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Competitor left bad review on my product - guidance appreciated

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LPPC

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Hello people,

Yesterday and today have been emotionally difficult, a combination of disappointment and anger. I've been working hard on building this product (electric nail drill) on Amazon and yesterday I got a 2-star review saying:
''The electric plug is loose, has been like this from the start''.

I have several reasons to think that this particular competitor left this review, I don't think it's worth mentioning them.
Now in total I have 14 reviews with an average of 4.7 stars. What would you do in this situation? I know in the end it's my responsibility and decision, but I can always learn from others' viewpoints.

1) If I leave a bad review on his product page, then we both are equal again since now he doesn't have any reviews below 4 stars. But he might retaliate again which leaves me even further from home.

But also it might be a good way to scare him off from not doing it again. We never know how many bad reviews he is intending to leave. In this case it might be a good idea to leave the review on his page ASAP to let him know that I know what he is doing?

2) Should I start a new product page or leave it like this and focus on getting more (positive) reviews in general so that this particular negative review gets overshadowed?

Thanks in advance!
 

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gryfny

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Why do you think it's the competitor? I wouldn't try to get even with him, I'm afraid it would just make things worse. However, I have no experience with competitors leaving me bad reviews.

I'm not sure on what platform it is. But maybe you can reply to the review, offering a free replacement for his broken product. That way people who look for negative reviews see that you have a good policy on faulty items. That way you can turn this one negative review into a positive.

In the end you'll never have a perfect 5/5 star rating, there will always be some people complaining. The only thing in your control is how to deal with it.
 

Martin.G

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I don't know why you think that the review is from your competitor, maybe is a real client. The problem is that there will always be people who complain about anything (even if you did a good job).

So don't give so much importance to that review and focus on the others 14. As human, we tend to give so much importance to bad things because it's a defense mechanism, but in this case not worth it.
 

LPPC

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@gryfny @Martin.G As stated in the OP, I have multiple reasons to think this. Of course I can never be sure. The reasons are:

1) I reached out to the customer and offered a new unit and she hasn't responded to this email. She hasn't even returned it. If someone really finds a problem with the product, then they would want a new one.
2) Ever since I started selling more than him he has been getting new reviews on his page and also lowering his price etc. He seems really reactive to me.
3) Intuitively the review doesn't make sense. The wording and the title. The title was ''good, but not amazing''. And then you leave a 2 star review?
This defect is very unlikely also, because I know the product well.
 

Martin.G

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@gryfny @Martin.G As stated in the OP, I have multiple reasons to think this. Of course I can never be sure. The reasons are:

1) I reached out to the customer and offered a new unit and she hasn't responded to this email. She hasn't even returned it. If someone really finds a problem with the product, then they would want a new one.
2) Ever since I started selling more than him he has been getting new reviews on his page and also lowering his price etc. He seems really reactive to me.
3) Intuitively the review doesn't make sense. The wording and the title. The title was ''good, but not amazing''. And then you leave a 2 star review?
This defect is very unlikely also, because I know the product well.

So don't worry. If he seems reactive to you is that you are probably doing a good job.
 

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A bad review is a good time to show your business values and also test your systems. Look at the feedback and see if there is honestly room for you to improve.

Imagine it wasn’t a competitor but rather a potential repeat customer who might buy 100 more drills.

Show what you stand for and what people can expect from you. ENGAGE and make their experience as good as possible.
 

LPPC

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A bad review is a good time to show your business values and also test your systems. Look at the feedback and see if there is honestly room for you to improve.

Imagine it wasn’t a competitor but rather a potential repeat customer who might buy 100 more drills.

Show what you stand for and what people can expect from you. ENGAGE and make their experience as good as possible.
I always do pre-shipment inspection by SGS before shipping the goods overseas. Never had a single report saying that a unit has loose electric plug or something. Sometimes the goods are defective yes, this seems inevitable. This however does not say whether the quality of the product is bad.

I already tried to make the experience of the customer better by offering a free replacement unit, no response...

