Amazon changes its Terms of Service regularly, but not so often you have an excuse for breaking them. This is especially important for product reviews, as it’s crucial you go about it the right way not only to follow the rules but to leverage them to maximum success. And with FeedbackExpress’s checklist of what to do and not do, you’ll be able to do this in your sleep.

Do: Get Back to Questions Promptly

The other day, I was looking for a pair of Bluetooth IEM (in-ear monitor) earphones I could wear under my hat when it got cold. They had to be Bluetooth because I didn’t want to worry about getting snagged on a wire, they had to be earbuds because I wanted my hat to easily fit over them, and they had to be IEMs because sound quality is at the top of my list.

So, off to Amazon I went. And I asked questions. The IEMs that didn’t respond within a day were immediately crossed off my list because it made me think they didn’t care about customer support that much. And there were some answers where I wasn’t sure if it was another buyer or the seller themselves.

It’s important to answer questions promptly, but also to be really clear about your connection to the product.

Don’t: Review Your Own Product or Trash Your Competitors

Seems like an easy shortcut, right? Build up your own page with plenty of positive reviews and watch the sales come rolling in. Or, post negative reviews on your competitor’s page and direct the unhappy customers over to your page.

Except you can’t do that.

It’s explicitly against Amazon’s ToS and you’ll be risking damage to your account if you do this.

Do: Ask for Reviews

Not only are you allowed to ask for reviews, but you’re also encouraged to do so! There are right and wrong ways of going about it, but you should always include an email that says something like, “Your feedback is very valuable to us and future shoppers, and allows us to continually improve our products and service. Click here to leave a review.”

Don’t: Incentivize Reviews

This includes things like using a third-party service that exchanges free or discounted products for reviews, offering to refund the product after a review is left, or any other kind of financial reward, discount or incentive in exchange for (positive) feedback.

Do: Make it Easy for Buyers to Leave Feedback

As a buyer, I want to get through the shopping process as quickly as possible. All I want to do is finding the perfect product and start enjoying it. And when a seller makes me jump through hoops to get to that end-stage, I’ll lose interest in them (and their product) and move on.

The same goes when getting product reviews. The easier and faster you make it for buyers to leave reviews, the likelier they are to do so. Include a hyperlink so all they have to do is click on it, fill out a few fields, and be on their merry way.

Don’t: Isolate the Buyers with Positive Experiences

If you’re playing by the rules, putting out a solid product and just generally doing an all-around good job, chances are you’re going to have far more happy customers than unhappy ones. But you cannot hedge your bets by isolating the happy ones and asking them to leave reviews and directing the unhappy customers to non-Amazon feedback places.

You have to take the bad with the good and ask all buyers for reviews.

Do: Regularly Review Amazon’s Terms of Service

Amazon makes this easy for you, they really do.  They have a page for Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct, with a hyperlinked bullet list at the bottom that provides more detail. They even have a general page that contains Help for Amazon Sellers. And just for good measure, there’s also a page of Community Guidelines.

So, there’s no excuse to learn the latest information on what to do and not do. It’s all there for whatever category or question you might have.

Don’t: Try and Divert Sales to an External Site

This is when you say something like, “visit (my personal URL) to take advantage of great savings and a wider range of products”. No. You can’t do this. There can be nothing said or written that takes buyers away from Amazon to purchase a product.

An exception of including an external link is if you want them to sign up for a warranty. You can do that, but keep it about the warranty and don’t include anything else about products or sales.

Do: Use Product Inserts

It’s been a few years since I bought my first Bluetooth headphones, but I still vividly remember opening the box and finding a product insert. To me, that was revolutionary because I hadn’t bought a product before where the brand cared enough to reach out one last time.

Since then, I’ve bought many more products, but I haven’t seen a product insert in every single one of them and I can’t understand why. They’re incredibly effective and offer so much in the way of personalization and one final message once the sale’s complete.

Don’t: Ask for a Specific Kind of Review

Whether you’re using a product insert, feedback request email and/or another messaging system, all you can do is ask for a review. You can’t ask for a specifically positive one and you can’t ask for a buyer to remove a negative one (although there are steps you can take in removing negative feedback).

Final Thoughts

Product reviews can be tough to get, but we here at FeedbackExpress like to look on the bright side and the silver lining is that product reviews are very cut and dry, making it easy to get right or wrong. It’s not like using creative flair to write a knockout listing or taking grade-A images. You’re either following the rules and doing things right, or you’re not. But sometimes you need systems in place to help you over the last hump, and that’s where we come in handy. Real-time notifications, visually-appealing data clearly laid out, customizable templates and more — it’s all yours for the taking when you sign up now (and get a 30-day free trial to boot!)

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