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Amazon product reviews just got a little more trustworthy

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Amazon UK

Amazon is outlawing the practice of companies incentivising reviews by offering customers free and discounted products.

The firm has updated its community guidelines to ban compensation of any kind and has said customer reviews can only be uploaded through the Amazon Vine program.

Amazon’s decision comes after a study of over 7 million reviews discovered the average rating was higher when incentivised by the seller.

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In a blog post Chee Chew, VP customer experience at Amazon, said the incentivised reviews could be helpful in some cases.

He wrote: “These so-called 'incentivised reviews' make up only a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of reviews on Amazon, and when done carefully, they can be helpful to customers by providing a foundation of reviews for new or less well-known products.”

Sellers will be able to post customer reviews through the Vine program, but they must be labelled as such, so as not to mislead the community.

The use of Vine gives Amazon control over which reviews appear to customers, by intensifying trusted and helpful reviewers.

Chew continued: “Vine has important controls in place and has proven to be especially valuable for getting early reviews on new products that have not yet been able to generate enough sales to have significant numbers of organic reviews.”

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toboev

October 4, 2016, 5:06 pm

Vine is no different, it is still people being given a free product in return for a review. A person who was given a product can not see it in the same light as someone who sacrificed some money for it, who chose it for what it was (or claimed to be), usually after some research, who has invested some hopes in their choice. And that is before any consideration about the impartiality of someone not wishing to bite the hand that feeds, or who may feel obligated or simply grateful.

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