Wondering if your verified reviews on Amazon hold more weight in Amazon's algorithm? Our experts discovered the answer, and what it means for sellers “Verified” reviews do not include reviews made by customers who got the purchase at a deep discount, for free, or from another website. In order to qualify, the customer must have paid at least 50% of the cost of the product and ordered directly from their Amazon account. Amazon has been removing “verified” badges from reviews that don’t fit the above requirements Well, before you panic and shut down the review campaign you just launched, keep reading. Verified vs. Non-Verified Product Reviews. Non-verified reviews will still show up, but the product may appear lower on a search than a similar product with more verified reviews.
One of the most crucial factors to having a successful product on Amazon is the quality of your customer reviews. This week, Jeffrey Cohen, Director of Business Development at , joins us to explain how to get reviews on Amazon and the strategies to create incentivized reviews. Jeff also shares up-to-date tools that bring organic reviews to your product listings and can boost the number of reviews your products get.
Subscribe: | (With your host Andrew Youderian of and Jeffrey Cohen of ) Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast. The show dedicated to helping high six and seven figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I’m your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur Andrew Youderian. Hey guys. It’s Andrew here, and welcome to the eCommerce Fuel Podcast. Thanks so much for joining me on the episode. Today, we’re gonna be continuing our series on Amazon, and specifically talking about reviews.
You know, getting reviews, how they impact, you know, the search algorithm, how important they are, some of the implications behind incentivized reviews. All this kind of stuff we’ll be tackling today. And joining me to talk about it is Jeff Cohen from , and you may not have heard of Seller Labs, but there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the products that they put out.
Their most popular one is called Feedback Genius, and it’s a tool that allows you to affectively set up automated email campaigns to communicate with your Amazon customers. I get feedback from ’em and drive reviews to Amazon. They also run a site called , where they help facilitate getting reviews for your products on Amazon through, a lot of times, giving away products or discounting products, things like that. So those are the two businesses that Jeff is involved with.
He knows a tremendous amount about Amazon, but particularly, how reviews impact everything. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive into my chat with Jeff about reviews on Amazon. I think its interesting understanding Vine a little bit better now.
You know, there’s been a lot of press about non-legitimate, like paid reviews, which is against Amazon’s terms of service. I know, you know, about Snagshout totally doesn’t plan those at all. But it’ll be interesting knowing that Amazon is very heavily in creating reviews through free products as well. I didn’t know that they were so entrenched in that, especially with only offering it to people who sold directly to them.
All that being said, what are Amazon’s terms of service about generating reviews in terms of payments, giveaways? What can you do, what can’t you do? Generating Reviews for Payment or Giveaways Jeff: Yeah, so here’s kind of the easiest way to say it. Amazon allows you to sell products at a discount.
Amazon allows you to give products away for free. Amazon does not allow you to sell products at a discount, or give them away for free, and require a review. You can encourage your review, but you cannot require it. And so does not require a review when the product is given away. But we do ask our buyers to leave reviews once the product has been received, and so it is semantics. But it does make a big difference, and so what Amazon is going after are sites.
So there are some sites out there who will say, “Our reviewers understand their obligation to leave reviews.” Well, your buyer cannot have an obligation to leave a review. They cannot be provided an incentive to leave a review.
You cannot provide the product to a family member, and ask them for review. And you cannot sell a product, never ship a product, and then have somebody write a review. And those are the main things Amazon has been going after. So Fiverr, there were literally people on who were running deals, where they would buy your product. You would never ship it to them, and you would write…and they would write a review for you. They are going after those people, and rightfully, they should. They are infringing on the trust of their review system and breaking Amazon’s blatant terms of service.
So if you’re providing a product at a discount, and you’re providing it that to somebody, and then after they receive it, you’re asking them if they would like to leave a review, you are totally within Amazon’s terms of service. And if they make a full purchase of your product and you ask them to leave a review, you are completely within Amazon’s terms of service.
Andrew: And the Terms of Service aside. You know, obviously, things like Vine, Snagshout, just donating products in general, like that’s one of the ways I’ve built up the SEO profile for Right Channel Radios. I’ve used, you know, donated products for either SEO or reviews in a lot of different ways. But all of that aside, terms of service aside, do you think it’s possible for someone who gets a review, or gets a product either at a heavy discount, or for free to be 100% objective when they’re leaving that review?
Jeff: So I think the easy answer is for me to say yes. But I would say, maybe, because I promised you I’d be honest. I think your product has to really suck for somebody to get your product at a discount, and then leave you a review, and tell you it’s bad. But with that being said, bad products do get bad reviews. And so the review rate on Snagshout is 85% of our products generate reviews, and 92% of those get a four star or higher. So there is a tendency for those to get higher reviews.
But if you look at the statistics of Amazon in general, and their star rating, the 92% is not out of line with the overall review rate and the star rating of sellers on Amazon. Buyers on Amazon have a tendency to leave good product reviews for their products, and they tend to request refunds for bad products. Partially, I believe that the tendency to do that on Amazon is that way, because Amazon has such a good returns policy that if you do buy a product and the products bad, and you get a return and you have good customer service, you’re less likely to actually go bash the product, because you had an overall positive experience.
But if you get a product and its bad, you’re still willing to be honest about that. And we tell our merchants all the time, “You don’t just get good reviews because you run a promotion. Like, you have to have a good product, and if you’re making a cheap, inferior product, the review community will say that.” Amazon’s Onslaught of Fake Reviews Andrew: If any changes are on the horizon for product reviews, especially with Amazon, I mean, there’s been, like I kind of alluded to earlier, a lot of press about Amazon suing people who are paying reviews, more fake reviews coming in.
I think you can have a good balance, because I mean, in the produce I launched on Amazon, I use Snagshout to get, kind of like you mention at the top, with get to that 9 or 10 review level and then was starting to try to build organically on top of it. Because it’s tough sledding going right out of the gates. That being said, there definitely are products on Amazon, where let’s say they’ve got 100 reviews, and 99 of those you can tell were for the discounted product.
At the end of every one says, “You know, I received this…” you know? And I would guess you would agree, that is a little, you know…if anything that hurts the credibility when you read 99 views that you know they already acquired at a discount. So given both of those things, do you see Amazon making any changes, you know, in the coming future? And if so, what would those be?
Jeff: So the integrity of the Amazon review system is significantly important to Amazon. We do know that they’ve put a review…a product review monitoring team in place that’s looking at both sellers and buyers. They are fighting as many fake buyers as they are finding fake sellers, or bad sellers. What I always tell people is you gotta look natural.
And the more natural you look, the more likely you are to succeed in the long run. And if you’re trying to game the system.
The system will eventually catch up with you, and you will lose. And so this was a conversation that Spencer, you know, from and I had, because of his experience with Google is that, you know, Google eventually caught up with all the people that were doing all the bad things, with the link farms, and the buying of links, and all those types of tactics that allowed you to win on Google for some period of time, but don’t work anymore.
And Amazon is going to be the same way. You have to look at Amazon as still being in its infancy, and that it’s still maturing, right? It’s kind of funny to talk about a 10 year old company being in its infancy, but it really is. And the growth of product reviews has exploded with the growth of FBA.
And so as the third party marketplace is growing, the number of review have grown. And so Amazon has been slow to kind of catch up with it, but they will catch up with it, because it’s important to them. And so again, if your product is naturally selling 10 units a day, but you’re generating 10 reviews a day, you don’t look natural.
