Latest Update on Amazon New Policy on Customer Reviews

10/07/2016 41 comments
Latest Update on Amazon New Policy on Customer Reviews

What Happened after Monday 10/03/2016:

The issue with disclaimers is that a lot of reviews containing them were actually biased because the sellers have been selecting exactly the person who’s going to be reviewing their product.

Many platforms were there to generate mainly positive reviews which was the issue.

Some apps started to appear that can provide the distinction among published reviews based on which are in fact real, unbiased and honest and which were published in exchange for a review.

This caused a major discussion regarding Amazon reviews on Reddit and other websites, where people presented disparate opinions in relation to reviewing.

This created a PR nightmare for Amazon and something needed to be done to restore the trust in their platform.

Amazon updated their ToS, stating that reviews in exchange for a free or discounted product are no longer possible. These incentivized reviews will only be possible using Amazon Vine program, which was launched several years ago.

All platforms for facilitating reviewing decide to turn to a new business model where the reviews on Amazon are no longer an obligation. Instead of asking for Amazon reviews, sellers offer a discounted products to people who are very active on social media and Amazon. Creating a review on Amazon is no longer an obligation, but if an author writes a review on Amazon, (s)he can share the review URL with the seller or on social media.

This is how these platforms meet all demands of Amazon ToS.

By giving away discounted products, sellers just get a boost in sales and not necessarily reviews and it’s been very successful – like a sales velocity tool.

Shoppers are just getting a deal and that's it.

Giveaway Service's Plans

Giveaway Service has implemented the system in which it is no longer obligatory for authors to create or verify their Amazon reviews. We also decided that our members will be able to ask for reviews on the following platforms:

  • Social media including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • Personal blogs
  • Etsy
  • Walmart

 

As we stated previously, in many blog posts written by our Support Team, reviews on social networks can highly influence the increase in sales for businesses of all sizes. According to PewResearch, 90% of young adults use social media, compared with 12% in 2005, a 78-percentage point increase. At the same time, there has been a 69-point bump among those ages 30-49, from 8% in 2005 to 77% today. As you can see here, more and more people are connected socially. 

Since we cannot avoid human skepticism when it comes to self-advertising, we must turn to more trusted forms of advertising, such as social media customer reviews. This is why people turn to their family and friends (or bloggers they trust) to make smart purchase and don’t waste any money. Naturally, all this makes sense. Entrepreneurs must not disregard the impact social media can have on sales’ boost. If you try to advertise products in this day and age using TV or billboard advertisements, there is no doubt effects won’t be satisfying.

 

Statista says:

In 2018, it is estimated that there will be around 2.67 billion social network users around the globe, up from 1.91 billion in 2014. Social network penetration worldwide is ever-increasing. In 2016, 68.3 percent of internet users were social network users and these figures are expected to grow.

Giveaway Service gives you the opportunity to focus on social networks in order to boost your sales. Redirecting to social media posts or personal blog posts was affected by Amazon Update on Customer Reviews, as well as by mentioned trends in reviewing and advertising. This is the future of marketing and engaging with customers. 

Our authors can post reviews on social media and thus spread the word about your products more successfully in comparison to traditional methods.

 


In case there are any doubts or queries, do not hesitate to contact us in the Comments section below or via e-mail.


