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Should You Buy Product Reviews on Amazon? | How to Get More Amazon Reviews
08/24/20 — 0 min read

Why Can’t You Buy Product Reviews on Amazon?

Amazon made it a Terms of Service violation to buy or trade product reviews. If you break their strict rules on earning reviews, you might get your account suspended, or worse. So now you just have to cross your fingers and hope people leave feedback, right? Well, not exactly…

When selling a new product, a low number of reviews will keep you from showing up in the top search results, so you need to get more Amazon reviews in order to rank on page one. But when Amazon makes it so difficult to get those initial reviews, smart sellers start looking around to see what other options they have.

Unfortunately, there is more than one way to break this rule and land yourself in hot water with Bezos and his minions. So before we explain how to get more product reviews, it’s important you understand what you can and can’t do.

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Complying with Amazon’s Terms of Service (ToS)

Okay, nobody likes to read long lists of rules, especially when the rules are complicated, ambiguous, and let’s just say it, boring. Odds are, you do what the rest of us do when you see a giant wall of legal text: you scroll directly to the bottom so you can click Accept and hope you never have to think about this again.

But for those of us who don’t always like to live so dangerously, it’s important to have a good idea of what these rules say. If you aren’t going to read them, here are some of the important things to remember when it comes to reviews:

  • Don’t offer free products in exchange for reviews
  • Don’t offer money in exchange for a review
  • Don’t offer discounts or promotions in exchange for reviews
  • Don’t swap a review for a review
  • Don’t accept reviews before the sale has happened

Now, you can still offer discounts or rebates to promote your product, there’s nothing wrong with that. And once people have purchased your product, you can still ask for a review. But you can’t require it as a condition of giving them the deal. And you definitely cannot just buy Amazon reviews, so paying some sketchy third party site to come in and write up a bunch of reviews for you is a huge no-no.

So how do you find legit Amazon reviews?

You may have already discovered things like Review Traders, or Amazon review groups on sites like Facebook or Reddit. Finding an Amazon review service is tricky, because some of them are still trying to operate under an illegal business model.

Remember, buying reviews not only violates Amazon’s ToS, but is also against the law. That means you not only risk your account getting banned, but you also risk having charges filed against you.

The last time we talked about how to get more reviews on Amazon, we covered these 4 major strategies to boost your initial Amazon reviews:

  1. Early Reviewer Program
  2. Use Amazon Vine Reviewers
  3. Request Amazon Reviews From Customers
  4. Offer Rebates to Boost Sales, then Follow Up with Customers

Since we’ve already covered these, here are some more tips to increase your reviews:

Boost your Initial Sales

This is a tough pill to swallow, so let’s get it out of the way fast: you won’t get reviews if you don’t get those early sales. And getting initial sales momentum can be costly. You want to get more people to buy the product, which means you need to figure out how you want to advertise or promote your product.

Bear in mind, you don’t need perfect reviews. According to advertisers, “an item rated as 4.5 stars reviewed by 10 people won’t sell as well as an item rated as 4 stars reviewed by 300 people.” While a better star rating is better (all things being equal), more than anything you want proof that massive amounts of people are buying your product. So boost those sales numbers and get reviews from as many of your customers as possible.

For advertising, you may want to consider Amazon’s Sponsored Products, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or similar digital ad platforms. The best choice may vary depending on your product and market, so do your research.

For promotions, there are a ton of ways you can get creative. To streamline the process though, you can use unique tools like Masschat or Snagshout. You can link a Facebook Ads campaign to Masschat, or run a product promotion on Snagshout.

  • Masschat is a chatbot that advertises directly to your target market and offers rebates or discounts to new customers, and can even collect their email addresses for you to sell more products later.
  • Snagshout is a deal platform that’s integrated with Amazon, and places your product in front of the hordes of shoppers looking to snag a great deal. By offering rebates or coupons here, you get a flood of new sales, and can even ask for user-generated content in exchange, which you can use for more effective marketing.