If everybody in your niche has one 100 reviews, and you somehow generated 500 reviews, you don’t look natural. And so if you try to do things and you try to act naturally and look naturally, and you use a tool like Snagshout to supplement, instead of generate, then you’re gonna be more likely to succeed in the long run.
And so that’s really what I try to tell sellers. Is that, you know, “Listen, if you were gonna open up a pizza shop…” I live in Chicago, so we all have to open up either a pizza shop or a hotdog shop, right? “If you were gonna open up a pizza shop, what are you gonna do? You’re gonna walk around, you’re gonna hand out coupons, and you’re gonna show up at the state fair, and you’re gonna pass out slices of your pizza. You got to get people to try it.” Amazon understands new products need marketing and promotion.
And so they provide you the tools for doing that, and they’re okay with people doing that. But I wouldn’t be in business very long if all I did was give away pizza all day, every day for my first, you know, three months in business.
And so you have to look at it in the exact same manner as doing business on Amazon. If I’m using it to get started, and I’m using it to get some initial kind of traction of my product and get people to use my product, that’s totally what Amazon is expecting users and sellers to do. If you’re using it to trick the algorithm and force the algorithm and all those type of things, and that’s your intention, then you’re probably going to lead yourself to trouble.
Best Ways to Get Organic Reviews Andrew: So let’s say we’ve got a new product, we’ve used Snagshout to get, you know, just a baseline of reviews. Let’s say 10 or 11 that we can kind of work from, and from there, we wanna start really going 100% organic with the reviews.
What’s the best way to do that? Obviously, is a great tool, your tool that lets you follow up with people. And that’s probably one of the best ways to create those organic reviews. What tips or tricks do you have that work well in that email to get people to act, because I’ve seen emails asking for reviews that are just incredible, and I’m like, “I can’t believe I’m spending five minutes to write a review here.” And most of them, though, I hit delete without opening.
So what can you do to really make those follow-up emails effective to build that organic presence? Jeff: The number one tip I give is enhance the customer experience, and that all starts with the title. So as you just said, you delete the emails without reading them. That is because you saw something in the title that kind of just drove you to not even want to read the email.
And so you wanna focus on your title, on your subject line, because that’s going to determine whether someone’s going to even take the next step. So I’ll give kind of a very basic example. If you sold a product on Amazon that was a cooking product, and your title said “Ten ingredients for your perfect soufflé using the tool you just bought,” right? Or something like that. You’re now enhancing the experience. You’re now giving the customer something more than what they originally expected.
And you’re not asking them for the review at the beginning. You’re just trying to build some momentum with the customer to have an engagement with your product brand. The other tagline that seems to do really well is just really simple. Its like, “Are you happy with…and then the short name of your product.” And then you just, really simply, in the email, you ask, “You know, are you happy with the product?
Yes I am, or no I’m not.” And “Yes, I am” will take them to leave a product review, and “No, I’m not” will take them to customer service, where they can write you an email about why they’re not happy.
And so the subject line becomes the most important. Being real in your message, having a voice and a brand, and then giving the customer something they didn’t expect, right? So everybody wants a little bit more than what they thought they were gonna get. Andrew: What other ways, apart from follow-up emails with say , can people do to get organic natural reviews on their listings?
Any particularly effective methods? Jeff: That’s kind of a tricky question, because Amazon really is kind of a closed environment. So they make it very difficult, you know, for you to do that.
Without doing some type of automated messaging system to your customer, you’re kinda dependent on Amazon and their messaging. And Amazon is typically asking customers to review multiple products at one time, not specific to the product. There are people who will do product inserts, and they will, you know, provide some additional information on a product insert in their package, asking people to come into Amazon to leave a review.
So that might be a tactic some people might wanna try. Repurposing Amazon Review Andrew: And what about thoughts on repurposing reviews on Amazon onto your own site. Let’s say if, you know, a lot of people I think understand that Amazon’s great, but also long term, building a brand, having your own platform is a great way to diversify against just being a completely reliant on Amazon.
So let’s say you’ve got 30 reviews on Amazon, and your own site you’re selling over there, you’d like to be able to leverage those reviews for your product listing. It helps with conversion, of course. Can you do that? Is that against Amazon’s terms of service? How does that work? Jeff: So I’m gonna have to get back to you on the against terms of service, and I’ll post that in the show notes. I’m not 100% positive, but I do know you’re gonna run into a Google SEO duplicate content issue.
So there are some tricks to how you put that content on your page, because Amazon is gonna obviously have authority over you. I would say, you know, using those in the short term to build conversion on your own site is a great tactic, but you would wanna ultimately build your own reviews directly from your purchasers.
So you have original content that you can be using for SEO purposes. Andrew: So I wanna get into reviews. Reviews, obviously, super critical for success on Amazon. I mean, I think that’s the way I shop. I’ll go in. I’ll type something, and then I’ll use reviews as, you know, a lot of my research.
Do you have any stats on how important they are in terms of, you know, really the impact that they make, and maybe what number you really need is a minimum to make sure you don’t have any kind of maybe bias from customers saying, “Ah, there’s not enough feedback here”?
The Importance of Your First 10 Reviews Jeff: Yeah. So the most important reviews that you’re ever gonna have are your first 10 reviews. And Amazon has actually done a study. And the incremental value of your first 10 reviews are significant. The incremental growth of those reviews from 1 to 10 is has a significant impact on your conversion.
Whereas once you go over say 10 reviews, the incremental impact on conversion does not grow at that point. And so essentially, what Amazon has said from some of their own research, is that your first 10 reviews, the first 10 reviews that you get, are the most critical. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that those are always the most critical in your conversion. But somewhere between 7 and 10 seems to be the tipping point of where a consumer lands on your product page and has more confidence in your product, because you have reviews, versus not having reviews.
And there are lots of other studies in the marketplace that demonstrate the value of reviews and the value of reviews and trust. But Amazon has really kind of come out and shared that number, which I thought was very interesting, that that becomes the critical factor in conversion. And so that’s really what I tell sellers to focus on at the beginning.
Your initial 7 to 10 reviews are really about improving your page conversion. Andrew: I think about how I search on Amazon. I’ll go type something, and I’ll scan the listings, the category page. And what I’m looking for is something from the picture, from the title that meets my criteria. But also as a third thing, if it has fewer than 10 reviews, a lot of times…unless it’s like five star, and even then still a lot of times, I won’t even click into click it, because I’ll think, “There’s not enough data points here for me to know if I’m not getting a lemon.” Jeff: I think that’s a critical factor to look at, but I think that’s very subjective to the user.
And one of the things I always tend to tell sellers is we’re hyper critical because we understand the system significantly greater than anybody else because of how we use the system. And so when you look at the average person, the average person doesn’t necessarily know the difference between a verified review and an unverified review. And they look at things very relative. So if all of the sellers on the page have 200 reviews, and you have 10, then you’re gonna look like you have less than the other ones.
Whereas if all the sellers on the page have 10 to 15 reviews, then you look perfectly fine at 10 to 15 reviews. And so a lot of it becomes relative to your competition and relative to the eye of the beholder, if you will, which we don’t always know that much about. Engaging with Reviewers Andrew: What about…and we’re gonna get into how to actually get those reviews in a minute. But what about engaging with reviews?
