Amazon has recently been taking stronger and stronger action against sellers who abuse the review system.
Now Amazon has published an update today, spelling out exactly what they constitute as review abuse and what action will be taken against anyone manipulating their review system:
Customer reviews are an integral part of the customer shopping experience on Amazon. Customers use these reviews to learn more about the product, assess whether it fits their needs, and make an informed purchase decision. Customer reviews also help sellers understand the customers’ sentiment about their products, what features or aspects of the product customers like, and what areas need improvements. Reviews also provide sellers with ideas on how to improve their products. In order for customer reviews to continue to provide these benefits to customers and sellers, they have to remain a true and authentic reflection of customers’ experiences with the products.
Amazon has specific policies that are meant to protect the authenticity of Customer Reviews, and we ask you to comply with these policies and report any violations you might notice. We have provided links to our policy pages below. Note that Amazon has a zero-tolerance policy towards any customer reviews violations. If we detect any attempts to manipulate customer reviews, we take immediate actions that include, but are not limited to:
- Immediate and permanent withdrawal of the seller’s selling privileges on Amazon and withholding of funds.
- The removal of all the product’s reviews and preventing the product from receiving future reviews or ratings.
- Permanent delisting of the product from Amazon.
- Legal action against the seller, including lawsuits and referral to civil and criminal enforcement authorities.
- Disclosing the seller’s name and other related information publicly.
We strongly urge you to thoroughly review Amazon Customer Reviews policies and immediately correct any violating actions. It is important that you educate your business partners, employees, and any 3rd party partners you work with about these policies as well. Any infractions by your business partners, employees, or 3rd party agencies will result in enforcement actions, even if it happened without your knowledge or consent.
Violations to Customer Reviews policies include, but are not limited to, these actions:
- A seller posts a review of their own product or their competitor’s product.
- A seller offers a third party a financial reward, discount, free products, or other compensation in exchange for a review on their product or their competitor’s product. This includes using services that sell customer reviews, websites, or social media groups.
- A seller offers to provide a refund or reimbursement after the buyer writes a review (including reimbursement via a non-Amazon payment method). This could be done via buyer-seller messaging on Amazon or directly contacting customers or using 3rd party services, websites, or social media groups.
- A seller uses a third-party service that offers free or discounted products tied to a review (for example, a review club that requires customers to register their Amazon public profile so that sellers can monitor their reviews).
- A family member or employee of the seller posts a review of the seller’s product or a competitor’s product.
- A seller asks a reviewer to change or remove their review. They might also offer a refund or other compensation to a reviewer in exchange for doing so.
- A seller diverts negative reviews to be sent to them or to a different feedback mechanism while positive reviews are sent to Amazon.
- A seller creates a variation relationship between products with the aim of manipulating reviews and boosting a product’s star rating via review aggregation.
- A seller inserts a request for a positive Amazon review or an incentive in exchange for a review into product packaging or shipping box.
- A seller uses a customer account to write or change a review on his or his competitor’s product.
Anyone buying reviews should act with extreme caution because you risk losing your account, any funds in the account and potential legal action. If you’ve been playing by the rules then this shouldn’t affect you.