Brand New AMAZON REVIEW Guidelines: The New COST to Leave a Review

by Mirika C on September 26, 2016


Mirika Mayo Cornelius

I received a link from someone who wanted me to address what he stated were the brand new Amazon Review Guidelines.  To be quite honest, I don’t keep up with all the changes in the review policies all that much because I leave that up to the readers while I try and write the best possible book that I can for them at all times.

However, when I received this link, I felt it was worth the time blogging about because, according to the Guidelines at Amazon, it now costs a reader to write a review for anything. That’s right. There is a minimum $50 purchase requirement using a valid credit or debit card in order to post a review, and this $50 minimum doesn’t include prime subscriptions and promotional discounts. Along with that, customers who live in the same household can’t leave reviews for the same product.

Some may take issue with this, however, I have no problems with it at all because I, like many people, have spent a good $50 on Amazon already.  However, for those people who troll merchandise all day long randomly selecting whom they will to leave horrible reviews, this may be bothersome to them if they’ve been doing it totally free, just as it may be bothersome to those who leave themselves fake, wonderful reviews all month long.  (For those of you who didn’t know that this actually happens, well it does.)  It’s called inflating or deflating the worth of your product or another product in order to influence the public.

Amazon has instituted these new guidelines as well as the ones of the past, as they put it, “in order to preserve the integrity of Customer Reviews, we do not permit artists, authors, developers, manufactures, publishers, sellers or vendors to write Customer Reviews for their own products or services, or to vote on the helpfulness of reviews.  For the same reason, family members or close friends of the person, group or company selling on Amazon may not write Customer Reviews for those particular items.

I have also heard through the grapevine that many authors have been losing hundreds of reviews because of Amazon’s cracking down on what they consider fraudulent reviews.  Even if the reviews aren’t actually fraudulent, it has come to my attention that legitimate ones were caught up in the process. The latter is simply horrible, but there isn’t much that can be done about it at all.

Therefore, no matter what the course of action Amazon takes with its review system, don’t get caught up in it so much that it takes from your valuable time writing your books.  Here’s one positive way to look at the new Amazon Review Guidelines:  The $50 minimum won’t effect most credible reviewers.  Credible reviewers still won’t have a problem reviewing your books with this new system because they are FAR BEYOND the $50 limit because they read ALL the time, such as book clubs and professional reviewers because they are book buyers.    What really sucks about the new Amazon Review Guidelines: Someone reads your book, just your book and can’t leave a review because they haven’t spent a full $50.  This in itself will cripple many potentially great book reviews that are legit, however, if they continue to purchase online via Amazon, hopefully, they will remember to go back and drop a line under your book’s review section.

There are downfalls to every change, but for the most part, legit reviewers will be in the clear, but it truly effects those readers who haven’t yet spent the full $50 at Amazon … and don’t plan on it.  If that’s the case, the only option would be for the reader who wants to review a book that they simply love is to review it on a different platform like Nook, iTunes, Google Play (that is if the book is available there).  Another option would be for the author to have a website that accepts reader reviews on their website either in the comments or via email directly to the author to post by a snapshot.

For more information in full Amazon words, click here.

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