Take online reviews with a grain of salt, says BBB – Dodge City Daily Globe

Courtesy of the Better Business Bureau

In a few weeks, consumers will be at the heart of their annual holiday shopping experience. In this relatively quiet time before that happens, your Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​advises you to take a few minutes to improve your shopping savvy. A key element for many consumers is reading online reviews. These reviews are considered when purchasing from online merchants as well as local businesses.

A recent survey by marketers Bright Local found that 82% of consumers read online reviews of local businesses, and 52% of those aged 18-54 say they always read reviews. The challenge: to sort out the fake reviews from the real ones.

Where do fake reviews come from?

It’s no surprise that the reliance on online reviews has increased, as has the number of outfits specializing in creating fake reviews. Payments for producing fake reviews vary wildly, from 25 cents each to $100. Some will fully refund the purchase price of the product in exchange for a glowing review. Automated operations can send an unlimited number of these notices across the digital commerce landscape. Foreign companies publish reviews, as well as robots.

Learn to sort the real from the fake

Among this dizzying array of counterfeits, consumers should learn to spot some of the signs that a review is suspicious. Here’s what the experts say to watch out for:

• 100% positive or negative reviews. Normally, a real reviewer would mention good and bad points about a product or company. Even when writing a positive review, most would include at least a few flaws, and vice versa.

• Too much information. A reviewer who devotes a lot of space to a background story, often with an emotional component, can fake it. Most of us would simply say what works and what doesn’t, without feeling the need to dramatize our review.

• Too little information. Avoid reviews that simply exclaim “Wonderful!” Critics in a nutshell are useless.

• An examiner’s suspicious background. When you check out their other reviews, you may see a clear pattern of rave reviews, or you may find no other reviews at all – also an indicator that the review is planted. Especially watch out for the many reviews they have written in a short time.

• Not “verified purchase” rating. If there’s no indication that they actually bought the product, you shouldn’t consider their review to be legitimate. Look for “verified purchase” on the review.

• Grammar issues. Most of us don’t make many grammatical or spelling mistakes, but neither do we write in a formal, stuffy style. Either may indicate a fake review written overseas.

Trust BBB Consumer experiences matter to the Better Business Bureau – and to businesses!

BBB customer reviews allow customers to post positive, negative, or neutral reviews of market experiences with businesses, brands, and charities. BBB does not accept anonymous reviews but protects the identity of the reviewer. You can leave a review for a business or learn more about BBB customer reviews at https://www. bbb.org/all/customer-reviews Be careful during this busy shopping season when incorporating reviews into the mix while rating products and businesses.

They can be a help or a hindrance. If you have questions regarding online reviews and other consumer issues, contact BBB at (800) 856-2417 or visit our website at BBB. org.

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