. It’s just marketing. If Nissan invites a bunch of reporters to drive their cars from West Palm Beach to Key Largo and then offers them a yacht trip to a party in South Beach, what kind of car reviews do you think Nissan will get? Most likely positive, if the car was already good to begin with and the writers have a great day, they’re unlikely to focus on the negative. So, if some rich big shots can do it, why do we whine when the little people do it as well?

P.S. Real estate developers sometimes pay people to use their names. So you give some Andrew Jones $50 and then you can write whatever quote you need. Believe me, this predates Fiverr. In ancient Rome, some trials were performed in public and lawyers would pay plebes to cheer, so did the prosecution. Those cheers might influence the judge.


#7

Thanks for your comment. The example you put forth is a good one…and at least in that case, the reporters would actually have a chance to see and experience the cars, even if they’re bribed to do so.

I know it’s not illegal to ask for reviews. I was asked to write a review for an appliance service company saying their service was great. It seems a little different to me.


#8

I agree. It seems like a bad practice and certainly a shortcut.


#9

Thanks…I didn’t know Amazon was doing that. Then again, it make sense. Fake reviews detract from their credibility, as well. And while I do agree that people need to rely on more than just reviews, when buying things, completely fake reviews still irritate me :slight_smile:

But as you said, the internet is full of lies.


#10

@lbkcreative I really like your videos. Your kid has made them interesting


#11

You’re right to refuse, because if you get caught getting paid to leave fake reviews, you’ll get banned from Fiverr. Not too long ago, Amazon busted a whole raft of Fiverr sellers for leaving paid, fake reviews. Amazon even went as far as making dummy purchases from sellers who didn’t openly advertise “PAID REVIEW,” but were working with more of a wink and a nod. Sellers who are doing paid reviews are violating Fiverr’s terms of service and will get what’s coming to them sooner or later. In fact, they’ll get it sooner if you file a ticket with customer support in the category of Trust & Safety > Questionable Gigs.


#12

For the first time I got a spam message a few weeks ago from someone asking me to give a review on Amazon. I have no idea why I got this. My gigs are not related to that in any way.


#13

It’s more widespread than you think. I’ve had messages obviously internet at others on my various “gig rows”. I can only imagine they lost track of who was who, but I’m never impressed by someone who mentions a competitors name then asks me if I’d like to do something like this for $5–not pressure of course

Then after I declined and pointed out who I was they apparently went and did it anyway, The mind boggles. I tend to research just about everything before a large purchase. It seems like the sensible thing to do to me. $5 isn’t much and throwaway, but even so, I just find myself wondering why they’re getting so angry. I get the principle of it all, I really do, but c’mon. Research is the best.

I wouldn’t trust Amazon or any site selling stuff’s reviews as far as I could throw 'em. Amazon actually has some blocks–many others don’t.


#14

Comment’s going to be a bit long for an edit, but from my brief failed career as an erotica writer (I did not make millions as promised!) there are plenty of authors who are seeking “fair” reviews. So, 3-4 star reviews to ensure that a book looks good and not unrealistically great. There’s an a enormous market out there between the Kindlers, the affs and everyone else who wants to stand out.

Yet Amazon as a company is still in the red–go figure.


#15

I get a couple every week that I decline, but the problem does seem to be escalating.


#16

The truth is … if one person wont give a fake review … the other one will. So some people just go with that and use that $5 for 2 energy drinks or some thing …

Brb , gotta grab a red bull.


#17

Thank you.

Think about your own gig, “I will write 150 words of catchy sales or web copy for $5”

Sales copy means accentuating the positives or ignoring or spinning the negatives. In real state for example, oversized windows means small windows, charming means a piece of crap, needs TLC means “piece of crap you’re gonna have to fix.”

I wouldn’t say people in advertising lie, but we do make things up. Axe deodorant spray is a great example, the man puts on his deodorant and suddenly all the women want to rape them. Is that realistic? When I wear Axe nothing happens, and yet the market accepts it, they find those commercials funny and enjoy them.

With that said, I respect your right to decline reviews. There are orders we can’t fulfill because they go against our values. For example, I know a Mormon copywriter who can’t work on tobacco, coffee, or alcohol accounts. He’s doing fine, he simply works on the things he’s comfortable selling.


#18

I tell them it is against Amazon TOS (terms of service) so I can’t.


#19

This is such a common practice these days. It’s shady as hell. I wouldn’t take a gig like that, either.

Ultimately it’s up to Amazon and other shops to determine a way of stopping this. I think that having the reviews show up as being more trustworthy if the person has actually bought the product from them is one great step.


#20

I had someone make that request. So I replied back asking for their product link on Amazon so I could post my own review about this snake oil salesman. Unfortunately never got a reply back.