Can Amazon Sellers Pay For Reviews? (3 Ethical Ways You Can Get Reviews)

December 21, 2023

Yes, Amazon sellers can pay for reviews. Paying for reviews is a great idea for sellers who are just starting out, since they do not have good standing or a trustworthy reputation within the Amazon community yet.

Amazon reviews are important for the success of your Amazon business because they let your customers know you are a legitimate seller that sells legitimate products. It establishes trust and credibility.

The best way to get a positive Amazon product review is to come up with a product that sells and resonates with your target audience. That is the cheapest and most organic way to get an online review.

According to Amazon’s Terms of Service, it is illegal to offer incentives for reviews. Sellers are prohibited from giving out free product/s, discount/s, and gift card/s in exchange for positive reviews.

Sadly, getting honest Amazon customer reviews is not an easy task. Studies show that only 3% to 10% of consumers spend time writing reviews regarding a product they purchased.

Because of this, there have been reports of Amazon sellers opting for paid reviews to appear reputable or credible. Ultimately, selling on Amazon might not be for you if you’re looking for an online business, whether it be Amazon FBA or just plain-old Amazon selling.

Instead, check out local lead generation if you’re looking for something more stable, flexible, and controllable.

All you have to do is build a website that ranks using Search Engine Optimization (SEO), allow local companies to generate leads through your ranked website, and watch as the money comes in.

With Amazon, the ranking of your products relies heavily on customer reviews and feedback, which is ultimately out of your control.

Local lead generation, on the other hand, can be manipulated using SEO, back linking, and other search engines strategies and algorithms.

Local lead generation also shines because every city is its own market, and each city offers 50 to 100 potential niches that you can get into. Whereas with Amazon, you’re competing against thousands of other sellers all around the globe.

Fake Amazon Review Statistics

There is an underground fake review market that is focused solely on Amazon review manipulation through the use of bots, automated buyer accounts, and many others.

Here are some numbers to help you understand the gravity of this issue:

  • An analysis conducted by Fakespot showed that 42% of the 720 million Amazon reviews in 2020 were proven to be fake.
  • A study by ReviewMeta revealed that there were over 1.8 million unverified reviews on Amazon in 2019, with 99.6% of those leaving a good review.
  • In 2020 alone, Amazon reportedly took down approximately 200 million reviews that were suspected or proven to be fake.
  • Last 2021, Amazon reportedly spent over $900 million and used approximately 12,000 of its employees to combat fraudulent activities across their platform, a large portion of which belonged to fake and dishonest reviews.
  • Barely 17% of users on Amazon trust reviews at this point.

Here are a few statistics by that uncover just how rampant fake reviews are on a couple of product categories on Amazon.

  • 63% of reviews about electronics are fake.
  • 63% of reviews on beauty products are fraudulent.
  • 59% of sneaker reviews are inauthentic.
  • 64% of reviews regarding supplements are fabricated.

If you’re an online entrepreneur that’s looking to enter the Amazon market, keep in mind that these issues are only a fraction of what’s coming.

Before you even think about handling negative comments and feedback, there are much bigger issues you have to deal with, such as product oversaturation, intense competition, product hijackers, and many others.

3 Ethical Ways You Can Get Product Reviews Without Violating Amazon’s Terms of Service

There is no way to legally buy reviews on Amazon, but there are ways to get product reviews without violating Amazon’s Terms of Service. You can do this by:

  • Optimizing your listings through Amazon Seller Central

  • Utilizing the power of social media

  • Providing excellent customer service

1. Optimizing your listings through Amazon Seller Central

Before you even worry about receiving negative reviews from potential customers, optimizing your listings should be your biggest priority.

This is one of the best ways you can get organic feedback without violating anything. Listing optimization includes:

  • Using high-quality images to properly display the item you’re selling.
  • Including product description that are detailed and well-written.
  • Placing information that is truthful and accurate.
  • Using different types of promotional content, such as posters, graphics, and other creative designs.

However, be sure to advertise a product that you can live up to.

When buyers receive a product that matches their expectations, not only are they more likely to become repeat customers, it also gives them more reason to leave a positive review.

2. Utilizing the power of social media

Studies show that 59% of the world’s population uses social media regularly. On average, a user spends 2 hours and 30 minutes online.

With this in mind, social media can be definitely be a great tool for gathering reviews.

  • You can post links to your products and ask your family and friends to leave reviews on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
  • There are numerous eCommerce groups all over Facebook where you can advertise your products for thousands of potential customers to see.
  • You can use Facebook ads to promote your products and reach your desired audience using the detailed targeting feature.
  • Other advertising options include Instagram ads and Twitter Ads.

With the rise of online shopping, posting your products on various social media platforms not widens your reach and exposure, it also increases your chances of landing customers and obtaining reviews.

