"In the midst of prosperity, the challenge for believers is to handle wealth in such a way that it acts as a blessing, not a curse."
Randy Alcorn got it right when he said, "In the midst of prosperity, the challenge for believers is to handle wealth in such a way that it acts as a blessing, not a curse." As stewards of the wealth God has entrusted to us, we are to handle it wisely. This includes being careful not to be swindled. Today, with the pervasive nature of online shopping, the potential of being swindled has escalated right alongside the increased convenience.
In our modern age, we just love shopping online. After all, there are certain items that are simply not available in stores, especially if they are sold from people and stores in other countries, and the Internet allows us to connect to these sellers and get the products that we love at the best possible prices. Online shopping is also extremely convenient for those who do not have the time to leave the house to go shopping amid the huge crowds of people at shopping malls, especially on the weekend or on a Friday night, when teenagers love to just hang out at the mall with their friends, even if they aren't actually doing any shopping.
Another great advantage to online shopping is the ability to easily compare prices between vendors while reading reviews from other users. If you see a product that you are interested in but have never used before, you may be enticed to browse through the product's reviews to determine if it is worth your money. If the product has a lot of negative reviews, you may look for a similar product from another brand or decide against it altogether, or you may decide to take a chance on it and see if you like it for yourself anyway. On the other hand, if a product has a lot of rave reviews, you may be much more inclined to purchase it.
The problem with online reviews, however, is that they are not always legitimately from other common users. Some companies post false reviews of their products in order to get more customers to purchase them, or they may post negative reviews about competitors. Read on to learn how you can distinguish between real and fake product reviews so that you do not fall victim to these scams.
Check When the Reviews Were Posted
If you find a string of positive or negative reviews all written with the same tone or with the same praises or complaints, check the dates on these reviews. If they were all posted around the same time period, they are likely fake.
See if the Review is Entirely One-Sided
Many users who have positive and negative experiences with a product tend to discuss both the good points as well as the bad. However, fake reviews tend to only focus on the positive or solely focus on the negative. While some legitimate reviewers may, indeed, post reviews that are entirely one-sided, just check the tone and other characteristics of the review to make sure it's not fake.
Does it Sound like a Sales Pitch?
If a review sounds like someone's trying to sell you the product, or trying to dissuade you from purchasing it, it's most likely fake. False reviews tend to discuss the product's features while also comparing the product to the competition. Average reviewers will typically focus on things like the performance and durability of the product instead, and while they may offer a better solution by saying a competitor's product is superior, it will not sound at all like a sales pitch.