Today Amazon made some changes to the seller’s policy and also the community policies. Nothing new there really as Amazon are always making policy changes, sometimes multiple times a day. But today’s change has super-charged the forums, chatrooms and Facebook Groups. But to be honest the writing has been on the wall for a long time regarding the changes, and in fact, over the past few months, Amazon have tweaked the policies in this area a few time.
In the short term will this effect some sellers? Yes, it will but in the long term and looking forward it will make Amazon a safer and better place for the buyer and the seller. Of course, the changes I am on about are the major changes Amazon have made to the review system. Tou can read all about the change by click here. Amazon are very clear on what they require here. There is no second guessing on what they might be selling.
Please take some time to read what the policy is saying and then get back to sourcing, listing and selling. Personally, I have also believed, taught and practised that your reviews will come as you make the sales on your Private Label Items and Bundles. I have never given away free items and I have never given any for a discount to get a review. I have always felt that organic reviews are the best.
As with anything on Amazon people will try and push the barriers, go into the grey area, because others are doing it – this is not right and could in the long term hurt your Amazon business for a short while or forever if they shut you down. Remember this is Amazons PlayGround and they make the rules.
Update on Customer Reviews
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.
Andrew Milburn has been selling on eBay and Amazon for many years
and is now helping many others from around the world learn the
freedom of selling on Amazon and eBay can bring. Andrew is currently
working with Jim Cockrum and Skip Mcgrath as an Amazon Consultant and eBay Consultant and offers coaching through their coaching programs. For further information please fill out the box to the left.