Who Is Loyd Eskildson, and Why Does He Game the Amazon.com Review System?

There’s a Top 100 Amazon.com reviewer named Loyd Eskildson — that’s what he calls himself anyway — who is not only prolific but, um, hyper-current as well. What do I mean by this? Well, it seems that any time you see a review by Eskildson, it is near the very top of a given book’s page of reviews — even though the review is often months old. Eskildson has apparently found a way to game the Amazon review system, re-dating his reviews so they always get prominent placement. I noticed this only because the same two-star review of Freakonomics kept magically appearing near the top of the reviews page. Eskildson’s preferences and predilections (including a fondness for exclamation points!) are pretty clear from a glance at his reviews, but his re-dating motives are, to me at least, less clear. It is also unclear if Amazon.com is aware of such trickery; I am guessing it does not, since it is otherwise pretty vigilant in policing non-compliant reviews. What is clear is that Eskildson would seem to owe me and Levitt a few bucks, since this paper by Judith Chevalier and Dina Mayzlin argues that negative customer reviews are pretty effective in dampening online book sales.

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  1. elkyle says:

    For those of us who don’t speak Portugese (from http://www.freetranslation.com):

    Christmas and his Welfare

    I accompanied the argument about losses of welfare with the presents of Christmas there are some years. But the Liberal Order found evidences of that the article of Waldfogel I possessed to bear in the empirical evidences. Clear, in the epoch, some found me (and Waldfogel) …

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  2. elkyle says:

    For those of us who don’t speak Portugese (from http://www.freetranslation.com):

    Christmas and his Welfare

    I accompanied the argument about losses of welfare with the presents of Christmas there are some years. But the Liberal Order found evidences of that the article of Waldfogel I possessed to bear in the empirical evidences. Clear, in the epoch, some found me (and Waldfogel) …

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  3. Tim Lambert says:

    Other funny business in the Amazon reviews of Freakonomics: John Lott used his Amazon account to post a one-star review of Freakonomics, signing his name to the review. What he forgot was that he had used the same account to post an unsigned five-star review of his own book. Details are here.

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  4. Tim Lambert says:

    Other funny business in the Amazon reviews of Freakonomics: John Lott used his Amazon account to post a one-star review of Freakonomics, signing his name to the review. What he forgot was that he had used the same account to post an unsigned five-star review of his own book. Details are here.

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  5. jhill says:

    In the form that allows you to post reviews, Amazon includes a hidden time value, named time. If they use that to determine the date and time of the review, it would allow you to build your own form that submitted to Amazon’s server, but changing the value of the time field to whatever date you’d like your review to have.

    Amazon’s usually much better than that, it’s pretty surprising that the problem exists.

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  6. jhill says:

    In the form that allows you to post reviews, Amazon includes a hidden time value, named time. If they use that to determine the date and time of the review, it would allow you to build your own form that submitted to Amazon’s server, but changing the value of the time field to whatever date you’d like your review to have.

    Amazon’s usually much better than that, it’s pretty surprising that the problem exists.

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  7. doherjo1 says:

    I met an author who had a work published by HBS Press. He mentioned to me that there are professional reviewers who are paid by the publishers to post reviews on Amazon.

    I suspect that this a pro.

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  8. doherjo1 says:

    I met an author who had a work published by HBS Press. He mentioned to me that there are professional reviewers who are paid by the publishers to post reviews on Amazon.

    I suspect that this a pro.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0