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Discounted Reviews Giveaways, Review Groups No Longer Allowed on Amazon

03 Oct 2016

Discounted reviews (official post link) are no longer allowed on Amazon. Major breaking news! It’s a wtf moment in AmzSecrets history. First spotted by the AmzSecrets Team similar to lightning deals discovery.

Amazon VINE is the LAW.

Whether your giving a heavily discounted review, or a small percentage discount, niether of them are allowed.amazon-reviews

How will you grow a product from scratch?

This changes the industry quite alot on how it was normally done. In the past, and the main way products were created, and grown were through beta testers. Obviously as time grew, this process became abused more amd more. I suppose a small percentage of buyers fought for change..and yes won.

What will happen to review clubs, review services like Tomoson, AmzTracker etc?

This is a major blow to all review clubs, facebook groups, and services that have built epic services around this. I truly feel bad for them. I think they will probably figure out some way to help garner reviews for Amazon Sellers…that being said, getting reviews via discounts is now a BLACK HAT method.

Because it is specifically stated in Amazon’s TOS, we are calling discounted reviews now black hat, and highly recommend you do not do them anymore…  I have a feeling AmzTracker, ReviewKick etc, will lose many subscribers today…as that was the only reason I was a subscriber. (Just being honest)

Why did Amazon ban discounted reviews?

Pure abuse. I think some sellers were doing 3000 unit give aways and more, and simply inflating their review count numbers.

I also think they are biased. They want to grow their VINE program…and this is the way they will be doing so..as they stated in the above linked post.

Incentivized vs Non-Incentivized Reviews was published with these stats:
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What will happen to previously discounted product reviews?
I truly hope they will stay. A lot of investment was done for many sellers to get reviews based on seller reactions. Will they stay, who nos. It’s pretty sad that Amazon flip flopped on this decision though.

Can you get banned for manipulating reviews?
Yes. And if you try to do give aways with discounts you can get banned now too. I’m sure there will be a grace period.

Does this apply to books?

No, according to their statement “We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.”

What will we do now if we can do discounts?
Amazon Vine is the only route now

Update – 10/4/2016

Why are we making this change?
Please see our recent announcement.

Can I use third-party services to provide free or discounted products to reviewers?
No. The policy applies regardless of whether you provide compensation to reviewers directly or through a third party.

When and how will this policy be enforced?
The policy is effective immediately. If you continue to offer free or discounted products in exchange for a review, your Amazon privileges may be suspended or revoked.

Can I continue to offer discounts and promotions to customers?
Yes. You may continue to offer discounts and promotions as long as they are not offered in exchange for reviews.

What constitutes a review “in exchange” for a free or discounted product?
We do not allow any benefit to be offered, requested, or provided in exchange for a review.

According to Amazon, stated on October 3, 2016:
Customer reviews are one of the most valuable tools we offer customers for making informed purchase decisions, and we work hard to make sure they are doing their job. In just the past year, we’ve improved review ratings by introducing a machine learned algorithm that gives more weight to newer, more helpful reviews; applying stricter criteria to qualify for the Amazon verified purchase badge; and suspending, banning or suing thousands of individuals for attempting to manipulate reviews.

Our community guidelines have always prohibited compensation for reviews, with an exception – reviewers could post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact. These so-called ‘incentivized reviews’ make up only a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of reviews on Amazon, and when done carefully, they can be helpful to customers by providing a foundation of reviews for new or less well-known products.

Today, we updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program. We launched Vine several years ago to carefully facilitate these kinds of reviews and have been happy with feedback from customers and vendors. Here’s how Vine works: Amazon – not the vendor or seller – identifies and invites trusted and helpful reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release products; we do not incentivize positive star ratings, attempt to influence the content of reviews, or even require a review to be written; and we limit the total number of Vine reviews that we display for each product. Vine has important controls in place and has proven to be especially valuable for getting early reviews on new products that have not yet been able to generate enough sales to have significant numbers of organic reviews. We also have ideas for how to continue to make Vine an even more useful program going forward. Details on that as we have them.

The above changes will apply to product categories other than books. We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.

Thank you.

– Chee Chew, VP, Customer Experience

To see all the community guidelines, also check here.

That’s all for now guys,

David Aladdin Out.

Definitely see Discounted Reviews Banned on Amazon post for official post,episode, show I did on it for full update.

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