Some sellers on Amazon are tricking the ecommerce platform into displaying thousands of reviews for unrelated products to boost their ranking and mislead customers, ArsTechnica writer Timothy Lee reports. Lee discovered the issue, which has been documented by the media in recent years, after he went to check the review of a drone he had purchased for his children. The product page of drone had glowing reviews for honey. Lee reached out to Amazon, which confirmed that this practice is in violation of its terms and conditions and quickly took down thousands of bogus reviews. He writes: Whatever action Amazon ultimately takes against these particular vendors Amazon’s broader efforts leave a lot to be desired. A company shouldn’t be able to secure a top slot in search results with such obvious subterfuge.
The top-reviewed drones in Amazon’s search results came from brands with names that seemed to be chosen at random. My drone was made by “HONGXUNJIE.” Other highly-rated drones on Amazon are made by “SHWD,” “Taktoppy,” “SimileLine,” “Hffeeque,” “Mafix,” “MINOSNEO,” and so forth. Clicking on the names of these “brands” takes you to a search result with no additional information on who made these products. Amazon could easily require sellers to provide some basic transparency about these listings — disclosing where these manufacturers are located, how long they’ve been in business, and which other brands they own. This might make it easier for Amazon to punish companies that try to mislead customers with fake reviews.
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