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Change to Amazon TOS

SammySammy ✭✭
edited August 2015 in General
Amazon recently updated their TOS regarding reviews - Anyone seen this from seller central help

"Reviews:
Reviews are important to the Amazon Marketplace, providing a forum for feedback about product and service details and reviewers' experiences with products and services — positive or negative. You may not write reviews for products or services that you have a financial interest in, including reviews for products or services that you or your competitors sell. Additionally, you may not provide compensation for a review other than a free copy of the product. If you offer a free product, it must be clear that you are soliciting an unbiased review. The free product must be provided in advance. No refunds are permitted after the review is written. You may not intentionally manipulate your products' rankings, including by offering an excessive number of free or discounted products, in exchange for a review. Review solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited. You may not ask buyers to remove negative reviews.

Bold part is brand new...
Not sure exactly what constitutes an 'excessive number' or 'manipulating rankings' (Search Rankings or Best Seller Rankings?)

@Travis_Jamison @Erik Emsley heard anything bout this?

Comments

  • edited August 2015
    Hmmm... haven't heard anything about it. Seems very very vague.

    I do like the part "no refunds are permitted after the review is written".

    I can't imagine this will change too much (now). Rank while you can people!

    Edit: Everyone should check out this post!
  • Yeah very very vague...

    Doubt anythings been changed yet - Agreed on the Rank while you can though.

    More reason I hate those stupid blast services - it seems they are the more obvious targets from this than a steady stream of reviews mixed with some real ones..
  • Someone on a FB forum said that their friend got suspended over this. Also, there is a section about manipulating the BSR

    "Misuse of sales rank: The best seller rank feature allows buyers to evaluate the popularity of a product. You may not solicit or knowingly accept fake or fraudulent orders. This includes placing orders for your own products. You may not provide compensation to buyers for purchasing your products or provide claim codes to buyers for the purpose of inflating sales rank. In addition, you may not make claims regarding a product's best seller rank in the product detail page information, including the title and description."
  • Hi Sammy, can you post the Amazon link where that text were found ? i can't find them in my seller central.
  • thats not great and kinda put the reviews on hold then as no one would want to risk losing there seller central account
  • Hi Travis, any news about this new policy, have you somehting ?
  • edited August 2015
    To me it really just seems like a thing targeting the Zonblast/viral-launch style services that give out hundreds and hundreds of products at once to spike up the BSR into the single digits.

    Our system isn't "excessive", we're just connecting sellers with real people who want to review products.

    I won't be changing a thing about how I do things for my own products, and the masses won't either :)
  • SammySammy ✭✭
    edited August 2015
    I wouldn't be too worried.. if there was any change you'd have 1000's of sellers with accounts closed in the last few days screaming about it on forums and facebook groups.

    In every FB group I've read I haven't seen even one example of this actually having any effect at all.

    I'm in tons of them and while there are one or two people claiming an account got closed recently and blaming it on this - they were all breaking about 5 other Terms of service and haven't offered one piece of evidence that it was due to this.

    If I had to guess I'd say amazon might be making an algorithm change to the amount or organic sales to promotional sales or something - to stop the mass give away's on new products and stop people ranking shitty stuff. this is a good thing in my book :)

    Or, more likely it could just be added to the TOS with no actual change made at all..

    If I was worried I'd be doing more giveaway's now to try rank before any change is actually made.
  • I've noticed that they updated the section today, but still havent touched the part about what "excessive" is. I do think they may be targeting those that just give away tons of product frequently a la Zonblast or Viral Launch.

    However, I wonder, can Amazon tell if you are using a Super URL? I think using it may fall into the category of "manipulation".
  • SammySammy ✭✭
    edited August 2015
    Im still wondering if rankings means search engine rankings.. I think they mean BSR... which is what crap like zonblast promote as a selling point.

    @loops77 100% sure amazon knows how you landed on the site, super url or not, and every movement you make.
  • Zero50Zero50
    edited August 2015
    New to this... Whats BSR mean ?
  • Also has anyone been warned about the reviews and lost or had account suspended. As mentioned I'm new to this and been honest i dont see anything wrong in discounted products for an honest review
  • No one that I've heard of have had any problems at all. BSR stands for best seller rank, which is what Zonblast and Viral Launch claims to inflate.
  • @Travis_Jamison and @Sammy : Super URL does not have to be super URL.. What if I right now go in to Amazon and write: "hiking shoes"... Amazon will generate a link combining my keyword + category + my account or referral code etc + some other information... but the code will be genuine, because I typed it in... Now if instead of the slug amztracker.com/hiking-shoes pointing towards htto:/...&keywords=hiking+shoes, the link was actual Amazon link taken from seller going to Amazon and typing in the keyword and copying the whole code? If there is a reference taken from e.g. buyer location or where traffic came from - that part can be adjusted through a script... how would they know it is a Super URL?

