You’ve found the perfect product to sell on Amazon, and you’re excited to open your store. A critical part of your new business will be buyer reviews. Reviews are your bread and butter in Amazon sales: Without them, your product has little chance to move. Here’s the scoop on what you, as a seller, need to know about Amazon’s review policies.
Compensation for Reviews
There was a time when an easy way to get reviews quickly was to run a product giveaway: Sellers could give away free products in exchange for honest reviews. As of October 2016, this is no longer allowed, according to Amazon’s Community Participation Guidelines: “[C]ontent and activities consisting of advertising, promotion, or solicitation (whether direct or indirect) is not allowed, including […o]ffering compensation or requesting compensation (including free of discounted products) in exchange for creating, modifying, or posting content.”
Opinions vary on exactly why Amazon no longer allows the practice of incentivized reviews. One widely-held belief is that reviewers who received products free or at a deep discount were less likely to offer critical reviews, leading to substandard products becoming rated favorably in the Marketplace. Buyers quickly became mistrustful of incentivized reviews; after all, nobody likes getting bamboozled!
There is an exception to this policy, however. The Amazon Vine program still allows incentivized reviews. This program is strictly moderated by Amazon to ensure honesty and integrity in its reviews.
Verified Purchase Reviews
A Verified purchase review is just as it sounds: It’s a review that has been confirmed to originate from a legitimate purchase on Amazon, at a price available to most buyers. You’ll know a verified review from a non-verified review by the “Verified Purchase” badge displayed in orange under the review title. By default, Amazon displays verified purchase reviews first on product detail pages.
It is generally thought that items which are purchased through Amazon for at least 50% of the normal retail price are considered verified purchase reviews. This is something to consider, as a seller, when you are planning promotions. If you sell for a heavily discounted price as part of your promotions, then those purchases may not count toward your “verified purchases” and the reviews may not carry as much weight with readers.
Yes, you heard that right: Amazon may reject reviews left by buyers. There are any numbers of reasons why Amazon might reject a review. It could be that someone else in the same household already left a review for this particular product. The review might contain a URL to a product sold outside of Amazon. It may seem a little fishy with regards to the guidelines on Promotional Content, or it may even have mentioned something illegal. Whatever the case may be, rejected reviews do happen.
One specific reason we’ve seen in action is when Amazon can connect the reviewer to the seller in some way, whether through IP addresses or through links provided by the seller to the purchase page. If Amazon believes that the reviewer and seller know each other, those reviews will be deleted.
Reviewers can sometimes update the rejected review to remove offensive or illegal content. However, if a review gets rejected due to failure to adhere to the promotional content guidelines, the buyer may neither revise nor resubmit it.
Positive reviews are more valuable than gold on your product page. Make sure you do everything you can to keep your reviews at 5 stars! We’re always here to help you whenever you need it. Come join our private Facebook group to get support day and night. Or you can join our FREE private label boot camp for a jump start!