Amazon Changed Their Rules For Sellers And Reviewers

Discussion in 'Shopping & Sales' started by Yvonne Smith, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    As most of you know, I have been getting free, and almost free products from some of the amazon review websites. Now, Amazon has changed the rules for sellers yet again; so the review sites are re-inventing themselves in order to comply with Amazon's new rules.
    It has been illegal for sellers to pay for written reviews of their products for some time now, since Amazon discovered that this was how some sellers were getting their reviews.
    However, discounted products in exchange for a review has been fine, up until this week. Now, Amazon has declared that the seller cannot trade a product , either free, or for a reduced price for a customer writing a review about that product.
    What is happening right now, is that sellers are still offering discounted products, and hoping that the buyer will leave a review; but they can no longer ask you to do this, and you do not say in the review that you recieved the product at a discount in exchange for the review.
    Henceforth, it will not be stated what price a person paid, if any, for the item; so customers who are reading reviews for products will no longer know if the reviewer got the product free or paid full price.
    One of the review sites has started asking reviewers to leave a review on their social media instead, with the review containing a link to the product on Amazon, and also declaring the free or discounted price in exchange for the review.
    At this point, it is hard to say where this will go next; but hopefully, we can still get the discounted items and happily leave a review for the product, as we have been doing.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    That doesn't make me happy about reviews....I want to know if a person got something free, cheaper or paid full price when I read a review.

    I'm not saying you would give a good rating to a product but I have noticed a trend that if a person said they got that product at a discount or free it tended to be 4-5 stars.

    Only bad reviews I saw were from people who paid full price. Maybe Amazon is getting complaints from people about their reviews, that would be my guess.
     
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  3. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    I always skip the reviews by those that have received the item free
    I'm a little confused Yvonne by the above, if it has been stopped by Amazon, why would the above be relevant ?
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    From what I can tell, @Patsy Faye , this whole thing started when Amazon sellers started paying people to review products for them, and of course, that was for them to write a five star review. They could advertise on websites such as Fiverr and just pay someone and get a great review, even though the person writing the review had never even bought the product, and maybe didn't even really know what it was.
    Sometimes, reviewers simply found another review for the product and copied it word for word, just to earn their paycheck.
    Then, Amazon stopped sellers from paying for these reviews; but for the last several years, sellers were allowed to sell a product at a discounted price, or give away free samples, in exchange for an honest review. This way, the person who was writing the review had actually purchased the product and tried it out before they wrote the review.
    Sadly, there were still reviewers who took advantage of this, and I have seen where people made a pasted review from what another person wrote. Even though most of the reviews are sincere, and some are very informative reviews, like in everything else, "the bad apples ruin the barrel", as the old saying goes.
    Not all of the reviews on discounted products are good reviews, and when I read reviews, I have seen people who loved the product and people who hated it; so it is certainly not true that all of the discounted product reviews are five star reviews.
    I really enjoy getting these discounted products to try out, and I also like writing the reviews for each product. We do that regardless of whether the product was discounted or not. Since I am an Amazon Top Reviewer, we always get the offers from sellers in the email every day, and I look forward to picking and choosing which products we want to try out.
     
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  5. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Thanks Yvonne :) - I skip them now because to me they were all the same, I am referring to beauty products when I
    say this. Then yesterday, I saw two 'not so good' reviews from people that had received the items free for a review !
    I was really surprised and happy to see them too
    Otherwise they are all saying how good the product is and I used to order on that basis to find it was not for me
    Now I look for what I want to know about the product and if it isn't mentioned, I ask the question
     
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  6. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I'm sure your reviews are honest but now I'm skeptical of reviews in general. Yes a very few write a bad review sometimes but it's not the norm. I was thinking of doing the reviews then I somehow got on the forum on Amazon and started reading they're purging a lot of reviewers etc. can't remember the exact words. Plus was reading that if you didnt give good reviews you didnt get products.
    I think this is where I ended up reading this information, then decided not to bother with becoming a reviewer.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-forum/top reviewers?ref_=cm_cd_tfp_ef_tft_tp&cdForum=Fx2Z5LRXMSUDQH2&cdThread=TxE6CEVHB38BO9&pldnSite=1

    These arent my views but what I read, just repeating it.

    And TBH if I get something free I would review it differently than if I paid $100 for it, my expectations would be different.

    What I'm trying to say is...yes,this is a good product but not worth $100.

    Also a negative for me is that if you do a review then people can see everything you've reviewed and bought or gotten cheaper..that isn't even the point...it's a creepy look into your life.

    If I bought a bra or undies and reviewed them everybody could see what size and what kind I bought.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
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  7. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I have been more interested in questions that are asked by potential buyers on Amazon. The responses tell me more about the product than the reviews.
     