Is there any benefit to getting in there when people leave reviews, commenting on them, thanking them? Something I know people sometimes do, you know, with site reviews, or not with properties as much, but maybe off Amazon, a little more common, and something I’ve attempted to do, actually, on my product on Amazon that I list. So is that something that has any benefit at all? Jeff: There is probably incremental benefit, minor incremental benefit within the Amazon search algorithm for you to engage with your users, both in the question and answers, that can be asked about your product as well as responding to your review.
The way that I’d look at it is more of like how does a human work, right? So if you owned a physical store, and somebody came into your store, and they said, “Wow, I’ve shopped in your store before, and I bought this product, and I thought it was amazing.” I mean, Andrew, what would you do?
Andrew: If somebody just came into my business and said that to me? Jeff: Yeah. Andrew: You know, I’d be excited. I’d probably, you know, learn what they really enjoyed about it, potentially ask them for a testimonial. Jeff: Thank you. Okay, exactly. So when you don’t respond to a review, it’s like looking at that person dead in the face and just not opening your mouth.
So Amazon wants natural behavior, right? Amazon wants a natural interaction with you and your customer. And so if you naturally, if somebody came up and said, “I love that shirt that you’re wearing.” And you would say, “Thank you.” Then when somebody comes up and says, “I love the product that you have,” just simply responding, “Thank you for your kind words,” now starts to show that you’re a better merchant than other merchants that are out there.
And we love to do business with companies that we know are good companies and have good customer service. And so that’s a great way for you to demonstrate it. So does it have an incremental value on search? Nobody really knows. But I think that from a humanistic perspective, it has value in showing that you as a company care, and you’re responding to those people who are speaking to you.
Andrew: If you comment on somebody’s review, do they get automatically emailed? Does Amazon automatically notify them that somebody responded to them? Jeff: I think they have to click a button as to whether they want to get that or not. Andrew: Yeah, okay, but it’s kinda like a blog. You know, if you go to a blog, and there’s a bunch of comments, and you see the author really engaged, talking, thanking people for commenting, you know, answering questions, it does give you a sense of confidence in the blog and the author.
Jeff: That’s exactly what you’re doing at that point, is just trying to build confidence and build a reputation and a conversation. Andrew: What’s the best way to deal with the negative reviews that you get? How to Deal with Negative Reviews Jeff: Yeah, so the best way to deal with negative reviews, I think, I’m gonna say to start is to pay attention to them.
I think a lot of people ignore them, and that’s not a great way to handle it. You should look at negative reviews as a positive way to improve your business. A lot of times, sellers wanna believe that their reviewer’s, you know, full of crap, you know, for lack of a better term. And sometimes, you might actually have something wrong with your product that needs to be fixed. In terms of like what you can do about it, you should respond to somebody who lives a negative review.
And you should attempt to handle it just like you would if you had a physical store and providing customer service. If you’re responding to the review on your site, I would typically recommend that you say, “Sorry about your negative experience. Can you please fill out a customer service request so we can issue you a refund?” Or make some type of gesture back to the user, that you’re looking to provide them customer service, because of their negative experience.
Andrew: And it is possible for a user to change their review after they’ve left it, correct? Jeff: Yeah, it is. So Amazon is pretty explicit in their Terms of Service. You cannot ask them to change their review.
So you cannot say like, “Oh, I’ll give you a new product if you change your review.” But what you can do is you can refund them. You know, what I would recommend that you do, if you know who the buyer is, you issue them a refund, and then you give them another version of your product. If it’s something that you think was just a bad product, you give them another one.
So it’s gonna cost you a little bit of money. After they get that product, you follow up with them again, and you say, “You know, was the second product I sent you to your satisfaction?” And if they say, “Yes.” You could say, “Would you mind leaving a product review now that you’ve revisited the product?” Now you’ll notice that my terminology, I did not say, “Will you update your product review.” All I said is, “Will you leave another product review?” Amazon only allows a buyer to leave one product review per product.
So you’re naturally asking them to update their review, without physically asking them to update their review. And so you’re staying within Amazon’s terms a service by asking them to leave another product review for the new product that you sent them. But you’re not asking them to change their review, and you’re not offering them a refund in exchange for changing your review, because those are things that are against the terms of service.
Verified Reviews Andrew: Let’s talk about maybe about verified reviews quickly. And just to clarify, a verified review is something where Amazon can confirm, “Hey, this person…” we’re able to see they bought it through Amazon. They received it. So we know that they genuinely bought it, versus a non-verified review. As anyone can come to Amazon and just, you know, leave feedback on that review.
But it’s not necessarily linked to a purchase. That’s correct, right? Jeff: Correct, exactly. Obviously, you know, if you wave a magic wand, having all those verified reviews would be great. But in terms of perception from customers in terms of the search algorithm, how important is it? So I think perception of customers, this is just my opinion, I don’t believe the perception of customers between a verified review and unverified review, I don’t know that they understand the difference.
I think that’s something we understand because of where we’re at within the community. There’s clearly something within the search algorithm, or within the ranking algorithm for reviews between verified and verified. I’ve had a seller tell me before that 51 verified reviews is equivalent to one verified review. There’s no way to test that. But it’s clear that Amazon’s algorithm of how they’re determining how many stars show up for your review listing is based on a weighted average of verified verses unverified.
So if you had 100 non-verified reviews that were all five star. And then you had 100 verified reviews that were four Star, the natural display on the site should be four and a half stars, right? Because you have a 100 of 5, and 100 of 4, the average is four and a half.
Your actual average will be less than four and a half. It might actually be four stars, or it might be, you know, down to that area, because the weighted average of the verified reviews has a higher weight than the non-verified reviews. The Value of Customer Photos and Videos Andrew: What about pictures and videos?
I mean, sometimes people, you know, they’ll obviously leave pictures of their stuff. They’ll record a video of their product review. Is there any effective way to encourage those? And obviously, they’re valuable, but how valuable are they? Jeff: Yes, so there’s no way to really tell how valuable they are within the ranking algorithm.
But we know that they’re very critical within the conversion, right? So the way Amazon shows reviews is based on relevance. That’s the default, is relevance, and so typically, when you look at products, the relevant reviews are the ones who typically have videos and pictures associated to them. So other users who look at reviews will typically say that those reviews are more helpful than other reviews.
So the easiest way to encourage that is if you use the system like Feedback Genius. Just ask, like, “Hey you know, please leave some feedback on your product. If you have a great picture of you using the product, you know, please feel free to post it.” Now, you cannot provide any incentive for the posting a video or pictures, but you can ask your users to do it.
I know a couple of sellers who, you know, flat out say like, “Show your pride, show your product.” You know, “Post it up.” And their users follow and do it. I think it comes back to what you sell. So if you’re selling a kitchen product, and people are really into cooking, they might or they might not, you know, show it. If you’re selling a yoga mat, then people might not be as eager to, lik,e show pictures of them lying on their yoga mat.
If you really wanna target reviewers to leave pictures, you should target testing your product with reviewers who have left pictures in the past.
So those who have kind of done things in the past are more likely to do them in the future. Andrew: Can you talk a little bit about Amazon’s Vine program? So with Snagshout, which is your service, you can go in and get reviews from people who get the product, a lot of times at a discount, and then they can leave a, you know, review on the site. The way I understand it, somewhat similar program is called Vine, and it’s where, you know, they get reviewers, professional reviewers to do this.
