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Changes - Amazon's new review policy & incentivised reviews

On October 3rd, Amazon updated their Amazon Reviewer Community Guidelines and have ultimately stopped reviewers from receiving discounted products in exchange for a review of that product. Instead, we offer discounted products to our members and leave it up to them to review or not.

So what does this mean?

For our sellers - Continue posting your deals on LootHoot. This way they still get the benefit of,

  • Increased sales
  • We no longer enforce but you should expect to see your reviews.
  • More sales increase the product's ranking over competitor's products on Amazon.
  • Increased exposure of the product
  • It is still free to all sellers for all products.

For our reviewers - Nothing has changed however you are no longer required to review the product. Instead, it is up to you to leave a review and by doing so keeps the deals coming. You should no longer leave the disclaimer "I received this product at a discount for my honest review" or similar on your reviews.

This change in the Amazon Reviewer Community Guidelines is actually a good thing for everyone. We are excited to start seeing reviews go away that contain long disclaimers and little about the product. 

Now you can really leave your honest review on Amazon and can avoid the backlash that that disclaimer brings you.

Cheers! and Have fun continuing to grab deals and leaving your REAL reviews.

For more details read our Help Article on these changes

26 comments

DeDe_B
DeDe_B · 7 months ago

I've noticed that Chinese sellers are saying items "have been lost" and "none are left at the warehouse to resend" wanting to refund. These are for orders before the TOS at Amazon changed. I've had several this week, do this. I even had one company, whose items are fulfilled by Amazon, do this. I review everything, these sellers have to see this, So sad...

Trent
Trent · 7 months ago

@Hart, sure we'll look into it.

Hart L.
Hart L. · 7 months ago

This is messed up. In the middle of the Amazon stunt I had submitted a review, my grabs shows it’s been submitted once you click on finish but therein is the problem, it still shows I need to finish. I can’t grab anything till its reviewed but it’s been reviewed. I hope someone from LH reads this and can get it sorted because they have this no reply email system...

Jennifer G.
Jennifer G. · 7 months ago

So are reviewers restricted to just one deal now? I had an item in my queue on LootHoot to review before the new TOS took effect, and now it won't let me grab any additional deals, stating that I need to finish my current deal and is asking for a permalink of my review. But if I review the item in order to grab an additional deal, it would mean the review was required. So I guess this means each account can only grab one deal without violating Amazon's new TOS?

HmBeerBrewer
HmBeerBrewer · 7 months ago

From their new policy:

In order to preserve the integrity of Community content, content and activities consisting of advertising, promotion, or solicitation (whether direct or indirect) is not allowed, including:

Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products) or on behalf of anyone else.

I take this as they will not accept any reviews period on products that are free or discounted with a promo code. This has been validated by people on Facebook stating their reviews, regardless of how the disclaimer is worded (or even if they don't include one) are being rejected. Repeat offenders are having their review privileges suspended and the Prime perks (streaming, music, etc. but not the 2 day shipping) being suspended too.

Wendy A.
Wendy A. · 7 months ago

According to the FTC - The FTC is only concerned about endorsements that are made on behalf of a sponsoring advertiser. For example, an endorsement would be covered by the FTC Act if an advertiser – or someone working for an advertiser – pays you or gives you something of value to mention a product. So the way I understand it, a disclaimer is no longer required since you are not receiving a product in exchange for a review. It may just be a way for Amazon to get rid of disclaimers as some people gripe about or state that they ignore the discounted and free reviews and there are an increased number of 4 or 5 star reviews. Maybe they feel people will be more honest with their reviews if they are not receiving the item in exchange for a review. Either way, I like to do the reviews because I use them to make my purchases and it's not the number of stars but a what a review actually states that I base my decision on.

HmBeerBrewer
HmBeerBrewer · 7 months ago

I've been hearing of people's accounts being locked for submitting reviews of free/promotional items, regardless of the wording of the disclaimer. I'm going to hold off on putting reviews on Amazon until I have a clear understanding of what is and isn't allowed. I'll be putting my reviews on Facebook and notifying the sells (if I have or can find contact info for them) of the link to it in the mean time.

Trent
Trent · 7 months ago

@Barry N. - thumbs up that comment.

Barry N.
Barry N. · 7 months ago

Amazon*

Barry N.
Barry N. · 7 months ago

This will stop the people who leave disclaimers that are 10x bigger than their biased reviews. I'm all for it.

We will start seeing honest reviews now and not five star ratings on every freebie. I would like to keep my amazing rank so will continue to leave reviews.

