Online shopping is the go-to way to get what you need without having to face the crowded stores and mile-long check out lines.

Amazon is one of the best sites for finding whatever you need online. However, if you're anything like me, you have to read the reviews on an item before you buy it.

Things like clothing or even household items are things that you will want to read reviews on to make sure that you are buying something that actually works or is decent quality.

But what if those reviews are fake? I don't think I've ever stopped to ask that question. What purpose does posting a fake review serve? What's more, how do you know if a review is fake?

John Schnobrich via
John Schnobrich via

According to a Wired article, there are a few different tells that reviews have that MIGHT be a sign that they are fake:

  1. There is a very high percentage of five-star reviews
  2. Lack of detail in reviews and vague praise
  3. Generic review titles like "Nice Product" or "Awesome"
  4. Mentions of competing products
  5. Wording similar to other reviews
  6. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes
  7. Multiple reviews on specific dates (especially if there are long gaps between them)
  8. "Customers also bought" section contains unrelated products
  9. Glowing reviews with one small negative that isn't a deal breaker
  10. Explaining away cons

First off, let me mention how all of these describe just about every review that I've ever read. Strange.

Second, these obviously aren't definite factors that speak to whether a review is fake or not. They just tend to be red flags that can be cause for pause.

The good news is that there are other places to look up the item you are interested in to find reviews. YouTube is a great site for reviews and you can sometimes see the item in action to see for yourself.

The Wired article also suggests ideas like looking up the brand of the item for reviews and checking out the seller or reviewer's profile to see if it looks sketchy.

What can you do to keep this problem to a minimum? Post honest reviews. If you choose to review an item on Amazon, whether you loved it or not, stray away from the criteria above.

The item I have yet to find a helpful review on...a rubix cube. I doubt anyone will give up that secret.

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