Can you talk about how that works, how much what the costs are for the merchant and, you know, if it’s something that’s worth considering? Jeff: Yeah. So Vine is Amazon’s testing platform, or their sample platform. It’s only for Vendor Central customers, so if you do not sell on Vendor Central, you cannot access Amazon Vine. Andrew: And just to clarify, Vendor Central, that means you’re selling directly to Amazon, is that correct? Jeff: Correct, you’re a merchant selling to Amazon, and Amazon is then the seller of your product on their site.
It typically runs around $2,500. You have to give your products away for free. And they typically limit the number of products you can give away to somewhere between 30 and 50. Now, depending on the size of merchant that you are, it is possible for you to negotiate that and have that kind of negotiated end to your terms.
So I do know plenty of merchants who get Vine for free. But a typical seller on the Vendor Central platform, that’s about what they’re going to pay. They are targeting top reviewers on their platform.
So typically, the pros are that you’re gonna get very detailed reviews from the reviewers. The cons are that you’re gonna have to give your product away for free, and it typically takes a longer period of time for those reviews to come in.
Many merchants who use Vine tell me that a typical Vine process takes about three months from when you sign up, to when you get your products out, to your reviewers getting the products to them, writing reviews, and posting them.
So it kinda depends on what you’re trying to target and how you’re trying to do that target as to whether Vine works for you. I spoke with a merchant who sells on Vendor Central yesterday, and they told me, “We’re not gonna use Snagshout. We’re gonna use Vine instead.” And my recommendation to them was to use both, because I thought that what Snagshout can do that’s different is one, we can sell the products instead of give them away.
And we can do things in a much faster time period. A typical campaign on Snagshout is gonna get your reviews in two to three weeks, versus two to three months. And so my recommendation back to them was do both. There’s nothing wrong with Vine and what it offers. They’re actually very high-quality reviews. They’re just very expensive because of the whole process for how you have to do it. Andrew: Interesting. So I didn’t know that you could only use it for Vendor Central.
But it makes sense, I mean, if you’re Amazon, it gives you the advantage, because you’re really getting quality reviews for products that you as Amazon are buying and reselling, versus having to compete with everyone else. And so it’s gonna boost their internal revenue for products that they own. Jeff: Right, and you know, we basically built Snagshout as kind of the Seller Central, which is the third-party marketplace side of Amazon.
We built Snagshout as the seller central version of Vine. And that was really how we modeled Snagshout, was after vine, but made it available to sellers on the third-party platform who didn’t want to be part of Vendor Central. The Amazon Lightning Round! Andrew: Love it. Really good stuff about reviews, Jeff. So kind of in closing, one thing that I’m doing with all of the guests in the Amazon series that I’m doing, is doing an Amazon lightning round.
So I have about a dozen questions here. Feel free to give me just super short, you know, punchy, even one-word or one-sentence answers. But are you up for going through this? Jeff: Let’s go. Andrew: All right, cool. So what’s the biggest mistake that you’ve personally made on Amazon? Jeff: I think one of my first products that I imported.
I overestimated what my initial sales would be. So I ended up with about nine month’s worth of inventory, what I thought would be about three month’s worth of inventory. But as I like to tell people, the hardest product you’re ever gonna source is the first product you source. Andrew: That’s a bummer, but I’ve heard of, you know, people having like two, three years. If that’s the worst mistake on Amazon, you’re doing pretty well. What’s the biggest mistake you regularly see other people make an Amazon?
Jeff: From a seller perspective, I think the biggest mistake I see sellers make is what I like to call, “Analysis paralysis.” They spend so much time trying to analyze that they never take action. Andrew: Are you a Bezo’s guy or a Bizo’s guy in terms of how you pronounce it? Jeff: I’m a Jeff Bezos. Andrew: Bezos. Man two Bezos’s so far, it’s crazy. How many products have you personally launched on Amazon? Jeff: So I am on my fourth product that I have personally launched, but we’ve obviously worked with thousands of sellers launching products.
Andrew: Where do you see the most opportunity on Amazon right now? It could be foreign countries, paid product ads, a certain category, a tactic people aren’t using? Jeff: Yes. I’m just gonna go, like, I’m probably the worst person to ask this question to, because I’m so bullish on Amazon.
I think the opportunity is just that there are opportunities for inexpensive products. There are opportunities for expensive products. There are opportunities for going to foreign countries. There’s opportunities for using paid product ads, because it’s still so new.
I think that what’s important on Amazon is that you’re sourcing something that you like and that you have a passion for. If you’re just trying to find the perfect product, you might not ever find it. But if you have a passion for something, that’s what you should be developing, because that’s what you’re gonna have the most fun doing on a daily basis.
Andrew: What was the last thing that you personally ordered off of Amazon? Jeff: A laser pointer for presentations. It’s right here in my desk. You know, like one of the wireless presenter DinoFire. Andrew: What’s the strangest thing you’ve personally ordered from Amazon? Jeff: I’ll say my magic coloring book, which I actually ended up using in a presentation, because I wanted to try magic. Andrew: I saw in it action. Is that Steve’s Sellers summit? Jeff: Yes.
Andrew: Yeah, you pulled it off. I was impressed. Jeff: I did. I had always wanted to try that. It happened to be a Dion’s Snagshout. So I gave it a whirl. Andrew: Do you own Amazon stock? Jeff: I do not. I wish I did about 10 years ago, though, and still held it. Andrew: Has your account ever been suspended? Jeff: I have never had a suspension.
Knock on wood. Andrew: In one word, how would you describe Amazon today? Jeff: Infancy. Andrew: In one word, how would you describe where you think Amazon will be in five years? Jeff: Everywhere. Andrew: Everywhere. Jeff, it has been super helpful. Love your insights into reviews. And if you’re listening, and you’re looking for a couple great tools for your Amazon efforts, Feedback Genius, great tool, and it’s got a free generous trial that lets you get in touch automatically with the people who buy from you.
And Snagshout is Jeff’s tool as well for to help grow your review base on Amazon. Jeff, appreciate it. Thanks so much for coming on. It was a lot of fun. Comment Below to Win a Free T-Shirt! Jeff: Hey, Andrew, can I give something to your audience?
Andrew: Sure. Jeff: Great. So you’ve seen our Famous on Amazon T-shirts? Andrew: I have. Jeff: We can post a picture up in the show notes. How about we’ll give away five T-shirts within the comments?
You know, we can use a randomizer to pick it. And so go ahead and comment below. Either share your own tip that you guys keep close to your chest, or share a question you have about reviews, and I will monitor the questions. And then we’ll pick five winners, and we’ll mail you guys out a Famous on Amazon T-shirt. Andrew: Want to connect with and learn from other proven eCommerce entrepreneurs? It’s our tight knit vetted group for store owners with at least a quarter million dollars in annual sales.
You can learn more and apply for membership at . Thanks so much to our podcast producer, Laura Serino, for all of her hard work in making this show possible, and to you, for tuning in.
Thank you for listening. That’ll do it for this week, but looking forward to seeing you again next Friday. Looking to Hire an Amazon Expert? If so, check out the where you can post your role and reach Amazon Digital Marketing Experts. If you’re an Amazon expert looking for a compelling gig with an independent store, you can see all of our .
