The Amazon Vine program is an invitation only review program that is run by Amazon. There is a lot of mystery to it, even among Viners. No one knows how many people are part of the program. No one knows how people are selected for the program.
I was invited to join some years back (I think I was among the first to join the program, but in reality I have no way to know that for sure). How I was notified is a small leaf logo appeared on my Amazon page, inviting me to click to find out more. I ignored it for awhile, but then curiosity got the better of me.
I don’t remember specifically what it said after I clicked the leaf link, but I do remember being skeptical… because it sounded WAY too good to be true. Who gets products for free just for reviewing them? Crazy! Turned out not to be crazy at all. Turned out to be pretty wonderful actually.
Over the years the Vine program has changed in the way we are offered products. It used to be a free for all on certain Thursdays (or was it Tuesday? I forget) at 2pm CST they’d offer up a long list of products, and only the really fast clickers got the “good” stuff. All very exciting – and I used to plan my day around it. Seriously. I had to be at a computer 5 minutes in advance, poised and ready. That practice has been abandoned and now we are all have our own “queues” of items that we can pick from and there is no time pressure. I think this system works out better.
Another change to the Vine review system is that Viners also must pay taxes on the items they receive. Amazon tracks this for you, so there is no getting around it. This change was the source of much angst among Viners, but I think ultimately it has helped the program in that now (personally speaking) I only accept items that I really am excited about, instead of casually interested in. It causes a lot more mindfulness, which can only be good for Amazon, I would think.
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