From what I can see now is that my product page has 1 two-star review. That's a fact. Since on Amazon customers see a side-by-side view of all the offers, things like reviews matter a lot. My product differentiates itself from the competition, but still a negative review puts it in bad spotlight.

Meaning, new customers don't see that I reached out to the customer who got a bad unit and offered a replacement. They don't see that the quality of the product is good but that sometimes defective units come out of the factory. They just see product A vs product B.

I've heard before that Amazon is a ruthless place where shady tactics are common. It's just a different game it seems.

How would you put your advice in practice? Can you tell me some things to do?


Currently this is just a fastlane business to generate cashflow. A real, long-term, brand will be less effected by small things like this. But again, since amazon listings can be compared side by side, the effects can be big.
 

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I always do pre-shipment inspection by SGS before shipping the goods overseas. Never had a single report saying that a unit has loose electric plug or something. Sometimes the goods are defective yes, this seems inevitable. This however does not say whether the quality of the product is bad.

I already tried to make the experience of the customer better by offering a free replacement unit, no response...

From what I can see now is that my product page has 1 two-star review. That's a fact. Since on Amazon customers see a side-by-side view of all the offers, things like reviews matter a lot. My product differentiates itself from the competition, but still a negative review puts it in bad spotlight.

Meaning, new customers don't see that I reached out to the customer who got a bad unit and offered a replacement. They don't see that the quality of the product is good but that sometimes defective units come out of the factory. They just see product A vs product B.

I've heard before that Amazon is a ruthless place where shady tactics are common. It's just a different game it seems.

How would you put your advice in practice? Can you tell me some things to do?


Currently this is just a fastlane business to generate cashflow. A real, long-term, brand will be less effected by small things like this. But again, since amazon listings can be compared side by side, the effects can be big.

Im far an export on amazon directly.

As for customer support I would write a good response on the poor review and state your case. Do whatever you can and show that you tried. Explain (to others reading) your return policy and inspections etc.

Other than that I would just move on. If only one bad review is enough to sink it all then maybe it’s too risky in the first place. That seems like a very harsh marketplace/niche to continue to do well in.

But I don’t know amazon specifically so maybe there is a way around it.
 

Kid

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If someone really finds a problem with the product, then they would want a new one.
Or not.

If you really wanna feel good about this, there was some study saying that people trust products with "some" bad reviews more than those that have only positive reviews.
 

G Man

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Bury it in genuinely positive feedbacks, drown out the one bad one. I believe you can contact previous buyers of your product via amazon and ask them to provide feedback. Also, put something in your packaging going forward to encourage them to post their honest opinion, maybe offer entrance in a monthly free prize draw to everyone who does so. You should also be able to respond on the actual negative feedback for all to see, craft and post a brilliantly professional answer that anyone reading would be impressed with your attitude.
 

Jon L

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Hello people,

Yesterday and today have been emotionally difficult, a combination of disappointment and anger. I've been working hard on building this product (electric nail drill) on Amazon and yesterday I got a 2-star review saying:
''The electric plug is loose, has been like this from the start''.

I have several reasons to think that this particular competitor left this review, I don't think it's worth mentioning them.
Now in total I have 14 reviews with an average of 4.7 stars. What would you do in this situation? I know in the end it's my responsibility and decision, but I can always learn from others' viewpoints.

1) If I leave a bad review on his product page, then we both are equal again since now he doesn't have any reviews below 4 stars. But he might retaliate again which leaves me even further from home.

But also it might be a good way to scare him off from not doing it again. We never know how many bad reviews he is intending to leave. In this case it might be a good idea to leave the review on his page ASAP to let him know that I know what he is doing?

2) Should I start a new product page or leave it like this and focus on getting more (positive) reviews in general so that this particular negative review gets overshadowed?

