Needless to say, it was the shortest time I've ever spent at a job.
So I would suggest that it is a "scummy thing to do", since if done by the majority of actors, it results in the collapse of a society.
Even modern America was largely born out of giants of industry serving their own self interest and fucking everyone else including the climate over.
Governments are build by people who serve a greater good, and they typically get replaced once they become too corrupt, but they become corrupt exactly because society as a whole is typically very self-serving.
If anything, the 'take-away' idea from Rome and her history is that you can 'take away' anything you want. Rome was many things at many times. The thesis is that there is no thesis.
Because that’s really not what I took away from classical history.
Modern America, and the prosperous parts of the world more generally was built by people coming together in sweet commerce to come to a mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services, made easier by the medium of money. The giants of industry that you denigrate made things people wanted more than the money they paid to get them and the engines of capitalism made whole societies richer than the kings of a century ago in comfort, leisure, health and material goods. This is not to deny the part government and labour movements played in that miracle but if you took the wealth of Britain in 1900 and distributed it perfectly equally among the people we would still consider them wretchedly poor. Hand washing clothes, minimal indoor heating, medical care that’s on average worse than nothing, travel for leisure being a once in a lifetime experience if that, the improvements that we take for granted come from the work those captains of industry did and the work they made possible.
> wealth of Britain in 1900
Similarly this was at peak Empire time period, when a vast British Army was marching across South Africa herding colonists into concentration camps. What part of the wealth of the Empire was really freely acquired in a mutually beneficial way?
I’m going to pass on the labour practices of Standard Oil just because living standards in the US were on an unbroken upward trend during the entire period between its establishment and break up. This, combined with the US tradition of labour unrest make the idea that working conditions were slightly above slavery ridiculous. In a tight labour market you can’t treat free labour like slaves. They’ll leave. People who are willing to cross an ocean are not going to hesitate to move states for work, especially in an era of unprecedentedly cheap transport due to the railways. This is a myth, like the myth that the trusts gained their market shares corruptly. They gained it by increasing production and quality and driving down prices.
> University of Chicago economics professor Lester Telser, in his 1987 book, A Theory of Efficient Cooperation and Competition,4 points out that between 1880 and 1890, the output of petroleum products rose 393 percent, while the price fell 61 percent. Telser writes: “The oil trust did not charge high prices because it had 90 percent of the market. It got 90 percent of the refined oil market by charging low prices.” Some monopoly!
Lester Telser, A Theory of Efficient Cooperation and Competition. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Regarding Britain power was partially built on its colonies but its prosperity was not. If it had been we should be able to see it clearly in the growth rate of its economy after the conquest of Bengal or after the loss of India. Invisible in both cases. Economic progress in Western Europe was built on trade and industry, not plunder. If it hadn’t been the U.K. would have been vastly richer than Sweden and France richer than Germany. Despite the enormous disparity in colonial holdings they were roughly as rich. Colonies were everywhere a boon to the scions of the ruling classes, providing military and civil service posts but the economic impacts were nugatory. British wealth was as much a product of its empire as Italy’s, somewhere between trivial and non-existent.
Natural resources just aren’t that important.
Under competition, acting like this is the best way to raise to the top. If Amazon started penalizing fake reviews heavily, it would disincentivise its users to leave fake reviews. If they let companies get away with it, it'll be the only way to survive in their marketplace.
I’ve literally never understood that idea, because it’s antithetical to what separates games from genuine conflict: adherence to social norms during contests.
Lying to make a sale is known as fraud, and “against the rules”, so to speak: enforcing that isn’t “hating the player”, it’s “protecting the game”.
Do you have evidence for that, or is it your guess?
The study I am aware of on the subject concluded the best strategy in a competitive environment is to act fairly and assume fair play on everyone's behalf, but if someone crosses you, respond with all out force.
I think it's called "Generous Tit-for-tat". I don't think "be shitty when you have something to gain" is recognized as a good strategy in Game Theory.
This argues that, if 50% of used cars are good and worth $8000, and 50% are bad and worth $4000, and customers can't tell them apart on the lot, the buyers' expected value is $6000 so the sellers of good cars will make a loss and go out of business. That in turn will reduce the buyers' expected value to $4000.
