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| p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Avoiding counterfeit cards and batteries - amazon OK? |
Amazon is a safe place to buy. Moreover the product reviews on Amazon are real and don't seem to be handpicked like they are on B&H. In fact I often read the reviews on Amazon first, regardless of where I am buying the product. If the merchandise is a cheap knock-off the reviews will reflect that. Simple.
Sadly, Amazon reviews can no longer be trusted or taken on faith. A recent scandal where some paid "professional reviewers" were exposed for writing fake 5-star reviews (search for "fake amazon reviews" or something similar). Even worse, some of those "reviewers" hired more reviewers on a contract/per review basis to write positive reviews. Both manufacturers and authors have been able to buy single 5-star reviews, or they can buy in lots of 10-20 if necessary. Some authors have admitted to buying reviews and talking about how much it helped their sales.
I can actually point to one book, a beginning android development book, where I believe the most popular review to be false (I'm actually 99.999999999% sure it's crap). The review received lots of praise, but there's virtually no way it can be true. I've read the book, I know developers, and no one is going to start writing their own Android apps after the first two chapters as claimed. The truth is there are so many errors that beginners can't follow the book's directions - it's impossible because they don't work.
It's the equivalent of saying, I bought my S90 yesterday, shot it in the store, and now I'm selling photos to Getty and earning $15k a month on residuals.
The other, not as well known, side to the story is that real, unflattering, but accurate reviews are being voted down by authors/mfgs. Negative reviews are receiving lots of "not helpful" clicks in an attempt to bury them. I've seen this too, with many "not helpful" votes appearing in hours/few days after the review was published. Again, the only one that could judge these as not helpful are authors/mfgs, because the truth is not helpful to their sales...
Unfortunately the world is full of those that will cheat, or game the system, to their own advantage. Time to welcome Amazon reviews to the real world.. Caveat emptor....;(