How to Know Whether an Online Review is Reliable


Online reviews carry significant weight in today’s internet age, and are perhaps the most influential tools which influence consumer behaviour. When you buy something online, one of the biggest considerations concerns the trustworthiness of the company you’re buying from, and one of the best ways to gauge reliability is through previous customer feedback and satisfaction.

Despite being fully aware that you shouldn’t believe everything you read, close to 80% of consumers put as much trust into online reviews than personal recommendations, where positive reviews help to establish a company’s reputation. It is only a very small percentage of people that believe information on rating sites is unfair, but young people who don’t understand a world without the internet have learnt to view online feedback as gospel.

There are new review sites surfacing all the time, but sellers sensibly have a tendency to stick to the larger and more established ones, such as By doing so you can confidently trust reviews and buy securely with peace of mind, where the feedback system is highly beneficial and can be used effectively. The question on most consumer’s minds regarding product reviews is how do I know which online reviews I can trust? Below are a few tips which will help you separate reliable reviews from bogus ones.

Read Lots of Reviews Across Multiple Sources
Though this isn’t always a possibility, checking multiple reviews thoroughly is a fantastic way to safeguard from untrustworthy products or services, creating an extra layer of security. Most consumers make a decision after reading fewer than seven reviews, but if you’re questioning the validity of an individual review or review site, you can learn whether the review is trustworthy by backing it up with other sources. If ten reviews across multiple sites are in line with the first review you’ve read, you can probably trust the review itself and proceed with your purchase. If however there is an unexplainable level of inconsistency, always question the reliability of the original review or review site, ensuring you aren’t drawn into ill-advised purchases.

Assess the Individual Reviewer
Look at other reviews from the same person to determine whether you can trust their opinion. Be especially wary of first time reviewers, and if they have posted several reviews, assess the validity of their claims carefully to determine whether you can trust them or not. Even though you won’t know for certain whether you can trust a review based on the reviewer’s track record, you’ll get a much idea of their trustworthiness by evaluating their history.

Look for Extreme Reviews
If a reviewer appears to be exaggerating and falsifying their statement, it is quite possible they have an incentive for commenting in such a positive or negative light. This is a great way of determining whether a review is fake or not, and though you won’t know with certainty, the chances are the review is fake if it has been written in an over the top fashion.

Spot Similar Reviews
If a reviewer has used the same wording for a number of products or services, this suggests they might of been paid to comment in a certain way. Though it is important to be vigilant, remember that various similar reviews don’t necessarily equate to unreliability, but be cognisant of similar wording and use this to detect reviews you can’t trust.

If you think an online review is fake, check to see whether they’ve recently purchased a product or have a connection with the company in question, and use this information to help you make an informed decision. I hope you have found this advice useful, and you have any additional tips to help people spot fake reviews, be sure to comment below and get the discussion going.


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