Recently, I’ve started a new hobby; providing product reviews on amazon.co.uk. If you review products regularly, and make sure your reviews are comprehensive (not “does the job”, or “this is rubbish”), sellers let you have products free, or at a discount, in exchange for a fair and honest review. The reviewing hobby becomes very addictive, seeing what products sellers will provide for review, and also how high you can get your reviewer ranking with Amazon (at the time of writing this post, I am just outside the magic top 10,000 reviewers at 10,844).
Whilst not every product I am given for review is useful to me (I’m thinking the Emanco Enamel Ring I was provided with), I feel it’s important to be honest, and provide as much useful feedback as possible (My review for the ring can be found here).
It’s worth noting that reviews shouldn’t just be five-star fawning. Sellers MUST accept both negative and positive reviews, and the reviewer should be honest with their feedback. Reviewers must also declare in their review, if they received a product for free, or at a discount. At the time of writing this post, I’ve written 83 reviews. Of those, 61 products have been provided free, or at a discount.
Why do sellers provide their items free for reviews? That one’s simple – people who are looking for items to buy, want to see a genuine opinion from somebody who already owns the product. Amazon know this, and move products up their search rankings when they have a number of positive reviews. Providing the items free or at a discount in exchange for reviews helps the seller make more sales, and have their items return higher in search results. Everybody wins.
So – how does one become an Amazon reviewer? Again, easy!! You start by buying something on amazon.co.uk. Once you’ve made a single purchase, you can review anything. You don’t have to have bought the product you’re reviewing from Amazon, but obviously it helps if you actually own it!
The bigger question is how do I become a *good* reviewer, and have suppliers asking me to review their products regularly. That’s slightly more difficult, but here’s the steps I’ve followed, and maybe they’ll help you too:
- Review everything you purchase on Amazon
- Make sure your Amazon profile is complete and public
- Make sure your email address is visible publicly in your Amazon profile
- Include pictures and/or video in your reviews where you can
- Give a snappy title to your reviews
- Ensure you put three or four paragraphs in your reviews:
- What did the packaging look like?
- What’s the product quality?
- What do you like about the product?
- What don’t you like about the product?
- What can be improved about the product?
- Make sure all your grammar and spelling is checked
- Give seller feedback in addition to your product review (separate button on each order)
I think it’s important when given products free or at a discount, to provide full and proper feedback to the sellers, and also, give them the opportunity to resolve any problems before providing a review. If you’d bought something, and it wasn’t right, you’d ask the seller to fix it, the same applies if you’ve been given the item for a review. Their response might change your three-star review into a five-star review. Again, here are some hints to help your relationships with suppliers:
- Thank the supplier for the opportunity to review their product, whether free or at a discount
- Tell them your order number when you’ve placed your order
- Give them a link to your review once it’s posted and approved
- Tell them if there are any problems before you provide a review
- Provide timely reviews:
- Put up a review within a couple of days of receipt of the product
- If you think a review item will require longer term testing, provide an interim review with pictures, initial impressions, and details of the item, then edit the review later with the results of your long term tests
- Make sure your reviews have good pictures and/or video
- Ensure your spelling and grammar are correct
- Tell the supplier what to expect from your review:
- Honest and unbiased feedback
- Pictures and/or video
- Timely review
- Opportunity to resolve any issues before review is posted
My Amazon reviewer profile is available here. If you take a look, you’ll be able to see the profile details that I’ve published, along with some (if not all) of the reviews I’ve submitted. Please feel free to vote any of my reviews as helpful – this is one of the major things that improves your reviewer rankings, and the higher the ranking, the more likely suppliers are to send you their items to review.
It’s not always enough to just have your review ranking jump up the charts and be noticed by sellers. If there’s a product you like, be cheeky! Use the “Contact Seller” button and offer your reviewing services. Send them a link to your Amazon public profile, say what you’re offering from a review, and ask if they’d be prepared to provide you a free or discounted product in exchange for a fair and honest review, that will raise their product in the search rankings and improve their sales! You can also use review sites such as AMZ Reviews. These sites act as an intermediary, where you request products that sellers are offering for review.
I’m aiming to start copying my reviews to this website, in the hope that it gives more visibility to seller’s items, and make my reviewing services more attractive to them. Fair warning though, if they send me garbage, the review will be poor. I love receiving items to review, but giving me something cheap or free does not result in a positive review unless the product absolutely deserves it.