Yesterday, October 24, 2016, Amazon sent an email to its Marketplace sellers stating that anyone selling products that have received incentivized reviews in the past will get their Amazon privileges suspended or terminated if they attempt to acquire additional incentivized reviews moving forward.
This shouldn’t be a surprise considering Amazon already told sellers this already on October 3, 2016. But receiving an email directly from Amazon will certainly provoke sellers to take another look at the Terms of Service to ensure they are in compliance.
We have received questions as to what Amazon considers acceptable and this email clarifies a lot of those questions.
We have taken—and will continue to take—every necessary step to ensure that our business practices and platform remain completely in line with Amazon’s policies. Amazon has made it abundantly clear it does not want sellers to offer products where there is any obligation—direct or implied—to leave product reviews. Amazon also doesn’t want platforms where shoppers are rated based on their reviews or are required to supply their Amazon profile information in order to join. We have eliminated these aspects from Snagshout to ensure our customers are following the Amazon policy.
We will continue to update our customers and readers with our insights whenever Amazon makes a policy update. Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.
We recently updated our policies to prohibit incentivized reviews, including those posted in exchange for a free or discounted copy of the product. You are receiving this email because products you sell have received incentivized reviews in the past. If you attempt to acquire incentivized reviews going forward, your Amazon privileges will be suspended or terminated.
We consider a review to be incentivized if you have influenced or can influence the review directly or indirectly, including by monitoring whether a review is written and providing or withholding any future benefit based on whether a review is written or the content of the review. Below are a few examples where a review is considered incentivized and is not permitted:
You provide a free or discounted product, gift card, rebate, cash payment, or other compensation in exchange for the review.
You provide or withhold free or discounted products or other benefits in the future based on whether the customer writes a review.
You use a review service where reviewers’ continued membership depends on writing reviews.
You use a review service where you can rate customers based on their reviews.
You use a review service where customers register their Amazon public profile so that you can monitor their reviews of your products.
Incentivizing customer reviews violates our policies and may violate the Federal Trade Commission Act.
The following actions are generally allowed, provided you comply with the above restrictions:
You may offer discounts that are generally available to all Amazon customers, such as Lightning Deals.
You may give out free products at trade shows, conventions, or other similar venues where you are unable to monitor whether the recipients write a review or provide or withhold any benefits based on whether a review is written or the content of the review.
The above changes apply only to product categories other than books. We continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.
For more information please visit the following Help pages:
Prohibited seller activities and actions:
About Lightning Deals:
About promotional content
Thank you for selling on Amazon.