Amazon UK and EU ban all incentivised reviews

In September Amazon updated its policy for buyers who leave a review. Now Amazon in the UK and EU have also issued guidance updates basically banning incentivised reviews, including those posted in exchange for a free or discounted copy of the product.

Amazon’s UK and EU policy now says that you can’t do any of the following:

  • Provide a free or discounted product, gift card, discount, cash payment or other compensation in exchange for the review.
  • Provide or withhold free or discounted products or other benefits in the future based on whether the buyer writes a review.
  • Use a review service where reviewers’ continued membership depends on writing reviews.
  • Use a review service where you can rate buyers based on their reviews.
  • Use a review service where customers register their Amazon public profile so that you can monitor their reviews of your products.

What you can do is:

  • Offer discounts that are generally available to all Amazon customers, such as Lightning Deals.
  • Give out free products at trade shows, conventions or other similar venues where you are unable to monitor whether the recipients write a review or provide or withhold any benefits based on whether a review is written or the content of the review.

The above changes apply only to product categories other than books. Amazon say that they “Continue to allow the age-old practice of providing advance review copies of books“.

This looks like a pretty comprehensive banning of all forms of incentivised reviews. We know that reviews are valuable in attracting more customers to purchase your product. In the future it would appear that you’ll be limited to enticing genuine customers to leave reviews. If you can see any wiggle room in Amazon’s new UK and EU policy we’d love to hear from you.