Say you're doing a little online shopping and run across a product that looks amazing - like something from my online shop. Before you buy, though, you want to make sure it's a good-quality product that works as advertised.
The big question is "How?"
Well, if you're buying from a trusted seller, then you might just depend upon the seller's reputation. Otherwise, you're probably going to look at the product reviews other customers have left, or formal reviews you find online.
That's a good plan, but be careful because all may not be as it seems. Marketing firms often pay people to leave reviews on major seller sites. If you're reading a blog site, the reviewer might have gotten a free sample of the product in exchange for a favorable review, or it could be a site started expressly to promote a product.
Even legitimate reviews might be unhelpful - maybe the reviewer went overboard with unwarranted praise or criticism. You don't want to base your decision on faulty information.
Unfortunately, most fake or faulty reviews aren't as easy to spot as these hilarious joke reviews you can find on Amazon. There are signs you can watch for, however.