For every 10,000 three leaf clovers, Mother Nature will throw in a four leaf clover…just to keep things interesting. This makes your odds of finding a four leaf clover about 1 in 10,000. Hardly seems worth looking through a field of 10,000 clovers to find that one four leaf clover. Unfortunately, after reading this NYT article, it seems the same could be said for online product reviews these days, why look through a sea of 10,000 dishonest and faked product reviews to find the honest one.
NY Crack Down On Fake Product Reviews is A Slap on The Wrist
The NYT article describes how the New York regulators will announce on 9/23/13 the most comprehensive crackdown on deceptive reviews on the Internet. Great, a comprehensive crackdown on the millions of fake product reviews – we must be talking about tens of millions in fines and some serious jail time! Not even close. The comprehensive crackdown – $350,000 in penalties and a promise to stop misleading.
Fake Positive Product Reviews, Fake Negative Product Reviews – What’s Not Fake?
Go ahead and read the NYT article, I doubt you will be surprised. Companies buying fake positive reviews and marketing companies and reputation management companies selling review services. Service companies have come to understand the financial gain that comes from positive reviews on sites like Yelp and Amazon and they are willing to pay for it.
What is really more disturbing is when you combine this information with the other product review trends we have reported on in the last month. We learned about the 16,000 Fake Negative Product Reviews that were posted to a clothing site, mostly from loyal customers that had never bought the specific clothes they were trashing. Then we had the disturbing trend of product review bloggers reviewing products they have never touched. Finally we showed that Amazon features scores of 5 and 1 star reviews, for products that were not even launched. Taken all together, this all spells trouble for consumers looking for honest product reviews.
Where Does Dad Does Stand On Product Reviews
Honestly, doing a great product review is harder than it sounds. If an RC Toy is fun to play with, but takes 45 minutes to charge and you only get 7 minutes of play time – is it a good toy? We have learned that is really up to each parent to decide, not us. We believe the important thing is to honestly go over the pros, cons and features of a product and then let the reader decide what is most important to them. Of course, having a clear disclosure statement is always important, so the reader knows of any possible conflicts.
What we have found to be most effective when it comes to honest product reviews is video. On our YouTube Channel we have produced over 350 videos showing the products in action, in a real world setting. This allows consumers to see the product and make their own judgement. No matter what we say in a written review, if you watch a toy review video and think, “Wow my kid would get really frustrated with how you need to fire that rocket” then you know the toy is not right for you. In the end, we think one of the most honest ways to do a product review is to show it, not say it.
Is every review we do perfect? Absolutely not, but we do strive to always provide an honest look at the products and provide video so you can make your own judgements. Let’s see we have 8 million views on our YouTube Channel, 7 billion people in the world…so maybe it is easier to find an honest product review than a four leaf clover!
Check Out the NYT Article on Fake Product Reviews and the NY Crackdown
Read the Dad Does Product Review Pledge