Obviously, that issue is specific to markets without seller reputations, reliable independent reviews, useful warranties, or effective consumer protection laws. Is Amazon Marketplace that way? You be the judge!
I’m not sure it requires perfect information, just accurate recent information.
And I’m not sure that it doesn’t apply to the case where:
A) You can’t determine when the game will end, and
B) There’s very often several rounds.
That seems to cover “society”, in a broad sense.
How do you do that with Amazon? Stop buying from this one seller? Report them? But chances are you were not going to buy anything else from them anyway and I am not sure how much of a problem a report is. And you are not doing anything about the other bajillion bad sellers, so your next buying experience is like ly to turn out just the same.
But I'm not really sure. This Google search links to a bunch of papers on the subject. It's a well explored area of research:
Note I'm not saying this is practical to implement or easy to do, just that central authorities exist for this very purpose.
Is there a citation I can refer to about this statement?
I would argue that laws and regulations are to prevent the very impactful minority of actors that would willfully harm others to benefit themselves.
At this point it is philosophical either way, so you aren't going to get a citation confirming yours or his statements, but this isn't an unheard of belief.
People don't go out and murder people they don't like because it's both at the interest of themselves, and to society.
I recently read The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, which discusses this topic in great detail.
> Is there a citation I can refer to about this statement?
'The Book of Life', page 1
Second, the "self-interest" argument doesn't excuse shitty behavior. It might be in my self-interest to steal my neighbor's wallet he forgot outside. It has money in it! Doesn't make it a good idea nor something I would consider as a "self-interested" person.
Plus, it's also in my self-interest not to contribute to lowering the bar of a review system. As someone who uses Amazon and other review sites, I don't like the idea of phony reviews, so even if I worked for a company that "depended" on these reviews, I wouldn't feel good about adding to the problem (nor would I feel good that my employer supposedly needs to rely on falsified reviews).
But if you start from the realistic premise that some actors are bad, the market feedback loop immediately rewards them - which forces other actors to make a choice between acting in similarly unethical ways or being punished for non-compliance.
The real shitty behaviour is Amazon's. It has ultimate control over this fiasco but Bezos clearly has no interest in stopping it - and it can easily be argued that's an example of the same systemic problem with market fundamentalism, but at a higher level.
Looks like they‘re going down the LinkedIn route: If you have so many business models that they start cannibalizing each other, it‘s getting dangerous.
After a point, anyone who points out the wrongs is seen as the deviant.
It seems to take a weird stance that self interest has to go hand in hand with productivity and free trade though, or else the sentiment is labeled anti-life or looting (or murder in later chapters). Its a bit of a strange argument, I'm not certain its as coherent as it is romantic.
Anyway, the book would not be nice about how it described a company that posted fake reviews.
Given this, it is beyond me how much attention and how large a following the book has gathered.
Takes an odd definition of honesty to conclude that it's a book about celebrating honesty...
If she could at least write entertainingly she could at least have done one thing right. As it stands she could have contributed more to society by selling hats. Even badly made ugly hats keep your head dry. Her books neither inform nor entertain.
The world can stay scummy longer than you can stay solvent.
Tho lets enjoy the ride while we still can.
That's... the only way to do business selling generic garbage on Amason, I guess. But it's not the only way to do business. I mean, the example is headphones. Bose and Beats and Shure no doubt sell a ton of hardware on Amazon on the basis of their established brands and not just reviews. And I'm sure they do fine, and Amazon is happy to have the business.
The problem here is the search results, that searching for "headphones" (which is indeed a particularly bad category) gives you a bunch of garbage and not a good selection of products that match your search.
But in the general case, return rate would be very valuable for all to see... Maybe too valuable for Amazon's liking.
As long as companies keep getting away with it, they have no reason to stop. Why should they?
That's why I like Standard Ebooks. It's a website where volunteers transcribe public domain books into high-quality books for various eReaders. A lot of ebooks tends to suffer from poor formatting and grammar issues, but all the books on Standard Ebooks go through a rigorous proofreading process.
The book covers are quite lovely too.
I really like it.
