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Fake Review Factories Fooling Online Amazon Shoppers

On the other hand, Amazon claimed it invests “significant resources” to protect the integrity of reviews on its site, the report said

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Google , US, Alexa, Amazon, Drones, e-commerce
The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

Amazon’s online shoppers are being fooled by fake review factories running on multiple Facebook groups.

The scam is supported by several large and small companies as well as by entrepreneurs who depend on Facebook to spread positive reviews about their products listed on Amazon to its 2.6 billion users globally.

Fake reviewers, backed by Amazon sellers, post details about the products on Facebook Groups to influence consumers, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

Since the reviewers have to really pay for the items, Amazon is fooled into believing that the buyer is genuine but after leaving a glowing review, the product manufacturing company refunds the purchase price and sometimes also pays an extra fee.

“Which?”, a brand name used by UK-based Consumers’ Association, said that “nearly all” of the Facebook groups it uncovered last autumn were still active, the report said.

Earlier this week “Which?” claimed that Amazon’s system was being undermined by a flood of fake five-star reviews for unfamiliar brands.

Amazon, online retailer, Drones
The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

“Researchers analysed listings of hundreds of popular tech products and found top-rated items were dominated by brands with names such as Itshiny, Vogek and Aitalk, many with thousands of unverified reviews,” the report added.

In October 2018, “Which?” said two large Facebook groups, plus some smaller groups, may between them have up to 87,000 members potentially engaged in writing fake reviews.

“We don’t allow people to facilitate or encourage the trade of fake user reviews. The groups brought to our attention have now been removed for violating our policies,” the report quoted Facebook as telling “Which?”

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“We urge people to continue to use our reporting tools to flag content they think breaks our rules.”

On the other hand, Amazon claimed it invests “significant resources” to protect the integrity of reviews on its site, the report said.

“We have clear participation guidelines for both reviewers and selling partners, and we suspend, ban and take legal action on those who violate our policies,” the report quoted Amazon as saying. (IANS)

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Festival Sales by Amazon, Flipkart Violating FDI Norms

“Such festive sales offering deep discounts are nothing but influencing the prices directly or indirectly which is a clear violation of the policy,” it said

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Amazon, online retailer, Drones
The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

Reiterating its demand for ban on festival sales by Amazon and Flipkart, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Tuesday said that the two e-commerce majors are flouting the norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) by carrying out festival sales.

The traders’ body urged the Commerce Minister to look into the violation of the FDI policy by these e-commerce companies and impose a ban on the declared festival sales. It also urged the government to institute an investigation into the business models of these companies.

“Holding such sales and offering deep discounts are clear violations of Press Note No.2 of FDI policy 2018. The CAIT has earlier written to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to ban the declared festival sales by these e-commerce portals,” a CAIT statement said.

“CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal strongly opposed the statements of Amazon and Flipkart that appeared in media couple of days back that they empower the sellers on their respective platforms to decide the prices and offer their choice of selection to customers at the prices they deem fit and offer best value of their products to consumers.

“The said statement of both the companies are devoid of any logic and just an eye wash to keep right the wrong practices they are conducting on their platform,” it said.

Flipkart Buys Back Shares Worth $350 mn.
New e-commerce norms to impact e-tailers: Flipkart. IANS

Khandelwal also said that these companies are indulging in blatant violation of the FDI policy of the Centre. CAIT noted that the key provisions of the FDI policy say that 100 per cent FDI is allowed in the e-commerce marketplace model and under which e-commerce companies can act only act as technical platforms.

The policy clearly says that e-commerce entities will not influence the prices directly or indirectly and shall maintain a level playing field, the statement said.

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“Since these e-commerce companies are not owners of the inventory how can they offer deep discounts on the inventory hold by the sellers registered on their platform. As per policy, it should be the seller offering discounts but in this case the discounts are offered by e-commerce companies which is again a violation of e-commerce policy.

“Such festive sales offering deep discounts are nothing but influencing the prices directly or indirectly which is a clear violation of the policy,” it said. (IANS)