Incentivized Reviews Ban Puts Dozens of Reviews Providers out of Business

Recently Amazon changed their policy on sellers giving free or discounted products in exchange for reviews, banning this activity. It was often used by new sellers to kick-start brands, but has also started to cause customer frustration seeing solicited reviews so often. Amazon decided that customer trust in reviews is more important and thus put a stop to this practice.

Previously many sellers used various online services to get reviews. Instead of having to find an audience, many services have been built and attracted their own audience allowing sellers to send their products to a selected list of people for a fee. Many of these providers had perfected their process so well that launching new products using them was almost guaranteed to succeed.

With Amazon no longer permitting this practice, reviews’ providers are left having to figure out what to do next. We checked a dozen of best known providers and found that most of them have visible notices to their users about the Amazon policy change. Notices like “We are letting you know it is completely optional to post a review on Amazon.com about the latest product you’ve received”.

For sellers it was valuable to invest a few products into building traction on Amazon, but with people no longer being able to leave reviews there is little value proposition left.

To understand how these services are doing, we looked at their web traffic and found that it has started to drop drastically. With sellers realizing that they need to start working on other options, unfortunately there is less and less interest in such services.

Reviews’ providers we analyzed include: www.amzreviewtrader.com, www.reviewkick.com, www.elitedealclub.com, www.snagshout.com, www.amazingdealsgroup.com, www.ilovetoreview.com, www.uberzonclub.com, www.allstarreviewers.com, www.secretdealsclub.com, www.dollardealreviews.com, www.etekcitizen.com, www.giveawayservice.com, www.productelf.com, www.dealsforreviews.com.

We hope these businesses are able to figure out how to pivot their business. But it’s a good lesson on what happens when small companies rely on a big company for their business - one policy change and their business model is no longer valid. For marketplace sellers this is important to keep in mind, because Amazon and eBay are changing their policies often and it’s not uncommon for a seller to find themselves left without options.

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Juozas "Joe" Kaziukėnas

Founder of Marketplace Pulse, Joe wears multiple hats in the management of Marketplace Pulse, including writing most of the articles. Based in New York City. Advisor to other startups and entrepreneurs. Occasional speaker at conferences.

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