Thanks in advance!
I read reviews on Amazon thoroughly when I buy something like your product. As a consumer, I'm well aware of the cheating that goes on amongst those reviews - paid shills, competitors badmouthing a product, disgruntled people, etc. I look for the overall feel of a product. Here's an example:

A few years ago, I bought a Hitachi gas-powered string trimmer for the yard. It was rated pretty high overall, something like a 4.5. At around $180, it was enough money that I wanted to make a good decision. There was the usual collection of reviews. Some clearly just hated Hitachi - they'd had a traumatic experience with them as a child and couldn't find anything to like about the device. Others couldn't find any fault. The reviews I was looking for were the ones that appeared to be honest. These reviews listed out all the positives and the negatives. Of the ones that did that, most of them said that this trimmer was a very solid device. They had a few complaints about minor items. Several of them mentioned that the gas lines leak because they're the wrong type of plastic. (Obviously not a good thing. Leaking gas lines = fire) However, all of those said that there was a simple fix for the issue if it came up: take it to a local repair shop for warranty repair. Since the unit was a good price, I bought it anyway. It was an amazing trimmer. My gas lines did leak. I took it to a repair shop. They fixed it under warranty, and I've never had an issue since.

In other words, don't worry about this one review. Also, if they otherwise like your device, people that buy an electric nail drill can buy and install a replacement plug with ease if theirs happens to break.
 

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mon_fi

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A bad review is a good time to show your business values and also test your systems. Look at the feedback and see if there is honestly room for you to improve.
Yes, it is a chance to show how great your customer relation service is.
 

BizyDad

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I'm going to assume you don't have a lot of reviews, because one two-star review should not stand out.

And frankly, as far as bad reviews go, sounds like you got off easy. If it was your competitor, I would think they would actually say something bad about the product. And if they're really worried about you, they probably get a bunch of their friends to leave bad reviews too. So it's probably just an unhappy customer. It happens.

Just go and get a bunch of good reviews, but real reviews, and this little episode will be a blip in your rear view.
 

Lyinx

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As someone said (and I do the same)
when I really want to check out if a product is good, I will look for the worse comments on the product (one stars) and see what they said about it. most times you'll see a few haters in the one star section, and you can easily tell who they are. it doesn't matter if the guys item fell apart on the spot, if there is one one star review and 400 5 star reviews, then it's a good product.

If (on the average) the product only has 2.5 stars, then it's probably not a good thing (if it has more than 10 reviews)
 

Zahida A. Khan

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I've been working hard on building this product (electric nail drill) on Amazon and yesterday I got a 2-star review saying:
''The electric plug is loose, has been like this from the start''.
Hey LPPC, been in your shoes several years back when we launched a cool new product, 1st to market and 6 months later a competitor copied our product, changing just 1 tiny thing to bypass TM issues.

Anyway, myself and biz partner were soOo upset at the negative review and we new it was competitive sabotage and not a 'normal customer feedback.'

After 1 day of giving our good energy to this devastating, "Oh, how can people go so low!!," to "Oh wow, this is the highest compliment ever as they copied our product."

LPPC, we both stopped giving any energy to the -'ve review and we responded diplomatically with lots of love and we also took ownership of the issue.

I would reply in a loving, compassionate way - LOVE conquers all

When potential buyers see your reply, the will trust that YOU will take care of any issue

Best of luck with your Amazon biz

Cheers, Z'da
 

PapaGang

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I always do pre-shipment inspection by SGS before shipping the goods overseas. Never had a single report saying that a unit has loose electric plug or something. Sometimes the goods are defective yes, this seems inevitable. This however does not say whether the quality of the product is bad.

I already tried to make the experience of the customer better by offering a free replacement unit, no response...

From what I can see now is that my product page has 1 two-star review. That's a fact. Since on Amazon customers see a side-by-side view of all the offers, things like reviews matter a lot. My product differentiates itself from the competition, but still a negative review puts it in bad spotlight.

Meaning, new customers don't see that I reached out to the customer who got a bad unit and offered a replacement. They don't see that the quality of the product is good but that sometimes defective units come out of the factory. They just see product A vs product B.

I've heard before that Amazon is a ruthless place where shady tactics are common. It's just a different game it seems.

How would you put your advice in practice? Can you tell me some things to do?


Currently this is just a fastlane business to generate cashflow. A real, long-term, brand will be less effected by small things like this. But again, since amazon listings can be compared side by side, the effects can be big.
If your product cannot withstand a negative review or two, I dare say you had no chance to begin with.