My biggest complaint about books is not the review mixing problem, although that's bad. My biggest complaint is that different translations shouldn't be mixed at all, while identical translations by the same publisher (for instance, ebook and paperback versions) should always be comingled. On Amazon, both principles are routinely violated. For example, you can search the books category for "marcus aurelius hays meditations" and find the paperback (black cover red bird silhouette) as the first real result, but the ebook format under that entry is NOT the Hays translation. I don't see any way to get to the Hays translation from that search. If you search for the same keywords in the kindle category, the kindle edition is the first real result. (In both searches, you get two sponsored search results which are not the Hays translation but Amazon promotes them anyway).
There you have it... the world's biggest online bookstore is incapable of selling books properly.
An alternative would be to mix all editions, but have a clear well-designed selection interface so that it's clear which translation you're selecting, and then under each translation which edition (format, publishing date, and/or edition number if there are numbered editions) you're selecting.
A commercial modern translation of something like Meditations might only have one ebook and one paperback by the same publisher. An out-of-copyright translation might have a dozen different editions made by taking the gutenberg edition and slapping a more engaging cover on it.
If you're selling books and you make it difficult to navigate book editions in either of those common cases, you have utterly failed at being competent in your line of business. That incompetence might not show up in sales figures, because people who want a specific edition will grudgingly search until they find it, and people who don't want a specific edition will pay for whatever random awful edition catches their attention first.
This. I feel your pain here. Amazon should develop a simple UI to navigate through various editions/translations and also once one selects a specific edition/translation then the UI should only show all formats (Kindle, Paperback, etc.) for that particular edition/translation only.
Amazon gets a lot of heat on HN for their review-spam problem and their counterfeit goods problem. But the product variant selection problem, whether it's different editions/translations of books, or different colors/styles/sizes of clothes, or different variants of other consumer goods, is easily solvable by comparison. And it's not getting solved. Every product with multiple dimensions of variants (e.g. color, size, # in pack) feels like it has a different interface, random mix of radio buttons and drop-downs, and a change in one dimension can cause other dimensions to disappear or shift around.
Is there any management or programming talent, with the power to implement fixes, left in the retail/marketplace divisions? Or has it all moved to AWS and logistics?
If only 4 is returned then on net they made more sales and the consumer sees that he can get product foo on Amazon for only $4!
Amazon makes more money by providing you with a worse experience so why would they improve it?
I'd much rather shop somewhere where I could choose from, say, three relatively expensive but good options, get one of those, and nearly always keep it, rather than a place where I have 100 cheap options most of which are junk, such that it takes me a couple rounds of returns to get something I want.
Over the years I've noticed a shift in the products I most readily find on Amazon from well established brands to utterly unknown Chinese manufacturers. I've been burnt enough times by buying such products that I've reverted to mostly looking for products which satisfy 1) from reputable company, and 2) positive reviews.
It does also work for other brands too of course. I was in the market for some Lightning cables recently and almost every single cheap cable was a switch-out with review for different products. The only brands I recognised were Amazon and Anker and both their stuff was legit (I bought from both).
Most of these issues could be mostly cleared up with some basic operational policies: purchase only reviews (or sideline the others), no 'changing the product', some degree of manufacturer verification etc..
But they chose not to do it.
Manufacturers don't get to claim this year's junk is so much better than last year's junk that I just have to buy it all the while claiming it's the same product. What a joke.
Because Amazon has chosen to allow that, for reasons which probably have to do with money.
The comments here indicate a surprising degree of naivte on this issue i.e. "I head to email email@example.com about this" - as if after 20 years of operations Amazon isn't 100% aware of all of these issues.
Of course they know what's going on. In detail.
If Amazon were some old, big, dumb company with slow moving ops, barely competent staff, then we could write all this off as lack of operational competence - but it's not.
Amazon is actually a very well run and operationally competent company from top to bottom, and Bezos is a hands-on leader, intimately involved.
Folks: Bezos knows exactly what is happening.
Since they haven't made very small adjustments which could help fix a variety of these issues, it's not due to 'lack of will' - it's a choice that Amazon has made. Amazon wants lots of 5 star fake reviews by unverified sources or they would just get rid of them, which they could do, instantly, by sidelining reviews with no purchase, for example. Among a variety of other things.
It's unbelievable the level of hagiography that goes on with these 'industry leaders' that we build up like Jobs, Zuck, Bezos, Welch etc. - especially when we have issues waiving us right in the face.
