Sounds like a fun business plan

Justin Fryer, the number one Amazon reviewer in the UK, left a five-star rating once every four hours on average in August, according to the FT’s analysis. Many of these reviews were for products from random Chinese companies. Fryer then seems to have resold the products on eBay.

No, there must be more to it than that.

Once the connection is made, the reviewer chooses a free product, then waits a few days to write a five-star review. After the review is posted, they get a full refund, and, at times, an extra payment.

Err, refund, extra payment and also flog off the item? That sounds better.

So, where do I sign up? Although taking four hours to write a review seems excessive. 20 minutes maybe?

30 thoughts on “Sounds like a fun business plan”

  1. This is an increasingly bigly yuge problem with Jeff Bezos’ jumble sale, if he can’t keep Chinese scammers from Ali Babaing the place up it’s in long term trouble and may end up slumming it with eBay.

    Try ordering certain types of battery on Amazon and you get to choose between different types of fakes and hope you end up with one that doesn’t explode while charging. The meta problem is that China is a low trust society based on lying and swindling, their consumer electronics firms actually make some cracking products these days with great quality and value, but it’s apparently easy for unscrupulous vendors to churn out low-quality knock-offs.

  2. I received a similar offer, couple weeks ago. Buy a car traffic camera/recorder. Give it a review. Get a full refund. I seem to remember some discounts were in the package, as well. I suspect if one did, another offer would be along in due course. The “extra payment” would be in the discounts. Buy the item at the discounted price then flog at a higher. Anyone doing this is going to be giving favourable reviews to keep the ball rolling.

  3. I’ve never used Amazon. Is it too late to start: are the glory days over? I mean, we can buy dud stuff at B&Q or (sad to say) John Lewis, so why enrich Mr Lizardhead?

    On the subject of consumer society, Virgin Media’s broadband service has been lousy for us since roughly Xmas. There ough’a be a law abaht it.

  4. “the meta problem is that China is a low trust society based on lying and swindling (…) it’s apparently easy for unscrupulous vendors to churn out low-quality knock-offs.”

    My other half earns about half her living purchasing electronic components- resistors, capacitors, boards, chips etc.

    She won’t touch Chinese stuff because there are so many non-working knock-offs around.

  5. “it’s apparently easy for unscrupulous vendors to churn out low-quality knock-offs”

    The ironing being that they used to knock-off ‘Merican products. Rather refreshing that they knock-off their fellow Chinese.

  6. It’s a particular problem in the bicycle light sector since the introduction of hi powered leds. Often the lithium batteries used are recycled laptop batteries. It’s recommended that if you buy a chinese led light that you place the charger and light in a metal biscuit tin and and place them outside whilst charging in case either component bursts into flames. Even then the run time of the lights will be a lot lower than advertised along with the lumen rating.

  7. I use Amazon for new books, kindle and Prime cinema, for little stuff (like todays M10 bolts and a fence post bracket/shoe) I prefer eBay. Also use it for used books, dvd’s, etc. Amazon sometimes for bigger stuff like hoover etc. I like them both, I only review/rate on eBay the smaller sellers when delivery is fast, price is good and the product is spot on.

  8. “Moqufin

    It’s a particular problem in the bicycle light sector since the introduction of hi powered leds.”

    A pox on them and all who use them. Burning holes in my retina.

    I wish I had photo-sensitive epilepsy so I could legitimately ram them claiming they’d caused a fit.

  9. @andrew c – another angry motorist with fantasies of killing cyclists- may a pox be on you. Fed up of all the cyclist haters that infest the uk. If you had photo sensitive epilepsy you shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

  10. I’ve been on a few sales websites, gunbroker and ebay come to mind first, websites that have ‘ratings.’

    They all rapidly escalated to “everyone is wonderful.” Not giving someone a top rating was considered an evil assault.

    Grade inflation meant the ratings were useless.

  11. Dennis, He Who Has The Optional Chainsaw Bayonet Attachment For His Assault Style Rifle

    Grade inflation meant the ratings were useless.