Negative reviews are a part of life. If the comment was from a proven buyer, then it's your chance to play the bigger person. If you can substantiate that the buyer was indeed connected to your competitor, then state your claim to Amazon, or maybe make it a fun post on social media so that everyone knows the truth, and the person is exposed. "Got my first hater!"
Or maybe you just treat everyone as if they were valuable. Go the extra mile. Do more than what's necessary. I respond publicly to the few negative reviews that my business gets, and when I go the extra mile, I often find that the person is just miserable, and it's easy to see.

I believe you focus on making the product and experience as great as possible, and let the chips fall where they may. This won't be the last time you get a negative review, or the last time that a competitor will undercut you. It's tough business. Have faith that your work and talents will pay off and you will succeed. You put something good out into the world, so it's time to let poeple know about it, serve them, and get paid.
 
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biophase

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Probably not a competitor. Because why would they give you one star instead of 2?
Why would they want a replacement when they can get a full refund instead?

Having product inspected doesn’t mean every product will still always work.

If a single bad review bothers you, how do you expect to handle a bunch of one star reviews? Or people buying and using your product and returning a different one? Or someone hijacking your listing? Or someone shutting down your listing? You need to grow thicker skin to be in business.
 

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Bad Review On My Product - Guidance Appreciated​

I fixed your title. It could be a legit customer.

Consider that the response from Amazon may have went to junk folder. I've been contacted by Amazon sellers before and it looks spammy.

My guidance, as requested in the title, is to reply to the negative review in the comments as the seller. Thank them for trying your product. Explain that you sent a message through the seller message portal and have yet to get a response. Mention that you would like to send a replacement unit asap, or they're welcome to return to Amazon, if it's within the return window. Say sometimes problems happen even after each item is hand inspected before shipment, and you are responding the best way you know how as a seller to make it right.

Be polite, be professional. Do not be snarky like "I sent you an email but you never bothered to reply".

That shows to everyone who reads comment reviews that there is support to be had if there is an issue, even past return periods and that you are actively engaging with the customer.

Even if it was a review left by a competitor, then the community will see that you are engaged in the customer experience even after delivery of the product.

back story:
I used to sell helmet cameras (GoPro, etc) on eBay, Amazon and my own Magento web site back in 2008-2010. I also sold a wall charger for GoPro batteries and was the only seller in the entire USA to have that product... for a while. At the time, GoPro didn't offer one. They were "off the shelf" imported units from China and cost me like $2 a piece and resold them for $20. I tested every single unit at my house to make sure they worked and wouldn't go up in smoke... literally. I had probably a 1 in 20 failure rate, and I put my own brand sticker with voltage info etc over the one with Chinese writing on it lol.

Even still, some would die after a short time and one even caught fire. I sent that customer a new unit, refunded his money and probably even gave him some store credit, I don't recall.

Long story long, it's how you respond to the customer, even "fake" customer, when there is problems, and there will ALWAYS be some problems.
 

LPPC

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First of all, thanks to everyone for their input.

I left a 3-star review, because I was not sure it was him/her. Now today, I am 100% sure it was him, because he left a second review of 1 star (3 days after I left the review) and completely destroying the product and saying at least 1 thing that I am sure is 100% false, since I know the product very well.

I contacted amazon about it, they will look into it. I didn't tell them that the second review was most likely a response to the review I left on their product page. Because if I do, maybe it brings me into a bad spotlight. Correct me if you think I'm wrong.

Now I wish I didn't leave the bad review for them, since it made the problem worse. But I learned my lesson, I guess.

All in all, this is very demotivating and things like these make me lose faith in humanity.
 

Lyinx

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First of all, thanks to everyone for their input.

I left a 3-star review, because I was not sure it was him/her. Now today, I am 100% sure it was him, because he left a second review of 1 star (3 days after I left the review) and completely destroying the product and saying at least 1 thing that I am sure is 100% false, since I know the product very well.

I contacted amazon about it, they will look into it. I didn't tell them that the second review was most likely a response to the review I left on their product page. Because if I do, maybe it brings me into a bad spotlight. Correct me if you think I'm wrong.

