Are the words Amazon TOS and change coming up in your thoughts and in discussions too much lately? Are you having trouble keeping up with the changes and don’t know where to go for answers right now? Are you feeling more and more confused? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone and I do have some great advice for you.
I took a quick look around on the internet today and stopped in at some of the “watering holes” where reviewers congregate. I have read multiple emails from different companies and individuals involved with the Reviewer Community, many of from the Seller side of things also. I have read and re-read the new Guidelines for Amazon.com Community Participation. The section that affects those of us who love to write product reviews is under the Promotions and Commercial Solicitations section.
As that reads, it seems that writing a review is no longer allowed on Amazon if a review has been, or is, requested. I know I have many open reviews that I promised to do on Amazon, three of them are very expensive products and now the Sellers are left without a review. I have been trying out the products so I can’t return them, they are no longer new.
Do I publish them with a different disclosure, or maybe no disclosure at all?
Are the different sites where we often find products going to shut down and if they don’t are they breaking TOS?
Can Sellers contact us directly and ask us to review a product? Can we pitch to Sellers?
What about the FB groups and email groups, so many of them are handing out conflicting information, who is right?
The best thing any of us can do right now is to sit back and wait for the dust to settle. My advice to you is to take a break and do not to publish any reviews on Amazon at all right now. If you are on a deadline for something, contact the Seller and discuss different options like posting to social media. If you go to them with a plan in mind I think they will readily agree with you. You do not want to make a mistake at this juncture and jeopardize your account. If there is someone pressuring you to publish a review on Amazon, please consider whether or not that product, that person, or that group is worth the possibility of losing your account.
In the meantime, I am sure there will be more information forthcoming from Amazon, or at least from different people that have contacted Customer Service and have some verified answers to these questions and more. Consider this a vacation, you deserve one anyway! Take some time off from Reviewing and relax. Enjoy the Fall weather and the changes all around us. Do something special for yourself or a neighbor who could use a helping hand.
I will let you know what I come up with, probably sometime over the weekend or at the first of next week. I know that may seem like a long time when we are so used to being on deadlines and in a hurry. This is really going to be a time to reflect on if you want to continue writing reviews and then consider the best way to go about it if you do want to continue. If you still have an account after all of the wipes the last few months, so many of them senseless, then you really do need to do everything you can to safeguard your account. Giving yourself a few days to consider what you have learned and what I can verify is more than fair enough considering the major changes that have been made lately.
If there are other specific questions you are concerned about, please leave them below so I can gather lots of feedback at one time as I go about verification of my own questions and yours. It is easier if they are shared here instead of individually through email, thanks!