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a word about amazon.com book reviews

March 31, 2010

I’ve been buying a lot of books from amazon.com lately. This is in part because of the good deals, but also selection and all that..

Another feature I have liked besides what I mentioned above is reviews. Lots of reviews. However, after reading many many reviews of many many books, it has become apparent to me that some people submitting these reviews are obviously on the take! Some of them have over 100 book reviews to their credit, and every single book they review they give 5 stars!!

Highly suspicious !! If you find a reviewer on amazon.com who has reviewed many books, and the ratings are more like that of someone who has actually read the books, and the reviews are across the spectrum.. the reviewer liked some books, didn’t like others, etc., then that reviewer is more likely to be legitimate.

But these others… for shame!!

My guess is the suspicious reviewers are either employed by amazon.com directly, or by publishers. Some of these reviewers are given top-rated status. Some get materials to review before the materials are published. These badges under their names make one think, “Ohhh this person’s word can be trusted above the others!” Do a little detective work and you will find this is not always so! Consider this : more positive reviews means more copies sold. It is in the best interest of amazon.com and the publishers to employ people to write positive reviews.

Can I prove this? No, but take a look for yourself. You will likely agree with me.

Read the amazon book reviews very carefully.

You have been warned.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2010 11:31 AM

    Thanks for the alert. I always check the reviews before buying a book, and realized that some of the reviews were going to be written by people who have an interest in the selection, but now I see that may extend further than I thought. If we can’t trust the Amazon reviews, who can we trust???

    • tomschronicles permalink
      March 31, 2010 2:50 PM

      Who can we trust? That’s a very good question. I think some reviewers on amazon and other sites are trustworthy, you just have to be careful. Sometimes, I just google the title of a book to find other reviews, but even then, the sites that I find occasionally have people who are noticeably promoting the books.

      You have a cool wordpress name! Quite creative.

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