3. Providing excellent customer service

Providing excellent customer service is key to getting positive reviews on Amazon.

When customers have a good experience with your brand, they are less likely to leave a negative review and are more likely to write a good, honest review.

Respond to customer inquiries promptly and professionally, and resolve any issues they may have. You can ask also customers for reviews on Amazon using the “Request a Review” button that you can use once per order to request seller feedback from satisfied customers.

Keep in mind that a transaction between you and a customer never ends, because even after you make a sale, it is important to provide customer service that will potentially turn them into a repeat client.

3 Ways To Protect Your Amazon Store From Fake Reviews

1. Keep in mind that not all negative reviews are fake

Analyze negative reviews and determine whether a review is indeed fake, or just feedback from a dissatisfied client that can help you improve your product.

Believing in your product should not prevent you from taking criticism from unhappy customers.

2. Monitor your reviews regularly

Monitor your listings regularly on Amazon Seller Central. Be on the lookout for any activities and patterns that seem weird or unusual. For instance, if your product gets 10 random reviews at the same time, this could mean you’re being targeted by fake review bots.

Even if you receive positive reviews within a short period, that could still be an indicator that they’re not genuine.

Amazon can remove negative reviews if you can prove that they're fake. If you feel that any of your products have reviews that look fabricated, report it to Amazon immediately. 

You can get in trouble for fake reviews, especially since Amazon does not take them lightly. If they suspect that your account contains fake reviews, you’re at risk of being suspended or even banned indefinitely.

3. Encourage genuine reviews

According to Amazon’s TOS, sellers are prohibited from offering products or discounts in exchange for a review, especially a positive review.

What you can do is to put emphasis on providing quality products and excellent customer service to ensure that you obtain positive seller feedback from your buyers.

What is Amazon Vine Program and Amazon Early Reviewer Program?

Amazon Vine Program is a service that allows vendors to ship out their products to an anonymous Amazon reviewer and have them review the product.

Everything is handled by Amazon, which means buyer seller messaging is disabled to ensure that the customer review is factual and honest.

If you’re a third party seller, you might’ve largely benefited from the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. Unfortunately, this feature closed down in 2021.

Can Fake Reviews Be Used By One Seller Against Another?

Yes, fake reviews can be used by one Amazon seller against another.

Dishonest sellers can use bots that are capable of leaving a bad review on any Amazon listing or store, which could be bad news for aspiring sellers.

Also, an Amazon verified purchase review can now be faked. A workaround dishonest sellers do to bypass the purchase verification algorithm is to actually wire money to fake reviewers.

Once the money is transferred, all that’s left to do is for the reviewer to purchase the product and leave a positive review.

If a dishonest seller wants to target a competing seller, the same process is done - once the money is transferred, the reviewer purchases a product from the targeted competing seller and leaves a negative review.

Conclusion: Is Selling on Amazon Really Worth It? Will Fake Reviews Be My Only Problem?

Selling on Amazon can be worth it if you put in the work and dedication. Just like any other business or venture, it requires a lot of time and effort in order to be successful.

Hundreds, or even thousands, of sellers on Amazon have found some form of success and have made a lot of money by selling on the platform.

Unfortunately, handling fake reviews is only one of the many difficulties you’ll be facing once you set up your Amazon store.

These include product oversaturation, tough competition, product hijackers, expensive ad spend, never-ending costs and fees, issues with Amazon Brand Registry, and many others.

Even when you have a winning product, you’re still living on borrowed time because big companies and established brands could overtake you once they start selling the same item.

You will also have to compete with third party sellers and big brands from China since manufacturers are now cutting the middle man to operate on slimmer margins and sell cheaper products compared to regular sellers.

Ultimately, selling on Amazon might not be worth it if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur that’s looking to attain financial freedom.

Why Local Lead Generation Is Better Than Selling on Amazon

If you’re looking for an online business that’s more stable, secure, and profitable, local lead generation might be the answer to your problems.

With this business model, all you have to do is create a website than ranks in accordance with Google’s algorithm, allow local companies to generate leads through your website, and make money for each converted sale.

You won’t have to worry about oversaturation because every city is filled with 50 to 100 niches that are waiting to be discovered.

You’re also not at the mercy of any negative reviews because local lead generation does not depend on customer feedback in order to reach a wider audience.

Instead, it relies solely on SEO, back linking, and other search engine algorithms to gain traction.

Local lead generation requires little to no maintenance. I have websites from 2014 that are still making me thousands of dollars to this day - and I barely visit or maintain them.

Local lead generation

Local lead generation not only provides stability, flexibility, and control, it also offers you a steady source of passive income and a one-way ticket to financial freedom.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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  1. I had no idea Amazon sellers could pay for reviews. With that being said, I'm willing to bet most of the highly successful sellers have geniune reviews. This is especially true in the clothing niche.

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