Customer reviews are beneficial to both sellers and buyers if written genuinely.

They attract more customers to a seller’s product and, at the same time, help customers make an intelligent buying decision.

However, when these reviews are used to satisfy a seller’s interest more than a buyer’s need, then they fail to serve their purpose.

That was the point of Amazon for updating their guidelines for their UK and EU marketplaces, which ban businesses from offering perks like discounted products or cash payments in exchange for product reviews.

Amazon’s old guidelines allowed third-party sellers to give freebies or discounted products to customers who post reviews of their products, provided that the latter admit receiving incentives from the businesses which they wrote reviews for.

Since their updated community guidelines have been put into effect, Amazon UK and EU prohibit sellers on their marketplaces to have paid reviews unless facilitated through the Amazon Vine programme.

To find out how this works, read the Customer Review Guidelines thoroughly on the Amazon UK site.

What Counts as an Incentivised Review?

A customer review which was done in exchange for money, free product or any similar incentive is considered an incentivised or paid review.

Third-party sellers on Amazon will be violating the company’s new policy and putting their Sellers account at risk if they do any of the following:

Aside from violating Amazon’s new review policy, posting paid customer reviews also violates the Federal Trade Commission Act.

It’s worth noting, though, that the new policy of Amazon applies to all product categories except books, as they “allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books”.

What does the New Policy Allow?

In no way is Amazon trying to be boring and unadventurous with its updated policy.

The company’s official press release states you are allowed to do the following anytime you wish:

Moreover, Amazon is doing you a big favour by allowing you to identify areas in your product which you need to improve based on honest customer reviews.

With paid reviews you will never be able to see that, only the illusion of perfection.

What do you think of Amazon UK’s new policy on customer reviews?

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