Amazon reviews help buyers make informed purchasing decisions. Products that are higher rated and have a sizable number of reviews sell more. To protect the integrity of reviews, Amazon enforces strict policies. These policies ensure that buyers aren't duped by sellers gaming the system.
Sellers are not permitted to review their own products. Sellers aren't allowed to give competitors' products negative ratings. There's a clear conflict of interest with this behavior so it makes sense.
Additionally, sellers aren't allowed to incentivize customers to leave reviews. There's an implied persuasion for positive reviews with incentives. Incentives prohibited include:
Any violation of these policies can lead to Amazon:
A brand doing sales over $9 million a month on Amazon came to us after their account received a suspension. An Instagram user who loved their product left a positive review with a claim they received the product for free. Despite having not solicited the review, Amazon suspended the account for product review manipulation. We were able to get their account reinstated but after days of lost sales. The risks are worth the reward as Amazon is not messing around with their policies.
Amazon runs programs to help sellers so they don’t need to resort to shady practices.
The Amazon Early Review program is available for SKUs that are more than $9.00 and have less than five reviewers. Amazon will reach out buyers on your behalf for either one year or until you have five reviews. The cost is $60 per SKU and billed after the first review. This program is no longer available as of 2021.
Amazon Vine is available to Vendors and Brand Owners on Seller Central. To qualify, products must be Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), have units in stock, fewer than 30 reviews, and in new condition. Sellers select how many units to give away to Amazon reviews (max of 30.) Currently, there is no other cost to sellers for this program but that is subject to change.
Amazon’s Request a Review button appears in a user’s Seller Central. The button appears in a unique order’s Order details section. While a valuable feature, it is tedious to manage this for every order. Imagine clicking this button for every order!
If a task is repetitive, there must be a way to automate it. Sellers are in luck. There are plenty of software solutions that will do the task for you. In fact, some are better than others. We've evaluated a few and found varying features and reporting. Feedback Five emerged as our favorite as it provides:
You can get a free trial here: Feedback Five
We can't emphasize enough how important reviews are for your products. More importantly, we also can't emphasize enough how important it is to play by the rules. You can save a ton of time with the right software and partnering with an agency of experts like us.
Note: some links in this post are affiliate links where we receive a nominal commission. We would not recommend anything that we don’t think will help your business.