Be Wary of Fake Reviews When Looking Up Furniture Stores
As I try and write up summation reviews of furniture stores around the United States, I’ve begun to notice interesting trends on some of the services. When reading reviews, there are often fake reviews added in that are either extremely positive, or extremely negative about the company. Many of these reviews are bought by the company or a competitor, and are intended to take advantage of the unsuspecting shopper that is trying to “feel out” the market. To help prepare you for this type of experience, I thought I would break down a few of the warning signs so you can avoid them in the future.
I discovered these fake reviews when looking up Marlo Furniture reviews, and so, I’ll start with them as an example. After looking at a number of different review sites, I had found the company trended around 2.5 stars out of 5. However, when I went to google maps and looked up the stores, I found Google Reviews had an incredible 5 star rating for Marlo after 80 reviews! I clicked on the review list to see what people had said, and immediately something didn’t feel right.
Red Flag #1 – Content of Reviews
First, one thing I noticed was the overall quality of reviews. When visiting Marlo Furniture’s review list, it looked like the page had been overrun by spam. Every review started with the name of somebody, along with “was very something.” As some examples, some of Marlo’s reviews started with “Daryl was excellent,” “Rudolph was very knowledgeable,” “Tonya was a wonderful help,” “Ms Melody was very helpful.” I could imagine one review beginning this way, but all of them? Red flags are going. Beyond that, the reviews just don’t even say much. I want to know about the furniture you bought, the prices you saw, not just a sentence or two about your salesperson. This lack of information makes it seem like the reviews weren’t really done by a legitimate person.
Red Flag #2 – Reviewer History
After seeing the praise for Marlo Furniture, I decided I wanted to sleuth a little more and clicked on some of the user accounts. Looking at the other reviews by these accounts, I noticed that many of them seemed to review the same companies. So either Marlo Furniture shares a lot of customers with a select few businesses, or these companies bought reviews. It was especially interesting on some of the accounts, as you would see them review two dentists on the same day, or three different car dealerships. I applaud the enthusiasm, but it doesn’t seem right.
Red Flag #3 – Extremism
While plenty of people will leave a real 1 star or 5 star review, always take these with a grain of salt. In general, you want to get the overall feeling for the store, and I worry that 1 and 5 star ratings tend to be outliers. You want to know what a typical experience at the store is like, not one where someone had a terrible or amazing experience. While these can be good reviews to read to get a sense of what CAN happen during your shopping experience, they also create a worrying sense that maybe this person isn’t as genuine as they might be.
Overall, it’s disappointing to see these purchased reviews on company pages. Reviews are meant to be an independent way for customers to learn about a company, and when you can see the company altering these, it violates your trust. Marlo Furniture is by no means the only furniture store that has done this, so don’t take it as a direct attack on them. However, when you do go looking for reviews, keep an eye out and always take each review with a grain of salt.