Reviewing after the policy change

castle_romeoIt’s been several weeks since the big policy announcement regarding discounted and free product reviews on Amazon.  It has had a dramatic effect on the number of emails that I get, I’d say emails are down 50% as most sellers have given up their review programs outright to presumably focus elsewhere.   Many sellers are still offering discount codes and free product, but not requiring an Amazon review – and some even expressly forbid an Amazon review, instead they ask the review be put on other social media outlets.    The review clubs seem to also be adapting to this new style.   I rarely used review clubs in the past, and I haven’t at all since the change but I do get email solicitations and on the surface it seems that they have all made significant changes.   Either they require reviews on other social media but not Amazon, or they are offering their products at a discount instead of free.  Is that sustainable for them?  I guess we’ll see.

The situation is still evolving and I suspect if you ask me in a few more weeks how things are going, there will probably be more developments.


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Sellers, watch out!


I write on this blog for both sellers and reviewers.   Although my perspective is that of a reviewer, I do like to offer helpful hints to sellers as well.  Today though, I want to issue a warning to anyone who has ears to hear it.

I am still getting solicitations for free and discounted products in exchange for a review.   Sellers, you need to be careful about this.    At this point I figure everyone is now well aware of the policy, and they have made the conscious decision to continue on as usual.   That is their business, but I strongly advise you to re-word your requests either omitting the word “review” or expressly stating that a “review is not required” on Amazon.

Why?   Other than the obvious violations of Amazon’s TOS, you will eventually get in hot water with Amazon.   Today I got a “reply all” from a person who got one such review request email, and she was irate.   I would not be surprised if this person reported the seller to Amazon.    If you get a lot of attention like this, you will get your selling privileges removed.  If you are sending out dozens of these requests, a few are bound to fall to someone who is going to report you.

Conversely, reviewers you too need to be careful about your dealings on Amazon.   Reviewers are a dime a dozen, and Amazon does not think twice about revoking review privileges if they think their TOS have been broken. My advice is to try to shift focus to other reviewing avenues.   In the coming weeks, I’ll try to highlight some legitimate places one can go to review.


While you wait for that, check out my blog archives!