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Fake reviews.

I get the feeling that 70% of the reviews on Sephora.com are fake-- posted by the product distrubutor. I always click on the user and see if they've reviewed other items or not.. I mean, almost every product has at least 4 stars total. That seems a little unlikely. It bothers me.... Luckily they have a great return policy so you can try things out yourself. Thoughts?

Re: Fake reviews.

Why can't the verified purchase work on all sites? Every time I review a product for Ulta or Beauty (online), I never get the verified purchase logo. I only review products I bought from them and am always logged in when I do my review. It makes me mad, because my reviews look less credible despite the fact that I bought them!

 

As that happens to me, I cannot ensure it is not happening to others. Meaning anyone and everyone could have purchased there. I will never know.  

Re: Fake reviews.

I don't believe the reviews are fake.  But, it is common practice for Sephora to remove low star reviews.  This has happened to me over a dozen times in the last 4 years and I'm always told it was for breaking the rules in my review.  But I know for a fact my reviews adhered perfectly to the review guidelines.  Sometimes, reviews will be up for a week, and get lots of helpful votes, before suddenly disappearing.  I remember specifically a couple years ago, when Fresh first introduced their sugar lip scrub in the pot, there were tons of negative reviews, and every few days the negative reviews would disappear.  People were getting angry and reviewing the lip scrub again and again, only to have their reviews deleted so that the new product would have a higher rating for its release.

 

All that being said, I still really enjoy the review feature.  I review about half of the items I purchase, and I rely on other reviews to help me in my purchase selections.  I pay attention to the reviews that are below 3 stars because I like to see what bothered people with the product. 

Re: Fake reviews.

I was just writing a review for the MUFE 158 double-ended sculpting/powder brush. I mentioned in the review that I've been using it for the Hourglass Ambient powder palette because its such a small palette and this brush(es) is a really conveninet size to work with in that palette. And even though I think this information is useful and could potentially lead more people to buying the brush, I ended up taking it out of the review because often whenever I've mentioned another product, even in a helpful way or the most peripheral way to make a point (especially brushes because you sorta have to!) my reviews never get posted. In a case like this, would my review have been posted?

 

Also, I have twice tried to post pictures - once in a review and once in a Q&A (I was answering an 'A') but the images never showed up. Is there a trick beyond simply uploading them?

Re: Fake reviews.

I have posted negative, neutral and positive reviews. I haven't noticed any of my negative reviews being deleted, but oddly enough my most recent review was deleted. I left 3 stars for the TARTE Fresh Eyes Maracuja Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Wipes because they're dry especially for eye wipes. I just checked and it was deleted. It is weird because my review wasn't horrible. It just wasn't fantastic. 

Re: Fake reviews.

Hi Panda168,

 

I am going to send you a private message with more information regarding your recent review.

 

 

<3, Randee

Re: Fake reviews.

I appreciated your msg Randee and replied Smiley Happy.

Re: Fake reviews.

What I don't understand is why they don't want the WHOLE truth.  I understand they want people to buy things but if they aren't allowing the whole truth as long as it falls within the guidelines, seems they are setting themselves up to lose money as people will return more items.

 

I noticed that a Mod stated you shouldn't say you hate the packaging of the product.  Why?  Sometimes the packaging is a hinderance to using a product.  It is one of the reason I have NEVER bought OCC lip tars.  The packaging isn't conducive to easy on the fly use (for me) which is what I'm looking for and what if the packaging leaks I'd want to know those things before purchase.  

 

I also disagree with attaching reviews to purchases only.  Sometimes my family who aids my addiction will buy me items so it doesn't show I bought it.  Or I get a sample and the product was horrible (I'm looking at you Becca foundation! *shakes fist*) or the product was great (kat von d foundation *blows kisses*).

 

I don't do a lot of reviews, but I have trusted Sephora's reviews in the past.  Now maybe I should come here and ask the beauty talk family? or do a search on BT.   

Re: Fake reviews.

I don't think there are fake reviews, but I've had issues where my review did not got posted. I simply rewrote it in those cases (and it said basically the same thing). Pretty much every time, the second review would go through immediately.

 

I'm not sure if there is someone out there rejecting my initial review or if it's a glitch in the system. Hard to say.

Re: Fake reviews.

I kept writing reviews and not having them show up and I think I tracked the problem to when I try to 'answer a question' but then can't find a question I can't answer so I hit the back button and my review disappears. Seems like a technical error (but one that I can't help but keep repeating)

Re: Fake reviews.