    Gunbroker’s rating system is so bad I abandoned the site after two bad experiences with “top rated” sellers, both of whom (upon further investigation) had horrendous feedback from the BBB and other rating websites.

  12. A pox on them and all who use them. Burning holes in my retina.

    They’re still no match for a Range Rover lights on main beam.

  13. I think I know which ones you mean, Andrew C. They’re using a flashing light way above the light density would be legal for a car. They’re also very dangerous. The after images they leave on your retinas can obscure hazards on the road. But it’s a common attitude with the lycra community. As long as they’re OK. sod everyone else.

  14. I think the problem, in my case, is, I have a small old car. These modern cars have those modern lights but more importantly, they are higher up, a SUV or something. So it is easy to be blinded. Their lights are at the same level as my eyes. Luckily I don’t really have to drive in the evening when it’s dark. I’ve bought petrol 3 times since February. Not really contributing to the economy. Change the mask policy and the activity will follow.

  15. I can’t see you’re problem with batteries from Amazon, Steve. I’ve re-batteried all the laptops via Amazon sellers. They’ve all been better than the OES. And AliExpress is fantastic. Spent thousands with them. Reject rate’s been around 2-3%. Almost all of that’s been damaged in transit. Which gets a refund.
    I think much of the problems people have is unreal expectations. If it’s a hundred quid in the shop & someone’s selling an equivalent for five it’s probably sh1t. I buy a lot of apparel. Store mark-ups can be 200%. Then the importer/wholesaler will take a cut. So if it comes at less than 30% of retail I’m probably getting the same goods from China as the shops are selling without paying the intermediaries. But at less than 10% I’d smell a rodent & not buy.

  16. “Fed up of all the cyclist haters”: as someone who commuted by bike for decades I am a cyclist hater. It was clear that if I died under the wheels of a car it would have been because some other cyclist sent me there: just too many incompetent, selfish cunts among them. Hell, our local car drivers are more considerate of cyclists than their fellow cyclists are. (Well, apart from taxi drivers.)

  17. @Steve
    I use eBuyer for batteries etc

    @Andrew C
    +1 Selfish cyclists blinding motorists behind them has caused accidents including hitting pedestrians they didn’t see

    @moqifen
    Don’t put lights on body/head, put low down on bicycle. They are so others See you, be considerate to others

    1. Lights on you illegal
    2. Flashing lights illegal

    There is a reason car lights must be between Xcm and Ycm above road and of a stipulated brightness

  18. Amazing how freedom-lovin libertarians just love a-regulatin’ the most vulnerable road users.

    Anyways, bis, if you can tell me how to get a genuine, new, Samsung S7 battery on amazin, or anywhere else, I am all ears. The ones I find are either cheap knock-offs, or stripped out of dead phones.

  19. As a keen cyclist on forestry type tracks especially, can I reinforce the comments that approx 70% of the lycra brigade are screaming nobs.
    Most of them are so far up their own arse they need one of their fancy lights to see out.
    Lycra FFS – on a grown man – get a grip.

  20. @Gamecock… In my (much) younger days I used to ride huge distances on my bike. Lycra hadn’t been invented, so one rode in normal street togs. Don’t remember ever getting any uncomfortable rashes or attacks of “the knock”. Maybe we were tougher in those olden days.

  21. ‘…four hours to write a review seems excessive. 20 minutes maybe?’

    If I was building my livelihood around this I’d be using more than one Amazon account.

    Plus he now has 20,000 hot leads to chase up…

  22. @Commander Jameson

    Amazing how freedom-lovin libertarians just love a-regulatin’ the most vulnerable road users

    Seriously?
    Libertarians: “Do no harm”
    Most vulnerable road users [Whut?] : Blind and kill other road users because only I matter

    I’m a pedestrian, cyclist, biker and car driver – don’t be selfish, think of others

    I’m equally angered at peeps who press crossing button without looking and thinking “No need, I can cross before car arrives / I can let that one car pass before I cross” selfish

    Lycra? Nope, normal clothes inc cotton Y-Fronts

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