Now I wish I didn't leave the bad review for them, since it made the problem worse. But I learned my lesson, I guess.

All in all, this is very demotivating and things like these make me lose faith in humanity.
I'll say it if nobody else will... responding in kind was childish.
you can possibly erase your review on amazon that you left for him, I would suggest doing so as soon as you have the opportunity.
 

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biophase

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First of all, thanks to everyone for their input.

I left a 3-star review, because I was not sure it was him/her. Now today, I am 100% sure it was him, because he left a second review of 1 star (3 days after I left the review) and completely destroying the product and saying at least 1 thing that I am sure is 100% false, since I know the product very well.

I contacted amazon about it, they will look into it. I didn't tell them that the second review was most likely a response to the review I left on their product page. Because if I do, maybe it brings me into a bad spotlight. Correct me if you think I'm wrong.

Now I wish I didn't leave the bad review for them, since it made the problem worse. But I learned my lesson, I guess.

All in all, this is very demotivating and things like these make me lose faith in humanity.

What account did you use to leave him a review? Do you have multiple accounts? Is your review a verified purchase? Are these 2 bad reviews verified purchases?

You can delete your review. I really hope it wasn’t from your seller account or another account at your same address.

But, yeah that is pretty childish. You could probably expect to receive 5-10 bad reviews on the near future if your competitor hires someone to tank your product.
 
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A bad review is a good time to show your business values and also test your systems. Look at the feedback and see if there is honestly room for you to improve.

Imagine it wasn’t a competitor but rather a potential repeat customer who might buy 100 more drills.

Show what you stand for and what people can expect from you. ENGAGE and make their experience as good as possible.
100% on this.

Isn't the rule of thumb to watch what your competition is doing, and out play them?
 

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LPPC

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@Lyinx, @biophase , @Xeon

I have a strong feeling you guys didn't read the openingspost carefully. Competitor left a negative review on my page, then i left a review on his page and now he posts another review on my page. Doesn't that tell you that the first review was indeed from him?? If he didn't leave the review, then he wouldn't suspect me to leave a review on him. My review wasnt even that negative, it was 3 stars...

Why am I childish? I didn't do it out of revenge. It was to even the playing field again.

Maybe I am missing something.

@biophase
The review is not linked to my account, he can't trace it back to me with hard evidence.


EDIT: I am really puzzled why people post something like ''eye for an eye''. Just doesn't make any sense to me. I am the one being f*cked over here, not the one who started it.

And it's funny how people claim to be saints. In order for the devil to act out his devilish ways, he first has to fool himself into believing that he is doing good and is not a devil.
 

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@Lyinx, @biophase , @Xeon

I have a strong feeling you guys didn't read the openingspost carefully. Competitor left a negative review on my page, then i left a review on his page and now he posts another review on my page. Doesn't that tell you that the first review was indeed from him?? If he didn't leave the review, then he wouldn't suspect me to leave a review on him. My review wasnt even that negative, it was 3 stars...

Why am I childish? I didn't do it out of revenge. It was to even the playing field again.

Maybe I am missing something.

@biophase
The review is not linked to my account, he can't trace it back to me with hard evidence.


EDIT: I am really puzzled why people post something like ''eye for an eye''. Just doesn't make any sense to me. I am the one being f*cked over here, not the one who started it.

And it's funny how people claim to be saints. In order for the devil to act out his devilish ways, he first has to fool himself into believing that he is doing good and is not a devil.
The real problem is that both of you (you and your competitor) might get in messy situation (accounts ban).
Its like getting involved in fight when non one wants to hear who started it (Amazon surely doesn't) and punishes both.

Ethics and religion aside, you gotta keep YOUR business safe. Losing it won't help you.
 

LPPC

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The real problem is that both of you (you and your competitor) might get in messy situation (accounts ban).
Its like getting involved in fight when non one wants to hear who started it (Amazon surely doesn't) and punishes both.
This is helpful and makes sense indeed. Didn't think of it this way. I contacted Amazon and they will investigate whether they can remove the review. Can't remember whether I told them that I suspected seller X. If they punish him, then he will take revenge as he has shown.

