How to Ensure the Authenticity of Customer Reviews on Amazon and the Seller
Having positive or negative customer reviews on your Amazon listings can make or break your business. So what is the best way to ensure the reviews are authentic? The answer depends on the type of product you sell and the size of your company.
Authenticity of customer reviews
Identifying the authenticity of customer reviews on Amazon and the seller is a vital step in ensuring you buy the right products. Many people rely on these reviews when buying products online. However, fake reviews have become a major problem for the e-commerce giant.
Earlier this year, the company imposed a series of legal actions on fake review brokers. These groups solicit customers to write inflated reviews in exchange for incentives. This is a violation of the FTC’s guidelines.
The company also took action against AppSally, Fivestar Marketing and Matronex. Amazon says the companies “committed to a broad list of illegal activities.” It sought damages in excess of $25k, and is investigating several other businesses for possible violations of the same regulations.
According to the Financial Times, Facebook groups have been posting thousands of offers each day to solicit reviews. Until recently, these groups primarily focused on promoting products from Amazon.
But the company has recently targeted social media sites, such as Instagram and Facebook, in an effort to sabotage these fraudulent review schemes. A regulator from the UK said it would continue to closely examine these groups.
Fake negative reviews
Those who are familiar with fake negative reviews on Amazon know that there is a problem. These fraudulent reviews can ruin a buyer’s experience, and they can also hurt the reputation of an honest seller. But there are some ways to identify and remove these reviews.
First, you’ll want to check the language of the review. A fake negative review may have exaggerated or inflammatory comments. If you suspect the review is fraudulent, you’ll need to collect and document evidence. The screenshots you take can provide you with a powerful argument.
In some cases, you’ll need to contact Amazon and let them know what’s going on. They may or may not respond to your complaint, but they will retain the proof of the bad reviews.
Another tool you can use to check for fake reviews is Fakespot. This works on Chrome and iOS, and it will alert you to potentially shady sites.
You can also check the number of reviews for a product. If the majority of the ratings are two or three stars, you may have a problem.
Competitor listing sabotage
Keeping tabs on your competitors is a no brainer if you’re an Amazon seller, especially if you’re competing in a crowded niche. While you’re busy battling for your share of the online shopper’s dollar, your competitor is likely doing a number of things that are both time consuming and potentially damaging to your bottom line.
While you’re at it, you might as well get your hands on the Amazon buy box, which is the coveted prize for best product listing. In order to nab the top prize, you’ll need to prove you’re the best, or at least the most proficient.
Besides monitoring your competitors’ listings, you’ll also need to keep an eye on your own. In the grand scheme of things, you don’t own your own product listing, but you are responsible for maintaining its content, including the requisite reviews. If your product is mislabeled, you could be stranded in the dust. You’ll also have to contend with the myriad of other ne’er-do-wells, from unscrupulous buyers to devious sellers.
During an Amazon Hazmat review, the products on your Amazon listing are scanned to determine whether they are safe for customers to purchase. If a product fails the review, it can be rejected by Amazon, and you may be banned from selling the product.
A Hazmat review can be difficult to deal with, so it’s important to be prepared. There are steps you can take to protect your listing, and prevent an unwanted ban.
In order to sell a hazardous product, you will need to submit a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or SDS from the manufacturer. These documents must be in proper format and include all of the 16 standard sections. The MSDS/SDS must also match the product listing.
Aside from providing an SDS, sellers will also need to provide high-quality images of the product. Having documentation on hand can be helpful for troubleshooting. You will also need to respond to buyer complaints. If you do not follow up with customer service, you could end up waiting weeks before you can sell your product.