Amazon Gift Cards in Exchange for Reviews (What You Need to Know)
Reviews on Amazon are important. They play a huge role in how product rankings are determined. Consistently getting good reviews for your products will ensure Amazon ranks your products higher on search results pages and recommends your products to customers more often. The easiest way to get great reviews on Amazon is to provide your customers with great products, but some sellers decide to take an under-the-radar approach.
Some sellers like to include “Amazon Gift Cards” with your purchases. Although these gift cards look legitimate, a closer inspection reveals that they are actually offering discounts through third-party services in exchange for positive reviews. To some, this may seem like a good opportunity to buy a discount on an item, but is it legal?
Are Amazon gift cards allowed in exchange for reviews?
Incentivized reviews are expressly prohibited in the Amazon Terms of Service. If Amazon detects that your seller account has been compensating customer accounts in exchange for reviews, your account may be suspended or banned altogether. This applies to any 3rd parties you may be associated with, so don’t think you can get around it by offering discounts on 3rd party services.
If you are an Amazon customer, you may have your review permission revoked for accepting a gift card in exchange for a review.
If you check Amazon’s Community Guidelines, you’ll see that it’s not just gift cards that are banned. There are a variety of outlawable offences, including:
- Sale of Prohibited Items
- Operating multiple seller accounts
- Get friends or family to leave positive reviews on your page
- Create a customer account to comment on your own items
- inaccurate list
- Leave a negative review on a competitor’s page
So the short answer is Do not. it is no Gift cards are allowed in exchange for positive reviews. Some sellers try to get around this rule by including fake gift cards in the items they ship to you.
Since a physical card isn’t an electronic communication through Amazon, this type of thing is harder to detect, but Amazon can still suspend or ban your seller account if they think you’re doing something.
If you want to learn more about Amazon’s policy on reviews and gift carts, read on…
Can You Give Amazon Reviews a Gift Card?
If you operate as a seller on Amazon.com and want to get good reviews quickly, offering people a discount or other service in exchange for reviews might seem like a good idea.
Often, this takes the form of an official-looking “Amazon gift card,” which is actually a link to a third-party service where customers can get a discount if they confirm their review through Amazon.
While some sellers can get away with it, it’s an outlawed offense, so it’s definitely risky if you don’t want to be suspended or banned. Even so, Amazon struggles to keep up with more insidious repeat offenders, so there’s no guarantee that reviews of Amazon products aren’t paid or compensated by sellers.
Are you going to get in trouble for Amazon reviews?
Amazon’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Service say it’s against the rules to pay for reviews, but can you really get in trouble for leaving incentivized reviews? If you’re ordering from an Amazon seller and you notice that one of the “Amazon Gift Cards” offers you a discount or other compensation, you might be tempted to accept it.
After all, Amazon cares about seller purchase reviews, right? Do customers who write reviews also have trouble?
Unfortunately, yes. If Amazon finds that a seller has been paying for reviews, it usually investigates customers who leave reviews for that seller to see if their reviews are legitimate.
While it’s not illegal to compensate for reviews as a customer, it’s still against Amazon’s terms of service and can get you into trouble on Amazon.
In some cases, nothing will happen, but writing an incentivized review puts your account at risk of being suspended or banned altogether. In some cases, even if your account is not suspended or banned, Amazon will remove any reviews you write from the account and prohibit you from writing any future product reviews.
So if you want to avoid trouble with your customer account, always be honest with your product reviews, and don’t involve yourself in any dubious paid review type schemes.
Even if the offer is handled through a third-party site, Amazon has a way of knowing what you’re doing, so it’s always a good idea to stay level.
Is it illegal to discount reviews?
So now we’ve looked at Amazon’s Community Guidelines and determined that compensating users for positive reviews is an outlawed crime. Obviously, some sellers still choose to take this risk, but is this activity legal?
The issue is a bit complicated because Amazon operates in many different countries with different laws, such as copyright and transactional protection.
However, since Amazon is headquartered in the US, it can generally be assumed that US transaction laws apply to all Amazon services.
Specifically, incentive review may violate New York Administrative Code Section 63(12), New York General Business Law Sections 349 and 350, and the FTC Endorsement Guidelines.
To answer the question, yes, it is illegal to offer discounts, payments or other compensation to customers in exchange for a positive review. However, while it is considered false advertising if you do not indicate compensation, if you indicate that the review is compensated, you can technically pay for the review.
In other words, paid reviews are only illegal if you don’t show that reviewers are being compensated.
If you’re concerned about breaking any laws, the best rule of thumb is to be honest with your ads. If you absolutely must pay for a positive review, make sure whoever reads it knows it’s compensated.
That way, you won’t be charged for anything nasty like false advertising.
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Amazon does not allow incentivized reviews of any kind. Offering discounts or gift cards in exchange for reviews can get your account banned.
Customers who accept these gift cards for reviews can also get stuck on Amazon. They can be investigated and their review rights revoked.