Xberts

xbertsThere are many outlets for reviewing and I’d like to talk about one in particular that I have used and liked called Xberts.  Xberts is not a coupon club, they are more exclusive and choosy about who they allow to review.  Reviews are posted on their site directly (and you can post your reviews on your other social media sites, if you desire).  You are required to go through an application process to get items for free to review, it’s not guaranteed you will get every item you request, but they do give you discounts on the innovative products featured there, if you aren’t lucky enough to be chosen as a reviewer.

The process takes longer than most may be used to, and you have to apply to be a reviewer for each product that interests you, the offers don’t come to you automatically.   You can apply for as many products as you like, there is no limit.   Because there is only a limited number of products being given for review (usually less than 10 are given out), and many people desiring to review them, it may take many tries before you actually get chosen.   I applied for 5 or 6 items before I got my first review opportunity.   Once you get selected  to review the first time, assuming you complete you review in the amount of time they give (which is always ample) and you complete all the criteria they have, it seems that getting selected to review again is a bit easier.   This could be a coincidence, but that was my experience.   Once I completed my first review, I had two more applications accepted right away.

Their items tend to be innovative tech type items, but the spectrum is broad on what can be offered and is continually changing.  Some items are very high end, some more common, but all are interesting.   I urge you to check it out,  I guarantee there will be some items on there you will want to put in an application in for.

My disclaimer?  Xberts did not ask me to write this review – I’m just sharing a unique review opportunity to try because I’m a helpful person.

Check out my blog archives for other helpful tidbits!

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Win an Amazon gift card!

11/22/16 –

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Blue Ribbons Review is giving away a $35 Amazon Gift Card to one of our amazing followers!

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Babysit your reviews

baby-sitter-1073413_1920When I read a review, I always note the date of the review.    Was it left a month ago or 5 years ago?   Sometimes I wonder if the person still likes and uses the item they reviewed, did it stand the test of time?   One of the ways I keep my reviews “fresh” is to update them periodically.   I don’t do it for every single review but I try to do it as much as possible.  I appreciate the rare occasions I see other people have updated their reviews with relevant information, and  because of this I like to care for my reviews in this way as well.  Think of reviews like they were your children, they need to be cared for and nurtured.

These metal buckets have stood the test of time, even being kept outside.

Here are some earrings I bought, and I chronicled their lifespan.

These packing cubes have seen a lot of cities.

Here is an example of a light up timer that I bought, initially liked and gave 4 stars to, but then didn’t love!

These are some amazing shoes I purchased for my son.  He will outgrow them before they deteriorate.  This is information that needs to be imparted!

A cat scratch post that has gone through a lot.

An inexpensive manual pencil sharpener that is still sharp as day one.

This is a review from a different reviewer.  I appreciated his updates for this electric mower.

You get a more informative review when you update over time.   People want to know, how does this hold up?  They want to know if you still like an item a few months later, a year later… whatever the case may be.   You are making your reviews the most helpful they can possibly be, and ultimately this will get you more helpful votes in the long run.

 

 

Why haven’t you visited my blog archive yet?

 

Your product description is lacking

help you pencil

I’ve seen it many times when shopping online; an otherwise great product is paired with a poorly worded description.   It may be that your product is so great that it sells itself, even without a coherent product description, but why risk it?  A bad product description can lend itself to all sorts of unintended consequences:

  • Negative reviews resulting from unintentionally misleading descriptions promising more (or something other than) what the product can do.
  • Missed sales because buyer is wary of buying a product from overseas, even if the product is actually stocked in US warehouses.
  • Missed sales because buyer equates the quality of writing with the quality of the product.
  • Missed sales because buyer doesn’t understand what the description says, or can’t determine if the product is what they need based on the description.
  • Poor search results, your product will not be seen by as many people.

The solution?  I can fix your product descriptions to read cleanly, clearly and fluently to an English speaking audience.  I have years of writing experience, in both technical writing and creative writing, as well as marketing experience.   This is the perfect combination of skills you want to have when writing any product description.

The product description is what sells your product.  If someone is on the fence about purchasing, a well written and attention grabbing product description can be the tipping point.