What Was Mentioned • • Connect with Jeffrey: • • • Photo: That is a great question and it depends on the product. I typically like to reach out to the customer right when the product is received and provide them a bit of extra information either on the product or how to use it. Then based on the product I would follow up after a reasonable amount of time has passed that they can use the product. Lets give an example. If your product is food related, your email upon delivery might include a recipe.
Then 3-5 days after delivery you can follow up to ask if they have had a chance to use the product or test the recipe and ask for a review. If your product is supplement then you might need to wait 7-14 days so they can give you a real results. What Amazon wants is real users talking about how they use the product.
Awesome Andrew. This is great, definitely one of the more practical guides on getting amazon reviews. Organic reviews are definitely what you should go for and I think there’s still heaps of techniques that can be used effectively. Much like link farms and other black hat SEO, it’s definitely a risk using places like Fiverr and other dodgy review sources.. if you want to build a lasting product/brand you should steer well clear.
Anyway just wanted to say thanks because most people talking about Amazon selling just tend to skim the surface and say.. “and then get a bunch of reviews … profit!”
best get safe dating verified review on amazon - How to Get Verified Reviews on Amazon
Here’s every way to get more product reviews, from approved programs run by Amazon to prohibited methods that could get you banned forever. For private label sellers and brand owners, getting positive product reviews on Amazon is crucial.
Not only does it give shoppers confidence in the quality of your products, it plays a part in many of Amazon’s algorithms including the ranking of search results and the .
Reviews are hugely important to the success of Amazon sellers. But Amazon has fought back against practices which undermine trust in the review system. Its most notable actions include the of incentivized reviews, the introduction of Verified Purchase reviews, and drawing up extensive policies on everything sellers can and can’t do.
Amazon are being tougher than ever on what’s allowed, and will take harsh action on rule-breakers. Here are all the different ways you can get Amazon product reviews. Only a few are completely safe, but also rather limited or expensive to access. Others are completely prohibited, but are still being used by sellers who are dishonest, desperate or naive.
And many are in a grey area – if you stay within Amazon’s rules you should be safe, but it’s very easy to step over the line. Ways to get Amazon product reviews # Method Advice 1 Early Reviewer Program Do 😊 2 Amazon Vine Do 😊 3 Improving your products Do 😊 4 Paying for reviews Don’t 😡 5 Giving heavy discounts or free products Don’t 😡 6 Reviewing your own products Don’t 😡 7 Asking family and employees Don’t 😡 8 Asking buyers outside Amazon’s system Don’t 😡 9 Optimizing your customer service Maybe 🤔 10 Using your own website Maybe 🤔 11 Asking friends Maybe 🤔 12 Working with local or online groups Maybe 🤔 13 Sending follow-up emails Maybe 🤔 14 Putting flyers in packages Maybe 🤔 15 Addressing negative feedback Maybe 🤔 Do’s: Zero risk ways to get reviews 😊 There are very few ways to get reviews on Amazon which are always risk-free.
With these methods, there’s virtually no way to slip into territory where your actions could get you into trouble with Amazon. 1. Early Reviewer Program The is a service provided by Amazon to help new products start getting reviews.
It is available to sellers enrolled in , for products with fewer than five reviews and priced above $15. Sellers pay $60 per product for the service, which covers up to five reviews. That’s not many, but it could give an initial lift to new products as long as they aren’t in the most competitive categories. Under this program, Amazon will reach out to a random selection of customers who have already bought the product (so it must be generating at least a few sales) and ask them if they would like to review it.
These customers must have no history of abusive or dishonest reviews and meet Amazon’s “eligibility criteria”. An incentive is offered of between $1 and $3 worth of Amazon vouchers, and the resulting reviews will have the Verified Purchase label (alongside one that says “Early Reviewer Rewards”).
You might be thinking that this sounds a lot like an incentivized review, which is clearly prohibited. But this is Amazon’s own scheme, and the incentive is only offered to people who have already purchased the product.
There is no indication at the time of purchase that an incentive may later be offered for a review. The price of $60 may seem expensive for up to five reviews and in a way it is, compared to some of the prohibited methods below. But it is genuinely risk-free. Those early reviews might be just what you need to get your star rating and search rank off the ground.
2. Amazon Vine is another Amazon-run program, launched back in 2007. It helps large brands secure reviews for their products, from a selection of the “most trusted” Amazon reviewers. The logistics of Vine are handled by Amazon. Brands send their products to Amazon, then Amazon offers them to reviewers and sends them out for free.
Vine is expensive, ranging between $2500-$7500 per ASIN plus the cost of the products themselves. In the past Vine was only open to companies , but a recent opened it up to sellers at a lower cost of $1000 per ASIN. For reviewers, Vine is an invitation-only program, and customers who contribute reviews are known as Vine Voices. They are selected based on several criteria, but primarily on the helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other customers, and by their demonstrated interest in the relevant product categories.
Like the Early Reviewer Program, Vine aims to generate authentic reviews, so they may be positive or negative. Vine reviews include a badge saying “Vine Customer Review of Free Product”.
As the product was free they do not have the “Verified Purchase” label. However, as this is Amazon’s own program we expect that Vine reviews are treated favorably when calculating the product’s overall star rating (which is algorithmic rather than a simple average).
From our own observations, Vine reviews often have a high ranking within a product’s overall reviews. To maintain their Vine Voice status, reviewers must consistently receive “helpful” feedback on their product reviews. If they do not submit reviews within 30 days, they also risk losing their Vine Voice status. Once again, this is effectively an incentivized scheme but it is operated by Amazon and the quality is controlled by them. Brands have no contact with reviewers so they can’t directly influence the reviews.
Vine is costly but, unlike the Early Reviewer Program, reviewers don’t have to make an ordinary purchase of the product upfront, and it is not limited to five reviews. The cost of Vine will be prohibitive for many sellers, if the program is even accessible to them. For those who qualify and can afford it, it is zero risk so the resulting reviews will not be removed or lead to warnings or account suspensions. 3. Improving your products This isn’t really a way to ask for reviews like the other methods here, but it can help a great deal in preventing negative reviews, and increasing the likelihood of positive reviews.
That applies whether you are hoping to get completely organic reviews, or are using any legitimate method of soliciting reviews. If you are using prohibited, illegitimate methods to generate reviews, those will work even if your product is terrible!
Far better to have a good product, and use safer and more ethical methods to get reviews. Better to have a good product, and use ethical methods to get reviews. So, how can you find aspects of your product to improve? One method is to scour existing product reviews, seller feedback, and buyer messages, for any complaints or shortcomings about your product. Even though seller feedback should be about the seller’s performance rather than the product, buyers often don’t understand the difference and valuable product feedback can often be found there.
Are customers happy with the quality of the product? There may be manufacturing faults or aspects of your products’ design, from the materials used to its packaging, which are causing customers to respond negatively. These can have a huge impact. Are customers buying the right product? Look carefully at your product listing, and make sure the images and description accurately represent the product you are selling.
You want to present the product in its best light, of course, but you don’t want to oversell it. Negative reviews are often due to not meeting expectations, such as the product being of a lower standard than expected, or being suitable for a purpose that it doesn’t actually fulfill.
