Amazon is working hard to remove the number of fake reviews on their marketplace. Over 1000 individuals, websites and buyers have been sued for fake reviews. Manufacturers and brands are no longer permitted to provide products in exchange for reviews on Amazon.com. The new rule means that incentivised reviews will only be possible via the Amazon Vine Program.
What Does this Mean for You?
Previously, companies were able to provide free or discounted products to individuals in exchange for a review on Amazon. The only rule was that the individual had to add a disclaimer clearly stating that they were sent the product in exchange for a review. This gave newer brands and products a way of gaining reviews for their goods that didn’t have enough of an audience to receive the reviews organically.
Companies will no longer be able to use incentivised ads as a way of gaining reviews on amazon.com, but the new rule has yet to be rolled out on amazon.co.uk. Amazon hopes to remove reviews that might not be genuine from their marketplace.
Authors and publishers are also not currently included in the new rule so review copies for books can still be sent out in exchange for a review. There’s no information provided about if and when the no incentivised review rule will be applied to books and the UK site. However, Amazon has suggested that Vine will be updated in the future to make it more useful.
In 2007, Amazon launched Vine to provide manufacturers and publishers to gain access to their own panel of independent reviewers. Amazon selects the independent reviewers based on the review submissions they have submitted to the site. This is a paid service that allows the companies to send out their products to the individuals to receive a review on the site. It is designed to allow new products that don’t have enough sales to gain organic reviews.