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Amazon has once again made changes to their Promotional Content in Customer Reviews. I thought there would be some changes to their policy, some fine tuning. I never imagined that they would go in this direction.
They have added some “clarification” that seems to negate their last changes, especially what was in the changes on Seller Central which I didn’t even talk about on here.
Here is what is relevant in the new policy:
So what does this mean? To me, it seems like they are going back on their previous ban on getting products through third party websites or groups. However, the Seller can still not ask for a review. They have also put in further clarification prohibiting other benefits besides the product and added that the review can’t affect your membership in a program or club and that the Reviewers ratings or referrals in any club can’t be affected by whether or not they write the review. It seems also that there can be no monitoring of whether or not a review is written for the product.
If you do decide to start reviewing right away, you MUST include a disclosure (disclaimer). If you don’t, you could be facing hefty FTC fines. I would go with something simple like “I received this product for free, I was in no way obligated to leave a review.” If you got it at a discount, use that word instead of “free.” DO NOT use the word “exchange” in your review.
What do you think? I am not sure I will jump right back on the bandwagon. Things are changing too quickly, one right after another, and the day to day wondering whether any review I write will remain on Amazon or not is not worth it at this point. After another short period of “letting the dust settle,” I may jump back in… I am interested now in looking at any trends in the reviews that are deleted from our accounts now. Were they from products that we got through a club? Were they from Sellers who just aren’t on Amazon anymore? Has anyone heard of any other bloggers who have been looking at that? Would love to know if anyone has.
I would also love to know what you think and what your plans are!