I accept that business at scale is 'making sausage' and there will be unpleasant things. Factory workers can't make $80K (probably). We inherently lose some privacy on social media. There will be some fake reviews and fraud no matter what. Surely.
But the scope and level of chicanery, combined with the fact these companies haven't made obvious changes proves they are complicit and it should definitely weigh into how we think of these companies and individuals. FYI people can do 'good stuff' and 'bad stuff' at the same time. Bezos and Zuck can build/fund schools for kids at the same time they are doing totally unscrupulous stuff, it's not a paradox.
Fraud, fake reviews etc. is a problem not dealt with remotely enough by Amazon, this is obvious and the fault/concern is theirs, and it's Jeff Bezos - as founder, owner, CEO world's richest person to do it.
Literally the richest guy in the world is gaining this wealth in part by promoting tons of counterfeit goods with fake reviews - 2019.
There are many easy things they could do to reduce fraud, #1 being only allowing reviews from actual purchasers, or at least now allowing the others into the rankings.
As mentioned on this thread, there are 3rd party companies that do a decent job at detecting the crap reviews. This means either Amazon is incompetent, and is not even capable of basic filtering, or they are competent and complicit.
It's the later.
Yes, there will always be spam and fraud, but not remotely the levels we see on Amazon. It should be relatively rare.
As it stands, it's pretty easy for a regular person simply to go on Amazon and literally find fake products. This is totally unacceptable. They are trying hard not to find the spam and fraud.
Yea.. that, nor the tirade that follows comes close to answering my question.
I also suspect your thinking and reasoning are incredibly misguided.
While Amazon isn't stupid they aren't nearly as money focused as you seem to believe.
What I suspect but do not know for sure is that their reviews were/are a massive part of their business model. Acting as big SEO signals and including a number of nice benefits when it comes to sales and marketing.
What we are likely looking at now is friction at scale.
Amazon has unleashed a large amount of Alibaba trash into the market in order to compete with a very real competitor, hell sales/revenue wise Amazon is the underdog.
We will likely see moves to clean up reviews.
So in the end I guess you were right "duh money" but it's a bit more nuanced than that and far from direct.
If by 'money' you meant 'profit' - then yes, they re-invest.
But Amazon is very deeply 'money focused' - they are a low margin business, growth oriented, they have innumerable competitors - everything is accounted for.
"What I suspect but do not know for sure is that their reviews were/are a massive part of their business model."
We can suspect a lot of things, but ultimately, what we know with certainty is that they are willful participants in tons of fake reviews. They 100% know about it, and 100% allow it to happen because there are several alternative paths for them to choose. They are complicit, by choice.
I suggest they would just rather have the fake reviews, than the cost and burden of higher business friction. They've calculated that the fake reviews are net better than hunting them down.
Today I was looking at some vitamins, and I checked every single result for a certain supplement that was 4 or 5 stars and every single one of them ranked D or worse on FakeSpot.
How the fuck does Amazon not know how to deal with this? 100% of reviews coming in for a product on the same day? MAYBE THAT'S A SIGN, AMAZON.
Amazon reviews are worse than garbage now.
How do you know they don't, and have via whatever mechanism decided that they make more money if they choose not to?
They might have their own issues, but feels more authentic.
I've bought a ton of stuff on Ebay, but only ever sold a laptop when I wasn't getting any bites on Craigslist. It was a limited-edition Dell laptop, so the buyer was really enthusiastic about it and you could tell he was a normal person and not a scammer.
Fortunately I live in a big city now and have never had issues selling in person via CL/Kijiji.
Amazon could easily do at least as good a job as fakespot, and then followup with consequences for review fraud. They could also implement various policies and use the huge amount of data they have available to go well beyond that level and make some headway against the problem. But they haven't done so. Because they can't be bothered. Because people being suckered into buying shitty products hasn't hurt their bottom line yet. They are complicit.
Have we mentioned we offer a Premium Seller Protection service that will ensure nothing... untoward happens to your listings?"
These were electronics, and knockoff airpods to boot. But if I 100% need the real thing, I buy else where. For example I just purchased several bottles of Vitamin D for my infant. I'm not trusting Amazon even though Amazon would have shipped faster.
Last year there was a posting on hackernews how this person lost his Amazon account as it got flagged on its first review with a long history of purchases.
