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Smart Buying

Worst Websites for Online Reviews

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

Turning to the Internet before booking a hotel or dining out is a given these days. But can you really trust the reviews you read online? Here’s how five of the biggest review sites stack up.

See Also: 9 Money-Saving Hacks for Amazon Shoppers

1 star out of 5

TripAdvisor ranks worst in our book. The problem: The site allows anyone to post a hotel review without proof of stay.

3 stars out of 5

Yelp fares better. The site tries to filter out phony reviews, but anyone can comment on a business without proving they are a customer.

3 stars out of 5

Another so-so site is Amazon. Anyone with an account who has bought anything can post a review of any product. One plus: Reviews by shoppers who bought a specific product are marked as a “Verified Purchase.”


4 stars out of 5

Expedia get high marks because it verifies that a traveler booked a hotel room through the site before it allows a review to be posted.

5 stars out of 5

Earning even higher marks is Angie’s List. Reviewers must provide their name, address, phone number and email.

Read more about why you can't trust some online reviews.