October 3rd, 2016 - Amazon releases new Amazon Review Guidelines policy change
You likely already know that on October 3rd, Amazon.com and later Amazon.ca published new reviewing guidelines. These new guidelines have caused us to change how we do business. Basically what has changed is that we can no longer enforce our members to review the deals they grab on LootHoot.
So how has this affected your deals? Not a whole lot. Many of our members still continue to review because it is something they enjoy doing.
October 24th, 2016 - Amazon has started contacting sellers it feels may not be following the new review guidelines
Amazon emailed sellers it believes used a review service in the past that does not follow Amazon's new Review Guidelines.
Here is a copy of the actual email sent from Amazon to Amazon Sellers:
Hello, We recently updated our policies to prohibit incentivized reviews, including those posted in exchange for a free or discounted copy of the product. You are receiving this email because products you sell have received incentivized reviews in the past. If you attempt to acquire incentivized reviews going forward, your Amazon privileges will be suspended or terminated.
We consider a review to be incentivized if you have influenced or can influence the review directly or indirectly, including by monitoring whether a review is written and providing or withholding any future benefit based on whether a review is written or the content of the review. Below are a few examples where a review is considered incentivized and is not permitted:
- You provide a free or discounted product, gift card, rebate, cash payment, or other compensation in exchange for the review.
- You provide or withhold free or discounted products or other benefits in the future based on whether the customer writes a review.
- You use a review service where reviewers’ continued membership depends on writing reviews.
- You use a review service where you can rate customers based on their reviews.
- You use a review service where customers register their Amazon public profile so that you can monitor their reviews of your products.
Incentivizing customer reviews violates our policies and may violate the Federal Trade Commission Act. The following actions are generally allowed, provided you comply with the above restrictions:
- You may offer discounts that are generally available to all Amazon customers, such as Lightning Deals.
- You may give out free products at trade shows, conventions, or other similar venues where you are unable to monitor whether the recipients write a review or provide or withhold any benefits based on whether a review is written or the content of the review.
The above changes apply only to product categories other than books. We continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books.
For more information please visit the following Help pages: Prohibited seller activities and actions: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/200386250 About Lightning Deals: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/202043200 About promotional content https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html
So what does Amazon Compliance really mean?
Amazon Review Guidelines and this email state that the following must be met:
- Products must not be offered at a discount with the expectation a review will be written
- Customers who grab a deal must not be penalized or rewarded based on "if" or "if not" a review is written.
- The review service must not allow it's members to be banned from the review service if a review is not written.
- Amazon Sellers must not us a review service that allows the seller to choose the customer or rate the reviewer.
- The review service must not collect the customer's Amazon Public Profile so that the customer's reviews can be monitored.
How is LootHoot compliant with Amazon's Guidelines?
We take Amazon guidelines seriously and have changed our service to become 100% compliant with Amazon's guidelines. Let us explain how we are compliant:
- Products must not be offered at a discount with the expectation a review will be written.
We no longer oblige our members to leave a review.
Our members are not penalized or rewarded in any way for leaving a review.
We do not ban or suspend members on our site if they do not review.
Sellers have no way of choosing or knowing which member has grabbed their deal. We keep this information private and it is never given out to a seller
Collection of customer's Amazon Public Profile is no longer part of our account sign-up process and we no longer request it from our members.
Can I trust LootHoot to be Amazon Compliant?
Definitely. We respect your seller privileges and take Amazon review compliance seriously. LootHoot is here to help you promote your product, get more Amazon sales, and increase your Amazon reviews. However, we do not bend the rules to do this.
We have responded to all Amazon requirements and have made all the necessary changes to adhere to the above points and Amazon Review Guidelines.
You can be confident promoting your product on LootHoot!