I do think there is a notable difference between ‘free’ and ‘discounted’, paying even a couple dollars for something seems to have some notable psychological effect. So I’m not a fan of Vine, which does special shipments of things a reviewer might not have any interest in at zero cost. However, *some* of these discount-in-exchange-for-a-review sites my wife has been using actually have some merit.
Additionally, reviewers may give their opinions on items for which they have no expertise or real experience and therefore have no frame of reference about how well something works by comparison. It’s hard to say how good something is if you don’t know what else is out there.
The whole point of the Vine program is to get early reviews; that’s what vendors pay Amazon for (and it’s not cheap to get your product in the Vine program). But I, too, update reviews when something goes wrong, sometimes six months after the initial review.
By the way, I would disagree with the “Vipon is dead” posted above. It’s not like it used to be but I still get a few products there. I’ve got 10-12 from them over the past month. Their site is down this weekend while they move to new servers and update the site.
While an interest in the products enrolled in the program is key to getting an invite — aside from looking for Vine reviews on Amazon (which is not an easy task), there’s no real way to know which products are enrolled. All we know is that vendors pay to have their products included — a fact that Amazon did not initially disclose, leading to some negative coverage of the program in the past.
This does’t mean your reviews have to be glowing, perfect epic novels expounding on the miracles this particular item did for you. They just have to be real and supportive. We’ll get into how to write review below.
CR helped to mobilize support in Congress to create the CFPB, an independent agency responsible for overseeing the financial industry with powers to police abusive practices and to enact new consumer protections.
I wish Amazon had an option to turn off all “paid reviews”, which usually have the following disclaimer at the very bottom of a 10-paragraph review that you’ll never read to the end: “I was provided a discount for my fair and unbiased review of this product.” Fair and unbiased? Please. Claiming to provide an unbiased review that then completely fails to notice serious product flaws is blatantly dishonest. I especially hate the paid reviews that start with, “I bought this for my relative/friend/boss” etc., which misleads people, right off the bat, into believing the reviewer paid full price for the product.
EtekCitizen likes to give away their products free. The only catch is that all products being featured are just from one particular brand: EtekCitizen. Due to this limitation, I would often browse the products first at Amazon, instead of their site. If there is any item from them that catches my attention, I would then go back to EtekCitizen for a review opportunity.
But this mostly just drove review clubs underground. I was able to quickly find and join several closed groups on Facebook that served as de facto Amazon review clubs. Each day, I found hundreds of posts with various sellers offering either free or deeply discounted items for U.S.-based buyers if they promised to review the item, with refunds then issued via PayPal. (Amusingly, there is currently scandal rocking the underground review clubs: People are scamming would-be sellers by faking five-star reviews and collecting PayPal refunds for reviews they did not leave.)
Tell them that you’re hoping for an honest review of the product, although no obligation is required. Many won’t respond to your email, and probably only around half will review the product you send, but that’s the name of the game. Yes, it’s risky. But if your product is awesome and you know it can earn great reviews, a few 5 star ratings from these top Amazon reviewers will be HUGE.
Thank you for such valuable information, Lou! I’m commenting on your reply regarding ProductTestingUSA.com being a scam. It would be nice to note in the main article if possible, since not everyone will read all the comments.
This is now the newest kid on the block, having just launched July 2016. They are also supporting reviewers in more countries than any other review site I know of! 12 countries! USA, UK, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, China
Frankly, I’m glad they finally took it seriously. I have been feeling for some time now that Amazon was turning a blind eye to it all while honest reviewers were getting pummeled with downvotes and spending hours to do what someone else was paying others to do.
This is why a responsible reviewer sets aside time each day or week to update reviews. I do mine weekly. If, during the week, I notice a product has failed to perform, has performed better than I thought initially, or has some feature that I’ve just discovered, I go back and update. Products have gone from five stars to one, and from two to four. Each time, I leave my original review, and amend it to add my new thoughts or findings.
Create your detailed request to review the product. Include the link to your Amazon profile, the product name or ASIN in your request, and what kind of review you will do (detailed, with pictures, seller feedback, etc).
