At eDesk, we’re pretty serious about reviews! They provide social proof and are one of the top ways you can get more sales. But as serious as we are about getting Amazon reviews, it’s about going about them in a way that aligns with Amazon’s Terms of Service (ToS).
You might have heard about Amazon review groups, so let’s take a look at what they are and if they’re a viable option for sellers.
What an Amazon Review Group Consists Of
An Amazon review group brings together sellers in need of product reviews and buyers who want free or heavily discounted products. The practice usually occurs on Facebook Groups.
If it sounds a bit like incentivized reviews — a practice Amazon banned in 2016, you wouldn’t be wrong.
Some sellers offer in these Facebook Groups offer a fee or free product to the buyer in exchange for a positive 5-star review, which most definitely goes against Amazon’s ToS.
Shortly, after banning incentivized reviews, Amazon introduced its “Verified Purchase” tag.
Amazon will place a Verified Review tag (shown below) if they can verify that the purchase was made on Amazon by the person leaving the review.
How do Facebook groups get around this?
One of the ways they do this is for a seller to reimburse the buyer. The buyer will purchase the product, then the seller will refund the purchase money (like through PayPal) once the positive review has been posted — and maybe pay a fee or include a gift card to sweeten the deal.
Current Status of Amazon Review Groups
Things change on Amazon rapidly, and you’d be forgiven for assuming that review groups would have been stamped out in the 2+ years since Amazon started cracking down on incentivized reviews.
But they still proliferate, usually in the form of Facebook groups (although you can probably find sites that offer these ‘services’, if you dig hard enough).
The Facebook groups are private and require buyers and sellers to join and be approved in order to view the contents, giving them a mask of privacy.
Make no mistake though, it’s no guarantee Amazon won’t find the people in there. And if you’re discovered to be taking part, you could have your account suspended/banned.
Related: What to Do If Your Amazon Account Gets Suspended
Honest Alternatives to Getting Reviews
We can’t, in good consciousness, recommend something like a review group to boost the amount of feedback you have on your page.
It’s directly against Amazon’s ToS, doesn’t build a solid foundation for the long-term, and usually leads to getting banned instead of more sales from having more reviews.
You’re much better off trying one of these methods to increase the amount of feedback you get.
1. Using a Feedback Service
Going with an Amazon compliant software solution like eDesk Feedback makes it super easy to take your mind off the work of obtaining reviews. Buyers will receive timely, professional emails asking them to leave a review, all so you don’t have to. Plus, you’ll get notified if someone leaves negative feedback, giving you plenty of time to respond to it quickly and efficiently.
2. Amazon Early Reviewer Program
If one of your products has fewer than five reviews, you can enrol in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. You pay $60 to take part, and Amazon will match you up with a random buyer who’ll review your product (the buyer gets an Amazon gift voucher). You’re allowed to have up to 5 products be reviewed.
While this may sound like incentivized reviewing, it’s not, and the key difference is neither you nor Amazon has control over the temperature of the review; it could be positive or negative. The only stipulation is that the review must be honest.
This can be an excellent strategy for new buyers looking to build leverage or for buyers to increase visibility for new products.
3. Building an Exciting, Enticing Brand
There’s a reason why Apple, Coca-Cola, Beats by Dre, Hershey, and more are so widely known: they’ve created branding that’s unified in nature, solid products, and plenty of content in the way of videos, advertising, and blog posts.
You can — and should — do the same. By creating a base of loyal and supportive buyers, you make it much easier for yourself to build favorable reviews.
Related: What’s in a Brand Name for Amazon?
No matter which strategy you choose, using an Amazon feedback tool should underscore everything. Using eDesk Feedback can help boost your Amazon seller rating, which can increase your chances of winning a Buy Box.