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  8. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    That's what I prefer to do Von
     
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  9. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I mostly buy toys anyway. Lego or Pokemon lately. But have been buying lego for years and really don't need to read the reviews on lego.
     
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  10. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Oh me ..............I'm looking for miracles ...............:p
     
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  11. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    There aren't any Patsy...put your money away. :)
     
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  12. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    :(
    Okey cokey :( .................................:p
     
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  13. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Sorry.....

    But if you do come across one, let me know.
     
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  14. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    You'll be the first to know Chrissy ! :D
     
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  15. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    I have given this issue a lot of thought, and you and @Chrissy Page are right about saying that many of the discounted reviews are not worth while. Some of them don't add anything at all, and others spend more time and words describing how carefully they review each product than they actually did writing about the product itself.

    Basically, there are two kinds of people writing these reviews.
    Some are people (like myself) who have been long-time Amazon customers, and who have always written reviews on products that they buy, to try and help other customers make a decision about the product.
    Then, there are the people who discovered that they could get free/cheap products just by writing a review of that product, and they signed up for Amazon to do just that.
    So, some are Amazon customers who discovered discounts for reviews, and the others are freebie-hunters who found a way to get something free.

    We have Amazon Prime, and have purchased products from Amazon for around 10 years (give or take), and left reviews about the products we purchased, way before we started getting the discounted products.
    It looks like Amazon is going to put a stop to sellers offering products for reviews, anyway; so the reviews should go back to just being from people who buy and do not get discounts beyond what Amazon offers. From what I read, Amazon is going to delete most, if not all of those reviews with the disclaimer on them.
     
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  16. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Absolutely agree with the above and don't doubt for one minute that you would give an honest review, because I have
    come to know you. I give reviews too - its important to let people know if the consistency is runny, if it has a potent smell
    (which I wouldn't like) things like that.
    :)
     
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  17. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I always read at least some of the reviews, and have found that they are often accurate. When I have a problem with something that I have bought on Amazon, it is almost a given that someone else has had a similar problem. I hate putting complicated things together so when I find that several people have complained about the instructions being unclear or of difficulty assembling a product, I am not so apt to buy it. When one person has such a complaint, I might consider that he was an idiot but when several people have had a problem with it, I pay attention. I have also found that many of the reviewers will supply hints to putting something together that were not made clear in the enclosed instructions, and I've gone back to them as well.

    I might look at them, but I don't pay a lot of attention to people who rate something as one-star unless there are a whole lot of people doing that, because I seldom find their reviews to be helpful, and often their problem has nothing to do with the product itself, but that they are angry because it didn't arrive on time, or because UPS delivered it to the wrong address, or some other irrelevant thing. A lot of five-star ratings might impress me, but I also consider that many of these have been bought and paid for.

    So yeah, I appreciate and use the ratings but I no more count on them than I do the advertising blurb that is included with every product.
     
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  18. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Just like everything else I think it just got out of control and some people took advantage.

    Just like on Yelp, you see a place that has great reviews then there's one that really puts it down and you know
    That person took something personally.

    There is bias in reviews also. When I see a book that's not by a famous author and has only a few reviews and they are great reviews I bet it's the person's family or friends writing that.

    I hope @Yvonne Smith you didn't think that I suggested your reviews weren't honest because that's not the case.

    You are one of the most honest people I know and I hope you continue, honest reviews are important.

    I remember buying something years ago and didn't read reviews and it was crap, when I did look at the reviews I saw that everyone said it was crap an had the same issues I did. Should have read those reviews before buying. :)
     
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  19. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    I usually read the reviews on Amazon prior to purchase, but I wonder how many of them are good. I try to stick to the reviews that say verfified purchase, because you never know. Sometimes even good reviews can lead you astray though. I bought a slip cover for a recliner, and I am pretty sure I read a review first, but when it came it was only big enough to cover the back of the chair..so that was defintely disappointing!
     
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  20. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Ken and Chrissy have already said what I would have typed, and as with reviews, I'm not going to bother to say the same thing others have. I do read reviews on Amazon before purchasing, and never rely on just one review. I was livid when I found out that people and companies were purchasing reviews on Fiverr and other similar sites. I don't have a penny to waste, and if I buy something based on a fake, inaccurate review and the product is crap, that means I have less money for food, utilities, or to re-purchase that item elsewhere after tossing the piece of crap in the trash. I don't have a problem with people getting discounted or even free items for legitimate reviews. PinchMe is a site I receive some freebies from in return for leaving reviews, and their review process asks if you've purchased or plan to purchase the item, which I think is a good way to give information to those reading the reviews.
     
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