Amazon Reviewing

When it comes to getting products for free, many people’s interests perk up and they want to sign up for whatever it is. It’s human nature to want to and not to mention with the economy the way it is, it’s also a good way to get many things that you would not normally purchase.

I was what they call a “Sweeper”. This is when someone enters a plathora of contests in hopes to win. I did very good with that, but a friend introduced me into Amazon reviewing. With promises of being able to get awesome products for only the membership fee of $99.00 really enticed me. So, I decided to hang up my sweeping hobby and replace it with a reviewing hobby. I was on my way to having my voice heard and getting some free products.

Once I began reviewing, I quickly learned that there was a lot more to this hobby. Being a reviewer took time, dedication, and work. It was a lot more than just getting free products. In my opinion, the products were far from free. Taking the time to test these products was timely and once finished testing them, I needed to provide my insight on the website as well as photos or a video to prove the item was in my possession. Not all reviewers do this, but with Amazon, there is a bit of a trick to their reviewing community. It goes based on something called helpful votes. With a video or photo that showcased using the product, showing how it works, along with many other aspects, is considered helpful, which gains votes from other members in the community. With helpful votes, it moves you in a rank. With a higher rank, comes better products. Well that used to be the case at least.

Before with a higher rank, you were offered higher valued items. With the higher rank, it is said that you are a more reliable reviewer and are to be trusted. That was until everyone learned to pitch. Pitching is where a person will e-mail a seller on the Amazon platform to review items. This pretty much made all products a free for all, for all reviewers and a lot of sellers didn’t care about the rank, just about getting their products reviewed, so this left the higher ranking reviewers at the same level as the newer ones. Fair game I would suppose.

With that being said, many more review groups opened up. I will admit, I first started in a review group which is huge right now. I won’t name it, but the administrator in there for whatever reason, took me under her wing and mentored me. She offered me the insight of someone who knew both sides of the review world. She taught me to do videos and photos, offered me fantastic products, and to this day, still is there to help me when needed. She made me a force to be reckoned with on the Amazon platform and I was ranked #192 in the reviewer’s ranking because I reviewed from a consumer stand point and didn’t regurgitate product descriptions. I am sure the videos helped, but when reviewing, it is important to keep things short and sweet, yet thorough if that makes any sense. There are many review teams out there on Facebook which sellers will go to. These teams will choose reviewers based on their qualifications and track the reviews. Some do it for free, while others are paid for it. It’s all a matter of how the group is, but all of them pretty much run the same way. These groups were great for beginner reviewers to start in back in my time when I started, but there has been a lot of backlash these days about them and many reviewers will fear these groups in fear they will lose review priveledges.

At the top of my game reviewing, I developed many friendships with other reviewers and many of them offered different pointers as to how they went about their reviews. This is really great for other reviewers to do because it offers them insight and can make them stronger. I have a couple high ranking friends that did this for me, and the did in fact make me a stronger reviewer. When you are a reviewer, sellers will e-mail you and ask you to review products for them. A lot of the pitches are generic and some with poor English, but it is a rush to be noticed and pitched, let’s face it. When pitched, it’s important to fulfill your end of the bargain and provide the review. For me, I reviewed from a consumer standpoint, so not all my reviews were nice. If a product was crap, a seller would know about it. Unfortunately, with a lot of reviewers, the interest of getting great products and more from a seller’s storefront will keep them from doing this. So, they will write a fluffed review, that for the most part is the farthest from the truth, leaving consumers to believe what they wrote, buy the product, and be angry. If you should choose to do that, I have no doubt a customer will come back to you.

Being an Amazon reviewer, there is something called a TOS. This is what all reviewers must follow and go by. One thing listed, is a disclosure which states that the product was given free or at discount. It clearly states that disclosures must be clear and conspicuous, but with some reviewers, you won’t see this either. You will get a lot of slack either from the Amazon Vine reviewers because there is some jealousy there which is completely a different blog post. Others, you will have people think that because you got the item for free, that you are lying, and others that will make a fake account to leave nasty and absurd comments. You have to have a tough skin for this. The higher the rank you are, the more targeted you are. Take it as a compliment.