    The other way around is asking reviewers, instead of using Super URL, to actually go to Amazon.com, type in "hiking shoes" in the search and scroll down to the listing you are promoting... click it, check out, use the promo code and all is done... Some reviewers will not do it, but some will and it may not be the same result as it is from using a Super URL + Keyword, but it will have a result and it will be 100% safe... So if Super URLs are indeed done, just adjust AMZ system to allow sellers to enter their own link for reviewers to use... and tada! :)

  • Is it the super URL that allows Amazon scraper to determine who doing exessive or any promos at all, or the low pricing that stands out to them... or just in general a massive spike in bsr.

    Some of you say that keep going now while you can, or do you believe that when the hype dies down about this it will be easier to do. I imagine many people right now from reading this are doing a ton of promos so wouldn't it also be calling for more red flags from amazon and letting the scraper identify them if that is how they are regulating it?
  • @Travis_Jamison and @Sammy : Super URL does not have to be super URL.. What if I right now go in to Amazon and write: "hiking shoes"... Amazon will generate a link combining my keyword + category + my account or referral code etc + some other information... but the code will be genuine, because I typed it in... Now if instead of the slug amztracker.com/hiking-shoes pointing towards htto:/...&keywords=hiking+shoes, the link was actual Amazon link taken from seller going to Amazon and typing in the keyword and copying the whole code? If there is a reference taken from e.g. buyer location or where traffic came from - that part can be adjusted through a script... how would they know it is a Super URL?

    AWESOME IDEA constantine. Is there any way to implement this @Travis_Jamison?
  • Is it the super URL that allows Amazon scraper to determine who doing exessive or any promos at all, or the low pricing that stands out to them... or just in general a massive spike in bsr.

    Some of you say that keep going now while you can, or do you believe that when the hype dies down about this it will be easier to do. I imagine many people right now from reading this are doing a ton of promos so wouldn't it also be calling for more red flags from amazon and letting the scraper identify them if that is how they are regulating it?

    We just don't believe that this is happening at all:
    Read this: http://community.amztracker.com/discussion/495/awesome-post-on-the-new-tos-changes.

    As for Super URLs, they are natural in so many ways. When people get links to share products on Amazon, they search for their product, and a super url is naturally created.
  • Just to add, as a reviewer due to all the talk regarding the use of super URL's and it possibly being a BSR Manipulation. As this is still not a 100% yes or no answer yet.
    Everyone has been great with discussing this, but no definitive answer as yet.

    I have actually started doing exactly what your have mentioned. I.e going to Amazon, typing in say bottle of 'WATER' and scrolling through sometimes even a few pages to find the seller branded 'WATER' and adding it to my basket, and adding the promo code.
    As a reviewer and long time shopper on Amazon, I would not be too happy with getting into to any trouble with them. Do you think I should carry on doing it this way...?
    OFF TOPIC:
    I really enjoy testing out new products & reviewing each item in depth, and mainly due to the sometimes awful 2 words reviews like 'ITS GREAT' encouraged me to do the total opposite to actually help shoppers. Sorry for long post.
    I'm waiting eagerly for a resolution to this hopefully in the near future, from Amazon.
  • Is there any update as of today what amazon meant with their new TOS? by searching around on different blogs such as seller labs, viral launch, ilovetoreview, it looks like everyone is pointing the problem towards the other companies some even point the problem towards amztracker since you can approve the reviewers your self which may cause more biased reviews (i disagree) so by the end of the day it looks like a marketing opportunity for these kind of services, is there anyone with more UNBIASED information, (i can't see my self leaving amz, it helped me so much grow my business).
  • I think the entire "big change" just doesn't mean a damn thing to be honest.

    This post explains a lot:
    https://www.ilovetoreview.com/amazon-tos-changes-regarding-manipulating-rank/

    Nothing has changed really.
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