Maybe that's bad for business if they did. People see a < 5 star review and may not purchase it, even if it is a lie.
Luckily, they don't appear to be of any value anyway.
Due to this inversion, it is practically intractable for Amazon to detect fake reviews in a fully automated way. They must, at some point, be human moderated.
Some years ago, there were some studies trying to estimate the percentage of fake reviews. It came out to 2% to 6%. I'm sure things have increased since then, it does look quite bad given all the anecdotes I have come across.
But unless Amazon has thrown away the bulk of the 140 million or so reviews they have between 1995-2014, I doubt there really are more fake reviews than real ones now, in total.
It would be interesting to do a follow up study to estimate the percentage, given all the blatant issues (such as reviews for other products, etc) Amazon is obviously ignoring. Given what I know, it shouldn't be that hard to process the obviously suspect things but the important question is always: how much profit is there for Amazon to do all that work, given it probably won't increase sales/revenue that much? It is not in Bezos' interest.
The easiest thing would be to block off all of China's IP addresses....
Amazon already has the number of helpful vs unhelpful votes for each review.
They could start with that voting data, and then use metadata (geoip, account usage/posting timing, client fingerprinting) to create quality metrics for each user. They could even have separate trustworthiness ratings per product category (a good book reviewer might not be so good at rating appliances). From there, they'd have a rough idea of which reviews are real and fake, and they could start training a NN on the text.
Figuring out when sellers are complicit, and when it's competitor sabotage, is more difficult, but Amazon has a ton of data about sellers and reviewers and buyers and the social/commercial graph connecting them. Amazon doesn't appear to be working on solving simpler problems, such as incorrect product/book comingling. Therefore, I have trouble giving them the benefit of the doubt that they're working on hard problems like addressing fraudulent ratings/sellers.
As for NNs, .... an ensemble of classifiers would be best (but of course I'd say that).
It's a sign amazon is not playing in good faith.
Then they would stagger the days. The issue is that human adversaries are formidable and you start approaching generalized AI to defeat them.
This is, of course, bullshit. Human moderators could defeat them, Amazon is just not willing to hire them. A seller reputation (including bans) could defeat them, Amazon is just not willing to lose the cheap knockoff stores. A listing fee would discourage a lot of the shadier stores, Amazon is just not willing to lose them.
It's not that it's an insurmountable problem, it's an insurmountable problem if you combine it with boundless greed.
We had the same problem a century ago. (Cf. the origins of the term 'snake oil salesman'). We solved the problem, through regulation. It's time we solve it again, through regulation.
I can pretty much guarantee that making Amazon liable for damage from fake reviews will solve the issue. It won't happen in the US - regulation is up for sale here - but it will happen in the EU. It might just be enough to drag Amazon into sanity, kicking and screaming.
1) open a store for online goods
2) take reviews seriously
You had me up until here. The last entity I would look to to solve this first-world problem is the clumsy, over-bloated arm of government.
We're heading that direction again. Our current flavor of capitalism strongly favors externalizing of all costs, and short of enforced liability for products violating standards will always opt for violating whatever low standards bar you set.
(I'd also like to point out that the part of the government that is truly over-bloated is the one that the "lean government" people oddly never want to gut, the military)
Those would be two things you could easily start with, and Amazon knows it.
Allow users to report bait and switch listings and ban repeat offenders.
Require a $1-5K USD deposit to sell on Amazon with a clear fine structure.
I think it could be a sliding scale deposit $100 to list a product, and then scale up based on amount of inventory, customer reviews, etc.
If it's a $100 initial deposit that slides up to $1,000 based on volume, that seems pretty reasonable even for something small starting out.
There are also other selling options when starting out... not everyone has to jump onto Amazon.
I was on ebay, jet.com, walmart, staples, newegg, etc. Anywhere there was a third party marketplace system I was on there.
All of the non amazon marketplaces I sold on combined were a rounding error on my Amazon sales.
However, if we're going to have deposits, there need to be absolutely clear rules on when they are forfeited, with a real, transparent dispute procedure.
Further if you spend a week selling counterfeits and as it turns out that you make 800 usd in scam sales. The 2% towards deposits might only be $16 + $200 deposit but if the seller hasn't been paid out yet its trivial to claim the entire $800 in sales as the forfeited deposit.
