I'm seeing a very lax use of codes by buyers and it is quickly becoming a waste of codes for me.
I've given out about 80 codes and I think I've only seen about 20-30 of them get used. What's more, the buyer's use of these codes (when they are used), once given to them, has been completely out of my control. So I've only seen about 1.5 codes used per day on the average which would do almost nothing to raise BSR.
The reason this is a waste is because I give out the codes to explicitly to drive up my stats and thus get into a higher BSR range. I'm sure I'm not alone in this goal. In other words,
I may as well not give out the codes if the impression the buyer has is s/he can take her/his time buying at any point over the next 10 days, or whatever they are being told.
People (in this case buyers) need to be told what they are expected to do, otherwise they will just let their regular habits take control.
If a seller needs a code used (and thus a sale transacted) within a certain time frame in order to accomplish his/her sales and BSR ranking plans, that should be communicated in very simple and obvious terms to the buyer.
It would be very powerful if sellers could put a time limit on the codes buyers are receiving and, most importantly, communicate that very clearly to the buyer.
For example, in the email they would receive it might say, in bold or some very clear formatting: You must use your code by [date] or it may expire!
They might even get a reminder on that day.
The date that is set would be set as the seller is releasing the code to the buyer. This could ideally be done in batches (set the date for, say, x # of codes at once).
So, a seller could plan (to some degree) when codes would would be used or at least they would be less likely to used outside a certain time window, which would be a start.
(If you really wanted to control this, AMZ could have an intermediary step for the buyer when a code has been issued by seller. It would tell the buyer they had been approved for a code. They need to use it on X date. Do they agree? "Click here to add this to your calendar so you don't forget..." etc. Once they agree they get the code. This would also give buyers a chance to pull the code if the buyer is not even paying attention. I definitely don't want codes lingering out there unless I can have some prediction on when they are going to be utilized.)
There are probably other ways this can be driven home to the buyer so the seller's needs are being met in this area.
This wouldn't be a silver bullet. Some people would not follow along no matter what. But if people aren't told to use them by a certain time, they certainly won't change their ways.
This is a valid request, I believe, because this review club is only as valuable as sellers are getting the value (BSR increase) they need on the one hand, and the buyer is getting a valuable product at a discount on the other hand. If either of these conditions are not met, this tool will be less valuable to that degree.
Therefore anything which can be done to approach these two ideals is something which should be seriously considered, in my opinion.
To put all this another way, Amazon's algorithm is a bit of a moving target right now in this regard and it's becoming important not just that sales are increased, but in what way they are being increased.
For example, a spike from 10 to 100 sales in one day due to giveaways could actually hurt rankings. Or, giving away 100 products over 100 days could be even completely ineffective. On the other hand, an increase of 10 days per day for 4 days every couple weeks can raise BSR much more effectively.
This is according to testing being done by several different groups and individual Amazon sellers to whom I'm connected.
Hence the above idea.