I'm f*cked either way.

I can't delete the review easily. This is on a Dutch platform which is almost the same as Amazon, but different brand. I also can't react to the reviews as people have told me earlier.

I could have the one who left the review send an email to them to remove the review. Is that a wise move? @biophase @Lyinx @Kid
 

biophase

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@Lyinx, @biophase , @Xeon

I have a strong feeling you guys didn't read the openingspost carefully. Competitor left a negative review on my page, then i left a review on his page and now he posts another review on my page. Doesn't that tell you that the first review was indeed from him?? If he didn't leave the review, then he wouldn't suspect me to leave a review on him. My review wasnt even that negative, it was 3 stars...

Why am I childish? I didn't do it out of revenge. It was to even the playing field again.

Maybe I am missing something.

@biophase
The review is not linked to my account, he can't trace it back to me with hard evidence.

I did read your post. First of all you don't know it was a competitor. Just because you got a second bad review doesn't mean it was him. Everyone gets bad reviews on Amazon.

And yes exactly like you said, you left him a 3 star review, not a 1 star review. So why would he suspect it was you? He would suspect a competitor life you to leave him a 1 star or 2 star review in retaliation.

In my opinion, you are reading into the single bad review way too much. If a single bad review takes this much of your time, I really don't know how you are going to handle future issues.

You are worried that you had a 4.7 rating. Most of us would love to maintain a 4.7 rating on all of our listings. You are just jumping to conclusions and sitting around being all paranoid.

Are both the bad reviews Verified Purchases? You haven't answered that question, because if they are, it's highly unlikely that it's a competitor.

Actually, I welcome bad reviews also like @Fox says. It gives me a chance to reply and communicate with future customers. As someone else mentioned, they read the 1 star reviews before making a purchase, which means they will read the review and also read the company reply. If the company reply is good, it will change their mind on the product.
 

biophase

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This is helpful and makes sense indeed. Didn't think of it this way. I contacted Amazon and they will investigate whether they can remove the review. Can't remember whether I told them that I suspected seller X. If they punish him, then he will take revenge as he has shown.

I'm f*cked either way.

Why bother even trying to remove the review? Just let it be and work on your business and get more reviews.
 

LPPC

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I did read your post. First of all you don't know it was a competitor. Just because you got a second bad review doesn't mean it was him. Everyone gets bad reviews on Amazon.

And yes exactly like you said, you left him a 3 star review, not a 1 star review. So why would he suspect it was you? He would suspect a competitor life you to leave him a 1 star or 2 star review in retaliation.

In my opinion, you are reading into the single bad review way too much. If a single bad review takes this much of your time, I really don't know how you are going to handle future issues.

You are worried that you had a 4.7 rating. Most of us would love to maintain a 4.7 rating on all of our listings. You are just jumping to conclusions and sitting around being all paranoid.

Are both the bad reviews Verified Purchases? You haven't answered that question, because if they are, it's highly unlikely that it's a competitor.

Actually, I welcome bad reviews also like @Fox says. It gives me a chance to reply and communicate with future customers. As someone else mentioned, they read the 1 star reviews before making a purchase, which means they will read the review and also read the company reply. If the company reply is good, it will change their mind on the product.
One of the reasons is that the review says that the nail drill vibrates so bad that it ''blocks their view''. I am 100% sure that one of the major strengths of this product is that it doesn't vibrate at all. I carefully selected it on that.

Isn't it all too much of a coincidence that 2 negative reviews get all posted in the same week, one 3 days after I placed a review on theirs?

In the previous post I typed:

''I can't delete the review easily. This is on a Dutch platform which is almost the same as Amazon, but different brand. I also can't react to the reviews as people have told me earlier.

I could have the one who left the review send an email to them to remove the review. Is that a wise move? @biophase @Lyinx @Kid'' <-- I mean the review I left for the competitor.

I can't see whether it is a verified purchase. This platform does not show that.

EDIT:
I do agree that, especially the first review, took to much of my time.
 

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