Amazon Reviews? Where do you go from here…

 

Where do you go from here, after 4 years with product reviewing/product marketing?  Where do you turn when rules have changed; tables have seemingly turned, and what you knew has made a huge transformation.

buying

Photo Credit

Four years ago, product reviewing wasn’t “new” but it was a new concept to many.  Back then, it was fairly unheard of to get products for free or at a deep discount, at least to mainstream public.  Four years ago marked a turning point for many.  It was fairly easy for third party sellers to become successful on Amazon.  A product launch made infinitely easier by getting those first products into the hands of willing members of the public and/or private groups of people.  Fast forward months later, and hundreds of shady groups/websites/people jumped on the bandwagon to exploit a system that, had it continued on a smaller scale minus the shady behavior, could have PROBABLY continued at the status quo.  Had it not been for greedy, inconsiderate sellers and administrators who always had to try to game the system to get more than their fair share, or try to bypass current rules, the original status quo very possibly could have sustained for much longer.

With the shadiness and greediness that ensued, Amazon began to look hard at their review policies.  They began investigating these “fake” review programs where members of the clubs or sites were paid for reviews of items that were never received, paid for placing orders that would never arrive or would arrive an empty envelope.. or better yet would simply post fake/fraudulent reviews from 100’s of fake accounts (as in the example of the Fiverr.com lawsuit & 3 other websites here.)  Many of these (sellers, websites, groups AND reviewers) faced legal repercussions when they were slapped with lawsuits from Amazon.

Over the course of the next couple years, Amazon began refining their Review Guidelines, began changing the back end for sellers so that discount coupons were limited on what could be sent, and they began to “wipe” Amazon review accounts and suspending seller accounts (back then on a more limited basis dependent upon the infraction.)  Sellers who gave up the names of their “fake” reviewers were granted somewhat of an immunity.  Their accounts’ suspensions were often lifted by giving names of those who had participated in their fraudulent behavior.

On October 3rd, 2016 Amazon dropped the hammer.  They changed their Review Guidelines and Seller Guidelines, completely wiped 1000’s of review accounts and 100’s of thousands of reviews, especially those reviews that stated that they received a product “in exchange for review”.  Many sellers, websites and groups shut their doors to reviews.  They got scared, and rightfully so.  The average layperson would automatically think that it’s done.  It’s over.  But does it HAVE to be?

buy-from-amazon-1

Review groups and review programs that follow the TOS are still out there, and they follow RIGOROUS guidelines in order to be compliant by Amazon standards.  Reviewing is still possible, and is still within the guidelines of Amazon IF it is done the proper way.

Are you looking for options to continue receiving products at a discount or free?  Are you a seller or a company looking for ways to get your name/product out there into the hands of WILLING samplers?  Stick around!  This is just the BEGINNING of our product review series!

 

 

Comments

  1. I am looking forward to learning more from you. Most of the time when we buy items from Amazon we do reviews to help others who may be looking for the item. THank you for starting this series. I want to learn more about the TOS.

  2. SHARON WATERS-PEARSON says:

    I keep heaeing many different things like you just don’t know what to believe about the reviewing but I’m nervous about getting my account revoked so I’ve been kind of leery

  3. This is very informative. I think that reviews really help people decide whether to buy the product or not. Whenever I buy something from Amazon, I first look for reviews. I am glad that Amazon has updated their review guidelines, which means only those honest and helpful reviews will be allowed.

  4. I’m excited to see what you write about. I’m glad that a lot of the fake reviews are gone once and for all but it’s sad that the good ones are gone too. Grrr.

  5. I have always loved the idea of trying out products for a review and would always leave a real review of my experiences. I think a lot of the problems come into play when a product just stinks and people say it’s great in fear of not getting another one. That only hurts hard working people who spend their money on these products only to be disappointed. I try to leave reviews both good and bad when I have a product I purchase from Amazon but I would love to learn more about their reviews and find out how I can do more of them!

  6. It’s been rough the past few months but as time goes on, I think we’ll all find a new way of working reviews that will, hopefully, be better than what it was. Out with the old, in with the new!

  7. That is good to hear there are still review groups and review programs that are still allowed to review because they are following the TOS and are compliant with Amazon guidelines. Yes, it will be nice to see the ones that are in good standing with Amazon.

  8. very timely and going to book mark this is exactly the information on getting stuff for reviews that I have been researching. I just started blogging a few months ago so this is all new to us and we are eager to move forward and want to learn more info on how and where to find companies to review products.

  9. Things change over time as they figure things out. Word of mouth is still a good way to get business/sales, so the reviews will continue to work. I am not doing anything through a program yet, but might be soon so this is good information to have found! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks for the lesson. I’ve never thought of doing product reviews of this kind. I normally write about products I buy with my own money amd that fit in my niche blog.

  11. Fake reviews should really be abolished. Those posted on Amazon influence buyer’s purchasing decision so it will be better to have legit comments posted by those who have actually bought and used the products. I wonder if there’s a group in Amazon back end who administers and manages the spam and fake reviews.

  12. Wow – I never knew this, but it makes complete sense. I would love to stay up to date with the series for more information.

  13. I was wondering if this industry was dead. I’ll be coming back for the series to learn about the new groups and how to stay compliant.

  14. This is a great article. I liked learning about this. I had planned on using Fivrr for several things, but had held back. Sometimes, it is so difficult finding the right services with legit people. I look forward to reading more.

  15. Katrina Jean Carter says:

    I love Amazon and use their service quite a bit. Thanks for this informative post!!

  16. I’ll admit, I’m curious to see what will come next in this series. Both as an author and as a reviewer, Amazon’s evolving policies have frustrated me many times – but as a blogger hoping to open my blog to sponsorships and review posts in the coming year, I’m anxious to see your advice on how get around the limitations of the giant (Amazon).

  17. Interesting and insightful but what comes next? I feel another blog with options/solutions would be helpful.

  18. Thanks for sharing this very helpful post. Very informative.

  19. I always check reviews before I buy something online! I especially follow this rule with amazon.

  20. Oh wow, I didn’t know this happened out there..

  21. Jenni Petrey says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve never really thought about reviewing products.

  22. I’d much rather read a review from someone who bought the item on their own. When you get something for free it always seems better.

  23. I definitely can understand why they would make a stricter policy/guidelines. It also benefits sellers so they don’t get scammed. I know I rarely review products on there but have for some.

  24. gosh i had no idea all of this had gone on with amazon! thanks for the article

  25. As a consumer I always read reviews. I have to say, there have been some shady sounding reviews on amazon over the years. 🙁 It is frustrating! I always make an effort to pay attention to that and leave a review for others too!

  26. Sounds like a good idea for a blog series. I know a lot of people will not buy anything without reading a lot of reviews first. We make sure to read all relevant reviews to us when booking hotels!

Speak Your Mind

*

Networks

Dealspotr Bloggin_Mamas_Badge










USFamilyGuide.com
Everywhere