3 Quick Ways to Test If an Online Review Is Legit
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When it comes to the world of online reviews, there are constantly horror stories about fake reviews that end up leading to people getting duped. Yelp is one site where you hear about this happening all too frequently, but other sites like Amazon can have problems as well.

So how should you keep yourself safe? When you’re reading a review, keep the following three things in mind that will help you determine if a review is trustworthy (via quickanddirtytips.com):

  1. Poor methodology — This is the biggest giveaway that a review is fake. Just look for facts. If the review is filled with general statements, sounds like a rehashing of the description, and the reviewer clearly didn’t test the product (or have first hand experience with a place), then you should discount it and look elsewhere.
  2. Irrelevance — Does the review focus on things that don’t matter? Are you looking at a pizza restaurant the reviewer is talking about the lines in the parking lot? Are you looking at a Samsung 40-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (CA) and reviewer is talking about watching 4:3 content over the air? This is irrelevant information that’s distracting from the fact that the review is garbage.
  3. Missing perspective — Missing perspective is basically like comparing apples to oranges. If you see a review comparing a Honda to a BMW and complaining that Honda lacks luxury features, that review has a serious issue with perspective and should be ignored.

Sadly, there’s no perfect way to determine whether a review is legitimate or not, but if you follow the three tips above, you’ll at least have a good idea of what you’re working with.

Have you ever been suckered by a fake review? Have you found a review to be fake before you had a problem? Share your stories in the comments!

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  1. Zhong
    September 7, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    Reviews are just opinions about the product they brought or use. You can tell the marketing tactics that people can use but generally, it goes down to how detail and knowledgeable is the review because they will give a bad review despite the problem doesn't seem to occur to anyone else.

  2. ben
    September 7, 2016 at 11:25 am

    When reading reviews I prefer to look at the bad reviews. Many of the bad ones that are real are just whining about some minor thing. And if they are just whining and don't have any actual negative then to me that makes it good information. Examples are "We came in at rush hour with a party of 12 and were forced to wait 20 minutes to be seated." Or, "The waiter didn't know about the advertised special and had to check with the manager before we got the discount."