While getting Amazon reviews for your product listing is excellent, Amazon has taken great strides in making the act of obtaining or producing false reviews against its Terms of Service (TOS). For many successful sellers who have in the past exploited specific tips and tricks to get ahead in the reviews, most of these tactics are now considered violations to Amazon. It is crucial to know the Amazon Review policy to avoid getting your account suspended.
What Happens If You Violate the Amazon Review TOS?
If you are unfortunately caught by Amazon using any forbidden tactics now outlined in the revised Amazon Reviews Terms of Service, you could face one or more of the following:
“Immediate and permanent withdrawal of the seller’s selling privileges on Amazon and withholding of funds.” – Amazon will halt your ability to sell products and withhold your earnings for any products sold not yet paid to you.
“The removal of all the product’s reviews and preventing the product from receiving future reviews or ratings.” – Amazon will remove your reviews (including any you obtained legitimately) and freeze any customer’s ability to leave a review from now into the foreseeable future.
“Permanent delisting of the product from Amazon.” – Amazon will remove your product listing from the marketplace entirely.
“Legal action against the seller, including lawsuits and referral to civil and criminal enforcement authorities.” – Amazon will possibly take you to court and have the local authorities charge you with a crime.
“Disclosing the seller’s name and other related information publicly.” – Amazon may decide to release your name and online store details to the public forum.
Violation of Amazon Reviews TOS?
According to Official Amazon review policy, Violations of Amazon’s Review Terms of Service include, but are not limited to the following:
- A seller posts a review of their own product or their competitor’s product.
- A seller offers a third party a financial reward, discount, free products, or other compensation in exchange for a review on their product or their competitor’s product. This includes using services that sell customer reviews, websites, or social media groups.
- A seller offers to provide a refund or reimbursement after the buyer writes a review (including reimbursement via a non-Amazon payment method). This could be done via buyer-seller messaging on Amazon or directly contacting customers or using 3rd party services, websites, or social media groups.
- A seller uses a third-party service that offers free or discounted products tied to a review (for example, a review club that requires customers to register their Amazon public profile so that sellers can monitor their reviews).
- A family member or employee of the seller posts a review of the seller’s product or a competitor’s product.
- A seller asks a reviewer to change or remove their review. They might also offer a refund or other compensation to a reviewer in exchange for doing so.
- A seller diverts negative reviews to be sent to them or to a different feedback mechanism while positive reviews are sent to Amazon.
- A seller creates a variation relationship between products with the aim of manipulating reviews and boosting a product’s star rating via review aggregation.
- A seller inserts a request for a positive Amazon review or an incentive in exchange for a review into product packaging or shipping box.
- A seller uses a customer account to write or change a review on his or her competitor’s product.
As you can see here, Amazon specified many scenarios. Carefully read them through to make sure you understand and if you find any violations, take immediate corrective action if you want to be safe from any consequences. If you don’t know and follow these updated policies, you might get your account suspended.
As an Amazon seller, always know the landscape is changing so fast, that if you don’t keep up with all the changes, from one day to the next, you might be violating terms of service and end up getting your account banned. Inside of Seller Central, you’ll see the news that Amazon is posting so keep an eye on it to see if it needs your attention.
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