I have received MANY, many questions since my first Amazon post.
“What is a product review”, “How do I get involved in Product Reviewing”, “Am I safe to review on Amazon?”
(Please note: this may or may not be considered a “good” review. Photo used solely for example)
So first, lets start with the easiest question first.
“What is a product review”
Many people, when they think of a product review, will admit that they only leave a product review if the product has issues or if the seller support or customer service sucks. HONESTLY.. you really should be leaving a product review on ANYTHING that you buy!
A product review tells the story of the product. It tells what it is, how it works, IF it works, what features it has that are beneficial to you. It tells the why; why you bought it, why it works the way it does. Do you remember high school language arts? Heck, middle school Language Arts. When you’re writing a story or in this case a product review, what are the features that you must include? You want to tell Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Including all of these pieces into a review will not only help you to write a good review. but will help the customer to get a better understanding of the product itself. If the product is good, you’re welcome to say so! If the product is NOT so good, you’re welcome to say that too! NEVER give good feedback when you’re writing reviews, especially on Amazon, just so that the seller will continue to give products out! That is considered a fraudulent review!
Now, another thing to keep in mind. A product review is exactly that, it’s a review of THE PRODUCT. It’s not a review of the packaging that it came in. It’s not a review of the seller or business that sent it. The packaging, at least as far as Amazon is concerned, is considered Package Feedback. Information about the seller is considered Seller Feedback. Those 2 things DO NOT belong in a PRODUCT review. Including them in there, actually gives the seller AND Amazon the right (and a valid reason) to have your review removed. Why take the time to write a review if you give Amazon reason to remove it?
Now, for the next question.. “How do I get involved in Product Reviewing?”
There are many, MANY Facebook groups out there; many websites out there, where you can get products discounted or free in which to review. A quick google search will bring you up a list of options. Please bare in mind, that if they are giving you a product free or discounted and asking for review, this is considered IN EXCHANGE for a review and most likely the review will be removed from Amazon if you leave one. This can also get your Amazon account wiped and your reviewing privileges removed. Reviews “IN EXCHANGE” for product are considered a compensated review.
Now, a group can ask that you do a SOCIAL MEDIA review. They can tell you that no review is required, and you therefore are then able to leave a review… but you CANNOT leave a review for a product that has been given “IN EXCHANGE FOR” the review. The review has to be given freely, and without any kind of strings attached. Strings meaning a promise of additional products, that you’ll get to keep your spot in the review program if you leave a review, or that you’ll get a refund of the products price if you leave a review. Things such as those are unacceptable, and do not fall within Amazon’s Terms of Service, or Review Creation Guidelines.
What you want to look for in a review group/website?
The group is NOT to ask for your amazon profile link, in which to be able to track your reviews.
The group/website should not be asking for Amazon reviews for products that they are giving with a discount.
This then becomes a what? Correct! A compensated review. And compensated reviews are AGAINST Amazon’s Terms of Service.
Look for groups on Facebook that offer products for Social Media/Blog reviews, or offer products simply at a discount with No Review Required.
Look for groups that offer Hot Deals or Flash Deals. These items are discounted usually just to get rid of stock, increase sales, etc. If they are advertised with no strings attached to them, you are welcome to review them.
“Am I safe to review on Amazon?”
This question really bears some consideration.
According to Amazon’s terms of service, you can only review 5 unverified reviews PER WEEK. An unverified review is one in which you purchased the product at a discount using a discount/promotion code that was basically 70% off or more, or you received the product shipped direct from the seller. If you are reviewing these items, you REALLY want to pay attention to how many you are submitting per week. Purchase reviews are counted beginning at 12:00 AM Sunday (midnight on Sunday morning) through 11:59 pm on Saturday. Please note, these are GMT time zone, so be aware and do your research as to what time that would be in YOUR time zone. If you submit extra, they COULD be removed.
If you are purchasing from DEALS that are posted, these items are NOT given in exchange for a review, a disclaimer is not needed. If you purchase from a Hot Deal or a Flash Sale, these are also not given in exchange for reviews, so a disclaimer is ALSO not needed. BUT, be aware that if they are 70% or more of a discount, they WILL count towards your 5 per week of unverified reviews.
If you are reviewing a product in which a Social Media or Blog review is requested, you MUST, I repeat you MUST leave a disclaimer in order to be FTC compliant! If you review on your blog or social media one of these products, and you then go to leave a review on Amazon.. you MUST leave a disclaimer on Amazon because at that point your discount WAS given in exchange for SOME TYPE of review. Keep in mind though, that many reviews that have a disclaimer such as “I received this product in exchange for my review” ARE being removed… so my suggestion is to NOT review those items on Amazon. It is too dangerous for you.
So, to sum this up a bit for you.. YES, you ARE safe to review on Amazon BUT you MUST follow ALL of the guidelines that THEY set forth.
Miss my first Amazon post in this series? Check it out here.
Do you have specific questions about selling or reviewing on Amazon that you’d like answered?
Tell me in the comments below and I’ll address them in upcoming posts!