I was wrong yesterday about the Amazon incentivized reviews ending. First time in my life I was ever wrong about anything. Smile
Here is the statement from Amazon:
Customer reviews are one of the most valuable tools we offer customers for making informed purchase decisions, and we work hard to make sure they are doing their job. In just the past year, we’ve improved review ratings by introducing a machine learned algorithm that gives more weight to newer, more helpful reviews; applying stricter criteria to qualify for the Amazon verified purchase badge; and suspending, banning or suing thousands of individuals for attempting to manipulate reviews.
Our community guidelines have always prohibited compensation for reviews, with an exception – reviewers could post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact. These so-called ‘incentivized reviews’ make up only a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of reviews on Amazon, and when done carefully, they can be helpful to customers by providing a foundation of reviews for new or less well-known products.
Today, we updated the community guidelines to prohibit incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through the Amazon Vine program. We launched Vine several years ago to carefully facilitate these kinds of reviews and have been happy with feedback from customers and vendors. Here’s how Vine works: Amazon – not the vendor or seller – identifies and invites trusted and helpful reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release products; we do not incentivize positive star ratings, attempt to influence the content of reviews, or even require a review to be written; and we limit the total number of Vine reviews that we display for each product. Vine has important controls in place and has proven to be especially valuable for getting early reviews on new products that have not yet been able to generate enough sales to have significant numbers of organic reviews. We also have ideas for how to continue to make Vine an even more useful program going forward. Details on that as we have them.
The above changes will apply to product categories other than books. We will continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.
– Chee Chew, VP, Customer Experience
The above was dated October 3, 2016. I did a incentivized review yesterday and Amazon approved it. So I do not know if they are not putting this in effect right now for everyone or what. I have a number of items that I was sent to review in the past that need to be reviewed by me. I will keep reviewing them until Amazon rejects them.
I am not one of the Vine reviewers. So this ban should effect me.
Until the 3rd I was getting 7 to 14 email request each night to review items. Now I am getting zero. So Amazon has contacted sellers. The sellers would check a Amazon list of reviewers and pick out people, like me, to contact. I suspect now that the sellers must not see a list of reviewers or their is a policy statement there telling them they must work with the Amazon Vine program.
I have been giving away 99% of the review stuff that I received after I reviewed the item. So a lot of people around me are going to miss out on free stuff. I put a lot of work into doing the reviews. It took up a lot of my time. I did a video with each review that I did.
So I am sort of glad that Amazon has made this change now. This going to free up a lot of time for me. I have been wanting to do somethings and I did not have the time.
I will still review an item from time to time. I did that years ago. But I only did a review when I got ordered and got in an item from Amazon and it was so excellent that I wanted others to know about it. So I think I will do the same thing.
There are now a bunch of YouTube videos with people that have been doing reviews that are very upset.
There is a company called ReviewMeta that says that their data proves that these Amazon reviews have been extremely biased. I looked at their site and their data. I do not think that it shows reviews are extremely biased.
I did not spend all day on their site but from the little I saw … I do not think they have any proof and am not sure their system works.
I will not go into all the problems with their system. But let me mention one thing they look at the product being sold on Amazon and then they scan the reviews to see if in the written review the same words are used in the review! What?
I have reviewed over 600 items. When you review the item you mention often who made it or sold it and the features of the item. You will mention if it use a battery and what type etc.
But with this site … They have links to products on Amazon and if you click on the link they make a commission!
Not only that they have plugins that you can install on Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. You can use that plugin to check and see if the reviews are honest I guess. But, of course, when you use their plugin and you buy something on Amazon guess who gets a commission?
Now have their been dishonest reviews. I bet their have been.
But welcome to business and welcome to America. Hell look who we have running for President of the United States now.
There are always going to be trying to get into your pocket and make money without working.
I can fully understand that Amazon wants to make sure that everyone keeps using their Amazon reviews and trusts the reviews.
So Amazon might be doing the thing that is best for their business.
What we need, I think, is better educated citizens. If you can not look at reviews and see good reviews and see when someone is lying then you did not get a good education.
But there are a lot of stupid people and I guess we need to try and protect their dumb asses.