Bottom line?  If you want to increase your sales, you need my services. Contact me to find out how I can benefit you.

 

 

Want to read some of my previous blog posts?  See the blog archive.

 

Sellers, watch out!

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I write on this blog for both sellers and reviewers.   Although my perspective is that of a reviewer, I do like to offer helpful hints to sellers as well.  Today though, I want to issue a warning to anyone who has ears to hear it.

I am still getting solicitations for free and discounted products in exchange for a review.   Sellers, you need to be careful about this.    At this point I figure everyone is now well aware of the policy, and they have made the conscious decision to continue on as usual.   That is their business, but I strongly advise you to re-word your requests either omitting the word “review” or expressly stating that a “review is not required” on Amazon.

Why?   Other than the obvious violations of Amazon’s TOS, you will eventually get in hot water with Amazon.   Today I got a “reply all” from a person who got one such review request email, and she was irate.   I would not be surprised if this person reported the seller to Amazon.    If you get a lot of attention like this, you will get your selling privileges removed.  If you are sending out dozens of these requests, a few are bound to fall to someone who is going to report you.

Conversely, reviewers you too need to be careful about your dealings on Amazon.   Reviewers are a dime a dozen, and Amazon does not think twice about revoking review privileges if they think their TOS have been broken. My advice is to try to shift focus to other reviewing avenues.   In the coming weeks, I’ll try to highlight some legitimate places one can go to review.

 

While you wait for that, check out my blog archives!

Sellers are adapting, slowly

10/7/16 – Today I got a whole host of new emails from sellers.   Some again, seemly oblivious to the changes and operating as normal.    Some just alter their wording to not talk about reviewing.  Some are offering discounted product as a sale….  Many of the things that I’ve highlighted before.

One emailed me this which I found interesting:

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So, that is food for thought.   I tried to locate the page the screen grab was from, but was unable to find it, probably because I do not have a seller’s account.

 

Check out my Archives!

What are sellers doing now?

10/6/16 – After the sweeping Amazon policy changes, sellers are changing tactics.

I have gotten a few “giveaway” contest invites that are generated by the third party sellers through Amazon.   (See more about that here)  The way that works is the seller creates a contest through Amazon.   Sends me a link saying I may have won or something to that effect, and when I click the link I’m sent to an Amazon page where there’s a fun little box to click “to see if I’ve won”.   I click the box and I win!   Product is shipped directly to me from Amazon.  Amazon sends a notice of shipment.   There is no mention of reviewing, so this would seem to be a legitimate way to get product out there to people who like to review.   The trick for sellers would be to try to identify those people who review if it wasn’t already known.  For sellers who have a lot of contacts they normally deal with and trust, this seems like an ideal solution.

The other thing that has been happening is individual sellers (and coupon clubs),  are offering products on sale, and they are explicitly saying you don’t have to review them.  This too, seems like a legitimate work around.

The third thing I noticed is a few sellers who I have reviewed for in the past contacted me and wanted to offer a “thank you” gift.   They also expressly stated that reviews on these gifts are not necessary.  Also, seems like this is allowable.

I do have an email in to Amazon customer service highlighting all these different ways I have been contacted to see if they are ok to do (just in case).   If they say no, I’ll update you on that.

The majority of sellers though, are still offering product for free or a discount in exchange for a review.   With those people I always email back pointing out the new policy.   Some seem genuinely surprised, so somehow they didn’t get notices from Amazon on this.

product review

Check out my blog archives!

 

It’s getting serious

10/5/16- I just got the following email from Amazon.   They are really serious about their policy changes.

Hello,
 
Based
 on a policy change to our Community Guidelines, some of your reviews 
will be removed. We recently updated this policy to prohibit 
incentivized reviews, which includes those posted in exchange for free 
or discounted products. Incentivized reviews posted prior to this policy
 change are being retroactively removed if they are excessive or do not 
comply with the previous policy.
 
Your reviewing privileges will 
not be affected by this action, but you will not be able to resubmit the
 reviews that were removed.
 
To learn about our review policies, please see our 
Customer Review Creation Guidelines (http://www.amazon.com/review-guidelines).