CNBC’s “Why Amazon Has A Fake Review Problem” showed up in my news feed on Youtube. Apparently I can embed videos on this site, as I will now.
Amazon’s problem shouldn’t be surprising. Their solution was probably designed years ago, tweaked until now, and we’re just seeing a point in the feedback loop at which Amazon has a lot of fake reviews. I don’t really see how it’s Amazon’s problem given they’re doing pretty well anyway. Some consumers are turned off by the possibility of fake reviews, but the possibility was always there. A few more are leaving because of the high likelihood, but it’s even fewer who actually have that choice as well. On the other hand, a lot of people see the high ratings and buy stuff, which very much helps Amazon.
This is a problem for Americans purchasing items for prices made available by massive economies of scale, global wage suppression, exploitation of workers, China’s state-sponsored low shipping costs, and circumvention of wholesalers without taking on the risk that comes with it.
It also highlights a growing problem for people in wealthy countries with overinflated ideas about how valuable their product ideas are. Having access to enough money/capital to get started is so much rarer than having a good enough idea to become wealthy. I have a lot of ideas that I want to come to fruition, so I see the current market environment that makes taking something from idea to mass production relatively simple, but I can see how people who were hoping to be rich or famous because they had an idea (and just happened to have access to a rare amount of economic privilege) would be upset with their product designs being taken and mass produced by others for cheaper. When there’s tighter quality control on the part of American throughsalers like Amazon, we’ll see more straightforward complaints about this, and stuff like ACTA.