ImageDesign
ImageDesign · 7 months ago

These rules haven't affect us in Canada yet - amazon.ca may change in the near future, but for now, it's status quo

Jeannie151
Jeannie151 · 7 months ago

I don't think it is a sad day at all. Companies will still be able to give us the products to review, at deep discounts, but there is no 'guarantee' that they will get reviewed. This will mean that sites like Loot Hoot, who only give out a few codes at a time will do better. The system may change, we will not be 'required' to give the reviews...but I will still write them. In fact, I think this may be better, especially for companies like Loot Hoot.

If they spin this as 'we are glad that they have chosen this route as it ensures that our customers get the best possible, honest reviews.' :) It's all about how they talk about it. They will be able to give us products as gifts, we just won't have to say anything about it. No big thing. x

wintyr
wintyr · 7 months ago

How does thing work if you live in canada from what i can read the terms are still the old way

Karen
Karen · 7 months ago

Hi Folks! Karen@loothoot here :)

It appears that LootHoot and the Seller can not force or expect a review. Fine. However:

Our community is still able to give a review as long as a product was not given "In exchange for an honest/unbiased review". And we will no longer give products in exchange for a review and leave it entirely optional if you want to leave a review or not.

So, as others mentioned in this thread, the disclaimer is no longer needed and it is entirely optional for you to leave a review.

We have looked at how other review sites are responding and this seems to be the approach others have concluded.

We are still trying to decide exactly how we approach this but in the end we think it is a good thing for Amazon, the seller and you. No more disclaimer or forced reviews. This way it becomes more natural for you as a reviewer.

Alma R.
Alma R. · 7 months ago

Here is the problem....according to FTC laws if you received a discounted or free product with the expectation of a review that you must write a disclosure. So LootHoot has covered this by saying no review is required. If you try to put in a disclosure on Amazon it will decline your review. What is this you must spend $50 to write a review? Is that in one transaction or just total in lifetime? It is unclear. This is some very muddy water I'm still trying to wade through here. I'm afraid to write a review even the terms are so murky. Can you elaborate at all?

Jimmy C.
Jimmy C. · 7 months ago

I think this model still works. Correct me if I am wrong.

The Amazon profile rating is driving by quality and quantity of reviews a user put it. Could loot holt not simply judge your members by the Amazon profile rating.

If you separate your users in the different tiers based on their Amazon ratings, the seller can set up these tier level so that they can gauge the liklelyhood of getting a review and how good the review could be. This way, the reviewers are still motivated to write reviews as they want to maintain their profile rating. My 2 cents

Savanna Z.
Savanna Z. · 7 months ago

Couldn't have said it better myself Matthew N.

GeckoinWA
GeckoinWA · 7 months ago

What about deals that were received prior to Oct 3 but have yet to be reviewed, should we still put the disclaimer in it or will that violate the amazon tos?

DeniseChaloupka
DeniseChaloupka · 7 months ago

It is a sad thing that has happened, but I understand why they did this. I also know that it is unfair that amazon will keep the vine program going even though it goes against their own TOS. As a review of products I have always given a honest review of whatever product I received whether the review is good or bad. There is no sense in writing a good review for a product that is not worth what you paid for it, even if the product was free.

Matthew N.
Matthew N. · 7 months ago

I am signed up with several review sites and everybody is freaking the Friday out!! So what if amazon is saying you are not required to leave feed back. This is not a bad thing at all. Yes this means companies cannot be guarenteed a review. On the flip side companies are expecting to get positive reviews even if their product is junk. There has been more then one time where a company bribed me with a refund for a better rating on their product. My point is, if it is a good product we most likely will take the time to leave a positive review any way as that is what we do. If the product is junk we now have the option to NOT destroy that seller. I do some times feel bad leaving a bad review as I know there are times where a product is just a lemon and I just got the product free or dirt cheap. so quit freaking out and spin this back to the seller just as I said and we will still get plenty of products to review

Trent
Trent · 7 months ago

We are still looking into what this exactly means but it is not good.

As for what marketplaces are affected, we are not sure since this is only the Amazon.com site. They have not explicitly stated what marketplaces yet.

As for you posting a review, we can no longer enforce this and it is entirely up to you to do.

We will continue offering discounted products as long as Amazon still allows sellers to generate promotional codes.

VioletS
VioletS · 7 months ago

I would still provide a review just not put the disclaimer. After all the seller is still providing us discounted products and it's always goos to let others know how the product is.

Hart L.
Hart L. · 7 months ago

If you wan tot keep your ranking with Amazon you'll keep writing reviews whether that's part of the TOS here or not. I have every intention of writing a review for every item I get, just as if it were offered to me through email contact or purchased here. Everyone reviewer here ought to be thinking the same way because if not then I can understand sellers jacking their prices.

Barry N.
Barry N. · 7 months ago

Isn't this just for the US?

Will A.
Will A. · 7 months ago

Will disclaimers still be required at the end of reviews?

Dog Gone It
Dog Gone It · 7 months ago

Very sad day!

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