Well Stuart, your article last week about Amazon reviews was quite fortuitous. Amazon announced today that they’re banning incentivized reviews (outside of Amazon Vine)! You can read all about it here on their blog.
I think it’s also a protective measure for them.
No-name companies are launching products and sending out review samples as rapid rates. Who’s to say there aren’t major flaws with the products? By the time anyone realizes, the companies could potentially rename or restructure and start over, leaving Amazon as bearing some responsibility for letting it happen.
I agree. Amazon’s two main selling points are 1) Cost an 2) User Reviews. These incentivized reviews were jeopardizing Amazon’s core business.
From an email forwarded to me from a neighbor:
Do You Need To Leave A Disclosure??
I hope you are having a great day!
As many of you know, Amazon has recently changed their Terms of Service around reviews. We wanted to bring you an update allowing you know how that change affects you!
Question 1: Does The FTC Or Amazon Require Me To Leave A Disclosure Statement In My Review
The answer is no!
If you choose to leave a review, Amazon has removed the requirement that you leave a statement specifying that you received the product at a discount in their Review Creation Guidelines!
If you read through the FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission) website, they also do not require that you leave a review on a product you purchased at a discount so long as it was not given for free in exchange for a review. Here is a clip from the website where they answer common questions:
"I’m a blogger. I heard that every time I mention a product on my blog, I have to say whether I got it for free or paid for it myself. Is that true?”
No. If you mention a product you paid for yourself, there isn’t an issue. Nor is it an issue if you get the product for free because a store is giving out free samples to its customers.
The FTC is only concerned about endorsements that are made on behalf of a sponsoring advertiser. For example, an endorsement would be covered by the FTC Act if an advertiser – or someone working for an advertiser – pays you or gives you something of value to mention a product. If you receive free products or other perks with the expectation that you’ll promote or discuss the advertiser’s products in your blog, you’re covered. Bloggers who are part of network marketing programs where they sign up to receive free product samples in exchange for writing about them also are covered.
You are only required to leave a review, IF you were given the product in exchange for a review OR if you have a special connection with the company. EDC is no longer giving products in exchange for your review!
That means, YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED BY AMAZON OR THE FTC TO LEAVE A DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
Question 2: Will EDC Continue to Get Awesome Amazon Deals?
Yes of course! EDC has never operated as a review site. We are a promotional platform for Amazon sellers to run deals to! Lucky you!
Question 3: Can We Leave A Review If We Want To?
Yes of course! The only change that has occurred with Amazon’s latest update is that companies can no longer give products away in exchange for a review, AND reviewers are no longer required to leave a disclosure statement. If you would like to leave a review, then go ahead. The seller will be appreciative. Just remember that you are not receiving these products in exchange for a review!
We hope you have a wonderful day! If you have any other questions please let us know! We are happy to help and thank you for making EDC such a great community!
As always, have a great day!
Does anyone know the latest info about Amazon reviews? Since Amazon’s change in policy, have companies stopped sending out free products?
Also, how active is Amazon Vine these days?