Comments

Priscilla Va Priscilla Va 10/07/2016 07:12 AM
So if we get a product and decided we wanted to review it on Amazon of our own volition, we may do so and no longer need any kind of disclaimer saying we received the product for free or at a discount? There's no need for any kind of disclaimer now? It would be very easy for Amazon to verify the discount so I want to make sure I'm not putting myself at risk of losing my Amazon account.
Wendy Chatterton Wendy Chatterton 10/07/2016 15:13 PM
I do not blog and will not post to my Facebook, etc.
Wendy Chatterton Wendy Chatterton 10/07/2016 15:36 PM
I feel the mere fact of people posting on social media and Twitter, Facebook, Instagam or sending a link to their Amazon review is dangerous and is in violation of Amazons ToS. I am not willing to risk my Amazon account if you are wrong.
Paul Blum Paul Blum 10/08/2016 02:26 AM
It is completely up to authors to decide whether to apply for an Amazon deal or not. Amazon reviews will be optional. Reviews on social media will contain your opinion on the product in question and the Amazon Product URL, not Amazon review. Paul.
Tammy White Tammy White 10/08/2016 09:52 AM
Will Amazon be removing the reviews we have already posted on Amazon with the disclaimers attached? I worked really hard on my reviews and am proud of them. I would hate to see them gone suddenly. I was an Amazon Prime member for 2 years before I started reviewing for Giveaway Services. We still buy lots of family purchases every month that are not promotional items. Will this have any bearing on them keeping our reviews up? Thanks. Tammy W.
Paul Blum Paul Blum 10/09/2016 01:53 AM
Dear Tammy, a follow-up: As reported recently, many reviews have been removed. Amazon said: "Our goal is to capture all the energy, enthusiasm, and feedback (both favorable and critical) that customers have about a product while avoiding use of reviews to advertise, promote, or mislead. To help illustrate, here are a few examples of reviews that we don't allow: ... A customer posts a review in exchange for cash, a free or discounted product, a gift certificate, or a discount off a future purchase provided by a third party..." The pace of reviews removal is still unknown. We'll keep you informed and update the comments, as soon as we determine all the reasons for removal. Kind regards, Miranda.
Heather Elder Heather Elder 10/09/2016 04:59 AM
So how is this going to work for this site in terms of verfying or not verifying reviews? Are you going to remove the verification or is that no longer a requirement to continue to receive products? I have products I did not verify do to the change in policy, how is that going to impact everything? I do not use social media and I only use Amazon, just to be clear.
Paul Blum Paul Blum 10/09/2016 06:34 AM
Hello. If you have unfinished Amazon tasks, they will not be required and it will not affect Verification percentages for authors. We suggest that you offer to write a review on additional platforms instead of Amazon, i.e. social media. Proactively doing this step will go a long way towards the business liking and approving you again on their other promos. Putting a disclaimer on a review posted on Amazon is totally up to the review writer. We do not have a stance on this issue. Reviews on Amazon.com will no longer be required as a task on Giveaway Service. Completing other tasks (Facebook post, Twitter status, Instagram post) will still be required. Thank you. Kind regards, Miranda.
Kate Jensen Kate Jensen 10/09/2016 23:44 PM
Miranda, Amazon has begun taking down some past reviews. I received an email from them stating that it will not affect my ability to post future reviews. I lost about 75 reviews but am still in good standing. I do not know what the criteria are regarding what will be taken down or how they are deciding.
Paul Blum Paul Blum 10/09/2016 23:58 PM
Dear Kate, thanks for the update. As reported recently, many reviews have been removed. Amazon said: "Our goal is to capture all the energy, enthusiasm, and feedback (both favorable and critical) that customers have about a product while avoiding use of reviews to advertise, promote, or mislead. To help illustrate, here are a few examples of reviews that we don't allow: ... A customer posts a review in exchange for cash, a free or discounted product, a gift certificate, or a discount off a future purchase provided by a third party..." The pace of reviews removal is still unknown. We'll keep you informed and update the comments, as soon as we determine all the reasons for removal. Kind regards, Miranda.
Jennifer Miller Jennifer Miller 10/11/2016 15:43 PM
So if I'm approved, I can review this on another platform and then just link where to buy on Amazon?
Paul Blum Paul Blum 10/11/2016 23:29 PM
Dear Jennifer, You are able to verify your social media posts instead of Amazon reviews for promotions before October 3. So, when you go to "Manage tasks", just post 1 social media review URL in the Amazon review box and it will be verified. If the promotion required just an Amazon review, you can verify any social media post in its place. If the promotion required Amazon and some or all social media tasks, verify one of those completed social media reviews instead of Amazon task. For promotions you applied for after Oct 3, Amazon review will not be included in the Verification percentage. Instructions about the ideal length of reviews can be found here: https://www.giveawayservice.com/blog/ideal-social-media-and-blog-post-length . In case you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Thank you for using our services. Kind regards, Miranda.
Michelle Nosowicz Michelle Nosowicz 10/12/2016 02:46 AM
If my reviews are still up on Amazon, can I edit them - to remove the disclaimer - and re-submit the review?
Paul Blum Paul Blum 10/12/2016 02:57 AM
Dear Michelle, Putting a disclaimer on a review posted on Amazon is totally up to the review writer. We do not have a stance on this issue. Kind regards, Paul
