Writing Reviews You Can Depend On
Shill reviews, what are they and why are they a bad thing?
Shill reviews happen when dishonest sellers reimburse people, literally pay them to buy the sellers product through PayPal, gift cards or other means and then leave a review. This leads to reviews that can’t be trusted as evidenced by so many fake glowing 5-star reviews that you’ll find for virtually every product category. The reviewer doesn’t provide an unbiased opinion, no they provide a glowing 5-star review because they’re looking to get more free stuff since sellers love to work with people that will play their game. The shills don’t care if people buy products thinking that they will receive something wonderful. Instead people are deceived and convinced to buy inferior products.
In Canada there are several such shills’. You may wonder how we can make this claim. A few months ago, some research was done and fake seller emails were sent out asking top 500 reviewers if they would take PayPal reimbursement in exchange for them providing 5-star reviews. With 90% the answer was yes. Some, such as Mr. Sky even mentioned they “would prefer gift cards this time”. The wording “this time” is interesting. It shows that that this person already provided shill PayPal reviews. Some of the people even purchased the products and then asked to be reimbursed! Of course, all of the information gathered as proof was retained so it that can be used to back up this what’s stated here.
So what’s bad about shill and PayPal reviews? The answer is simple. The process is completely dishonest and unethical. By default the process results in biased opinions that lead other buyers into purchasing products that they wouldn’t if the reviews they read were real and provided honest information.
How can you tell a real review from a shill fairy tale? Simple, look at the reviewer’s history. Many such as Mr. Sky have left over 1000 plus 5-star reviews and only about a dozen that rate 1, 2, 3, or even 4 stars. His reviews are always glowing and contain virtually no negatives. I’ve never had the opportunity to buy over 1000 items where everything was perfect, have you? Real reviews contain information on both the good and the bad and almost every item will have some negative properties. Real reviewers aren’t afraid to give you the good and the bad, in fact they strive to give real information. Also look for information on how long the reviewer used the item/product. As an example, go over some reviews for products such as shampoo or toothpaste.
It simply isn’t possible to provide accurate information on how well a product will or won’t work with just one or two days of use. This makes it impossible to provide a review that’s accurate and reflects real world use yet that’s what happens 90% of the time.
The problem is very real, between the months of June and August, Amazon Canada deleted the accounts of over 150 reviewers and banned several sellers. The process of cleaning the system of these unethical sellers and reviewers continues and they will eventually catch them all. It’s also necessary to note that while Amazon is the world’s largest online seller the problem is not confined to them. Every other online seller faces the same problem but only Amazon is doing something about it, the others don’t seem to care as long as they keep making profits.
Notably, many of the reviewers we caught with the fake emails had their accounts deleted, seems Amazon came to the same conclusion we did about these people.
Some ultra-shill reviewers will change their online names frequently in an effort to avoid being recognized, take for example DreamCatcher. In the last 8 months he/she has gone through no less than 7 name changes.
The tag line of this site is to provide honest reviews, you’ll receive the, good, bad, and when necessary we’ll let you know if something is a real lemon basted turkey.
Sellers looking for honest feedback please contact us at the addresses below:
For UK reviews: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Canadian and US Reviews: email@example.com