Look at your competitors’ products as well. What can you learn from their images and descriptions? Are they more compelling than yours? Are they more detailed or creative in communicating what the product is for? Don’t just look for ideas to improve sales, look for ways to improve the accuracy and helpfulness of the description. You might lose a few sales, but only to people who needed a different product! Overall, improving your product and listing might make only a small improvement to the volume of organic reviews you receive, but it’s strongly recommended if you are going to solicit reviews proactively.
Asking customers for reviews is a dangerous strategy for a flawed product. Don’ts: Prohibited methods that can get you banned 😡 There are a lot of ways to get reviews that are prohibited by Amazon, and could result in a ban from selling on the marketplace. Not only that, they could even lead to prosecution by Amazon, or consumer protection agencies like the FTC. Even something that may be done quite innocently, like asking a family member to write a review is not only a breach of but also the (if the relationship isn’t disclosed).
That might sound unreasonably strict, but consider what is happening: someone who hasn’t bought your product writes a biased review (or even outright lies) to help convince genuine shoppers to spend real money. It’s deceptive. So, why are these methods here? Unfortunately they all do happen, and are commonplace in some product categories. Sometimes the sellers using them know they are in the wrong, but other times they think they’re justified or it’s simply “the way business is done”.
For example, maybe you have a great product, and just want to help things along by buying a few reviews. Or you think your competitors are doing it, so you need to level the playing field. Those explanations might help ease your conscience, but they definitely don’t make it ethical, or compliant with Amazon’s policies, and they definitely won’t convince Amazon to go easy on you! 4. Paying for reviews Giving any kind of compensation for a review is always prohibited, regardless of how you do it.
So, for example, you aren’t allowed to: • Buy reviews outright • Send gift cards • Give refunds • Give free products • Provide discounts A lot of the activity going on now, however, is sellers buying reviews outright. There are many freelancers offering this service through unsolicited emails, discussion forums, Facebook groups, private messages and more. They could also be found readily on freelancing sites like Fiverr, before more than 1,000 Fiverr users in 2015.
Earlier that year, Amazon also against four websites selling reviews in the open. It’s still possible to buy reviews today, but sellers have to dig a little deeper. On Facebook groups, sellers typically pay $3-5 for a five-star verified review. On Facebook groups, sellers typically pay $3-5 for a five-star review.
The process will often start with the “reviewer” buying the product from Amazon, to ensure the review gets the “Verified Purchase” label. The seller will reimburse them by PayPal or send an Amazon gift card in advance (bought from a local store, not Amazon directly). As well as the review fee, they might include an additional amount so the reviewer can mail the item back to them. Alternatively, the reviewer might have the package in the U.S.
(for Amazon.com) as they don’t want to use their own address with Amazon, for obvious reasons. This is known as “brushing” and is a form of identity theft. These reviewers will often have a whole menu of they provide, including “helpful” upvotes of positive reviews, adding products to wish lists or shopping carts to make the Amazon search algorithm think a product is popular, posting negative reviews or seller feedback to , and much more. Their business is gaming Amazon, and they will do just about anything that can tilt the odds in the seller’s favour.
If you are considering paying for reviews, or doing any of the other prohibited activities, thinking you can’t be caught, remember that Amazon is more than anything else a technology company. They may not be able to stop this problem altogether, but they do have sophisticated technology and procedures in place to detect suspicious patterns of activity. A sudden spike of verified reviews, as a proportion of total sales, would be a clear red flag.
If Amazon starts to investigate “brushing”, it could easily trace packages back to specific products and sellers, and see who is buying fake reviews. It wouldn’t take a lot to bring the whole scheme crashing down. 5. Giving heavy discounts or free products Deal sites that asked for reviews were widespread and popular before Amazon’s ban on incentivized reviews. The process was quite simple: • The seller offers a product for free or at a very high discount • Reviewers take up the deal, agreeing to leave a review in return • The reviewer receives the product and posts a review Many of these sites were quite reputable, and insisted on objective reviews and written disclaimers.
But when the ban came into force, they had only two options: • Close down • Carry on, but don’t ask for reviews Many did close down, and the few that continued became much less attractive to both shoppers and sellers. For shoppers, the discounts became much slimmer (it had been usual to get products for free) and for sellers, the likelihood of receiving a review became much lower.
Before, 90%+ of orders would result in a review. The shopper wouldn’t be given any more deals (free products) if they didn’t submit a review, so they were strongly motivated to do it. Giving any incentive for a review is absolutely, unequivocally, banned. Today, giving any incentive for a review is absolutely, unequivocally, .
Deal sites or “review clubs” even get a special mention in Amazon’s examples of prohibited activities. There’s no gray area with this at all. But, like buying reviews directly, this scheme has gone underground. Facebook groups acting as review clubs now exist, and the principle is the same as the deal sites of old – offer a heavy discount or free product in return for a review.
Using this route is similar to buying reviews as above, although you may be dealing with an individual buyer rather than a freelancer. This may seem safer, and perhaps more ethical, but it is probably riskier.
An individual using their own Amazon account is more likely to create suspicious reviewing patterns, and flag themselves up to Amazon, than a skilled freelancer. You could, however, use one of the , but their value is now limited as a route to get Amazon reviews. The sales might give your product’s sales rank a boost, and you might get reviews on social media or blogs instead, so they are still useful in those regards.
But deal sites or review clubs that actually require Amazon reviews? Those are high risk strategies and should be avoided. 6. Reviewing your own products This is something of a no-brainer: of course you can’t sit at your computer and review your own products! Reviewing your own products can be something of a gateway drug. But it can also be something of a “gateway drug”. Imagine a naive seller decides one day to review their own product, with a separate Amazon account they use as a buyer, just to see what happens.
The review gets published and… nothing happens. The review stays up, there’s no message from Amazon, and no knock at the door, so all seems well. Then they review a different product that they sell. Maybe they set up another buying account, and review the same products again.
Maybe they get a little more sophisticated and submit reviews from different locations and at different times. Maybe they even rope other people into their scheme.
But Amazon are good at linking , using a whole range of data to connect logins even when you’ve taken great pains to keep them separate. Just because they didn’t take action immediately doesn’t mean they’ll never pick it up. Sometimes enforcement happens in waves, not as an instant response. Once those accounts have been connected, there’s no excuse or explanation that can put it right again – everything will be plain to see and you can expect to lose all selling privileges.
7. Asking family and employees Those who ask family members to help kickstart their business by writing reviews on Amazon might think it’s good “hustling” – they deserve praise for using their connections and working hard as an entrepreneur. But Amazon clearly prohibit family members (and employees) from writing product reviews. It’s no better than writing the reviews yourself.
Clearly, they will be far from objective and you would only ask them because you want a positive review. Effectively, you are the one writing the review – you’re just using someone else’s Amazon account. How could Amazon know that a family member or employee has reviewed your product? As mentioned above, they have sophisticated systems to detect connections between accounts.
Perhaps the family member once used Amazon to buy a gift for you and had it sent directly to your address (or vice versa), or one time you logged into your Amazon account from their house.
It wouldn’t take much to make a connection, and it would be very difficult to explain away. Interestingly, while family members and employees are specifically mentioned, Amazon don’t say “friends” are prohibited from writing reviews. That’s why you’ll find that one in the “maybes” section.
