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.
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