How sellers abuse Amazon’s platform to deceive customers

Abdullah Sameer
3 min readOct 7, 2019


Sellers are exploiting the ‘colour’ property to falsely boost ratings on unrelated items

Sellers create a product listing, get a lot of reviews, and then add unrelated items to the listing as separate “colors”, thus giving the false impression that the other products have good reviews too.

This is dishonest and Amazon should not allow sellers to trick customers like this!

One of the first indicators of quality that you would look for when purchasing a product is the reviews. Products with a higher number of reviews and closer to a 5-star rating outperform others by leaps and bounds. This is well known to Amazon sellers. Paying someone to review your product is forbidden, but the trick of giving away a free product in exchange for a review is widely practiced. However, what is happening here is far more nefarious and dishonest.

Take a look at this Wireless Earbud product listed on Amazon Canada

Product details on Amazon
Star Rating

If you thought this product has 593 ratings with a 4/5 Star Rating you would be wrong.

But wait, doesn’t it say right there that its 593 ratings? That’s outstanding, right?

Look carefully: the product reviews are for multiple and completely different items!

Amazon review

Wait a minute, what is this? I thought I was looking at reviews for a Bluetooth headset? What does this have to do with LED bulbs?

The key is here:

Amazon review. Note the Colour carefully

Notice that it says “Color richenad-a4?”

This is a completely different product, a Headphone adapter!

Headphone adapter

When I filtered the reviews on the details page for just the Bluetooth headphones, there are no reviews!

It’s clear that sellers are cheating the system in order to trick customers into falsely believing the product listing has a high number of reviews when in reality the product may not have any reviews at all!

Amazon needs to protect its customers from this duplicity and prevent this abuse of their system by banning companies who abuse the “colour” property of their listings.

What can customers do?

There is a tool you can use that will flag these type of cheaters. One such site is

Analysis of the reviews on Review Meta

This tool shows you that the product has changed and that 523 of reviews are for a completely different item!

If entire websites are being created to flag such dishonest behaviour, why is Amazon which has record profit levels not able to clean up this mess?