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by Joe 

October 29, 2018

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Customer Reviews

The Amazon Customer Review Team did a Q & A as posted below

Great Info About Reviews, Manipulation, Requesting Reviews And Reporting Bad Actors

The Amazon Customer Review Team recently emerged from the inner dungeon to give a Q & A regarding reviews and the processes as they apply.  I highly recommend reading this all of the way through as there are nuggets of information dispersed throughout.

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Hello Sellers!

We recently conducted a Q&A with our Customer Review team.

Below are the answers from the Customer Review team to popular questions asked. 

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1. What measures are in place to enforce the policy and to prevent bad actors / competitors from misusing the policy to negatively impact other sellers?

We know that millions of customers make informed buying decisions everyday using Customer Reviews. We take this responsibility very seriously and defend the integrity of reviews by taking aggressive action to protect customers from dishonest parties who attempt to abuse the reviews system. 

Customers can report suspicious reviews 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we investigate each claim. We suspend, ban and pursue legal action against these bad actors and remove inauthentic reviews.

In order to detect potentially inauthentic Customer Reviews, we have made significant investments in machine learning and automated systems. Machine learning allows us to scale quickly and prevent and respond to review manipulation faster. When we identify individuals who have manipulated the Customer Reviews system, we suspend or ban them from Amazon. 

We take these actions both for bad actors trying to inappropriately solicit reviews to boost their sales, and we do the same for bad actors attempting to negatively impact other sellers. 

Manipulating Customer Reviews on one’s own ASINs or on a competitor’s ASINs are considered violations to our policies. In addition to advanced detection and enforcement actions, we’ve filed lawsuits against more than 1,000 defendants for Customer Reviews abuse and will continue to suspend,ban and pursue legal action against the sellers and manufacturers who create the demand for inauthentic reviews.

2. Is there a way for sellers to report entire listings with potentially abusive Customer Reviews without having to click on “Report abuse” for every single one of the Customer Reviews?

Yes. You can report these cases to [email protected] and we will investigate. Please include a short, concise explanation for why you believe the Customer Reviews are in violation of our policies and a link(s) to the product(s) in question. You can report multiple Customer Reviews in the same email. While we do not reply to each reported case individually, we will investigate all cases.

3. How can you clarify the difference between a Customer Review and Seller Feedback to make it easy for Amazon shoppers to leave the correct information in the right place?

We know leaving a Customer Review or Seller Feedback in the right place has been confusing for some customers, and it is something we are working to improve. To start we placed a link to leave a Customer Review at the top of the Seller Feedback page to help customers understand that Customer Reviews should be placed elsewhere.

We are also redesigning the Seller Feedback page to make it easier for customers to leave feedback in the correct place.   Keep an eye out as this feature will be rolled out soon.

4. The policy posted focuses on sellers. How do you inform customers about what is and isn’t appropriate for a Customer Review?

We have similar policies for customers posted under the customer-facing Community Guidelines help pages here.

5. If we reach out to a customer and resolve an issue that they reported in their Customer Review, are we able to ask them to update their review?

While we appreciate your dedication to great customer service, you may not directly ask a customer to update or remove their Customer Review, or offer to resolve their issues only if they agree to update or remove their review afterwards. Changing or removing a Customer Review should always be a customer’s decision made at their own discretion.

We encourage you to continuously monitor the Customer Reviews on your products and reach out to unsatisfied customers to resolve their issues.

6. Can Amazon add more protection for newly listed products so that one negative Customer Review doesn’t have as harmful of an effect? For example, don’t show any reviews until the product receives at least 5?

While we are constantly looking for ways to improve the relevance and helpfulness of Customer Reviews, we do not plan to institute a minimum number of reviews.

7. Why can’t Customer Reviews that are clearly for a different product be removed?

They should be! If you see any products with irrelevant Customer Reviews, please report them to [email protected] and we will investigate.

Per The Amazon Review Team -If you see products with irrelevant Customer Reviews, report it to [email protected] and we will investigate.

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8. Why are Customer Reviews without a “Verified Purchase” allowed?

We know Customer Reviews are an important part of the shopping experience on Amazon, our customers tell us that by the volume of reviews they share and engage with. A customer may have received a product as a gift or purchased the item off-Amazon, but their opinion can still be helpful and valuable for a potential shopper who wants to make an informed decision.

9. Do negative Customer Reviews carry more weight than positive Customer Reviews?

No. Amazon calculates a product’s star rating based on algorithms that consider many factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and other factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness.

10. Can Amazon add the seller who sold the product to all Customer Reviews? This will help customers make better buying decisions.

This is an interesting idea that we have considered in the past. However, Customer Reviews are meant to be about the product, not the seller, which is why we don’t currently do this.

11. Why won’t Amazon remove negative Customer Reviews that were left because of Amazon’s own FBA fulfillment error?

Whether a product is fulfilled by Amazon or the seller, Customer Reviews that are entirely about a fulfillment issue are removed from the product detail page. If the review contains feedback about the product, we keep that within Customer Reviews. If you see a Customer Review that is entirely about the fulfillment experience, please report it to [email protected] and we will investigate.

12. Can you provide exact language you approve of us using to ask for a Customer Review?

Here’s language you could use to ask for a Customer Review: 

“Customers value reviews written by other customers who purchased this product. We would appreciate if you wrote a review that reflects your experience with the product. You can follow the steps outlined on this page to submit a Customer Review.      Original Transcript

 At Ecommerce Optimizer, we have a reputation of being very knowledgeable about Amazon since we have been selling and involved with the platform for over 15 years. For additional Amazon tips and strategy, check out our Dominate Amazon Products Series. 

If this post is useful and or you have gained any value or knowledge from it, please share it with others that can also gain benefit from it.

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Conclusion

As always, Amazon is true to its' form with very specific guidelines.  Best Practices suggest that we all fly within those guidelines which is exactly what a smart sellers should do.  

In these times, social proof is a necessity.  However, there are many ways to obtain social proof besides the review.  

It is very easy to rank product with zero reviews when you are driving traffic yourself or via implied trust (influencers) from off of Amazon.  

Always fly within Amazons' rules, but learn to look past the propaganda.  Understand the big picture and how Amazon affects the future of your business. Check out our other articles like the popular Dominate Amazon Products Series,  Amazon Product Launch With No Rebates and the Amazon Launch List

About the author 

Joe

Joe Reichsfeld is an Ecommerce Consultant with experience going back before 2000. Specializing in listing optimization and marketplace expansion, Joe currently assists clients with over 3.5 million sku's.

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