8. Asking buyers outside Amazon’s system When someone buys from your bricks-and-mortar shop or online store, they become “your” customer. You are responsible for the shipping and customer support, and you can contact them in the future by phone, physical mail and email with order updates and marketing messages (if they agree to it).
When someone buys from you via Amazon, they don’t become your customer. They are Amazon’s alone. When someone buys from you via Amazon, they don’t become your customer.
They are Amazon’s alone. The policies are nailed down so tightly there is almost nothing you are allowed to do that you can when someone buys from you directly. This isn’t just about having their contact information in your possession. You may have their phone number, for example, but that doesn’t mean you can use it. The phone number is only provided for delivery purposes, and Amazon specifically say you must never contact a customer using their phone number.
What about email? Amazon do not provide real customer email addresses, only an encrypted version to enable email replies to be routed through the Buyer-Seller Messaging service.
You can ask for reviews via that service, as long as you stay within the rules, which are covered in the “maybes” section below. You could potentially get your hands on real email addresses using an service, which use customer data that you do have to append (add on) their email address. But Amazon says you can’t pass along customer information of any kind outside of Buyer-Seller Messaging, so you would be breaking the rules just by uploading customer data to one of these services.
Incidentally, this also seems to prohibit using Amazon buyer data to for Facebook advertising. Amazon’s rules don’t seem to prohibit contact by physical mail, but it’s an expensive route and an awkward way to send people to a website URL.
Not only that, you would have to avoid the impression of directing the buyer to your own website, which could look like an attempt to divert future purchases, and also do not provide any incentive for a review such as a discount.
Both are specifically prohibited. Finally, don’t forget that the customer belongs to Amazon not only because Amazon’s rules make it that way, but also because it’s the way the customer sees it themselves. They bought from Amazon, and may not even be aware that a third-party company was involved.
They can be confused and concerned to hear directly from a seller by any means outside Amazon’s own messaging system. After all, they didn’t even know you existed.
Maybes: Techniques to tread carefully with 🤔 Most of the do’s and don’ts above stand to reason, and are easy to stay on the right side of (once you know what they are, in any case). But the do’s are unlikely to set your reviews alight, and the don’ts are high-risk and unethical. For most sellers, the maybes are where the biggest opportunities lie. But they are also something of a minefield. You can use these methods, but you must make every effort to stay within Amazon’s , , and .
The terms and policies are the “letter of the law”, and the code of conduct is the “spirit of the law” which provides a general catch-all for below-par behavior. Vague demands like “act fairly” and “ensure a trustworthy experience” make it easy to slip up. No wonder there are lawyers who specialize in !
You can certainly for failing to live up to the code of conduct, as well as more explicit violations of the terms. 9. Optimizing your customer service Sometimes customers will come directly to you for support, such as help with how to use the product correctly (sellers who only use FBA will need to ). You should, of course, provide the best service possible when customers contact you.
Ensure that you are punctual in your replies and remain courteous throughout, however unreasonable the customer may be. Be apologetic for any complaints and attempt to resolve any issues to make for a better customer experience overall.
And then what? Ask the satisfied customers for reviews, right? Well, no. You aren’t allowed to: • Ask for a positive review • Only target buyers who had a positive experience • Ask customers to change or remove their review • Attempt to influence a review, for example, by offering any kind of incentive Maintaining high levels of customer service should reduce the chance of negative reviews and increase the possibility of receiving positive reviews, but it’s asking for reviews that can really make a difference.
You just have to be consistent and neutral to stay within the rules. Don’t make it the sole purpose of your message, and don’t ask more than once, to avoid irritating the buyer. For example, it would cross the line to say, “if you were happy with your purchase, please leave a review”. The wording is all-important.
10. Using your own website In addition to selling on Amazon, you might sell through your own online store, or maybe have an informational website providing more detailed data and support for your products. You can ask for Amazon reviews on your own website, or in emails with your own customers. Amazon also has Community Guidelines and a seller code of conduct. It might seem strange to direct customers from your own website, where there are no sales commissions or competitors, to the free-for-all that is Amazon.
But if Amazon is your primary sales channel it could make more sense to support it, rather than jealously guard every potential customer who comes your way. There’s a good chance they found you on Amazon first anyway, and if your own website is informational rather than transactional there’s nothing to lose at all.
As people who visit or buy from your website are not Amazon buyers, the rules about incentives in the seller policies appear not to apply. But crucially, Amazon also has for anyone posting reviews or other content, and those do prohibit posting in exchange for compensation, including free or discounted products.
It’s an odd mismatch between seller and buyer policies. You are also still bound by Amazon’s seller code of conduct, which is much more general in its wording. If a buyer states in their review that they received an incentive, as was the proper practice with the deal sites of old, you could both get into trouble. Probably the biggest shortcoming of using your own website to ask for reviews, however, is that your traffic might be too low to make much of an impact.
Also, the reviews received will not be Verified Purchase reviews. Non-verified reviews are still valuable, but they have less weight in the product’s overall rating, and perhaps also with buyers. 11. Asking friends For family members and employees, there’s no gray area – they are definitely not allowed to review your products or those of your competitors.
Friends, however, are not explicitly mentioned in the seller policies. But as above, in “Using your own website”, there is a mismatch between seller and buyer policies.
The Community Guidelines do prohibit reviews of “close friend’s” products as well as those of relatives, business associates, and employers.
They also, not surprisingly, prohibit review manipulation by contributing “false, misleading, or inauthentic content”.
You can ask your casual friends, but not your close friends! So you can ask your casual friends, but not your close friends! And they can’t give a false opinion, or stretch the truth about the product’s quality or features. So, should you go ahead and ask friends to post a review?
Well, maybe. Like asking family or employees (in the don’ts section above), there’s an ethical question to consider. Can they really be objective? It’s something you’ll have to discuss, and brief them on what’s allowed. There is another challenge. Because they haven’t bought the product independently, you’ll have to think carefully about how you provide it to them so they can review it. You could: • Give them the product for free, but then you can’t ask for a review in exchange – it’s “compensation”.
• Ask them to buy the product from Amazon themselves, and then review it. You can’t give them a discount or refund, so this might be asking too much. • Lend them the product so they can use it, then take it back again. This isn’t really “compensation” (unless the product is consumable) so you can be more upfront about asking for a review. As above, the reviews received will not be Verified Purchase reviews, unless they actually buy the product from Amazon themselves.
Perhaps you could offer to reimburse them if they don’t want to keep it (and actually take the product back from them), but that smacks of a trick to stay within the letter, but not the spirit, of the “law”.
Remember the code of conduct! 12. Working with local or online groups There are clubs, teams and groups for just about every hobby, pastime, sport and interest you can imagine. Maybe there’s one that’s a good match for your products? Build a strong relationship with the group, using your winning personality alone! If you sell sports equipment, for example, you could approach a local team and ask them to test and review your products.
This is similar to “Asking friends” above, but you should be on safer ground in terms of their objectivity and, therefore, staying within the Community Guidelines.
On the other hand, they might have more expectation of getting some sort of compensation in return, which of course you cannot give. You will have to rely on building a strong relationship with the group, using your winning personality alone! Groups can also be a very good source of feedback when you initially develop your product. If they feel involved in the development from an early stage, they might feel more inclined to leave a review without expecting anything in return.