Lynn Marie White Lynn Marie White 10/12/2016 08:53 AM
Michelle, If you are referring to any reviews you did in the past, before Oct 3rd, you should leave them exactly the way they were. If you go in and delete reviews, that can be considered manipulation. If you remove a disclosure from a review that needs one, you could be fined by the FTC. Leave your old reviews the way they were created originally, unless you forgot a disclosure on something. If you have written reviews since the 3rd for anything facilitated through a third party, it can be considered a violation. For those, I would delete them and put them on social media instead. If Amazon deletes any of your reviews you are not allowed to resubmit them. Please note, I do not represent GS, I am a blogger and I write about the ins and outs of writing reviews on Amazon. This information was given to me by Amazon after I wrote to Jeff Bezos. Good luck!
Steven Whitney Steven Whitney 10/16/2016 09:20 AM
OK. Got it.
Ellen Kahn Ellen Kahn 10/18/2016 11:56 AM
As far as I am aware if you leave a review for a product without a disclosure you are in violation of FTC laws. If Amazon allows reviews on discounted products with no disclosure if you are not obligated to do a review and you do this, I believe you are still in violation of FTC law. I believe the law applies to all media not just Amazon and that a disclosure is required.
Elisha Rogers Elisha Rogers 10/18/2016 20:10 PM
Just to be clear, we do still need a disclaimer, per FTC, when we post to social media as well, right?
Paul Blum Paul Blum 10/19/2016 00:38 AM
Authors should disclose social media and blog posts. You say it in your own words or use this template: “I received this product in exchange for a review from Giveway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.” Many authors get ‘lost in the details.’ We just want you to make it clear to your readers that you got a product for free or at a highly discounted price for an honest an unbiased review. The principle is MAKE IT CLEAR.
Ismet Simsek Ismet Simsek 10/20/2016 10:44 AM
Mal sehen was das alles bringt
Lara Taylor Lara Taylor 10/24/2016 12:10 PM
I suppose this is why I can't get approved for a single item. I have many legit Amazon reviews, but I don't have a thousand followers on social media.
Paul Blum Paul Blum 10/25/2016 01:23 AM
Dear Lara, that probably is the reason. Try some of these tips to become more influential: https://www.giveawayservice.com/blog/tips-for-authors-being-noticed-https://www.giveawayservice.com/blog/how-to-increase-your-influence-on-facebook-for-authors. Kind regards, Paul.
Marion Botello Marion Botello 10/28/2016 06:17 AM
This car cover is something I wanted because here in North East Ohio we get this thing called lake effect snow and boy does it dump on us. When I was offered the opportunity to try this car cover at a discount I was thrilled. Now that I have bought, received, and reviewed this car cover I am still thrilled.This car cover is made of very study and durable materials that are waterproof. It seems that this car cover will stand up to the test of time and a bad winter here in North East Ohio.This car cover is very well assembled also which will make it last longer . Overall I am very pleased with this car cover and the function it provides of protecting my car from the weather elements. Would I recommend this product to other people? Yes I would including friends and family..I absolutely think this is great product.I received this product at a discount in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own and they are not influenced by anyone but myself.If this review was helpful please vote yes below.
Jennifer Miller Jennifer Miller 11/01/2016 08:01 AM
If a product has down for a amazon review and i choose to review on facebook twitter do i put that link in the place of amazon in the amazon section?
App Ara App Ara 11/07/2016 21:50 PM
ok got it
App Ara App Ara 11/07/2016 21:53 PM
i am new to promotion after applying to a product how can i get that ?
Jeanne Stuemke Jeanne Stuemke 11/08/2016 07:39 AM
Can I also review on Pinterest? I am able to do that for some of the other sites that I write reviews for. Thanks.
Patti Ruland Patti Ruland 11/12/2016 05:36 AM
Got it
Anna Garcia Anna Garcia 12/14/2016 14:09 PM
So I don't need to verify my Amazon review ? It's only asking for Amazon.
Manuel Gil Manuel Gil 12/17/2016 06:02 AM
Excelente producto... Genial manera de iniciar el día...
Mary DeRae Mary DeRae 12/24/2016 00:52 AM
I just joined, and would like to get started. When it asked me to add my facebook page I only have 5 followers. However, I own and run 2 Facebook public groups. One is for Recipes (2587 members) and the other for Crafts, and D.I.Y. Projects. (1079 members), I am not allowed to attach these? I think both would be great outlets for recommendations for the appropriate items.
Deon Fletcher Deon Fletcher 01/06/2017 20:38 PM
Love it perfect
Paul Blum Paul Blum 01/07/2017 01:36 AM
Dear Mary, You can connect personal Facebook profile and/or Facebook Page. Just go to My Social Accounts page https://www.giveawayservice.com/account/social and (if you are page manager) you can connect Facebook Page. Paul
Dimitriys Medvedev Dimitriys Medvedev 01/08/2017 10:13 AM
Cool product
Good amazon cool product
Niwis Krezz Niwis Krezz 01/24/2017 17:27 PM
Love it best thing ever
Andrew Gomez Andrew Gomez 01/27/2017 16:56 PM
Does a Youtube video count as social media? And do I have to do reviews on multiple platforms or my preferred platform?
Paul Blum Paul Blum 01/29/2017 01:59 AM
Dear Andrew, we currently do not support YouTube as social media. You can do a review on your preferred platform.
Maxence De Saint-Aubin Maxence De Saint-Aubin 01/31/2017 11:48 AM
Is it ok if I product a video on ?
Paul Blum Paul Blum 01/31/2017 22:40 PM
Hi Maxence, Amazon task is optional now, so you will not be penalized if you do not complete it.
The Magic The Magic 02/05/2017 22:05 PM
Very good product


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