I checked out the reviews for the Lashfood Lash Transformation System that desertbr4t brought up a while back and just had to laugh. How anyone can claim these are monitored is beyond me. There are currently 36 reviews for this product and I looked at each of them to see whether or not I think they are fake. (Of course, this is only my opinion and it's subjective. The reviews I counted as fake were ones 1) that had 5 stars, 2) whose reviewers had no other products or only products from the same brand reviewed, and 3) whose reviewers had an "active since" date that was the same date they reviewed the product. The first problem is that TEN reviews are the exact same review from the same screen name. (Incidentally, their only other review was for a product from the same brand, and that review was the exact same wording as the ten reviews for this product--you can be pretty certain this is a shill.) That alone accounts for 28% of the total number of reviews. There were five other reviews that I thought looked fake. In the end, only 58% of the reviews look legitimate. The average rating of those is 2.86--a far cry from the four stars it looks like this product has. (Just getting rid of the ten reviews that are all the same takes the average rating down to 3.2 stars.) If you look at the 36 reviews, it appears that 52% of reviewers gave the product 5 stars. Looking at the reviews I think are genuine, only 19% are 5-star reviews. It's more than a little misleading.

 

I searched for "fake reviews" here on BT because I was wondering if anyone else is noticing as many of these as I am. Recently, I was looking at the reviews for the products from the brand Hum, because I saw them in New Arrivals. There were hardly any reviews since the brand is new to Sephora but, at that time, nearly all of them were fake--a number of different "reviewers" were active since 5/22/14 and their only reviews were posted on, you guessed it, 5/22/14. One of them can't even be counted as a review--naturally it gives a 5 star rating, but the "review" consists of this person saying how excited they are that Sephora has this brand now because they've heard great things about it. A suspicious number of these reviews mention how cute the packaging is and how clever the names of the products are. Now it appears there are some legit reviews but all the fake ones are still there, despite the fact that I contacted Customer Service about it twice. Both times I got the canned email that said someone would look into my issue, but I never heard from anyone. 

 

Clearly, the current method monitoring of reviews is ineffective. It is an enormous disservice to Sephora's customer base to allow fake reviews to remain on the site. In doing so, Sephora is sending the message that it's acceptable to deceive their customers through this unscrupulous method of promoting products. I don't understand why Sephora would so egregiously betray the trust of this community that they have seemingly gone to some lengths to establish. Sephora might say there's no way to prove any of these reviews are fake but, according to some of this discussion, they subjectively delete (or don't even approve) negative reviews that come within 50 feet of violating their guidelines. It really wouldn't hurt to apply this same subjectivity in approving gushing 5-star reviews.

Re: Fake reviews.

Hi tomax,

Thanks for your feedback on our Ratings & Reviews!  Obviously we are not able to monitor every single review that comes into our site.  But we do review a lot of both positive and negative reviews each & every day!  We also have a system that automatically rejects reviews that are not in compliance with our guidelines to help us with the huge work load. 

 

I went and checked out all the 'suspicious' reviews for the Lashfood Lash Transformation System, and each of those clients has an extensive purchase history of many products as well as the product they are reviewing.  Many of them are VIB or Rouge clients who shop with us frequently. So, although they may have only written one glowing review, there is no reason for us to suspect that those reviews are fake.  As long as they are following the guidelines, both positive and negative reviews will remain posted.  I did remove the duplicate reviews from the same user.  This happens occasionally due to user error, so thank you for pointing that out!

Smiley Happy -Laura

 

Re: Fake reviews.

Every time I write a one star review, it posts for a little bit and then Sephora deletes it. I assume the majority of reviews on here are fake. 

Re: Fake reviews.

It goes both ways.  My most recent review was an extremely detailed five star review for a product they sent me to test.  I spent more than 30 minutes writing it up.  They never posted it, and I never violated any rules.  There was another time a five star review of mine did not post either.  

Re: Fake reviews.

I agree completely and it irritates the crap out of me. I take the time to write an honest review. In the past year I've written 20-30 reviews. EVERY review that was 1 or 2 stars has been deleted. I've just stopped writing reviews and wasting my time because clearly Sephora censors them.

Re: Fake reviews.

Wow, I just realized one of my negative reviews is gone. And when I try to repost it, Sephora tells me it's a duplicate review. WTH???

Re: Fake reviews.

I just for one minute could never believe that Saphora would put up fake reviews! I have reviewed lots of products and every one of them is still up. As far as writing reviews for products we did not buy that's crazy! Me and my wife have accounts at Sephora and she buys me things all the time under her account and I review them under mine! I never saw a problem with that. Why would someone review a product they did not use or buy? I always read reviews before I purchase anything and will continue to do so!  Thanks for bringing this to all of us to think about but I just can't see why Sephora would need to put up fake reviews or there vendors. Merry Christmas to all of you on BT,. 

Re: Fake reviews.

Someone's "terrible" review of the NARS vault was deleted by Sephora. They had to re-write their review.

Re: Fake reviews.