If you should encounter an issue with reviewing, the Amazon Customer Service team will be of no use to you. Most of the representatives are outsourced and have very broken English, which makes a frustrated person all the more frustrated. They aren’t trained in the review aspect of things. To get help, you have to e-mail a place called review appeals. This is completely pointless as well as you will get a generic response that takes hours, if not days to get a reply about. Half of the time, it will be irrelevant to what you are even asking. I will say that out of all the times I have had to e-mail them, I have received two representatives that could offer me help and actually had a clue. To me, that is not acceptable for such a large company of that nature. All employees should be properly trained in all aspects of the company if not in their specific department. Amazon makes enough money to do this, but neglect to.

The review system is often down and if it isn’t down, there is some kind of glitch. You never know what kind of fun you will be getting when you sit down to write your review. Either the system is going to be touchy and ping back your review, the photos won’t post, videos won’t upload right. It takes a lot of time for a reviewer to post their reviews not to mention a lot of dedication. As a reviewer, I would wait 7-10 days to post a review and if it was a beauty product, it had to be longer. Sellers will e-mail you the day you get the product, sometimes even before you even get the item demanding a review. Sellers, this is a huge no-no and to a reviewer like me, it will tick me off. Of course I will reply and tell them how it is, but with other reviewers such as myself, we will take your item and put it at the back of our list. Yes, we know there are freebie reviewers that will review the item same day. Some will even do it without the product, but not all reviewers cheat the system and sellers need to realize that aspect.

I have reviewed on Amazon for a considerable amount of time. When they had the new system update, I ran into a hiccup so to speak. The wiped all my reviews. All 3,000 of my reviews. It was a lot of time and effort from my end. I fought with them for two weeks. Calling, e-mailing, chatting. At the end of the two weeks, I was told my reviews were removed in error. I was not offered an apology, but I did get my reviews back. This was a huge thing because once Amazon does that, VERY few people get them back. So, if they wipe your reviews, good luck getting them back. Chances are you won’t. They won’t even offer you an explanation. They will just send you a cut and paste e-mail and not even offer you any explanation as to why they came up with their joke of an excuse. I don’t doubt that some people who have been wiped, there is some legit reason for it, but for some people, there isn’t. Reviewers aren’t offered a warning so they can correct what they are doing wrong, if anything, its completely rediculous. Once they do that, you are done. You lose your rank, all your reviews, which not only hurts the reviewers, but the sellers because they are losing out on the review if it was a good one. Sellers will even e-mail you asking what happened. Sellers where you did the review a year ago from. Crazy right? Once Amazon does this, it makes you look like a loser, a cheat.

So, many of you are reading this wondering where is she going with this, besides the novel? Well, I signed on today, and Amazon removed my reviews again. I have done probably no more than 100 of them since they pulled their last cherade on me. Again, I am dealing with sellers and humiliation. All of my reviews, not 100, not 500, but over 3,000 all gone. Do I get an explanation? Nope, just a generic one. I had disclosures, didn’t harvest votes, was honest, wasn’t paid, blah blah blah. So will I fight for my account, Nope! To me, Amazon reviewing is the biggest joke that a person can get sucked into. You work so hard on those reviews, putting time and effort into them, only for them to wipe them out with the greatest of ease. They don’t offer you any explanations, and refuse to comment on e-mails when people do offer push back. I am not the only one that has had this happen. I mentor other reviewers as well, like I once was mentored. You become friends with all sorts of reviewers when you review. Some of us just e-mail one another when we see your e-mail on your profile. It’s just what we do.

So if you are interested in reviewing, my advice, run the other way, and fast. If you are a past reviewer and know precisely what I am talking about, then you know all to well of the scheme this company has going. My article is how you see it. Take it how you want to, but I can tell you, following the TOS and doing things by the book with this company, will get you no where. Sure, will you get some free products, you bet! Is it worth getting your name ran through the mud? No! I will gladly take my business to Jet and patiently wait for them to do reviews. They’re a lot cheaper anyway!

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