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It’s a trust thing...

Published on Thursday 09 July 2015 in The Shoestring Marketing Blog

It’s a trust thing...

It's a trust thing…7 steps to spotting fake online reviews

As the Competition and Markets Authority launches enquiry into online reviews here's a quick reminder on how to spot the fakes.

A massive *£23bn is being spent each year by businesses and consumers on goods and services after reading online reviews.  £3.9bn of that is in the home improvements sector.  But how do you know which reviews are genuine?

As an online seller transparency is important to us.  This is why we immediately post ALL reviews received to our site, the good, the bad (and hopefully not too many of) the ugly! We also share useful articles like this on how customers can spot a fake online review on any website.  But many companies, intent on getting a positive endorsement no matter what, are not so bothered about the validity of their reviews.  Consumers and small businesses are still getting duped by fraudsters and the Government is concerned about it.  So much so, that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a formal enquiry into the reviews sector.

Being a time pressed small business owner yourself, you may well be spending thousands each year online.  So, as the CMA investigates the sector further, we thought it worthwhile giving you a quick reminder of the how you can protect yourself and your business from the fraudsters:

Seven steps to weed out fake online reviews

  1. Check a number of reviews across a range of sources, not just one website
  2. Think about the validity of the site.  A site like Which? can provide a reliable assessment of a product, rather than a company you've never come across before
  3. Be wary if one reviewer's opinion runs counter to the all the others
  4. Heed caution if multiple reviews share the same typos or phrases
  5. Deceptive reviewers use more verbs than real review writers
  6. A reviewer who writes multiple reviews for the same company should ring alarm bells
  7. People who write only one star or five star reviews should raise a red flag for you

Help stamp out the fraudsters

As the enquiry into web ratings gathers pace, we can all play a part in ridding the internet of online fraudsters.  If you are suspicious about an online review always remember to complain to the website, refer the matter to the Trading Standards Office or Advertising Standards Authority.

At Vanarama we pride ourselves on being open and honest.  If you need advice on any element of the van buying process, from comparing online reviews to evaluating finance deals please call 0845 094 1399



*According to the CMA