Amazon Reviews – Keep Them Real
One of the most popular ways to make money online is to work with Amazon. You can make money through Amazon in a number of ways, and they all work well. You can promote their products as an affiliate, you can sell products through the site itself using their Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) program or you can write and sell Kindle books. While these methods can all work well, and some people earn six figure incomes through the company, the success of any product relies on Amazon reviews. People are reluctant to buy any product on the site if it doesn’t have a number of glowing, four or five star reviews.
Sellers, affiliates, and other marketers know this, and for the past few years, many have attempted to game the system by purchasing Amazon reviews. This violates Amazon’s terms of service, as the company wants all Amazon reviews to be organic in nature. That is, they want the reviews on the site to represent the honest opinion of people who have purchased the product. If the reviews are favorable, the company wants them to be favorable because the customers who wrote them actually purchased the product and liked it. This helps keep the Amazon marketplace honest, and creates a better shopping environment for the customers. Unfortunately, many of the reviews on the site are not honest, and the company has decided to do something about it – with lawyers.
Why Buy Amazon Reviews?
With millions of products for sale on the Amazon site, and with many similar products available in any category, it can be difficult for a seller to start making sales if their products have no reviews. It’s not just important that the product have reviews; it’s also important that the product have positive reviews, ideally, in the four and five star range. One of the most popular methods of searching for a product on Amazon is to search by rating, and people like to buy the products that have been regarded as the “best.” Of course, if you’re new to selling a product, be it a physical product or a Kindle ebook, it can be quite difficult to get initial sales. People won’t buy if you don’t have reviews, but how can you get reviews if people won’t buy?
In recent years, a solution to that problem has popped up – people began offering fake Amazon reviews for sale on Fiverr as well as on other sites. For a fee, you could buy anywhere from one to a hundred four or five star reviews for the product of your choice. If you were willing to pay the reviewer to buy your product, you could even get a review from a “verified” purchaser – the Amazon reviews that help get you the most sales and the best rankings on the site. Instead of having to wait weeks or even months to have your products start to draw sales, you could now get them in a matter of days, just by paying someone to write reviews.
While this system of offering Amazon reviews for pay is unlikely to stop anytime soon, it did receive a huge blow recently when Amazon announced that they were suing more than one thousand providers of paid reviews, mostly those who were offering such services for sale at Fiverr. While Fiverr’s own terms of service prohibit offering products for sale that violate third party terms of service, as paid Amazon reviews would do, the company still had a huge number of people on the site offering that particular service. Many of them are now receiving legal notices in the mail and will likely expect to find themselves in court soon. In all likelihood, the amounts of money that these reviewers will have to pay in damages will exceed the amounts of money they made in providing the reviews in the first place, which is likely intended to serve as a deterrent to those who might be tempted to offer such services in the future.
It’s worth noting that Amazon has not attempted to sue Fiverr, even though the company has clearly been negligent in enforcing their own terms of service. I suspect that’s going to change, and Fiverr will probably stop accepting gigs for Amazon reviews soon, if they haven’t done so already.
What does this mean for Amazon affiliates, Kindle authors, and Amazon sellers? It means that the company is going to start scrutinizing the reviews of the products you are promoting and selling a bit more closely in the future. They’ve probably got pretty good statistical data regarding how Amazon reviews will accumulate naturally for a product, and any product that gets reviews more quickly than what might normally be expected is likely going to get a close look from the company. It’s possible that if Amazon suspects that you are paying someone for reviews, they might cancel your account, leaving you without a way to sell on their site. For many marketers, this could lead to a huge drop in income, as there really isn’t another comparable marketplace, aside from eBay.
If you’re promoting Amazon products as an affiliate, this is less likely to affect you, especially if you have no direct ties to the seller of the product itself. You might, under a worst-case scenario, simply find yourself looking for different products to promote.
Amazon Reviews Summary
It may have taken a while, but Amazon rightly recognizes that fake Amazon reviews were hurting their reputation. While fake reviews often are just an attempt to get good products noticed quickly, they often encourage people to buy bad products, and unhappy customers are not what Amazon is looking for. If you’re creating products for the Kindle or are selling products through the Amazon FBA program, you’ll have to keep a close watch on the reviews that appear on your site and you emphatically should avoid paying anyone or compensating anyone in any way for providing a review for you. While you might only get a warning from the company, you might also find yourself without an account anymore. Even worse – you might find yourself receiving a lawsuit. Fake Amazon reviews aren’t worth that kind of headache.