Leaving and reading reviews plays a huge part in shopping—whether you’re buying online or via brick-and-mortar establishments. According to a 2020 survey by BrightLocal, 87% of consumers check online reviews for local companies, while 48% of consumers would think about buying from a business that has less than a 4-star rating. As you can see, having a high rating is a priority for most businesses out there.
There are websites out there that can help you quickly and easily browse through thousands of reviews, one of which is the ever popular Trustpilot. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into this well-known website, ultimately making a conclusion as to whether this review website is legit and reliable.
What Is Trustpilot?
Founded back in 2007, Trustpilot is a website where consumers can leave and read reviews for a variety of businesses. It’s essentially similar to websites like Yelp or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). According to Trustpilot, the website was started by founder and CEO Peter Holten Mühlmann in an effort to give consumers a platform wherein they could voice out their thoughts about businesses, while at the same time, these businesses were given the chance to listen to these opinions and respond accordingly.
If a company claims their respective Trustpilot pages, they can directly interact with their customers who have left a review—whether or not it’s good or bad.
How Does the Website Work?
How Trustpilot works is fairly simple and straightforward. If consumers want to leave a review or share their experience with a certain company, then they just have to create a free account in order to do so. Similarly, companies can also create free accounts so that they can respond to the consumers’ reviews. However, you don’t need to register for an account if you just want to check a business’s rating or read through its reviews.
Everyone is free to leave reviews on Trustpilot, but there are a couple of guidelines you need to keep in mind before doing so. Before you can leave a review, you must first check a box to confirm that the review you’re leaving on the company’s page is a personal experience of yours that actually happened. Then, you must also type in your valid email address so that your review can be verified and posted.
There’s a search bar on the Trustpilot website, where you can search for a business’s name. You can also search by category. Let’s take TeePublic as an example so that we can further explain how this website works. TeePublic is a printed clothing store that we’ve heard good things about, but we personally haven’t bought anything from this shop yet.
At the time of writing, TeePublic has a Trustpilot rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars from a collection of 134, 551 reviews. If you wish to write your own review, simply tap on how many stars you want to give the company, and then click “Write a review” to start typing your thoughts and experiences. Once you’re done confirming and verifying everything, Trustpilot will require you to sign in with either your email address, your Google account, or your Facebook account in order to publish the review.
If you scroll down a bit, you’ll find a breakdown of all the reviews that has already been posted. Thanks to this feature, you can easily see how many gave bad or poor reviews, or how many are excellent reviews. This can seriously help you decide if you want to push through in purchasing from a certain store.
Is Trustpilot a Legit Site?
From what we’ve seen so far from browsing through the website, it’s safe to say that Trustpilot is a legit review website for consumers. It’s clear to see that Trustpilot was able to achieve its goal through this site, which was to connect consumers and companies together. If you’re hesitant to believe the reviews and ratings you find on Trustpilot, you can also double check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the ratings match.
How to Recognize Fake Reviews
Sadly, there’s no guarantee that the review you’re reading is genuine. Fake reviews have gotten even more rampant these days. As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Trustpilot would have its fair share of questionable reviews, especially since it doesn’t require heavy verification on the consumer’s part. With that in mind, here are a couple of tips you need to remember if you want to spot fake reviews on Trustpilot:
- Check for a flood of reviews posted within a short period of time. This is something you must be wary about, especially if it’s consecutive positive or negative reviews. It could be an indication that someone—may it be a person or someone from the company—is posting fake reviews.
- Check the grammar, language, and spelling. There are times when a company would hire people from across the globe just to post fake reviews about their company; some would even make use of automated technology for convenience’s sake. In many cases, you can really distinguish if a review is fake or not based on how good or bad the review was written.
- Look at the consumer’s other reviews. Checking the other reviews posted by a particularly dubious account can really give you an idea as to whether they’re a paid person or a genuine reviewer. There’s a pattern to these fake accounts: they don’t have a name or a profile photo most of the time, and they only leave a review for one specific company or product.
On the bright side, Trustpilot is really doing its best to combat fake reviews. According to the website, there are over 25 fraud detection robots and over 70 people checking on the platform. In fact, over 2.2 million fake reviews were removed by Trustpilot in 2020 alone, with the platform touting the fact that its automated systems check over 100,000 reviews within a single day.
Conclusion—Is Trustpilot Reliable?
From all the information we’ve gathered, it seems that Trustpilot is a reliable review website that’s worth checking out if you want to see what other consumers think about a particular business. Just because a company has a low rating doesn’t necessarily mean you should run away from them without giving them a chance—however, you should also give the reviews some thought so that you already know what to expect if you do decide to purchase.