The seller instead of profiting $400-$600 is now out $200-$400 in inventory and $216 in deposit with nothing to show for it.
The deposit needn't be ruinous. Just enough to make being a bad actor not worth doing.
$5k is a lot of money
Per seller stickers
This is a beginner programming exercise. They have no excuse for not implementing basic safeguards while they spend billions on AI research.
If Amazon receives product with vendor stickers already attached, they get rejected permanently.
Are they ever!
Imagine if Amazon had a decent algo that would flag 100% of bad reviews and penalize the seller.
All of a sudden, competitors would be flooding EACH OTHER'S products with fake 5 star reviews to try and put them out of business.
Humans are very crafty when you give them a system of rules. Each twist of the rules creates new opportunities for unintended consequences.
PS: I do not think this is an excuse to give up trying
I find the latter hard to believe. We're not talking about a mom-and-pop shop here. This is Amazon, they employ many thousands of very smart people that could no doubt build solutions that are better than the status quo.
Obviously Jeff is well aware, and could do a lot more about it, but doesn't, ergo he is complicit.
Fake Reviews are 100% supported by Amazon and Bezos.
It's basically full on fraud, right out in the open.
Are these different companies that happen to use the same supplier? It's possible, but it could also be one company creating multiple pseudo-brands to game the system. I could probably even find out, but I don't care. The same physical thing shipped for the same price from the same Chinese factory shouldn't show up twenty times. As long as search results are filled with crap, they're useless. It's the combination of fake reviews and this kind of flooding that makes me want to leave and never come back.
You end up having to spend 10x the amount of time down the rabbit hole of different categories, vaguely different product titles, different sizes ("size 10", "size TEN" "10(m)", etc.), and different names for the same color shoe, all to desperately find that low price/size/color combination that drew you in from the search results in the first place.
The store desperately needs moderation to tidy it up. I'm sure the devs are patting themselves on the back for all the extra engagement they are milking out of me, but frankly I'm using the site less and less to the point where I've cancelled my prime membership. The only thing keeping me is milking their free shipping and 3% back card, and only if local alternatives fail me.
I don't miss Prime and I'm not buying much from Amazon and this is fine.
I am surprised that they are not more aggressive.
Amazon needs complete reboot of their search given this level of white label spam and their inability to effectively de-dup results.
You can often find the exact product, same pictures and all, on Alibaba. Only difference is the branding, so it's obvious where sellers are sourcing their products.
It's one of the reasons I use AliExpress: it cuts out the middlemen and their markup.
that and commingled inventory.
currently I trust more aliexpress to deliver the product as pictured than amazon.
I’ve been a Prime customer since Prime launched. I loved it for a decade. It used to be an automatic reflex for me: need something? Type it in Amazon and click buy.
But now I don’t trust Amazon search results at all, and when I do purchase I only do it via direct product links from other sites I trust (like Wirecutter or the manufacturer’s site). Increasingly I buy direct from the brands websites.
I wanted to drop Prime this year. My wife argued we should keep it because the kids watch a lot of Prime Video. But we’ve already got Netflix, and with Disney launching their thing I think I’d rather buy that than stick with Prime any longer.
Not sure where Amazon is headed, and I wish the fate of AWS and Whole Foods weren’t at least somewhat tied up in the fate of Amazon’s retail operation.
The locks they recommend in 'Amazon Choice' have known vulnerabilities that design solutions were found for many decades ago so the products are essentially naive. If Amazon deliberately set out to hype the most useless locks so you would have your stuff stolen (and have to buy more from Amazon) then they would struggle to do a better job.
Of course the locks come with hundreds of five star reviews even though they can be opened in seconds with low skill attacks.
I have forwarded the emails to Amazon a couple times explaining that my email address is used exclusively for them making it easier to narrow down who might be sending these emails. They always respond with a warning that my account might be suspended if I partake in such sites.
I guess he doesn't give us any reason to believe it's a good idea to do that either.
I don't know for sure, someone will need to speak up.
Two of them had the same surprising word that made no sense in the context of the sentence: both reviews used the word "goal." Then it hit me: either the directions telling them what to review or in their own attempt to translate to English, the auto-translation picked the wrong synonym, choosing "goal" instead of "score."
