The Hunt For Five Stars

When it comes to Amazon, reviews are one of the most important parts of your listing. You can have the very best copy, photography, and overall marketing, but if your reviews are low, you are in for a bumpy ride. When dealing with promotions, the whole idea is to get sales, and get your customers to review those sales. Reviews can make or break your listing, and getting said reviews needs to be in line with Amazon TOS. Otherwise, you’ll run into more issues than you can shake a mouse at.

Check it out…

Times Are Changing

Every year Amazon’s rules get a little more stringent, and that extends all the way out to customer reviews. Consumers look at reviews these days as a form of “word of mouth”. If Sally and Elmer loved it, well I will to! At least, that’s the mentality. As that mindset settles in, the importance of positive feedback shoots through the roof.

The problem with that, is that not all sellers are on the up and up. Sometimes those “5 star” reviews are simply ploys put in place by a deviant seller to get you to buy a sub par product to make a quick buck. At least, that’s where it was headed.

Not anymore, however.

Amazon has taken measures to not only prevent this issue, but has made that sort of “review farming” a much harder proposition. This is a fantastic step for the Amazon market, but there are some sellers that have lost legitimate reviews because of the updated review TOS. The important thing to remember is there is a RIGHT WAY to get feedback.

Back To Basics

The number one thing to remember is a review is simply that: A REVIEW. You can ask absolutely anyone WHO HAS PURCHASED YOUR PRODUCT for a review.

Notice the capital letters there?

It has to be someone who has purchased your product, not someone who has used it and thinks it’s great. Your Mom may love the new makeup brush set you’re selling, and use the one you gave to her everyday. However, she can’t leave a review on Amazon UNLESS she purchases it through Amazon. That’s truly the most important bit to remember.

It doesn’t matter if it involves a coupon code or was full price as long as the buyer actually spent money on it.

Otherwise, we begin to tread on the deathly badlands of “incentive reviews”.

Essentially, if you ask someone to review your product in a way that is leading, such as “hey, we would really love a POSITIVE review from you” You might find your self losing that review at the very least, and possibly facing suspension for what Amazon calls “review manipulation”.  Instead of leading a customer to leave a POSITIVE review, simply explain how important ANY review from them would be, and that no matter what, their review will be helpful to your company.

To put it simply, watch your language.

Amazon is doing it’s best to create a fair and equal platform for all sellers and ultimately, that’s what we all want.

Unfortunately, asking for reviews doesn’t always net you a glowing recommendation from your customer base, but if you are paying attention to details and your customer service is geared in such a way that even unsatisfied customers feel attended to, you’ll be surprised at how often you come out on top. As time goes on and Amazon becomes a primary shopping destination for consumers (opposed to brick and mortar store fronts) the link between positive reviews and extremely attentive customer service becomes more apparent.

As the old adage goes, “take care of your customers and they will take care of you.”

Using Amazon To Your Advantage

You may not know this, but Amazon has a built in review program called the “EARLY REVIEWER PROGRAM”.

It’s important to point out that this program isn’t necessarily as all-encompassing or as robust as would be preferable for most sellers, but it is effective at getting reviews. Basically, it works like this: A seller can pay $60 per listing, and will get five verified reviews guaranteed out of the deal. It may not sound like much, but if you’re a newer listing or just launching, those verified reviews will most definitely be worth the price. The reviews come from Amazon’s own group of people that buy products and review them specifically for Amazon, so they are not only safe to get, but can start to fill out those stars as well.

Keep in mind however, these are not guaranteed five star reviews.

You will get feedback, and as long as your product is well made, performs to expected standards, and “fills the need” of the buyer, you will get positive feedback. It’s truly that simple.

The Negative Nancy

Not all reviews will be positive. No matter what you do or how amazing your product and customer service are you just can’t please everyone all the time. The big question here is, “what do I do when I get a negative review?”. This one is really actually very easy….


Confrontation of any kind isn’t usually fun, and dealing with a customer that has already blasted you in the reviews isn’t usually your first choice, but it’s important that you do. Respond directly to negative feedback and see if you can do anything for the customer. You may not get any response, but at that point you’ve done what you can to try to fix the issue.

More importantly, other customers will be able to see your response to that negative feedback and that you are trying to help and fix the problem. Sure, the customer that is unhappy may still end up unhappy with the purchase, but depending on the reason, and your ability to offer superior customers service, other customers may take more stock in your company for going out of the way to fix the problem, or at very least offer a listening ear to those that are unsatisfied.

“take care of your customers and they will take care of you.”

Sometimes, you will get a response from the buyer and you will be able to fix the issue, and in the long run, those sorts of wins will keep you afloat, and create trust for your brand.

Let’s Review

Reviews are undoubtedly important. They are a buyers look at what to actually expect from the product, and the issues associated with it. Keeping perfectly in line with Amazon TOS to get them can sometimes be a challenge, especially when you are trying to follow the rules and you missed something, which is all to common among Amazon sellers. However, it’s important to remember that Amazon is doing it’s best to create a fair and equal platform for all sellers and ultimately, that’s what we all want. Keep working for your reviews, and remember Amazon isn’t out to get you, they just want you to do it the right way.