Both options are pay-as-you-go, so you don’t need to make a bigger investment than you’re comfortable with. Using tools like these, we’ve helped thousands of Amazon merchants rank on the first page of Amazon search results for their category.

As a bonus tip, we recommend rebates rather than coupons, because customers who buy with a rebate will still get the “Verified Review” tag when they leave a review.

Create a Mailing List

This is much easier to do if you use a tool like Masschat, but regardless of your approach, mailing lists are an essential strategy to massively grow profits and manage customer relationships.

In our previous article about reviews, we mentioned the Auto-Request Reviews feature on Massview, which lets you request reviews from customers anytime after they’ve received the product (it’s available through the Monocle Chrome extension, along with a free FBA fee calculator and some other tools). But this isn’t your only way to keep in touch.

When you have a customer’s email, you can not only send a friendly request for them to review a product, but you can make more sales later on. They’ll be more likely to purchase from you when they’ve already done so in the past, and more likely to write you a review if they like you!

Note: If you’re thinking of using Amazon’s Buyer-Seller messaging for this, think again. Using this service for marketing or promotions violates Amazon’s ToS. As of this writing you’re allowed just one review request through it, but many customers opt out anyway, so you may just be wasting your time.

Reach out to Customers on Social Media

While not quite as effective as the Auto-Request Reviews tool, social media should not be underestimated. Don’t forget to ask your fans and followers (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) to write reviews on your product. If they like your social account already, odds are the review will be pretty favorable too!

Now, these are three great ways to boost your reviews, but you want a high rating too. So how do you make sure your customers are giving you more 5-star ratings?

How can you get higher ratings in your reviews?

There are a handful of best practices when it comes to getting great ratings, and it mostly boils down to stellar customer engagement. Here are the the most important things to focus on:

  • Provide a great customer experience: This is a little broad, but you want to make sure you focus on more than just getting more sales. Everything from quick shipping (using FBA can help with this) to having a flexible return policy can make a difference. Returns can be pricey, especially if you have lower margins, but remember: you’re in this for the long term. A satisfied customer today means a better review, and more purchases tomorrow. Tip: We’ve found that the best policy is to Refund or Replace any purchase when a customer has a problem – free of charge. It sounds costly, but when it leads to thousands of positive reviews, the long-term sales it generates are worth the sacrifice. I mean hey, just look at Nordstrom.
  • Respond to your customers. Be sure to stay engaged with the questions and comments on your product page. And if you get a bad review, don’t lash out! This should be obvious, but too many sellers make mistakes like this. Instead, try to make it right with the customer. If you help them solve the problem, they can update their rating, and are more likely to buy from you again. Make sure they know you actually care about their satisfaction.
  • Improve your product: this is so obvious it’s almost not worth mentioning, but some of you need to hear it: if your initial ratings aren’t great, you should listen to your customers’ complaints. You may have chosen cheap materials or manufacturing in order to get a better profit margin, but it’s not going to make much difference if nobody wants to buy from you. And be honest with yourself! We talk to so many merchants who seem to think every negative review is fake, as if it were some attack by their competitors. Sure, this happens sometimes, but not as often as you’d think. Your product isn’t perfect, and that’s okay. Don’t take it personally. Just take what you learn and see how you can make it better.
  • Make your product descriptions accurate and honest. This ties into the last point. Bad ratings don’t come from low quality products so much as they come from unmet expectations. If your customer knows exactly what they’re getting, they won’t be disappointed. So don’t mislead them! Don’t try to pretend your product is more than it is. Dishonesty and exaggeration might win you an extra sale today, but they’ll also earn you some angry 1-star reviews tomorrow.

Now Get Those Sales!

You may feel stuck when you start selling: you need reviews to get noticed and make sales, but you need sales to get reviews. If you focus on getting that product out there though, through various ad platforms and through workarounds like Masschat or Snagshout, you can start getting those initial Amazon sales you need. From there you can build a review base and boost your product ranking.

Remember, getting a ton of decent ratings is better than a couple perfect ratings. So focus on sales, on getting reviews from those sales, and engage with your customers to keep them informed and satisfied.


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