Booking sites dont just use fake reviews, but also hide or even delete bad reviews. I've personally seen this because I travel a lot.
As much as I dislike Google, they act as a neutral third-party for hosting hotel and restaurant reviews. Amazon howrver wants good reviews on products to make sales.
Lots of verified purchases. All the reviews are within the same date range. It doesn't take machine learning or advanced AI to catch this; a simple SQL statement should be enough to flag these. But still, they persist.
One thing that surprises me is that why online stores are not forced to display this explicitly. When you go to brick-and-mortar store, you can almost always look for this label but Amazon doesn't enforce it on their listing.
But nothing is more important than reading the 1- and 2- star reviews, comparing them to similar products, and using judgement.
Also, if a particular popular brand/model is at a big box store, the Amazon listing is almost certainly the actual thing. Random off-brands might be fake, but you run the same risk at Walmart as you do with Amazon then.
They don't have to have a physical store near you.
> Also, if a particular popular brand/model is at a big box store, the Amazon listing is almost certainly the actual thing. Random off-brands might be fake, but you run the same risk at Walmart as you do with Amazon then.
I highly doubt it. Amazon doesn't vet its sellers to well, and co-mingles supplies unless you pay a fee. I think Walmart probably does it better because it isn't trying to court every seller under the sun.
They can get boxes to me so fast, they might as well. Their return process is also flawless.
As for inventory integrity, I agree that Amazon probably does worse. But I’ve never personally been bit by a purchase of a big brand name from them, so for now, they’ve still got my trust.
Haven't been back since.
If they are re-shrinkwrapping broken items then I guess things are even worse now since there is no way to even tell it is a return.
When I had an issue with my MotoZ (which I got through same-day Prime delivery), Motorolla told me they won't cover it because the IMEI said its from India and can only be covered if I send it to India.
(Ex: I order online and the item is waiting for me rather than hunting through shelves)
If so I may consider cancelling prime, between that and Target offering free shipping to Red Card holders.
About a week later, I received an e-mail from the seller (via Amazon's payments communication system) asking for me to delete my review in return for being refunded the total amount, and stating that I could keep the device.
Whilst I didn't take up their offer, I assume many others did which shows how Amazon is 'not flooded with one-star reviews'.
I didn't take them up on this, as it wouldn't be fair for future customers; after all, I'd bought the crappy bulb because there were no bad reviews...
The product page had changed from the old one I originally purchased on to a new one with 4 obviously fake 5-star reviews. I found this when I went to re-purchase the product after it (an eBike) was stolen. The page is here (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K2VLSX5/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_He...)
There is a review from me, calling out the fakes and providing detail, and the other 4 that are clear-as-day fakes. The previous product page, which I referenced in my report to Amazon, had numerous high quality, legit reviews averaging around 3 stars with tons of detail.
Amazon has made no changes after my report.
Maybe it's just in what I shop for but I haven't received a single counterfeit item, or come across fraudulent listings.
I've seen my fair share of imitation (and probably trademark-infringing) products and cheap crap, but I try and avoid that stuff.
So my experience has largely been positive—but there's no shortage of horror stories. That seems the norm around this board.
So I wonder is it just worse on the American side? (for reasons of volume or targeted marketing or whatever)
At any rate, I didn't lose much money and got more or less what I wanted, but...
Acting as a basic Joe Consumer I can tell fakes from reals with nothing but a browser, three minutes, and a simple checklist. Why can't Amazon which has a fucking battalion of mercenary machine learning cyborgs do the same a trillion times faster and cheaper and save me the (I can't believe I'm logging on to Amazon to check how much I wasted...) $12.70 I blew buying from "CR Land"?
essentially only stuff that's completely obvious if it's fake, or if it's too expensive/niche to bother counterfeiting
Also printer toner. The asking price is close to the price quoted on the manufacturer's website, but you never know if you'll get an original, a half-empty or a remanufactured cartridge, and the reviews reflect that. The cherry on top is that if you try to sell a spare cartridge yourself Amazon won't let you sell toner, you need to apply for permission!
Fake laundry detergent is also a big one.
The fake bar soap has led me to believe that people will make counterfeits of anything they can.
I'm not rewarding them for their incompetence