Not necessary fake reviews, but there are often reviews that have nothing to do with the actual product. When Lime Crime had a brief stint at Sephora, there were a LOT of reviews from people saying they were either super excited that LC was at Sephora or people who were very upset Sephora would carry LC. I've also seen silly reviews for the Christian Louboutin nail polishes when they first launched. People complaining about the price were the most common reviews. I think the best thing we can do when we see reviews that look fishy is to mark them as not helpful and reach out to a mod. 

Re: Fake reviews.

I'm bad about writing reviews (maybe since writing has been such a large part of my career, ironically enough); I've only written a few.  However, I have read gazillions of them, and for the most part, though I'm not looking directly for fakes, I think it's fairly easy to tell if one is genuine from the voice and personality exhibited by the writer. Some people do suffer from "premature evaluation"; i.e., reviewing the product before using it, which isn't very helpful. verifying purchases from Sephora would be a good thing, but I would hope that posts on products carried by Sephoora but purchased elsewhere would be ok. For example, I buy tons of Urban Decay from Sephora, but also directly from ud.com. Can't I write about a concealer or palette and have it still be helpful to Sephora customers? I think so. i'm just thankful for all the (mostly) women who take the time necessary to craft detailed, thoughtful, and helpful reviews, and whose love of products shines through their reviews.

Re: Fake reviews.

I agree that consumers should be able to review products on Sephora's web site if they purchased it elsewhere, as long as it's the exact same product and the review doesn't include comments not regarding to the product. A lot of reviews include comments not directly related to the product, which is not helpful. See my comments below regarding two specific examples of Lime Crime and Louboutin. 

Re: Fake reviews.

I wrote a review for the MUFE pro shadows the other day, and tried to provide details that I'd want to get from a review - Amazon is the worst place ever when it comes to getting reviews that are helpful, when they actually are decent it kind of feels like you just found the holy grail or where the ark of the covenant has been hidden. Sometimes you have to wonder what kind of use a person has been putting their bra through for an underwire to break, or what exactly they thought the purpose of shapewear would be - of course it's going to be really tight when you're wearing it, how else is it supposed to stay in place or pull things in, not to mention if you have super long nails you want to be careful and not just yank it up like a $4 drugstore package of pantyhose you only need to wear for one day!

 

With the shadows, the fact that I was able to go home with them and when I used them on a different day I didn't have any trouble recreating various looks that the MUA did in-store was just as important to me as the color payoff, how long-wearing they are, etc. So I put all that in the review, along with my experiences that iridescent and shimmer finishes need primer while matte shades have been a little less finicky on my oily-sometimes lids. Maybe it won't be useful to everyone - not everyone will be after the same qualities in products or have the same skin characteristics, and I'm sure that those who give "too expensive/excited to find this in stock" reviews will consider mine "too wordy".

Re: Fake reviews.

I never read the reviews on Amazon's web site, GennX. I do read a few for giggles, but I don't for actual information usually. 

 

Reviews are subjective. Essentially we are just providing our opinion and experience of a product. What works well for some person might not work at all for someone else. I take all reviews with a grain of salt for that reason. I like that on Sephora's reviews you can see the consumer's age range, location, eye/hair/skin color and skin type, depending on the review type and if the person provides it. 

 

For example, if someone loves a product and they have dry skin, there is a chance it won't work well on my oily skin. So I have to take that into consideration. 

 

I love detailed reviews. Mine are often multiple paragraphs. I also really love reviews with photos, although the way a product looks on one person can vary greatly due to lighting and a variety of other things like how pigmented their lips are when it comes to lipsticks and glosses. 

 

I try to read both positive AND negative reviews. I like seeing the pros and cons of a product. I generally ignore the completely raving reviews because I tend to think they are more biased. A review that says only how much someone loves a product doesn't really tell me anything about how it performs. And even products I REALLY love often have at least some aspect that is less appealing to me. I try to avoid reviews the mention the cost of the product because it doesn't really affect how the product performs, in my opinion. 

Re: Fake reviews.

The whole "why is the shape wear/control top so tight" crowd always makes me wonder. o_O

 

I appreciate detailed reviews, and also try to mention what I would want to know if I was considering the product. It is a bit sad when you have to scroll through three or four pages of reviews to get two that actually say anything of substance. And for the love of heaven, mention which shade/variety/edition you are reviewing!!!! (Can you see my review pet peeve?) Smiley Wink

Re: Fake reviews.

That is a peeve of mine also when the shade is not mentioned and why that hue worked for them or why it did not, esp. regarding lip products.  I respond a year and a some months later....well better than never.

Re: Fake reviews.

Totally agree with you! I love the things that I buy at Sephora and think my love of the products can be seen in my reviews. I have been very lucky that I have only gotten one thing in three years that I did not love! I'm still angry that the cologne sampler I bought a couple weeks ago is still advertised as a spray on and they are not! I love reading reviews from everyone on Sephora and when buying something new I always depend on that! Lol. All the people on BT are amazing people and I love your reviews. Happy shopping! Dan 

154 Replies