This is often the approach when crowdfunding product development through sites like . It’s not just about getting investment, it’s about building a base of enthusiastic followers who want to be involved throughout the process. They pay for the product, so there’s no compensation involved when you ask for a genuine, objective review on Amazon. As before, the reviews received will not be Verified Purchase reviews, unless they buy the product on Amazon themselves. 13. Sending follow-up emails Asking for reviews in follow-up emails to buyers is probably the best-known legitimate method of generating reviews.
There are many available, which automate the process. But this method is not without risk, and its popularity has lead Amazon to provide buyers with the ability to opt-out of non-essential seller messages. A growing proportion of buyers have chosen that option. Follow-up emails are always sent through Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging system, so everything you write in your messages can be seen by Amazon.
If you are tempted to bend the rules, this is probably the worst place to do it! To stay within Amazon’s policies, make sure you: • Use neutral language when you ask for a review – don’t just ask for positive reviews. • Don’t only ask satisfied customers for reviews, or ask differently depending on whether they had a positive or negative experience. • Don’t offer any incentive or compensation. • Don’t email customers only to ask for a review.
Look out for a separate article coming soon on the best techniques and practices for follow-up messages. In the meantime, some general advice is to send only one or two messages to each buyer, and to have a genuine reason for contacting them besides asking for a review. One example is to provide them with a PDF manual or usage advice for the product.
14. Putting fliers in packages If you do your own fulfillment, you have complete control over what goes in the packages you send out. If you use FBA, you can only control what goes in the product box itself, and only before it is sent into Amazon’s warehouse.
Once your inventory is in the system, you can’t make changes without paying for your inventory to be removed and returned to you. Either way, there is an opportunity to ask for reviews by including an insert in the packaging or product box itself. Like all the other methods, you must stay within Amazon’s rules. The most relevant policies are not asking only for positive reviews, not offering an incentive, and not redirecting the buyer to your own website for future purchases. How would Amazon ever know if you do break the rules with a box insert, particularly if you do your own fulfillment?
Here are the most common ways they could find out: • In a well-meaning attempt at “full disclosure”, the buyer might mention the incentive in their review. • A competitor could buy your product to try and copy it, or find fault with it, or see if there’s some way in which you are breaking the rules, so they can rat you out to Amazon. It’s the latter that is perhaps the most likely, and the most dangerous. Competitors can play dirty anyway, and submit or seller feedback to damage your performance metrics and trigger warnings.
If you actually are doing something wrong, they can make a completely honest report of the abuse. It’s up to you if you want to bend the rules, but don’t imagine you could never get caught. 15. Addressing negative reviews This is about trying to turn negative reviews into positives. Not only does this get you one more positive review, but it also gets rid of a negative.
Turning around one negative review could have as much impact as getting a dozen or more positives, if the review is particularly prominent and damaging.
There are two major catches: • It’s prohibited to ask a customer to change or remove their review. • You can’t always match a posted review to an actual buyer, so might be unable to contact the reviewer privately. So the first hurdle is actually getting in touch with the buyer. You might get lucky, and find they have used their real name to post the review rather than the ubiquitous “Amazon Customer” label. Or you might be able to connect the text of their review with messages they sent you through Buyer-Seller Messaging.
There are tools that match reviews with orders, but many of them have stopped working. Failing that, there are tools that claim to be able to match reviews with orders, although many of them stopped working in October 2017 when Amazon changed the HTML code behind reviews.
is one tool still claiming to have this review-to-order matching feature. If you cannot find any way to match a review to an order, to contact the buyer privately through Buyer-Seller Messaging, you can still leave a public comment on their review. When you contact a buyer about their review, whichever way you do it, remember that you cannot directly ask them to change their review.
Instead, try to resolve the problem they experienced. That might range from simple product advice, to offering an exchange or refund for a faulty item. As with all customer service, remain punctual and courteous throughout.
If you do resolve the problem, you must still resist the temptation to ask them to change their review. You could mention it in passing instead, such as by saying, “I’m glad we noticed your review so we could fix this problem for you”, then there’s a good chance they will take the hint and change it without needing to be asked. If the review is fake, or breaks Amazon’s Community Guidelines by being obscene, racist or including personal information (for example) you can instead report it to Amazon and they might decide to remove it.
Conclusion In an ideal world, reviews would flow in naturally from a cross-section of buyers, and accurately reflect the quality of your product. In reality, shoppers are more strongly motivated to leave reviews when their experience is negative, and often don’t even consider leaving a review if they were happy with the product. That’s just human nature. Sellers will do whatever they can to make reviews happen. What’s a seller to do? Positive reviews don’t just flood in as a natural side effect of running your business, yet your competitors seem to have hundreds of them.
So sellers will often do whatever they can to make reviews happen, using (and abusing) every technique we’ve listed here. But Amazon have really clamped down, tackling incentivized and paid reviews by changing their policies and by taking sellers, service providers and review sites to court. Today, there are only a few safe ways to get reviews, but several ways which are completely banned, and many ways which must be used carefully.
There are no silver bullets. We hope this article has given you some new ideas, and set the record straight on what can and cannot be done according to Amazon’s labyrinthine policies, terms, codes and guidelines. If you know any other ways to get reviews, or have any other feedback, we would love to hear it in the comments below.
Up until late 2016, Amazon allowed sellers to give away products in exchange for a review. Then, . But incentives continued to be offered away from the official discount code system. Today, the black market ecosystem is focused on manipulating the Amazon reviews and search ranking systems, using a vast range of nefarious techniques.
Fake reviews appear as “verified purchases” but the purchase was funded by the seller using PayPal, an Amazon gift voucher, or other means. To support these fake reviews, black hat service providers use automated buyer accounts (or bots) to upvote positive reviews for their seller clients and downvote positive reviews for their competitors. The same applies to accounts used to target honest sellers with fake negative reviews, and fake upvotes used to give those reviews extra weight.
Sellers need to try and track competitor behaviour because they may need to fight back if they are on the receiving end of an attack. Is it safe to buy fake Amazon reviews? Buying fake reviews usually results in two outcomes: • You’re tracked down and suspended by policy teams for or • The reviews get deleted down the road and possibly your account too.
What problems do fake reviews cause for Amazon? • Fake reviews hit at the very foundation of the Amazon marketplace affecting buyer trust and buyer experience. • Sellers who play by the rules suffer from fake negative reviews while their competitors accrue fake positive ones. • Amazon itself loses more faith in the validity of the reviews with each passing day.
• Ultimately, the integrity of the entire marketplace comes into troubling focus and everyone asks why Amazon isn’t doing more. Why aren’t Amazon doing more about fake reviews? • It’s hard to scale the kind of investigation work needed as most of the bad behaviour now occurs outside of Amazon.
• It’s almost impossible to connect the buyer accounts associated with fake verified reviews back to the third-party service providers arranging them. • Amazon are trying to reduce investigator headcount, not add to it. • Managers within Amazon are not equipped to address such an unwieldy problem. • Higher-level Amazon executives don’t understand the scope of the problem. • There are no fully-functional standard operating procedures which attack the core causes. • The greater public isn’t familiar with how this works and doesn’t know how much they should care about it, yet.
Source: via Get Amazon reviews legally FeedbackExpress software is 100% compliant with Amazon. If you want to get more seller feedback and product reviews legally, then sign up for a . No credit card required. Related: 2018-07-03T14:05:31+00:00