Run a contest. This is an effective way to market your business with a little help from your current customers. We shared some social contest ideas in our recent post on social promotions that can impact your bottom line, but keeping things simple is always a good idea. Ask customers to add a hashtag on Instagram or post a quick note on your Facebook page. Lensbaby regularly runs Facebook contests asking fans to submit photos, like the heart bokeh image at the top of this post, that show off what their unique lenses can do.
The active way would be to come right out and say that you enjoy reviewing products on Amazon. While there is no hard and fast rule against you saying that you would take products in exchange for honest reviews, I would advise against it. Since Amazon has the Vine Program in place, I’m not sure how kindly they would take to you overtly circumventing the program on your profile. It’s not that Amazon doesn’t know people are sent items for free in exchange for reviews, but I am sure they would prefer you not advertise you do so outside of Vine. But, if you are super eager to be sent products to review, then maybe the active approach might be best for you.
It’s still too many steps for most people, and it’s under something called “All Formats” — that is why I was unaware of it, because the phrase “All Formats” didn’t really tell me what it was doing. It also doesn’t show the average review out of the smaller subset of reviews when filtered, unless I missed it.
It looks like their engine does that: “…every analysis does two simultaneous things: we analyze every single review posted and we review each reviewer and every review that reviewer has ever posted on that account.”
The product range is impressive and registration is easy. But unlike some other review sites, this one does not indicate upfront the kind of discounts you are entitled to. It will be mailed to you upon successful request approval.
One Opinion Panel is a Top Rated Product Testing Company and I receive several products a month. They have exclusive high paying focus groups to join paying their members $100 or more! 💰 Pays by Cash, PayPal and Visa Prepaid Cards
True. Being able to contact a Seller directly without having bought from them first—or they having reached out to you to review—makes it much more difficult. For larger name brands that have websites, a simple Google search might suffice. But what about the smaller Sellers? I don’t have an answer there. At one time I used to see a “Contact Seller” button on some product detail pages. I’m not seeing that anymore.
For example, sports fans can ask for the result of the latest “Spurs game.” The US version of the Echo will know you probably mean the San Antonio Spurs and give you a basketball result, while the UK version knows you mean Tottenham Hotspur and gives you a soccer result. The UK version also gives you British English spellings and jokey Easter eggs relating to British cultural touchstones like “Monty Python,” among a number of other uniquely UK-focused features. Check out the video above to see some of those British features in action.
As for your 80 product reviews…don’t sweat it! I have heard of people getting asked after 3 reviews. It is sort of a crap shoot based on the products you have reviewed. Sellers look through competitor’s products for recent reviews and clicks on the reviewer’s names to see if their Profile has an email address. The products/categories you reviewed may not be searched for right now, or your reviews may be under dozens of other more recent reviews, or a multitude of reasons. Keep at it—and make sure your profile is complete with email address—I’m certain that you will start to get more Sellers contacting you directly.
Once a day at 10 am PST, Secret Deals Club will email you the latest deal offers. Deals start at $1 and all you need to do is claim the discount code on a first come, first serve basis. An advantage of Secret Deals Club is that all deals are exclusive to this review site and cannot found on any other third-party review site.
With hundreds of millions of items for sale, from electronics and books to pet supplies and diapers, Amazon is unquestionably the largest online retailer on the planet. In fact, Amazon, from a market cap perspective, is even larger today than Walmart.
As for what star to choose, go off of Amazon’s suggestions. When you hover over a star, they help you with a sentiment such as “I hate it”, “it’s okay”, and “I love it” to name a few. Think about the product as a whole, and match how you feel to the corresponding star. If it’s really “I hate it”, then select a 1-star. Don’t worry about what other reviewers chose or wrote. They have their own rationale for their review. You review for you.
If the reviewer did not purchase from you, unfortunately there is no way for you to contact him privately. However, it is still possible to leave a comment on Amazon. In fact, Review Central enables you to post a comment for a specific review on Amazon immediately instead of searching and browsing for that reviewed product page on your own.