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Want To NOT get Banned from Amazon?
You should probably read this.
About 6 months ago, Amazon really started to crack down on fake reviews. They sued sellers that were implementing this technique and they banned the incentivised reviews. This was the process that some sellers used to gain reviews by giving away free products. This worked very well for a number of months and was the next step for sellers, but nowadays since Amazon has banned this process the question becomes:
What Do We Do Now That Incentivised Reviews and Purchasing Reviews Have Been Banned?
And that is what we hope to cover today, as well as why Amazon cannot really track them.
So first up, everything in this article is against Amazon’s T&Cs. If you want to go exactly by the book, this post is not for you.
The Obvious Method
Family, co-workers, friends and other trusted individuals. This is easily our favourite way to generate reviews for 2 reasons. Firstly, they do not tell on you. There is no way they will go to Amazon and say “I was paid to purchase this product”, hence there is a lot of trust there. Secondly, they can in fact be “paid” outside of a discount. Amazon has cracked down on discounted reviews.
Even sales that are 20% discounted where the individual leaves a review are seen as dodgy nowadays! That means you cannot really offer discounts in return for reviews anymore. BUT, if you send the money to an individual outside of Amazon, or even just state you will help them out later down the line, that is the best way. For example, send money for the product through PayPal, or just buy someone a beer next time you see them.
This technique works amazingly well if BOTH are Amazon sellers, as both parties know the process and will be happy to purchase each other’s product.
Remember we do NOT advocate this. We are just stating that Amazon has no way of tracking these. Even if they flag your account as suspicious, there is no proof into what is happening. As a result you “should not” have any action taken against your account. At worst you will lose the reviews that were posted!
Why it cannot be “Tracked”
Amazon has “banned” these types of reviews. But in essence, there is no way they can be tracked. If all IP addresses come from the same city, then this might be a slight red flag. However, assuming you have friends and families who have had Amazon accounts for years, in different locations all over the UK and the ONLY similarity is that they know you. Do you think Amazon knows that? Or even cares? The answer is obviously no. As a result, this cannot be traced or tracked.
Unless Amazon brought PayPal. Then we are doomed!
One element you should remember is the IP address of individuals that purchase multiple products and review them. If this becomes too obvious they are only purchasing these products from one company and reviewing 5 stars everytime, that is going to be a red flag. Just be careful, keep your reviewers spread out and ensure they never tell Amazon it was a paid review! If you want more ideas and techniques check out our site, or the full how to launch an Amazon business guide.
Does Amazon Track IP Addresses?
Another question we get asked a lot is – does Amazon track specific IP addresses? The answer is yes, of course they do. Especially when it comes to review generation, there is a lot of data that suggests if you generate over 3 reviews on any specific product per day, these will likely not go live. Even worse, you may be flagged for a manual review, which you definitely do not want.
Amazon Does Buy Social Data
I wanted to do a quick update to this post and just talk about what we’ve seen in the Summer of 2018 as a update on the whole Amazon vs Reviews side of things. The first part is that Amazon is buying more and more data from social properties, some people don’t mind this and others hate it. But whatever your opinion they are big players.
This means that Amazon itself is having more access to connect the dots between people who own seller accounts, and their direct connects that may be reviewing a lot of products. This means that your family and friends, COULD be picked up as incentived reviews.
Now we’ve also found that review velocity is very important – Generating less than 3 reviews per day, as viral launch mentioned in their post, is something we’d highly recommend abiding by.