5 star rating? Not so fast...

We have all been there. Our fingers (or pointers) hover over the "add to cart" button but we can't pull the trigger. We need a little boost of confidence to close the deal so we head to the reviews. Good news! That whatchamacallit has a 5-star rating!

Or does it? 

Savvy shoppers know that there is often more than meets the eye in customer reviews on popular shopping sites like Amazon. Fake online reviews have been part of e-commerce since the beginning. The goal of these fake reviews is to enhance or detract from the overall rating of a product. Until now, the hard part has been telling fact from fiction. 

Before you go down the review rabbit hole, check out these two fact verifying sites, ReviewMeta.com and Fakespot.com

The process for checking reviews is simple. Copy the URL for the product or service you are interested in and paste it into the appropriate window on either site and it will spit out a report on the comments on that product. Both sites offer similar, but different results. Let's look at how their reports differ:

Reviewmeta.com

Reviewmeta.com offers you a revised ranking at the end of their report. On Amazon, the Ring Floodlight Camera Motion-Activated HD Security Cam Two-Way Talk and Siren Alarm (in white!) carries a standard overall rating of about 4.4 stars out of 5. We ran the URL for the product through Reviewmeta.com's algorithm and their adjusted rating dropped it to 3.7 stars out of 5.

That's not a comment on the quality of the company or product, just the reviews on that listing. Reviewmeta.com mostly checks Amazon.com but it also scraps Bodybuilding.com for review quality. You can read more about how reviewmeta.com works here.

Fakespot.com

Fakespot.com takes a different approach than reviewmeta.com and assigns a letter grade to the comments. To see how it worked we put the URL for the Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, one of the biggest sellers on all of Amazon, through Fakespot.com's process. Fakespot.com gave the Instant Pot comments a B and a seal of approval that states "you can trust the reviews of this product." 

Once again, Fakespot.com wants you to know that they are not giving a grade to the product or company, just the group of reviews on that listing. Fakespot works with Amazon but also scrapes Yelp and TripAdvisor.com. You can read more about how Fakespot.com works here.

So, go ahead and buy that whatchamacallit. Just be sure to check out the reviews first.

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