Amazon are tightening up their reviews process even further by restricting and rejecting reviews for some products.
An Amazon Verified Purchase Review is indicated where Amazon knows that the reviewer actually made a purchase on Amazon and so have certainty that they own the product. This gives less chance of it being a fake review, although Amazon still accept reviews from consumers who they can’t confirm made a purchase.
On some products, Amazon only accept Amazon Verified Purchase reviews. We’re seeing this ever more frequently for popular products and especially for those which are labelled as ‘Amazon Choice’ or that are Amazon white label products. This means if you didn’t buy the product on Amazon then you can’t review it.
Amazon are going even further however, if you purchased a product at a discounted price then you may also discover that you can’t leave a review:
“An “Amazon Verified Purchase” review means we’ve verified that the person writing the review purchased the product at Amazon and didn’t receive the product at a deep discount.
Reviews that are not marked “Amazon Verified Purchase” are valuable as well, but we either can’t confirm that the product was purchased at Amazon or the customer did not pay a price available to most Amazon shoppers.”
The interesting part here is that Amazon are discounting reviews where the consumer received a deep discount. This may mean that you can’t leave a review for items purchased on Prime Day, Black Friday or on other sale events, but Amazon’s real aim is to prevent merchants giving out discount codes enabling consumers to buy at significantly lower prices in the hope that those consumers will then leave a review. There were previously several services which automated the process of offering discount codes on certain products in the expectation that the buyer would leave a review and it’s that practice that Amazon are stamping down hard on (whether it be automated or manual).
This also means that if you have a problem with a product and Amazon (or the merchant) give you a significant refund to put things right that you also might not be able to go on to leave a review for the product.
This behaviour appears to be all about trust. Buyers love reviews but as soon as the trust in reviews is lost then they become worthless… in some ways less than worthless as a bunch of endorsements which are obviously fake is more likely to make you distrust the product than make a purchase.
There are still plenty of reviews on Amazon which aren’t Amazon Verified Purchases, but for merchants these are the most valuable. Not all reviews are equal and Amazon appear to be toughening up on their rules for who can leave a review and when, and especially if an Amazon Verified Purchase reviewer paid a typical price on Amazon and if a consumer received a deep discount then Amazon are likely to block their review.