If you shop online you probably rely on reviews to tell the high quality products from the junk. The problem is unethical merchants know you make decisions based on the reviews so they have come up with a bunch of dirty tricks to create tons of fake reviews to boost a junky products rating. How to tell if a review is fake? Luckily, there is a website that does all the work for you.
I have recently discovered reviewmeta.com which uses a bunch of fancy computer algorithms to automatically figure out which reviews are most likely to be real and then gives you the products score if only those more reliable reviews were used. Since the shopping decisions I make are influenced in a major way by the products rating, I have started using reviewmeta.com each and every time I shop online.
How to use reviewmeta.com
Copy and paste the address of the product you are looking at into reviewmeta.com. It will tell you what the products score is from the most legitimate reviews and even shows you the most trusted reviews so you can read them for yourself. It is as simple as that.
I find their methods of figuring out which reviews can’t be trusted really interesting, but I won’t go into them here since they are very well explained when you look for a product.
Putting reviews to the test
Not only do I shop online for myself, but I also rely on online reviews to recommend various products either directly or indirectly when I write articles on this website. This makes me wonder, did I recommend products that would pass reviewmeta.com’s (Let’s call them RM from now on) test or did I recommend junk? Let’s look at my last several recommendations to see how well I did.
Wireless keyboard and mouse from I built a walking treadmill from stuff laying around my house– I didn’t do too bad on this one. Amazon’s score is 3.8 and RM agrees, saying the 3.8 score is accurate.
Mattress from You can get a great memory foam mattress for about $200– Pretty much the whole article is about how good this mattress is, so I really screwed up if RM doesn’t like this one. Luckily, RM approves of these reviews. Amazon’s score is 4.1 and RM agrees. Whew! Glad I don’t have to take that article down.
A/C cleaner from Keep your air conditioner running efficiently to save money- Another win for the ABC! RM says the rating of 4.1 is accurate.
Food jar from How I saved $500 a year on lunches– Oops. RM says the reviews on this one look a little sketchy and adjusted the rating from 4.6 to 4.5. I use this product myself though, so I trust my own review. I stand by this recommendation.
Gas pump/tank from Getting the most out of your Kroger fuel points– This is interesting. RM says the negative reviews look suspicious, like somebody is trying to sabotage the product. Maybe the true rating is actually higher than Amazon’s rating of 3.8.
Standing desk from A standing desk costs less than you think– Another pass. RM says the 3.8 rating is legit.
Items not recommended by artofbeingcheap.com might not be as legitimate
OK, so all of the above items did fairly well. That is a bad sample thought because those are all items I use myself and personally can vouch for. I wanted to see what RM would say about less legitimate items. I thought about it a while and eventually decided that the least legitimate item I could think of is…. ummmm… let’s refer to them as “male enhancement pills”.
So I went over to Amazon and searched for those. After seeing all the adds that showed up on my browser for the next week I later wished I hadn’t, but that is another story. The Amazon score was a solid 4.0. I checked at RM and … bingo! RM said that only 7 out of the 56 reviews looked legitimate and the true score was 3.0, not 4.0. If you are shopping on Amazon for fake medicine that obviously isn’t going to do anything useful, don’t even think about not using RM!
The small sample size testing I did shows that while Amazon’s ratings are generally pretty good, there is score manipulation going on that might affect your decision. For this reason it seems to me that running the reviews through reviewmeta.com is a pretty good idea. It doesn’t cost anything, and it just takes a few seconds, so why not?
I was not compensated in any way by reviewmeta.com for writing this article.
Photo by Intel Free Press